My "Normal" Week

Last April when I was in school, I was taking psychology. One of our assignments was to do something out of the social "norm" for a week. Me, already out of the social "norm" being goth and all, was a little confused. After class my teacher called me up to his desk and gave me a special assignment: I had to be "normal" for a week. Lucky me, I got to be a trendy. My old "friend" Jen jumped on the chance to mold me into "the average girl" (she's been trying to ever since I've known her).

That day she took me to the sorry exuse for a mall we have in this town. She picked out two pairs of these stupid over priced jeans that were like the 90's version of bell bottems "they're bootlegs Arlie, they'll look good on you", a pair of kacki pants (the one thing I didn't grimace at, in fact I still have them), and this flowery type skirt then went to my knees. Just when I thought it was all over, we went to another store and had to get shirts. Ugh. Bunches and bunches of bright colored tank tops that varied from magenta to lime green. Then short sleeve plaid type shirt things.
Quickly she dragged me over to the make up, where she picked out a pretty shade of like fee-fee pink, pretty glitter, and no teeny bopper could be without the strawberry flavored lip gloss. Off to the hair stuff we went, where she picked out an array of differnt scrunchis and barrets. Then it was off to the shoe store where she picked out some strappy, blueish, heeled type deal shoes, and a pair of sickly overpriced Nike's.

It still wasn't over, no, not in the least. It was off to the salon, where they stripped the beautiful "After Midnight Blue" dye out of my hair (which left my hair dirty blond), repainted my usually black nails the same color of fee-fee pink, and (ouch) waxed my legs (I still have nightmares about that).

After our shopping expedition we went to her house were she taught me how to walk, talk and be "the average girl" (as if looking like one wasn't bad enough). She took foundation and covered up all the scars on my arms and legs (Eek, my checkered past). She even taught me how to dance to "average girl" music (boy bands..yeehaw). After about 4 hours of learning the proper edict I got to home. I sent an e-mail to all my friends from school warning them that I didn't "sell out" or go preppy on them. After a long day of learning to be "the average girl," I fell asleep at my desk.

The next morning was the morning of truth. I woke up at my desk and looked at the many bags of clothes that were on my bed. I pulled out the kacki pants (figured I should start slowly), the Nike's, one of the darker colored tank tops even though it had flowers on it, one of those wannabe flannel shirts, and the make up and hair stuff. After I took a shower I put all the clothing on, put my hair up in one of those stupid twirly bun things, strategicly placed about 10 barets in my hair, put on the fee-fee pink eye shadow and put the glitter on my cheek bones. As I looked at myself in the mirror, I felt so..not me.

I went down to the busstop and waited for the bus. Still feeling like I wasn't in my own skin, I waited for about 10 minutes until the bus finally came.When I got on, a look of pure shock came over the other kids' faces. Jen actully invited me to sit down next to her, so I did. She told me how great I looked and how I am gonna like being normal so much more than "being a freak." When I got to school she escorted me right over with all her trendy friends, I waved and frowned when my real friends saw me. They all mouthed "good luck" at me. Jen introduced me to all her friends, I just smiled and nodded. They were all excited about me, they wanted to know my name, where I'm from. The airheads then relized that I was the girl they threw pennies at.

They day went on mostly like that, my real friends and I communicated secretly. The teachers were the only ones that recognized me. At lunch I sat with the trendy table,and ate nothing. Then psychology class rolled around. I was thinking of how many ways I could torture my teacher for this. After class he called me up to his desk and asked "How's life??"
"I hate you," I replied.
"Hang in there," he said, patting me on the back.

As I walked over to my bus, Jen grabbed me and told me I was going to stay after with her and her friends. I really had no choice in the matter so I followed her.We went across the street to a gas station/convenience store and met up with about 13 of her other friends, who were all smoking in a circle. They passed the cigarette around to everyone and it eventually came to me. Part of my special assignment was I had to act like the "average girl" so I took a puff of it and blew it out my nose to make it look like I inhaled (that hurt like hell). After that we all went to a place called "The Trussel," which is basiclly a bridge with a river under it. Low and behold, boys were there. All the girls scampered down there and into the arms of one of them. Right then and there they all started to make out. Someone asked why I wasn't. I had to think quick, so I used the oldest exuse that a woman can use.."I'm on my period." She sympathized then went back to makin' out. At this point, some were having sex, sone were giving/getting oral sex and everything else. Those that weren't doing that were in a circle smoking weed. I decided to go for a swim.When everyone was all done I got out and dried off and we made a mad dash to the late busses. On the bus ride home I expained to Jen I couldn't stay after the rest of the week because of work, she said "okay" and asked how my day was.

When I got home I called my best friend and told her the events of my day. She consoled me (I was near tears) and told me to hang in there. After that I got all that horrible clothing and make up off put on a tee shirt and went to bed.

The rest of the week was similar to that day (except for the whole afterschool scene).All my real friend told me it would be over soon. Unfortunately the end of Friday didn't come fast enough.When it finally came, I asked for the day off of work Much to my suprise, I got it. I put on some of my goth garb and went shopping with my best friend.We retured all the clothes (we couldn't return the shoes though) and bought some clothes that I ACTUALLY WOULD WANT TO WEAR.When I got home I went right up to my bathroom and died my hair the heavenly shade of "Vampire Red."

During the weekend I worked on the report for psycholgy. It was a nice 7 pager and had many pictures and quotes. That following Moday I mosied to the bus stop, got my regular reaction from the rest of the kids, mosied into school, got the same reaction that I usually get, and walked right back over to where I belonged, with the rest of the "freaks," my real friends.

What I have summed up from this experance is that being normal is not what it is cracked up tp be. In fact, it sucks. Always be true to yourself. There was one quote that I think puts it all in a nutshell. It came from math teacher and friend, that Monday he said, "I think I like the real you better."
I think I do, too.

by arlie