A Tale of a Little Banshee

I do not hesitate to tell everyone that I was a perfect angel child. I never did anything wrong, I was a cherubic gossamer-haired pixie girl who was absolutely flawless in every way. I mean, LOOK at this child!


Then, of course, when I was three, my parents had another child, and I changed. No, I didn't become a hellfire-breathing demon child, it was worse.

I became WEIRD.

I was a weird kid. Hell, I'm a weird adult. (Keep the choruses of "WE KNOW" to a dull roar, thanks.) But as a young dorky kid who never quite learned how to run or jump or play ANY sports or do much of anything except read books and sit in the woods for hours at a time imagining things, I rapidly became COMPLETELY incapable of relating to my peers. They were so…normal! Like on the TV! I knew about normal, I watched The Brady Bunch and Gimme A Break and Little House on the Godforsaken Prairie. I knew I was different. Not GOOD different, just "well, isn't this a blowtorch up the ass" kind of different. So I did what seemed logical at the time.

I stayed by myself.

I figured this was the perfect plan! I couldn't relate to other kids, and when I was around them, all I could think was "Man, I can't WAIT to get out of this situation and read a book or watch The Dukes of Hazzard, WHEN can I go home???

Side note: I read a lot of blogs that are written by moms who are driven MAD by the concept of playdates and events and sports and keeping their kids on a full schedule. This would have driven me directly to the second-grade equivalent of Bedlam if it had been inflicted on me as a child. I couldn't deal with "Get outside and STAY OUTSIDE until the streetlights come on, no really, the door is locked, drink from the hose," which was a standard summer day at my house. I can't IMAGINE if my poor parents would have had to drag me to EVENTS with other CHILDREN. It would have been apocolyptic.

ANYWAY, I stayed by myself as much as I could manage, and was weird, weird, weird as hell. But at least I wasn't NOTICED as being weird, until, of course, school started up again and I was the kid with the glasses and the hair trying to hide the fact that she still sucks her thumb with a passionate fervor (self-soothing technique!) as she hides a chapter book in her desk and tries to imagine she's in Walnut Grove or Green Gables or SOMETHING, ANYTHING other than 5th grade. People…notice this kind of kid. And then, well, it was all over. Teachers even tried to get other kids to interact with me, and dudes? I RAN AWAY from them. I KNEW I was weird! Couldn't they just leave me and my weirdness ALONE? That's all I ever wanted.

I could ramble FOREVER about how weird I was (am) and all the weird stuff I did (do) but I'll leave you with a question: Did anyone else, I mean, HYPOTHETICALLY, act out "Days of Our Lives" with their Barbies? Just me then? Fantastic.


You think you've got it rough now, kid. Wait till 7th Grade...


A Tale of a Little Banshee — 13 Comments

  1. I had a cher doll that I cut off her hair and glued it to her hooch though. And my doll house was populated with realistic looking mice. And I made a banner that spelled out “I Love Barry Manilow”. Widdling away all the alone hours I loved as a child. Cheers to weird!

  2. I made a nest of pillows and blankets in my closet, closed the door, and used a flashlight to read. During the day. To get away from my (generally non-horrific) family. I slept in there too. My dad used to make me come out of my room and do my homework in front of the TV, otherwise he wouldn’t see me for days. For punishments, my parents used to forbid me to read, and they wouldn’t let me go to my room until bedtime, and they took away my radio. I never felt like I was weird, merely…separate. Other. This is me, myself, over here, and that’s y’all. Over there. FAR over there. We can love each other from here! See? Wave! Hi!

  3. Now when I read your blog, my brain amends each line with “…but I’m an excellent skier.” Sort of like “in bed” with fortune cookies.
    Try it! It’s fun!

  4. I was the girl who wanted to be left alone as a child, too. Then, the kid my parents dared have after me always wanted to play, so when I’d say no, I’m reading a book, she’d go tattle on me and I’d have to stick a bookmark in MY LHOTP book and suck it up to play. I’m the weird one, too. (I was not, alas, as beautiful a cherub as you, because you? OMG!)
    I’m still that girl. I pull off a reasonable fake here and there, but I’m still that girl. Also, I didn’t discover DOOL until college. That would have been super weird had I pulled out the Barbies then!

  5. i always hated barbie dolls, and used to take the heads off my sisters’ barbies, looking for brains. HOWEVER. i used to have an imaginary friend named elizabeth toni that i spoke to, out loud, every day, and i used to believe that lady elaine chatterley lived in my parents’ lazy susan.
    i also started reading my mom’s smutty romance novels when i was about 11, because i had read every damn thing else in the house, and i got kicked out of the local library once for bitching that the children’s section was “for kids.”

  6. How about this for weird? In the 6th grade, I became obsessed with death. My parents, my own, the idea of death, death over easy, scrambled death, oh sorry. Anyway, I day dreamed of my death and everyone’s reaction to it. I obsessed over how and when everyone I knew would die.

  7. I also couldn’t stand to be around other kids….Kid Culture had no appeal to me(well, the stuffed animals are pretty damn cute). I think that’s one of the reasons why I opted out of having kids(I know…I’m one of those ebil childfree types); I couldn’t stand the thought of being subjected to Kid Culture yet again, I didn’t want to pass on Weird to another generation, and I would have thrown myself in traffic if I had spawned a kid that WANTED to partake in Kid Culture.
    I picked up books early and haven’t stopped. My favorite period in kindergarten? Free Reading. Other kids played house, or cars, or dolls. I read. I got books taken from me as a means of punishment if I really screwed up.
    To this day, I can only take kids in small doses, and I need peace and quiet or I will go even more insane. My poor mom..she was a drama kid and student council memeber in high school, as were my brothers. She had no idea how she had spawned a kid with a case of Weird. She’s stil perplexed to this day, as am I..lol.

  8. “I mean, HYPOTHETICALLY, act out “Days of Our Lives” with their Barbies? Just me then? Fantastic.”
    No, but I did name them after characters on The Young and the Restless.
    I could drone on and on about Barbie and what sadistic little things I did to mine. (I actually wrote an essay about this once.) Missing limbs, blacked-out teeth, heads on the wrong bodies — head shaving seems tame by comparison.

  9. Not DOOL, but General Hospital since that’s the soap my mom watched. I was another solitary kid. I would read or roller skate (it was the 70’s after all) by myself and be fine. I’m still like that today. I much prefer to curl up with a good book than have a party and have to deal with people.
    I have one child but we have never done the play date thing. My child is like his father, he can make friends in the blink of an eye so I let him do it on his own. He and DH thankfully get that I am not Mrs Social like they are and we all lead our weird lives in harmony.

  10. I did all the same things…you aren’t alone. Too bad fate only puts one of us weirdos in any given school at a time or maybe we’d have had more friends…

  11. To Kim-
    I forgot about the roller sktating! I’m pretty sure I lived in my Roller Derbys when I was a kid; it was the only way I could quickly escape from the herds of my peers. (Did you ever notice that kids tends to roam in packs)?

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