Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Difference of a Single Letter

I don't think I've been this excited waiting for something that I ordered to arrive in the mail since I collected cereal box tops and mailed them in for the special offer.

It seemed like we never collected all the boxtops we needed before the offer expired. So my most prized cereal box collectible was a record that you cut off the back of the box. A 45, no probably a 78. (Well according to the picture--imagine my delight upon finding it--it was a 33 1/3?)

It was Sugar, Sugar by The Archies. I kept it for a very long time. As I recall, it played pretty well. I can't hear the song without feeling this surge of 6-year-old pride.

Somehow, this time, though, I had managed to collect enough boxtops, so I was waiting for the arrival of a hand-held little movie projector. I vividly remember the distinctive click, click, click it made as you turned the crank to watch the movie, even though now I don't recall what that much anticipated movie was.

The next time I saw a hand-controlled movie projector like that, though, I clearly remember the story. I was at my gynecologist's office--getting my first birth control--a diaphragm. The nurse brought in the same type of little hand-held movie projector that I had ordered with box tops. It made the same click, click, click as you turned the crank to watch the movie. She told me to watch it as many times as I needed to to understand how to insert the thing.

I held it up to the light. When I turned it, click, click, click, this woman would come into view and put her leg up on chair, click, click, click. Then you could see her squeeze the diaphragm between her fingers and move her hand to insert it. You could run it forward, click, click, and backward, click, click, click, so you would see her do it all in reverse.

Your could play it fast, clickclickclickclickclick, or really slowly to make sure you got all the details. . . click. . . click. . . click. . . . . . . .click. . . . . .click. . . I think she inserted it in different positions, lying down and sitting as well as standing. I remember feeling self-conscious about the clicking, like the doctor's staff was listening to me through the door, wondering when the girl would finally "get it." Being afraid if I stopped clicking to practice inserting the thing that the nurse would come back in and surprise me mid act!

By now, you're probably wondering what the hell I've ordered . . . some brown box from some euphemistically named company.

But! It's a MizFit bracelet. I want a talisman, something to remind me of my new identity and goal.

How the one letter makes such a difference. That's what immediately drew me to it. No longer the misfit:

  • Who cried with my sister over the cruelty of the poor misfit toys in Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • Who felt a special connection with the song Different Is Hard from one of my favorite childhood movies--HR PuffinStuff
  • Who was already too heavy to ride on a big wheel when they came out
  • Whose mother bought polyester fake denim material to have elastic-banded pants made because I never fit into jeans
  • Who wore long-sleeved shirts underneath short-sleeved shorts in the winter time because sweaters weren't for fat little girls
  • Who sat practically on top of the blackboard because I couldn't see but felt like a freak by needing glasses
  • Who was alone in the house with my sister, still waiting for our parents to get home, when other kids were going inside for dinner
  • Who got teased over my lack of athletic ability and confidence
  • Who felt misunderstood by my neighborhood friends who weren't in "college prep" classes and who claimed they could tell I was smart just by the words I used
  • Who cred even harder when my mom tried to soothe my pained adolescent and teen self with the words, "It's lonely at the top."
  • Who was told when asking for the application to work as a waitress at Red Lobster that the uniform was a mini skirt, did I still want to apply?
  • Who always ended up sitting through the boyfriend talk, the "if only you weren't so fat. . . " chest crushing, brain numbing talk (until the last boyfriend. . . my husband)

Click to Watch WitchiPoo Singing Different Is Hard

Now, it will be MizFit. What will MizFit do? I can't wait to find out. The bracelet will be my amulet. My superpower cape. My identity bracelet of my new self. (Dare we compare it to my transformation of "becoming a woman"?!) Oh, let it arrive; let me arrive. . . here she comes. . . MIZZZ . . .


  1. That was a great post. You sound positive and confident. I remember a lot of what you spoke of in being a fat adolescent as well. Its a struggle but you will get there. You are so determined. I can hear it in your wrriting. What a wonderfully supportive husband you have too. Many people do not get that blessing either. All the best!

  2. I wondered (for only an instant) if you had found the diaphragm movie to share with us when I saw there was a video.

    click click click...

  3. Wow! That's a powerful post. It is interesting what happens when we just do a simple tweak of the way we see things. A single letter does make a huge diffeence.

  4. Thanks, Lilly. You were a fat adolescent?? That gives me hope.

    MN: I was afraid the odd picture would make people think that. . . I just added a tag. . . :)!! (Wouldn't THAT have been wild!!)

    Grandpa--I know you made that typo on purpose. Thanks for the giggle.


    I appreciate it.

    and, bottom line? you get me. it. all the intent.

    amazing post.

    hmmmm, Id link it if it wouldnt appear selfserving as I WOULDNT MEAN IN THAT is your sentiment I love.



  6. Miz- link it- link it! I love the post too. I love her writing and insight. The click-click-click made such a visual and I LOL especially about the part where they may surprise you if the clicking ceased. Too funny!

  7. LOVED this post. Thank you. And -- I SO remember cutting records off cereal boxes. (Sugar Sugar is on my iPod and I even listened to it as recently as yesterday!) Off to order my own talisman!

  8. You go girrrrl! All that crap that you had to go through in your younger years has helped shape you into to determined, vibrant gal that you are today.


    Peace - Rene

  9. Where have you been all my life?!

    <---following 45 and Aspiring from now on

    I, too, have a MizFit bracelet and it really does give you superhumanstrength while pumpin' the iron :)

    You go, girl!

    Oh, and I think I had that Archies record, too. And a Country Corn Flakes record from the back of the Corn Flakes box :)


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