Friday, June 01, 2007

Just because it worked for the astronauts...

I wore a tank top to work yesterday. At the office I had on a cardigan so as not to be too revealing. But walking to work and when I went out for lunch, it was too hot to wear the sweater.

I walk to work with my bag slung across my body. It's a black leather bag. With, I've discovered, a propensity to stain things.

So yesterday a colleague and I went out to grab lunch. I left my bag at the office. It was warm. I took off my sweater. We were in line with salads when she said, "What happened to you?"

It looked like I had a massive bruise, as if someone had taken a pole and whacked me diagonally across the back, starting at my shoulder. We later figured out that it was my bag. The blue-black strip turned out to be the same width as my bag and the same direction across my body. I think that bare skin and skin lotion and heat all facilitated the soaking in of the bag dye into my shoulder and back.

End result? Me mincing about in public looking like I was into, I don't know, being beaten?

Was that why those cute lawyerly men in suits behind us in line kept giving me looks? Because wasn't there that woman who put herself through college being dominatrix and all of her clients were DC lawyers?

But anyway. The point is this - I clearly haven't changed since I was little.

When we lived in Bangladesh, we didn't get citrus fruit. Which is not to say we were deprived - there were tons of tropical fruits available. But no citrus.

This mainly meant we didn't have orange juice. But we had Tang! Which was my favorite drink on the planet. So orange, so yummy! And the drink of the astronauts! Ha!

The school I went to was K-7. Seventh grade was as high as it went at that time. I say this because it meant that the seventh graders were a big deal. They were the big, cool kids of the whole school.

And so every morning I drank my Tang with breakfast. And ran out the door to the school bus. With, unbeknownst to me, a bright orange Tang mustache.

Until one day one of the seventh graders saw me on the playground and said, "Hey! It's the girl with the orange mustache!"

The girl with the orange mustache.

Please picture the following. You are shy. Very, very shy. You already stick out a whole lot in Bangladesh for your pale pink skin, your light blonde hair, and your blue eyes. And although you get a great deal of positive attention because of these traits, you hate that you stick out. But your school has a lot of American and European kids, so you mostly blend in there.

Except for the fact that you have an orange mustache. Everyone, it turns out, everyone knows you as "the girl with the orange mustache."


  1. When I first moved to the U.S. I used to get chapped lips ALL THE TIME. And I have big lips to begin with. The kids called me monkey lips for 2 years straight.

  2. Oh, Jo, and you're so lovely! That's awful. But now you know those same people are getting collagen injections to look like you!

  3. Looking at the picture, I feel like I should congratulate you on being elected Sheriff of a small Wild West town. But maybe it's just me. The handlebars really make the look...

    Here's the advantage of growing up: now, you're just "That really cute girl." Guys would be talking about you and would be shocked (shocked!) to find out there was an orange mustache, because they wouldn't have noticed. They were too busy looking at your (insert part of woman here). "Mustache? No way. Really? Whatever, she's hot."

  4. WiB - That sheriff comment made me giggle. I clearly cannot draw. And thanks for the compliment!

  5. Yeah that looks nothing like you. Clearly you have a nose.


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