Sunday, November 12, 2006

Steph's Wrinkles

Steph grew up in rural Tennessee helping on the family farm. She and her family attended a small country church. In all, there weren’t many people outside her family that she spent time with. By contrast, her cousin and his family attended a bigger church in town. Because he was older than Steph, he also had a jump start in school. His social circle was downright worldly compared to hers.

But her cousin did play with her when there was time to play. They enjoyed his G.I. Joe, in particular. Steph really didn’t care for Barbie dolls, but she would soon learn that the eternally slender fashion icons that garner a billion dollars a year for the toy industry were important to other little girls.

Steph was probably nervous on her first day of preschool, especially when she figured out her cousin preferred playing with kids he didn’t see as often as he saw her. So Stephanie spotted a cluster of little girls and tried to break into their circle. She didn’t have much luck that first day, and figured it was because she alone did not have a Barbie doll. Steph knew that to get “in” she also had to get a Barbie. She went home, begged and pleaded then pleaded and begged, until her parents got her Barbie. Steph didn’t understand the allure, but she was ready for her next trip to preschool.

Having only played with GI Joe before, she didn’t realize that Barbie could present a big problem. Once her clothes were off, they were nearly impossible to put back on. Sliding pants up to a tiny waist - over hips that are disproportionately bigger - is difficult even for adults. And yet, she was still convinced that she was “In like Flynn” because she had her doll, albeit a naked Barbie.

Unfortunately when she tried to play, the little girls mocked Steph because of Barbie’s nakedness. It likely hurt young Steph’s feelings, but adult Steph learned an important lesson. She no longer tries too hard to fit in because there will always be something that will screw it up. Instead, Steph is an easy-going person who is modest, smart, and comfortable in her own skin.

She claims she was very average at playing sports, but she learned enough to be a sports editor for a newspaper in west Tennessee. She claims she could have tried harder and shot a better photo once for the newspaper. The same photo won a first place award from the Tennessee Telecommunications Association last year. Steph says she always feels she could generally do things better, but her work is passable. Her modesty is clearly undeserved.

Steph says her biggest fault is that she is not a “striver” and that she is not goal oriented. Instead, she simply likes to be content. When I asked Steph if she was content, she said she was with the person she loves, so yes. She is content. Content enough to know that next time she won't follow the Barbie crowd; she'll just settle for a good Dr. Seuss book or Nancy Drew mystery.


Blogger newscoma said...

And she digs squirrels.
Almost frightenly so.

9:24 AM  

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