Making a Spectacle of Myself

As I prep to write my story of this past weekend’s bout, I figured I’d stall with these two stories.

One: I got glasses. They’re only for reading, working, and driving at night, but that basically means they’re for every single second of my life. This is a big deal for me, as I used to pride myself on my 20/10 vision, claiming I could see through people, and now I’ve developed astigmatism. I only figured it out when I was goofing around putting someone else’s glasses on my head, only to go, “Oh, wow. All sorts of words just snapped into focus right in front of me.”

Anyway, for me this monumental. Glasses, on my face. Glasses that I carry around in a case. When did I want glasses? Back when I was like, seven. Not so much these days. It’s another thing to worry about. And I always think of Piggy and his assmar.

But I decided to get excited about them, like they’re my nerd tool. Wonder Woman had her lasso, I’ve got these specs. I’ve only shown them to a few people, but every single person has immediately dubbed them “sexy librarian” glasses, and almost every single one of them then said, “But I don’t remember what your old glasses looked like.”

This is when I learned that everybody in my life thinks that I wear glasses. I’ve been finding this out lately more and more, that when it comes to thinking about me, glasses appear on my face. Not sunglasses, which apparently have their own share of problems, but glasses-glasses. All this time, when I would make fun of myself for saying something nerdy by miming shoving my frames up the bridge of my nose? People erased from their memories the part where I was pretending, and went ahead and drew glasses on my memory face.

What kind of glasses did they give me, I wonder. Did I have some thick Buddy Holly frames? Or maybe cat-eyed, tortoise-shell, Rockabetty sex-specs. Unfortunately, I’m sure they were careless, and dropped some Harry Potter Lennon-orbs around my eyes and just left it at that. Probably had those wire frames that wrap around my ears to the lobe and everything. I just don’t feel comfortable about all the glasses I’ve worn in other people’s heads all this time. I know they had to have been different than the ones I actually do have in real life because people stall when they see these glasses, as if they have to recostume the Pam in their heads.

“Huh,” they say. “They’re interesting. Like, you didn’t go with normal glasses.”

I don’t know what that means.

People who haven’t seen these glasses have said to me, “I thought you always wore glasses.” Is it that I have a glasses personality? I know I’m nerdy, probably more nerdy than geeky, and most likely it’s actually the dorky that’s causing the impression of a lack of visual acuity. “Aw, she’s clumsy without her glasses.”

So all this time I wasn’t wearing glasses but everybody swears I did. I actually had to argue with one of my friends, a former co-worker who shared an office with me who insisted I wore glasses. He kept gesturing at his own face and my face, like he knew I wore glasses, he could see them. And then, when he finally decided that perhaps he was wrong and I never wore glasses, he whistled through his teeth and went, “You’re way too young to need glasses. Yikes. Young for glasses. Hmph.” So now I’m worried about going blind, but the good news is everybody will be like, “You haven’t had a cane and a seeing eye dog all this time? Are you sure?”

And now that I need them, it’s like I already had them, so this big shift for me that reminds me how people age and our bodies deteriorate and I’ve probably spent half my life in front of a computer screen and what’s it all about and where am I headed and why did I never learn Spanish and I should just admit I’m never going to sew that dress I’ve got all the pieces for because I just hate sewing zippers and what’s next, my hearing– is just that. My own little freak-out. Nobody really cares about the glasses. Just like how people always think I’m taller than I really am. Or that I’ve lost weight when I haven’t. Those two things I get told a lot. Maybe people see me as this big fat nerd, and when they look at me they’re like, “Huh. I don’t want to tell her I think of her as a big, fat nerd, but I feel that this change in what I perceive and reality merits some kind of compliment for her. Because I can’t be completely wrong about her being a big, fat nerd. I will tell her that she looks thinner. That always works on chicks.”

Or, perhaps, I am shrinking. I’m slowly getting smaller and smaller at a rate I don’t notice but acquaintances can, and one day it’ll just be this mini-p jumping across her laptop keyboard, desperately trying to Twitter for help.

I have to go to the store right now, rather than writing the derby entry, because I am also currently the victim of my own failed joke. Those new around here might not know that deodorant is kind of a thing with me. I’m always trying to find one that really, truly works. Sometimes even if it works, it stops working after a little while. (This might be why people have the big fat nerd impression of me. “I remember you sweatier and way grosser, Pamie.”) After getting six thousand or so suggestions from all of you, I’m still going through my options. So the other day I was browsing the shelves, hoping they’d come up with some new deodorant that was like, “THIS IS IT. YOU WILL ONLY NEED THIS FOREVER.”

I didn’t find that one. But I did find an Old Spice deodorant with a scent named “Swagger.” And that made me laugh. When I read that Swagger was supposed to “Boost Confidence,” I figured, “This shit is hilarious, and I need it in my medicine cabinet for when people come over and snoop through my bathroom like people do.”

What’s her secret? Girl’s got Swagger.

I sniffed it, and it seemed kind of like “You used to date this boy,” but not too studly that I couldn’t pull it off.

And what? I totally got swagger. I’m awesome, people. I mean, I have lost weight.

Anyway, I don’t know if it’s the way it’s reacting with my body’s chemistry, or if it’s just not really something girls should do but… about fifteen minutes after I applied this stuff to my pits, I was standing by my coffee pot waiting for my first important cup and then suddenly got all this anxiety. Like, that feeling where something terrible is about to happen because I think a man is standing behind me with a knife. I got all nervous and really smelled some crazy dude who’d been standing out in the sun for too long and then

i realized

I smell like a dude who’s drunk at the outdoor festival, walking up to you to ask you if your titties are real, and if so, can he touch them.

No, not walking up to you.


It’s the bad swagger, y’all. And I smell like a douchebag. I smell like a total douchebag. I don’t give a shit what LL says, this stuff makes me feel like I’m groping myself on a subway, like I’m standing underneath the Lucite steps at the Apple store, looking up the skirt of the me heading up to the second floor. I feel dirty, y’all. Not good dirty, not fun dirty. I feel like a boy who wears t-shirts with beer jokes on them. Like a guy who says “breast-a-ses.” I smell like that shithead who told me he needed me to know that I was “not ugly”.

So I will tell the derby story later, when I once again smell like a kickass lady, a former big, fat nerd who still wears pigtails, but now wears glasses. And sometimes roller skates and silver hot pants. But right now I smell like a douchebag, and this will not do for one more second.

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