My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

The Princesses Chap My Hide!

Thursday morning, 4:30am, Dusty crawled in my bed. She's been doing this all week. I think part of it's her way of working through her friend Ruby's recent death. On the way home from preschool on Wednesday, she looked glum.

"What's wrong? Do you feel bad?" She's been coughing this week.
"Are you tired?"
"What's wrong?"
"I'm just sad about Ruby."
"Yes, we all are," I lamely replied.

This morning (Thurs), though, she was coughing and coughing, gagging and gagging, and none of us went back to sleep. Today would be a Doctor Day. She'd probably caught something from Red, who'd been sick a week ago and was back on the nebulizer.

On the way into town, Dusty, as she always does, kept me entertained.

"What spiders bite? Like the black widow."
"Well, a lot of spiders bite but not all of them are poisonous."
"Which ones are poisonous? Not the black widow; I know about that one. Others."
"Hmm. The brown recluse is pretty poisonous."
"Are they friends? The brown recluse and the black widow?"
"Not that I know of."
"Do spiders have names?"
"I don't think so."
"Maybe if their moms and dads give them names."
"Yeah, I suppose so."

She gets me every time.

Then she sings a song to the tune of Frere Jacques that goes like this:

"I'm going to the doctor
I'm going to the doctor
Yes, I am
Yes, I am
I don't like the highway
I don't like the highway
No, I don't
No, I don't."

You know where she stands on the issues: do we take the fast way (highway) or the unbelievably slow way (regular road with 5,683 stop lights once we leave the country). I vetoed her I would rather get to the doctor's office in 40 minutes instead of 60.

We do the doc (diagnosis: bad cough, virus going around, no strep) and leave to fill prescription. While waiting at CVS (where I run into TWO former bosses of mine how rare is that?), Dusty spies Princess Chapstick. The dreaded Disney Princesses have taken over every brand, every product known to man. Dusty wants Princess Chapstick.

"You already have lots of lip gloss. If your lips are chapped, you can use that."
"But I don't want lip gloss on my lips. I want Chapstick, like you."
"But, you don't need it."
She sighs, utters a hacking death cough, and replies in a trembling, low voice,
"I just want what my friends have."

Oh jeez. Here we go. The whole fitting-in/peer pressure mary-go-round. Shit. Shit. Shit. While I've raised this child to be an independent thinker, to treasure and respect people outside the mainstream, I also really, really understand how it was to stick out in school. To be poor and have no hopes of ever attaining the level of STUFF my peers had (or, actually, have; nothing's really changed in this realm) or the outward appearance of being ONE OF THEM. Sometimes, it's easier to be different if you can also blend in. If you get what I'm saying. If there's a basic level of acceptance already.

That being said, Dusty is a wildly popular girl with a very distinct sense of personal style. Where she gets it, I don't know. I think it's in-born. Nature, not nurture. The girls flock around Dusty when she arrives in the morning. I have to practically fend them off with a taser just so she can breathe. So, it's not like she's the dirty kid in the corner who eats her own boogers remember that kid? She's also not the one who's eerily quiet with odd fading bruises that can only be seen in warm weather. No. Dusty is loved by millions. So, this need to be ONE OF THEM strikes me as ironic. Dusty, though she doesn't realize it, is the style MAKER not the style FOLLOWER. Kids line up down the block to be like Dusty.

I pondered for a moment.

And then I bought the damn Chapstick.

Life's too short to quibble over a $3 two-pack of fucking Princess fucking Chapstick.

God help me.


9:02 a.m. ::
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