Both of my parents worked full time and were middle class. We made it by just fine growing up but Mom and Dad during the late 1700s would probably be banking on their girls marrying into some wealth. We'd have to heavily rely on our beauty alone since family wealth was nonexistent and nobody would give a crap about our brains. And then there's the 1700s version of me- the character Jane Austen would throw in as the sad, unfortunate friend. I'd have either a walking stick or some super thick eye glasses, but knowing me I'd refuse them both and trip over obstacles in my way or squint so hard my round nose would shrivel up, thus forcing my upper lip to curl and my crooked teeth would be on constant display. My parents couldn't afford me to study art in Europe, so I'd take to the streets with my squinting and I'd sell my artwork. My big boobs would aid in this situation so when my face couldn't stand to be seen anymore, folks could avert their eyes downward for a quick relief. I'd wear super tight corsets and necklines too low to increase my art sales on the streets but I'd teeter daily on tarnishing the family name and my sisters' efforts in finding suitable beaus of their own. My eyebrows would be caterpillar-thick but I could always shave and sell my brow hairs for money if needed. I wouldn't be picky about men since I couldn't even see what was 3 feet in front of me. But people would have to endure viewing my yellow, jigsaw puzzled teeth in order to experience my charm and fun personality. Passersby would avoid me like the plague because my face would be slick with oil and breaking out as I stumbled through town on the cobblestone streets with my frizzy hair, boobs and art supplies in tow. I'd sit at the bar during happy hour with men, eating nearly raw meat with my paint-coated fingers, telling crude jokes and drinking whiskey. My poor, poor parents. They would suggest I join the circus and maybe there I'd meet someone on my level. People would say I had potential but who would give me a chance?
I can come up with several happy-ending scenarios of this story. One of them might be I packed my bags and moved West where my hair was smooth and my skin was clear. But eventually I would have come back home to the South to retrieve my heart. I could never leave this place so I just have to suck it up and muddle through summer after summer of mosquito bites and unpredictable hair, while being that "unfortunate friend" for a solid 3-4 months. This little house was often looked over, not given a chance, people thinking it was a lost cause. But it, too, had potential, with it's rotting wood, termite-infested foundation, mold speckled walls, downward sloping floors and a slew of other problems that nobody would take the time to get to know. I wanted to give it a chance. I saw a piece of myself in this house and what mascara can do for me, paint can do for it. Sure, there's more to coating a surface with makeup. This house has good bones and charm that can't be matched. I'm a huge supporter of the underdog, the ugly duckling, the people not born into wealth but managed to do just fine, the girl who had a shit load of life thrown her way but can get up everyday and laugh. I am this house and this house is me.
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