Why, Me?


SNOWDAY  BY DAVE MATHIS    CREATIVE COMMONS  WWW.FLICKR.COM https://www.flickr.com/photos/eldave/


“Kathy! You better get up!” My mom’s voice was hoarse from hollering at me to get up every five minutes.


Just a few more minutes under my warm covers before I dress in the freezing bedroom. I covered my head again as the frigid dampness poured down from the frosted window. Mom must have dozed off because I went back to sleep until the school bus wheels crunched by my house. Like the jack-in-a-box my sister got for Christmas I jumped out of bed. I only had seven minutes to get dressed before the bus circled the subdivision and came back by my house.


My new sweater and wool, box skirt would hopefully keep me warm today. The Fairfield schools allowed pants to be worn under a skirt but we high school girls didn’t want to look dorky. Instead, I pulled on a pair of hose I wore yesterday.


After I dressed, the bright light in the bathroom revealed my worst horror; my naturally, curly hair stuck every which way but Sunday. I plastered down the tangled mess using my Fuller brush and a half dozen bobby pins. No time to put on boots today so I slipped my feet into my church flats.


I heard the bus turning the corner of the house next door so I grabbed my purse and school books and flew out the front door. I didn’t know there was a patch of black ice on the lower half of our slanted driveway. Down I went and over the ice I slid like a seal out of water. The bus driver waited while I gathered my shoes and belongings. Thank God, for the frosty bus windows that helped clandestine my Candid Camera blooper. I still dreaded getting on that bus expecting giggling and wisecracks but the bus was quiet.


I flopped down in the first empty seat half way down the isle, thankful when the bus driver turned the light off. I reached down and rubbed my hand up and down my legs not believing the potholes in my hose. I slipped them off and crammed them into my coat pockets. I tried to wrap my long coat around my shivering, wet legs for the long ride.


The toasty warm school felt better compared to the icy bus but I began to worry how I was going to hide my white legs all day. This school had the most beautiful girls who were perfect from head to toe! I was glad the main hallway was bumper to bumper with teenagers, keeping the sardine-packed boys sitting on the long window sill from seeing my white, goose flesh. I never knew boys even looked at girl’s legs until back in eight grade when a girl in my homeroom class told me that Denny liked my legs.


“Hey, Kathy! Wait up! Kathy!” a familiar voice called from behind. I felt well hidden in the school of fish so I slowed down to a puppy dog swim so Karen could catch up. If I stopped in this crowd we would cause a pile up in front of the Principal’s office plus get detention. Karen grabbed my right shoulder and said in a low voice near my ear, “Kathy, Keep walking, I’m holding on to your coat tag with both hands because it’s so big. I don’t want anybody to see it so go to the nearest bathroom!”


We must have looked like Siamese twins as we walked awkwardly toward the restroom. As soon as the door shut behind us, I dropped my books and purse in the floor and slipped off the coat. My face turned beet red. How did I not see such a big, white tag hanging from the arm pit of my coat? Before I knew it, Karen was cutting the long string with her nail clippers. “A very, nice coat, Kathy!”

 “Thanks, Karen, I owe you.”

 “No, problem, Kath. Glad to help.”

 This must be my unlucky day I thought!  I convinced myself I was being too self-conscious and I needed to stop it and get a grip. An hour before school was out there was an announcement on the loud speaker that the office was ready for our wing to come to the gymnasium. I cringed at that remembering my white legs for the first time since that morning. As we lined up to go, I pulled my skirt down a little to help cover my legs. I hated walking by the bleachers that were already filled with gawking eyes. I quickly followed the person in front as we climbed the bleacher steps to fill in the next spot near the top.

 One more hour and we could go home!

 After forty-five minutes the induction of all the proud, new members into National Honor Society it was almost over. I wasn’t a bit surprised to see who made it in to the prestigious club. It was mostly peers from my “T” class days back in 7th & 8th grade. They deserved it and I was actually proud for them. This honor would look very good on their college application.

HONOR SOCIETY CEREMONY BY PAUL Li  CREATIVE COMMONS   FLICKR  /www.flickr.com/photos/paulpker121/


Even if I had been studious enough for National Honor Society I could never afford college anyway. Today, I was actually grateful I wasn’t qualified to be included in Honor Society because everyone would see my white legs!  I was planning to be a beautician and save my money to go to Art school. The names being called were getting closer and closer to the end of the alphabet. Everyone was getting anxious to go home after sitting so long on the hard bleachers. We could hear the buses humming out in the parking lot.


I must have been in a daze because I didn’t notice the students who had turned around, looking up at me. Somebody, gently poked me from behind and said, “They called, Kathryn Marie Wilcox!” I turned to see who said that and I didn’t even know the girl. How would she know my name?  Stubbornly, I turned back around, positive they were wrong. How could they be calling my name? My grades aren’t bad but not near good enough for Honor Society! It must be a big mistake!


Now, the students were waving hard for me to GO, GO, (so they could go home, I’m sure).  I looked down at the bottom of the bleachers where an escort was waiting and smiling . . . at me? I stood up embarrassed but pleased at the same time.  Over 600 pair of eyes fell on me as I walked down the bleachers with my snow white legs, and . . . I didn’t care they were watching!


 Have you ever been pleasantly shocked in front of a small or big crowd? I think this was the first time I realized God had a sense of humor. He blessed me at an unseemly time when I wasn’t expecting anything. I think He was trying to get me to stop being so self-conscious about myself and focus on others. Yes, they did call my name that day but I never heard it. The document they handed me on the stage had my name on it. But, to this day I still don’t know how, why, or who suggested me for such an honor.