Here Comes Hairy-Legs Langas
"Here comes hairy-legs Langas," the boys chanted. They laughed and pointed at me as I walked by, brave on the outside, suffering on the inside.
The prior year, I was "all that," securely situated as president of my sixth grade class. But by seventh grade, I might as well have been from outer space. On the first day of school, I showed up with braces, a puff of fuzzy hair and yes – those unshaven legs. My mouth, untouched by lip gloss, fell open when I spotted my best friend wearing a shorter skirt over the smooth legs of a grown-up woman. She batted black-lacquered eyelashes at the boys who surrounded her. My destiny was changed. I had no mascara and no allies. So this was 13.
Four decades later, I wonder what I would have told my 13-year-old self if given the chance. I think I would tell her that striving for perfection is overrated. And what a shame I didn’t realize that those long legs would carry me to captain of my college tennis team. Inside that head of fluffy hair were brains that would empower me to become a TV host, children’s book author and president of my own public relations firm. Be your authentic self and follow your dreams. Just be 13.
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