Not That Kind of Girl


But I kept all this to myself around Heather and Jenny. I had made sure never to say anything about what they were doing because I knew I had no right to judge them, but they’d found me out. I thought that I had been the one watching and listening, observing teenagers being teenagers the way I used to watch jump ropes whipping before it was my turn at double Dutch: okay, okay, I want to get in there, I want to get in there, but I need to make sure I’m jumping in on just the right beat because if I don’t, I’ll bring the whole thing down with me, all of us laid out on the pavement tangled up in rope and all of it my fault, all of it because my timing and judgment were terrible. So I’d worked hard at not making a fool of myself. Just hold still, I told myself. Don’t make a noise, make a smell, make a scene. (p.63)

Nothing seems like it fits — my clothes, my friends, my church. If I were truly brave and original, I know, I would have gone out and made my own reality, the way I should have made my own prom dress in a fit of inspiration and outsider resolve, but I didn’t because I am sort of lazy, if I’m being honest with myself. I would have borrowed from the lives I’d read about in Norton’s, thereby committing the sin of unoriginality on the way to iconoclasm — instead of wandering around knocking into and then retreating from everyone else’s facade of self-confidence. (p. 70)

— Carlene Bauer, Not That Kind of Girl


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