Sitting cross-legged on the floor in the living room of my parents’ house peering into a brown cardboard box filled with once-loved books from my childhood, I tell my brother’s girlfriend’s 10-year-old daughter that she should take them home with her. Handing over the cherished volumes stirs up dusty memories of my awkward youth. In school, I was the chubby girl, the one with glasses – large thick plastic frames the color of rose quartz. My hair was long, often tamed in a braided ponytail like a sandy blonde rope. I wore my socks pulled up to my kneecaps like my father. I looked like Olive Hoover (Abigail Breslin) from Little Miss Sunshine minus the “Super Freak” dance moves.
I collected colorful semiprecious gemstones from museum gift shops, unsharpened decorative pencils, and books. I was undeniably a geek, and still am. Now I have a woman’s curves. I still wear glasses, but the rectangular black frames are sleek, sexy librarian chic. After much experimentation, I’ve settled on a hairstyle that suits me, a short blonde bob with side bangs. I still have my gemstone collection, which is displayed in an antique English soap dish on the bookshelf in my bedroom, along with my beloved books.Read More