Friday, June 26, 2009

The Artificial Woman-pt.5 (eating=balloon belly)

As far as Rainbow's performance in school was concerned, her academic prowess was overshadowed by her behavior, and apparent lack of motor skills. For example, even though she was consistently reading above grade level, she didn't have good comprehension of what she read, according to her report cards. Her teachers also commented on how sloppy her writing was, and how she bothered other students, and how other students bothered her. "Her feelings get hurt too easily," was a popular refrain.

Yes, indeed they did, especially when she started to eat "people food".

Big mistake!

For the longest time, Rainbow ate nothing but cereal and toast. This had to change once she started school. Her first love was peanut butter, so her mom first made her peanut butter crackers, and then peanut butter sandwiches for lunch. She refused to eat "hot" lunch, though. In fact, one time in 3rd grade when the teacher made Rainbow eat her warmed-over canned spinach, she threw it up.

The teacher never made her eat spinach after that.

Rainbow's parents were happy when she would eat, since she normally wasn't interested in food. They didn't mind when she had seconds of burgers, pizza, spaghetti and the like.

But Rainbow wasn't growing, so she gained weight, starting at age 10, when she should have started growing up, and not out.

As kids will do, they noticed Rainbow's explosion in size. Frankly it was hard not to notice her. She was shorter than her classmates, wore glasses that could have substituted for binoculars, and was turning pudgy. Both boys and girls called her "balloon belly".

This is not to say Rainbow didn't have friends. She provided much entertainment due to her lack of impulse control, talking out of turn, making jokes. She was "funny". Plus, even in elementary school, some boys were starting to "like" girls. If Rainbow befriended a girl a boy liked, she became a conduit between her friend, and the boy who liked her friend. Often Rainbow "liked" the boy who "liked" her friend, but she was happy for whatever attention she could get.

Case and point: In 3rd Grade, there was a boy named Scott. Scott liked Rainbow's friend Julie. He asked for Rainbow's number, so he could ask her questions about Julie. This might have offended other girls, but it thrilled Rainbow. Just by virtue of being Julie's friend, Rainbow earned a kiss on the hand and cheek from her favorite boy in class. It didn't matter that it was Julie he "liked".

Rainbow was giddy. She came home after school the day Scott kissed her, and unlocked the door to her house with one try. Kissing a boy had evidently released some courage and confidence. Throughout grade school Rainbow would worship the ground Scott walked on. Scott would worship the ground her friends walked on. Still, she would do anything to try to impress him, including running down the hall so fast, she fell, chipped her teeth and split her lip. Yes, you could compare Rainbow to Olive in Little Miss Sunshine, both in looks and spunk.

But the older she got, the more she, and everyone it seemed, noticed she wasn't like her friends, and the the more her spunk dwindled.

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