Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A cynic is born

It's hard to pinpoint the exact moment when I became cynical. I can point to a number of humiliating experiences and will probably share them when I run out of other things to blog about, but if you think of my cynical nature as a jigsaw puzzle, this event that I am about to relay would be one of the center pieces of that puzzle.

The year in 1989. I walked through the halls of Kirby Junior High with my pants tight-rolled to my ankles and my bangs matted and sitting six inches above my forehead. My generation decimated large swaths of ozone by resolidifying our mile high bangs between each class period with Aqua Net. If you would have touched my hair, I have no doubt that it would have shattered like the bad guy in Terminator 2 after he was dipped in liquid nitrogen.

The day was like any other day. I was dreading my daily humiliation session in second hour, P.E. When I walked in the gym, however, I knew that something was amiss. The rest of the girls were lined up against the wall in their "street" clothes. Some, toward the front of the line were weeping softly. As soon as the bell rang, the masculine-looking gym teacher, Mrs. L*** started calling the girls into the locker room one at a time. Within minutes, the girls would be dressed and take their place on another wall, rocking in the fetal position and mumbling to themselves. "What's going on?" I asked the girl in front of me, "Scoliosis exam" she replied. Not wanting to look stupid, I didn't even ask what Scoliosis was. When it was finally my turn, I entered the dungeon-like locker room. Water dripped ominously from the showers. "Take off your clothes, leave your panties on!" Mrs. L*** barked. My mind, failing to comprehend this order, would not allow me to follow this suspected-tranny's instruction. "Do it, I haven't got all day!" I did as I was told. "Turn with your back towards me and touch your toes!" She barked. My mind screamed, "WTF is going on here???" Within seconds, the exam was over. I wasn't sure what this woman was checking for since I was on one side of the locker room touching my toes and she was on the other side of the locker room and hadn't seemed to look up from her clipboard. I was instructed to get dressed and did so quickly. I sat next to another girl who was still mumbling and rocking and tried to evaluate what had just happened. I figured that scoliosis was some type of anal parasite, which explained why the teacher never left her post on the other side of the room. What I couldn't figure out is how someone with no medical experience whatsoever was qualified to check a whole school-full of pre-teen girls for butt trolls (BECAUSE I DIDN'T YET KNOW WHAT SCOLIOSIS WAS). Later, I found out that Scoliosis was curvature of the spine, but from what I could tell, our gym teachers weren't qualified to judge that either. It was then that I learned that people in authority could degrade you. A crucial lesson in Cynicism 101.

The reason that this horrible life experience comes to mind today is because my daughter's gym teacher decided that she probably had scoliosis and wanted us to take her to the doctor. She doesn't have it, much to my husband's dismay. He thought that dressing her up like a turtle/human hybrid would reduce the number of boys who would want to ask her out. I'm sure that it would temporarily, but I know a girl who had scoliosis that now looks like a 35 year old Jessica Simpson. Regardless, I know why the unqualified, non-medical professional thought that she might be afflicted. My daughter slouches like Quasimodo. What is more disturbing to me is that even though I pay for a physical examination every year by a guy with M.D. behind his last name, they are still forcing kids to go through this "exam." Another generation of cynics is born.

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