If I told you that I was just a little nervous and only slightly intimidated from the view in front of me, that would be flat out lying. I am hoping that when you read my story about this one day in my life, you will understand why it is that I feel that lying isn't always the best answer. So I bring you this story with as much truth as I can remember and leaving out as much lying or stretching-of-the-truth as I can.
I was so scared I was shaking in my seat as my mother's car(with me in the passengers seat) pulled into the schools parking lot. I was berating myself about how I could have ever thought that being dressed like I was would be okay, and that I would be able to fit in with the rest of the people getting into the bus.
After telling my classmates for the past two weeks how excited I was that I would be able to go skiing with them, it felt like there was no way to bow out and just never show up like I had originally planned. Of course, with my quick thinking and great long term planning skills, I had realized just the night before that it was too late to back out of going skiing with the rest of their church's youth group.
It's hard to call them friends even though I'd known them for the last three years. Moving from a large public school in southern California to a small private school with just a little over 260 students in the center of Minnesota is an experience I wouldn't wish to happen to many people if anyone. When I joined my new class at the start of eighth grade I had found out that 75% of the kids in my class had known each other from their kindergarten class.
Sure, they tried a few times to get me involved with their group activities, but I could usually make myself just a little too busy to do much with them. I was shy and always felt like I was just an outsider whenever I was around them.
I was hoping that this skiing trip would be different. Now that it was to late to back out, I had been trying to psych myself up with the fact that the girl of my dreams was also going to be coming along. Of course, at this point in my life almost every girl I knew(or had seen fairly recently) played a part in my dreams, but at least I had one that usually stood out more then the others.
Not one ounce of the excitement, that I had since getting my stuff ready the night before, could be found when I saw the other kids getting out of cars and lining up next to the bus. It wasn't the sight of how many people were coming on this trip that had me feeling a tight ball in my gut, but the sight of each one of them getting ready to go had me feeling just about as bad as I imagine I could. They were ALL color coded and matching to the extreme!
The purple hat, went to the purple ear-muffs, went to the purple jacket, went to the purple snow pants, went to the purple boots, went to even the purple gloves that held the purple skis: and that was just one of the many colors that I was seeing before me. It didn't matter wether it was brown, black, red, blue, or even pink; everyone was done up as if they all had gotten their outfits from the same place with specific instructions to be in the same style but different color as each other. I never did get the courage up enough to ask them how they had done this.
The only way that I could possibly tell you why this sight made me feel like I was, would be to explain to you that most of my strength to finally go on this trip came from the fact that I had put together the best skiing set I could have hoped for the night before the trip. I had a brief thought that maybe starting to get ready for this the night before probably wasn't the best idea I've ever had.
Having no snow boots and just the one pair to tennis shoes that I always wore was not a problem, since I had chosen to put on three pairs of socks. The first were the long soccer socks that went up almost to my knees. Then I had tucked the next pair of socks over my blue jeans. I had figured that jeans would work as the perfect under layer to keep my skin from getting wet. The last pair stretched tightly over the sweat pants I had on over my jeans. Even though I'd be hot in sweat pants, I planned they would make a great insulator and would keep the jeans from getting wet. And last pair of socks would be hidden behind the only pants I had that were big enough to put over what I had already had on. It was a neon green pair of jeans that I had worn during the previous years children's summer camp as one of the clowns.
For shirts I'd done a better job(at least I thought the night before), but my sense in matching didn't really appear to match with the other kids going on this trip. A white sleeveless t-shirt started my shirts off, being that I always cut the sleeves off of every t-shirt I owned for personal comfort. Next was the long sleeve gray and black polo that was thin and light, but the only long sleeve shirt that I felt comfortable wearing with the sleeves actually not rolled up on. A thin set of cotton gloves tucked under the sleeves of my last shirt so that the snow would not touch my wrists. And finally for these layers of shirts was a red and black plaid flannel shirt that was cotton under layered. Like today, I usually wore this shirt as my jacket. For gloves, I wore my regular pare of gently used black gloves that only had a few small holes on the inside of the palms.
A brown hand-stitched scarf was around my neck. I couldn't believe my mother had insisted I wear it but with her um... "encouragement" there was no way I could leave it behind. It was the only scarf in the house and personally I think it went with the leg warmers I saw her wearing in a picture of herself as a child. For a hat I reasoned that I just couldn't have on a normal hat, or else it would seem to those who looked at me like I had on what I did, because it was all that I could afford. Unlike the new winter clothes They would probably be wearing. So the topper literally for this set was the hat that had the three long points like a jester's hat, and bells on the tips of them. I had gotten this hat from the State Fair for fifteen dollars. At the time I thought it looked cool with the black head band, forest green and black points each topped by an empty black bell. When I decided on this hat the night before, I figured it would draw the attention up to my head instead of down to my feet. In my mind I can only remember how much I was trying to hide the fact that I didn't have boots but had to wear my regular shoes instead. Not a very good decision I realized just a little to late. And now my mom was telling me that I had to get out of the car so she could get on with her day.
With the biggest smile I could get on my face(I think it ended up being something like a crooked frown), I stepped out of the car. Looking ahead at the crowd of candy colored outfits and trying to associate each person with a different Skittles or M&Ms I think is what finally got me to move towards them. The girl that I liked at the moment had ended up wearing pink with her two closest friends in yellow and light blue, definitely Laffy-Taffy.
The youth group leader that was writing the names of each kid against the list of who had signed up to go, looked up at me and waved saying, "Glad you could make it Nezz."
It was as if on queue, everyone stopped talking and turned to look at me. At least that is what it sure felt like had happened. I smiled, nodded, and walked to the end of the line to get on the bus.
A few of the people ahead of me were giving me a strange look, probably at what I had on, but for the most part they were all acting indifferent to me. Then one of the guys from my class came up to me and said how glad he was that I had been able to make it. The only thing I said to him was that there was no way I would have missed what looked to be such an incredible trip.
I kept quiet most of the way there, but by listening to what was said and even by what was left unsaid confirmed that one of my fears about coming along was correct, and I really was the only one on the bus that had never been skiing before. What little bit of strength I had gotten from finding out that they had not really expected me to show up left the instant this realization came to me.
When their question of "When was the last time you went skiing?" came around my way, the easiest answer I could think of came out and I heard myself saying "It's been a few years. I might be a bit rusty at the start but I'll be okay once I get back into the hang of it." The conversations went on, but from the looks that I got from a few of my classmates, I knew they saw through my lie.
After arriving and paying to get in, I knew I was in trouble when I was the only one in the group to step into the line to rent a set of skis. Everyone else moved on ahead to where they could get their skis on, so luckily no one was around while I looked at which skis I should grab to wear that would be best for me. It was lucky for me that the person immediately behind me saw that I was having a problem and decided to give some free advice. I quietly said that I was new to skiing and greatly appreciated the help. he said picking the correct skis depended on my height and weight. It was such a common thing to him to know this that I was instantly glad that no one I knew was around when he told me this.
Small groups of three, four, and five were forming when I made it back to the group and three of the guys from my class said they'd wait for me. This way I could join them and start with a refresh on what I might have forgotten since the last time I'd been skiing.
.... There is more of this story ...
True Story /