Today I attempted to look tough. I donned my most no-nonsense outfit (which actual no-nonsense people would say is not very no-nonsense, especially considering it was purchased in a chic shopping mall, but how’s about we let that one go) and stood in a strategically dimmed corridor in front of the most robust mirror in the apartment (the one in the bathroom has gold scalloped edges which is just not the effect I was looking for, though it does go along nicely with the salmon toilet cozies and – OKAY NEVERMIND BACK TO THE TOUGHNESS).
I puckered my lips (made me look like a hotel chain cabaret dancer), furrowed my brow (made me look like a disgruntled and exceptionally tan Oxford scholar), exposed my arm muscles (made me quickly realize that I possess none). I even practiced the most steely, hard-as-nails adolescent gesture I know: the callous digitus impudicus, commonly known in Western culture as “the finger”. Almost immediately I felt terrible for committing such a grave injustice against my innocent reflection, and attempted to patch things up with a benevolent smile, but then that felt obnoxiously self-serving and then I kinda went “GRAAAH” and gave up and went to fetch myself a Popsicle from the freezer (great for comforting the soul, not great for my figure or Operation: Look Decent in Bikini, but then again I’ve decided not to shave my legs this summer so it’s not like I’m going to look good in a swimsuit anyway).
I’ve always been a little on the short side and this, coupled with my elementary school haircut, gives people the impression that I’m younger than I actually am. Hair dressers pin my hair back with the multi-colored barrettes reserved for children, waiters bring me crayons, next door-neighbors pat me fondly on the head. I am used to this treatment, and am usually quite fond of it, despite the General Rule of Teenagerdom #15: Thou shall throw a tantrum when treated as a kid.
However, next week I will be going on a tenth grade graduation cruise, and on aforementioned cruise I shall attempt to pull off a dastardly maneuver. This maneuver requires of me a certain level of toughness. A HERCULEAN LEVEL OF TOUGHNESS.
Needless to say, my current toughness level is nowhere near A HERCULEAN LEVEL OF TOUGHNESS. It ranks somewhere between A CAREBEAR LEVEL OF TOUGHNESS and A PLANKTON LEVEL OF TOUGHNESS.
My practice sessions in the mirror have not improved that measly toughness level but I fancy myself a little better prepared now. Whether this is foolishness, spurred on by that cocky wink I flashed at my reflective counterpart, or some kind of previously unknown bravery blossoming from deep within my endocrine system I do not know, but I’ll accept anything I can get (as a substitute for the halberd I cannot bring aboard)!
I shall let you know how this maneuver of mine fares. PRAY/RAIN DANCE FOR ME, INTERNET. KYLIE, IF YOU ARE READING THIS, PLEASE DO YOUR CHEROKEE WAR CHIEF DANCE. IT’S TOTALLY FOR A GOOD CAUSE.