Monday Dare: ugly duckling

Every Monday, I’m picking from the List of Things to Do, Places to Go, Possible Acts that Help, and Possible Fun to Have. It’s a list I made beforeThe Projectstarted, and I’m still adding to it. If you have suggestions, please feel free to throw them my way. I’m calling the list my Monday Dares, as I get overwhelmed just looking at the words “challenge” or “goal.”

This week: Take more pictures. 

Growing up, I was camera-shy. Because, well, I was hideous. Wait, don’t let me get away with such a gross exaggeration. I wasn’t hideous, just stupendously homely with a dash of awkward.

Blessed with an extreme overbite, I needed braces at an early age…the kind that required headgear.

The headgear wasn’t so bad. It corralled the mop of frizzy hair that expanded in volume by at least 40% on humid days.

And because of my poor eyesight, which started failing at the age of five, I needed thick, clunky glasses. It’s a shame I usually sat or stepped on the glasses soon after getting a new pair, because for the rest of the time I owned that pair, it usually had one (or two) carefully taped legs. Sometimes, the tape would be fairly invisible Scotch brand Magic tape. Other times, it was just standard yellow masking tape.

My parents weren’t willing to shell out for prescription sunglasses, and I couldn’t find a pair of clip-ons that fit well. So, on sunny days, I would slide a pair of non-prescription sunglasses over my everyday glasses and just wear both at the same time.

Add to that my impeccable sense of style. I shunned denim or khaki pants in favor of floral-print, body-hugging bike shorts. I had dozens. Each day, I matched my bike shorts to an assortment of fanny packs. For somber occasions, I preferred the striped pastel fanny pack. On casual days, I whipped out my electric green fanny pack. The electric green fanny pack had a small pair of fuzzy dice hanging from the strap. I grabbed it out of an arcade claw game, and I was proud of it.

Once, on a family vacation, my parents convinced me to stand with my brother for a picture in front of the White House.  My dad wanted a serious picture. He wanted us kids to be straight-faced and close-lipped. Unfortunately, my buck teeth kept my lips from closing all the way.

Dad: I told you to close your mouth!

Me: I can’t help it!

Dad: Yes, you can! Stop being so difficult!

Me: It’s my teeth. They’re too fat! I can’t close my mouth.

I guess it’s not really a family vacation until a kid starts crying.
I’m bringing my camera along with me everywhere I go this week. This makes me nervous. If you have any hints, tips, or ideas for a beginner like me, please share.
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