Is an Alien
when I was four years old, my brother and I were searching for my birthmark. My sister had an obvious brown spot on her leg, my brother’s was somewhere on his back, but mine was not so prominent. Being three years older and so much wiser, my brother told me that only aliens don’t have birthmarks. At first I was offended; then it occurred to me that if I was an alien, I wasn’t actually related to my brother – a thought that pleased my young mind.
He would also constantly remind me of how different I looked from the rest of my Italian-looking family. Everyone had dark brown hair, brown eyes, and easily tanned skin, while I had blondish hair, green eyes, and skin that burned before darkening slightly. This led to another of his brilliant conclusions: I was adopted. I grinned at another reason to believe that I was not related to this annoying boy.
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Other family members also commented on how light I was and how much I looked like my father’s mother. Instead of feeling left out, I embraced my differences, even as a four-year-old. When I was older and people would say my hair was brown, I would yell that my hair was dirty blonde. By third grade, I was determined to stay different from not just my family, but everyone else as well. Not that I would alienate myself – I had plenty of friends. But if a new trend started, I would still wear my favorite old t-shirts; if everyone had bowling parties, I would rent out the skating rink; when the girls cut their hair, I grew mine out.
My love for being different has not changed. While my fellow classmates party, I invite a friend over to watch a movie. When the girls in my classes bought Ugg boots, I bought black and pink sneakers. At a recent dance party, most girls wore leggings or blue jeans, while I threw on a pair of blue and yellow striped denim pants. Some differences aren’t even purposeful; my choices are just naturally nonconforming. I don’t want to be the life of the party, but I would just rather not fit in.
I contribute much of this love of individuality and imperfections to my brother. Without his attempts at teasing me, I never would have realized how much more fun it is to be different.