Anyway, when I was 10, I was in 5th grade and still new to my Elementary school. See how pale I am in that picture (or any other of my pictures)? My whole town is 98% Hispanic. I was surrounded by beautiful olive-skinned dark-haired girls. Add that to the normal weirdness that comes with being a tween, and I was pretty much an alien.
I had no friends. Wait, yes I did. They were so cool. They were well spoken. Even better, they spent all of their time with me. For example, Rosemary. She was awesome. See her here:
Oh, yeah. You got it. I was that girl who considered the characters in her books her best friends. Dead serious. (Don't worry, mom, you were my only real-life friend).
Before you feel sorry for me, wait! My school had a special competition for people like me. I got to enter a contest called Accelerated Reader (please tell me you remember this). We got points for reading books and taking quizzes. Now, reading had more of a purpose. I had a mission. Get more points. Because at the end of the year, they were going to give away a prize. I didn't know what it was, but maybe it would make me cool. Or give me real friends.
You guessed it. I won. I set the record for the highest points ever made in the Elementary school. Yes, now you may feel pity. It did not give me friends. In fact, in 6th and 7th grade, I had kids coming up to me saying, "Hey, aren't you that girl who won that weird book contest?!" Oh, shame.
The worse thing about all of this is the prize. Are you ready? For being the best reader, the most secluded person, the biggest nerd, they gave me...
That's right. They might as well have hung a banner behind it saying, "Get a life!"
You want to know something? I still have that bike. It was an adult sized bike, because I guess they have some big 5th graders and they wanted to let us grow into it. The bike is still usable. It's not really worn out yet, well, because I still read more than anything else.
Maybe I still need to get a life.