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Thursday, April 18, 2013

P is for Peculiar

I have joined the group  "Blogging from A to Z" .  This is a  a month long challenge to write a short story everyday and each day corresponding to the letter of the alphabet.  I have linked up the site - simply click on the name so that you might read any sort of short story from the huge line-up available.  The stories are supposed to be short so that many can be read, quickly.  Simply a titillation of talent.  Happy reading, and thank you for joining me.  My sister-in-law is writing under "Vicki's Place" currently her placement is #1259.  If you are catching this on my Facebook or as an e-mail follower my number is currently #1324.  (people drop out and the numbers contract)

P is for Peculiar

Peculiar.  Yes, I think that would be an excellent description.  She was peculiar.  I don’t know that I ever saw her without her leather skull cap, World War II aviator goggles, and white pilot scarf.  None of her actual clothing sticks out in my mind.  I am fairly certain she wore the school uniform just like the rest of us.  Perhaps she didn’t hike up her skirts as did the rest of us girls.  Perhaps she didn’t use her gym socks the way we did either.  But, she was a tad different.

In junior high, and even younger, most girls want nothing more than to be just like every other girl in junior high.  And EVERY girl in junior high wanted to look just like Paula Abdul!  She was Rad, you know, rad with a capital R!  Her hair, her clothes, her smile, and coolest of all was the mole on her face!  “Like, wow!”  Dark brown eye liner
pencils were flying off the shelf at the local drug store, so girls could pencil in their very own moles!

We wore uniforms to school.  A nice dull gray sweater over a freshly ironed white blouse.  This accompanied a black, gray and maroon plaid skirt.  We did have our choice of socks.  They could be any length we wanted and could be either white, black, maroon or gray.  Such choices! Oh, but NEVER mixed.  (One of my friends tried to wear a gray and a white sock.  She was given detention and sent home for the remainder of the day.  Oh the humiliation!  It went on her PERMANENT record!) 

Patty never gossiped while in the bathroom.  She barely even gave us a second glance when she walked in on a group of us smoking a cigarette.  Yes, there were ten of us all gagging and turning blue all the while trying to look cool.  She did, however, slide her goggles off the top of her head while using her hand to “knife” through the smoke.  One of the smoking girls whispered, “PP is going pee-pee.” To which we all fell over each other in laughter.  Later I thought it was pretty cool that she kept her mouth shut, too.

Her nickname, among those of us who ever bothered to acknowledge her existence, was Peculiar Patty or PP.  My mother would always chastise me when I called her that.  In hindsight, I see it now as a form of bullying.  The budding pushiness born of insecurity in the crowd.  A feeble attempt at fitting in, pointing the finger at someone else’s nonconformity. 

Upon graduating from high school, most of us parted ways by going to different colleges or universities. Patty joined the United States Air Force.  Proving herself in battle after battle, we would read about her in the local newspaper.  Finally, after years away fighting for her country and countrymen, she was going to attend a class reunion. 

Naturally, we invited her to speak.  She was a hero from right here in our hometown.  Patty, wearing her many colored medals and ribbons, strode to the podium.  She looked around the room and slowly drew out that old leather skull cap, World War II goggles and a tattered white scarf.  Meeting each of us eye to eye, she began to speak. “I want to thank you for making me what I am today.  Without the bullying and exclusion, I may not have felt the need to strive as fervently as I did.  Looking at you all now, I can only pity you.  After all you put me through, you think this is enough to right the wrongs of seven years of school.  You people didn’t learn much from life.  Thanks for the opportunity to tell you I fight for my family.  And my family are people who are kind to me.  My family accepts me for who I am, not how I may be dressed on any given day.”



  1. This is brilliant. It reminds me how cruel kids in school can be and how quick they are to judge. They never really understand how special someone is until it is too late.


    1. Thank you Ms. Kathy for "getting it". It's a difficult evolutionary thing... eliminating that which is "different".