See also a short timeline of my first ten years.
Age 11: I take to writing illustrated children's books. One is about a flea named Harry who collects ties and runs away from the dog on which he is living. Another is about a boy named Jeffrey who saves a chunk of snow in the freezer from his snowman so that it can live again every winter. I use construction paper, smelly markers, and watercolour and acrylic paints.
Age 12: I have braces, a headgear, hot pink GWG jeans, a Little Orphan Annie perm, and Holly Hobbie brand eyeglasses. Also, I still look like I am nine years old. Not even the girls will kiss me anymore.
Age 13: I get my first training bra from my aunt, who scavenges it from my grandmother's storage room upstairs. It hasn't been worn since about 1974, and it has pills on the fabric that itch my undeveloped chest. I wonder what exactly needs training by this bra, because I do not have anything to train and will not for another two years.
Age 14: My cousin and I see some boys around our age swimming in the lake, and their clothes are strewn about the beach. She decides that we should steal their clothing and make a run for it. We do, and after they chase us for a while, I drop what I have and run back to our campsite. This enrages her. It never occurred to me that she wanted us to be caught by them.
Age 15: I am sent off to a Mennonite boarding school for my last two years of high school. I do not want to go, but I am glad that I no longer have to live at home. The first meal served to me in the cafeteria is pancakes and white buns. I say goodbye to my size five pants forever.
I find out the love of my life is a vampire, but he loses his soul, and then I have to send him to Hell, and my heart is broken, and I look really annoying every time I fake being sad. No, I was not Buffy. At sixteen, I am a complete and utter mess. I miss twenty-seven days of school in one semester, I write atrocious poetry about the meaninglessness of existence, and I decide that I want to grow up to be a heroin addict. I believe that I possess some kind of as yet unrecognized brilliance.
Age 17: I graduate from high school and swiftly set about doing as little as possible. I hole up in my basement bedroom and build large papier mâché structures. One is a four-foot-tall green Buddha with Xs for eyes and yellow bottle cap nipples. Another is a huge nesting chicken. They are built with my father's old hockey sticks, salvaged chicken wire, and the newspaper's ad inserts.
Age 18: My parents tell me that I can either work at McDonald's or go to secretarial school. I choose secretarial school and spend the year learning WordPerfect 5.1, struggling through a completely unnecessary set of mimeograph machine skills, and feeling lightheaded due to my daily diet of one cookie chased with a handful of vitamins.
Age 19: I decide that I can no longer handle my life as it is. I have a fight with my father. I move out of my parents' house with no notice. I live in an apartment that needs only a teaspoon to unlock the door. An ex-lab-animal dog lives in the apartment below, and I find that cheese is an excellent lure to get him to come upstairs and jump up and down on my couch like a muppet.
Age 20: I meet the man I believe that I am destined to marry, only I go crazy first, start seeing a psychiatrist, have a lesbian affair, have a heterosexual affair, and then end the engagement. I have nowhere to go but up, and I do.
I am a participant in Holidailies 2007.