I was watching this show on Animal Planet about ants, and I
was thinking about how unattractive they are.
They’re so good at organizing themselves and getting things done, and
yet they’re completely unlovable because of their looks. And that got me thinking about myself as a
child. I was very entertaining, if I
must say so myself. I was always making
up songs and climbing trees and thinking of fun stuff for Barbie to do with her
friends. I used to turn my prayers into
little stories and then send them up to space for God to read, and yet my
parents preferred my sister. And she
hardly did anything. She was so quiet
her lips were stone dry by the end of the day from lack of activity. And yet
she was the one they whispered about.
“Look at her,” they’d say. “Just look at
“What for?” I’d say to myself. “I’m the one doing all the work.”
But it was because she was pretty. And sweet.
And well-behaved. It never occurred
to me to be any of those things. And yet
those were the qualities they cherished.
My parents loved me, even though
I was funny looking, but they admired her, and I knew it. I tried everything to distract them from her
beauty. I came into the kitchen naked
for dinner. I tried to climb down the
laundry shoot. I even overate until I threw
up to get them to notice me, but it was all a waste of time. Her prettiness set me up for a lifetime of
insecurity and an overwhelming need to prove myself worthy of being looked
Knowing my history, you’d think I’d
be more appreciative of ants. But no, I
can’t even look at them.