Growing up, I was always the smart one in my class; I read early (three or four - ask my mom, she'd remember), wrote early (that I do remember; I was five and made much ado of the bluejays in the sky looking for blueberry pie), and spent my elementary school years visiting the grade ahead of mine when it came time for reading, writing, and math.
I was also the victim of early 1980's eyewear for kids. Think window panes sized lenses merged with new and improved Rainbow Brite hued plastic frames and you'll be pretty close. Or you can look for yourself; after you finish laughing at this throwback picture from my childhood (oh where, oh where am I?), you'll know I'm telling you the straight up truth.
So it was odd to me to hit late adolescence and suddenly find myself in a very female body topped off by a head of ridiculous blonde* hair. What the greater world saw on the outside was some sort of walking, talking Barbie** doll while inside I still felt very much like the awkward me of my early years: bookish, overly inquisitive, and vaguely geeky.
Meeting Knute added to that odd juxtaposition of the interior me with my exterior; sure, he went to the Naval Academy and has all the brain power to prove it (anyone in need of a good nuclear power engineer, just @ me on Twitter, k?) but he also played football for Navy and looked every inch the part of the college jock. Putting the two of us together side by side as a couple just compounded the assumption of a lack of combined brain power.
I'm no longer walking around in possession of that traffic-stopping twenty year old body and while I still run like hell, trying to fight back the effects of gravity and the late night blogging munchies (pass the M&Ms already, would you?!), I'm coming to terms with the fact that I'm getting older. One benefit that's come with getting older is fewer moments where I'm certain that the person with whom I'm conversing is silently whispering to themselves, "Dumb blonde."
But it's funny how making assumptions (and we all know where that leads) and categorizing people into neat little pigeonholes is a hard habit to break. I know this because I find myself doing it all the time, still, even though I surely should know better after all these years.
Which is why I am delighted - DELIGHTED - to accidentally have stumbled across another mom blogger that I already know in real life, that I already have perhaps pigeonholed in real life (in a nice way, peeps; blame it on my nerdy, need-to-classify-and-organize-my-world brain).
It's a rare discovery, finding that someone you know casually, just to say hi to around town and chat with amiably when you find yourself in the same place at the same time, is also part of this word-loving tribe. While I do count as friends a number of awesome bloggers (holla, girls), only one of those lucky ladies did I know in real life before becoming obsessed with Statcounter, linky love, and random comments of kindness.
It leaves me wondering, as always, who else around me might be blogging under wraps, quietly writing the most important stories of their lives down and blowing them into the winds of the internet like bits of gossamer dandelion fluff, wishes and dreams and hopes all wrapped up together.
I guess I'll just have to keep playing the part of the aging blonde, smiling politely and saying the right things while my mind races with what if? questions as I try to intuit whether this person or that one is blogging or thinking of blogging or wishing they had the courage to blog.
In the meantime, you really should go read my once-casual-now-understood friend Lynn's blog, Feeding My Hungry. Not just because I asked you to but because I hope her words about life and motherhood will resonate with you as they did with me.
*High school sophomore chemistry moment of note: "Rivers," said my teacher, "I'm sure you can tell us what the chemical formula for hydrogen peroxide is."
**Freshman year of college moment of note: I am dubbed "Barbie" by all the girls on the floor of my dorm at UM. Even after I moved to a different dorm, the nickname stuck. Ugh.