I am currently falling in love with a sci-fi/fantasy novel. It’s called Sunshine by Robin McKinley. Honestly, I bought this book because I loved the cover. It appealed to me in a dark sort of sense. The book is loaded with vampires, which I’m rather tired and burned out on, except in this case. I’m loving it for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Shadowrun like qualities of this world the author has created. Whereas, it is both fairly modern and yet post apocalyptic. There are no orcs or trolls running around, but there are werewolves and magic users.
Yes, I’m geek enough to know what Shadowrun is and miss it rather dreadfully as a roleplaying game. You see, once upon a time, when I was in high school dating The Marine, I learned to game. The agreement was that he would tolerate country music if I learned to game. I learned and enjoyed it, but he always found a way around listening to country with me. Or any other music I liked for that matter.
In high school, I was Country, when country wasn’t cool. While most kids were wearing MC Hammer pants or going for the grunge look, which was just coming into style for the guys, I wore my Wranglers and boots to school because often, I’d go riding after school and it was convienent. I stood out in a crowd. When I wasn’t dressed like a hick, I was preppy or rather goth, though Goth wouldn’t be a term used at my school for at least another 5 years. You never knew what you were going to get when I arrived each morning. Often, what I wore depended on my mood.
Oh, there was the black and white plaid, pleated skirt complete with tights, flats and a sweater, if I felt like dressing up a bit. Or, the black harley shirt and skin tight black jeans (did I mention I dyed my hair nearly black to hide the red during this time?), or a mix there of. I never fit in, but I was wholy me in dress. I listened to alternative and country. In their early days, Nirvana played my home town before making it big and changing the face of music. I liked them well enough, but I was much more of a Toby Keith and Trisha Yearwood kind of girl, sprinkled liberally with Danzig, The Cure and Marty Stewart while everyone else was listening to Warrant, Mariah Carey, Cypress Hill, Run DMC and Boys II Men.
I didn’t fit in with any particular crowd, though I was friendly with all of them. A couple years later, I’d ran into one of the most popular girls at school in the grocery store, complete with The Marine and a three year old Kitty in tow. She gushed at me and said how excited she was to see me. I must have looked very puzzled when she said she was surprised I remembered who I was. My response was that why wouldn’t I? She was popular and well known by EVERYBODY. It was at that moment she told me she was jealous of ME back in high school. Me, who didn’t ever feel like I fit in, who was never elected for homecoming court or prom or anything else, ever because according to her, I was the popular one, had so many friends and was well liked by everyone.
I was flabberghasted. Was this a trick? Was she being mean and hurtful? How could I be so popular? I spent my free time with my horse while The Marine was off at Basic Training and then on for schooling. I spent my waking hours away from school either working, at the barn or home, alone. I wasn’t busy being invited out to join anybody doing anything. I’d always felt like the odd duck out. Just me, unique, but like a square peg that doesn’t sit just comfortably in round hole it’s placed in.
Looking back now, I see that perhaps I was a bit of a trendsetter. After all, I wore my Ropers and Wranglers for years. It was only my senior year that anyone else started to wear them, and then it was the Wanna Be Cowboy group with their overly large belt buckles that talked of playing with steers riding bulls. I remember laughing at them or sneering with disdain because I knew they’d never sat a horse.
So, that was me, back in high school. Not a Nerd. Or a Geek. Or one of the Alternative crowd. Or a Stoner. Or, or, or! I was ever and always am, just me. Sometimes, it’s still not really comfortable. But it’s always really, really real.
We’ve always been told not to judge a book by it’s cover. But sometimes, if you do, what you find beneath that cover is really out of the ordinary and beyond whatever you imagined it held within.