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a woman’s not a woman until the pills wear off (day one hundred and ten)

who decided dress code was a good idea?

i pose this question not as someone who “expresses herself through clothing and fashion” but as a teenage girl, free of any dress code violations, who would rather study for my courses over worrying over the width of her tank top. i don’t fall into what most would call inappropriate (i’ve been made fun of for dressing like a teacher), so understand that this doesn’t just come from people who wear short skirts and high heels (which is great for them).

the main reasoning when this whole institution is questioned is that, in school, boys will get distracted with a hard on if they see a bra strap or -gasp- more than two inches between knee and skirt. and, to state the obvious, this is kind of sexist. why should i, an unsuspecting teenage girl, have to dress so the boy sitting behind me can concentrate? and what if i, someone who seems to have a new crush every week yet never does anything about it, am turned on by that sliver of boxer that sometimes peeks through or a boys calves in those shorts? i would say that’s a legitimate argument, as girls are more likely than you would suspect to be attracted to a guy’s back or abs.

and then, there’s also the rationalization that dress codes are somehow supposed to prepare teenagers for the real world. but, assuming that there happen to be occupations outside of offices and courtrooms and banks, this is quite possibly the worst explanation. yes, it’s possible to get discriminated against depending on what you wear, but no cop is going to stop you and hand you a ticket because your dress was four fifths of an inch too short

i don’t want to see anyone’s underwear at school, girl or guys’, but i am completely over the stress and high-horse factor associated with dress code. it’s great if a girl covers herself up or wears short shorts in the summer, but stop acting like your opinion should matter so much. but now that i’m thinking about it, maybe they do prepare people for the real world- girls experience the discrimination that comes with being a woman and boys learn that it’s okay to blame an entire gender for their shortcomings.

“What in hell is a girl with hips like yours doing selling death?”*

this sounds like a drastic example from welcome to the monkey house, but it really doesn’t fall so far from what i’ve heard. of course, substitute selling death with other things, but that’s not the main idea.

i’m a fan of modesty**, but that’s only for myself. it’s important not to decide a woman’s value based on the shortness or length of their skirt.

*title and quote from one of my favorite short stories, welcome to the monkey house, from my favorite collection of short stories, also welcome to the monkey house.

**but what is modesty? isn’t it different for every person, based on height and weight, so entirely unobjective? call me when there’s a number attached to this.

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bet you thought you’d seen the last of me (day eighty nine)

vera unwrapped two sticks of wrigley’s double mint and sighed. wrigley’s was too sweet, and the flavour ran out easily, like an unexperienced kid running the mile for the first time. a sprint that reverts back to a panicked jog, basically. vera preferred big league chew or at the very least orbit. she began tapping her foot. the elevator was arriving slower than she could’ve ever imagined, and she was naturally not a patient girl. in her hands she held the fourth book in the paragoned series, one of those installments that continued the story of an already trite plot. it was the way that suburban moms read books with the words passion and fire in the title and a shirtless man on the cover only her overused shirtless man was in fact a dark-haired teenage boy living in purgatory who had supernatural powers and was destined to save the real world all while falling in love with a mortal girl. she knew that the story was worn out, but there was something relaxing in having the same kind of storyline and cover on basically every book she read. of course, her mom didn’t see that. all vera’s mom saw was a waste of time that could be better used studying vocabulary words or attending luncheons with her real estate mogul mother. vera could practically feel her disdain, even without looking. she knew that her mom would be caked with makeup, so much that it almost made her look older than she was. she would be looking down at her phone, scrolling through client messages and checking dates, and vera knew this with the same certainty that she knew her dad would be standing uncomfortably, hands in his pockets and eyes wandering. the day was unbelievably hot, and everything seemed thick and slow. she wouldn’t have been surprised if the fake smile melted off of her mom’s face. all that was going on around the silence of vera’s family were buzzes from insects, and even those seemed slow. the only person she had seen was a boy her age, strolling around the courtyard. he looked so natural walking around, and vera could almost imagine living there and exercising in the complementary gym. the elevator finally dinged, and the woman showing vera’s family around the complex seemed relieved. vera couldn’t help but feel bad for her, sweating her makeup off and onto her clothes that may have been from the 90’s. on the ride up, she gabbed about the amenities that awaited any resident of the apartments (a mini post office, two cafes and of course, the gym). it was almost like a creepy little town. the woman also apologized for the lack of empty apartments (apparently everyone just wanted to live there) but divulged a little about the family living in the floor that vera’s family was looking at. apparently they had two sons, but one was in college at durham and the other was in high school (just like me! she chirped). as they walked into the apartment, vera took notice of the family portraits on the walls. they were color-themed, almost boasting the togetherness of the family. in a younger photo, one of the kids looked familiar, in a way more than someone she must have encountered on the street. maybe she went to camp with him, or attended the same church (but there were more than three hundred people each week, so no one could recognize them all). she turned around, and there he was, standing behind her, taller and a little more muscular. the same guy from the courtyard, but more importantly, she realized, from her childhood. it was craig conrad. the same craig conrad who everyone liked when she was a fourth grader. the same craig who was her reading partner for all of fifth grade because they read faster than anyone else. the same craig conrad who she hadn’t seen in years.

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darby tried to focus. breathe… normally. just in and then out. it didn’t work. these nerves were getting the best of her, and all she could notice was how loud her heart was beating. or maybe… it was just her. they had always described it in books and movies, where the quirky female protagonist narrates how everyone can just hear your heartbeats. you’ve done this for your entire life. how is it that you can’t do what anyone can do at this moment? she tried to concentrate on the boots of the kids in front of her. she thought about how they all resembled each other, wearing sweaters in such similar shades of gray that they may as well had been picking shirts off of color swatches. her eyes wandered to their pants, how expensive they must be just for the name of the brand. and how their furry boots looked at most, comfortable, alone, but almost aggressive together, their various heights and (again) similar shades to almost prove their friendship. she looked at xavier’s new haircut, and for a second was so shocked by how spiky it was, wondering how much gel could possibly be in the few inches on his head. and this worked… for a second. and then, she made eye contact. just for a split second- she couldn’t help it. and she decided that she couldn’t decide what colour his eyes were, because that would involve staring at the top of his face for more than the biweekly glances she always stole. her spanish teacher opened up the heavy wooden door, accidentally slamming it onto the unevenly textured walls. and this surprised darby enough to avoid walking into xavier and his nearly lethal hair, both of whom had stopped to avoid colliding with the freshmen who talked like this as if they were neighbourhood women gossiping in the 50’s about how lena from the end of the block got pregnant and they just knew that it wasn’t harold’s. switch their monochrome outfits and they may as well have been part of a gardening club. he looked away awkwardly, and almost immediately looked forward again as if she hadn’t glanced up at him. but he was too determined, and darby knew that he had seen her. so with one turn, she walked into her spanish room for fourth period and tried to shake off the discomfort of that non encounter.

fight or flight (day fifty seven)

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Great Divide.”

up until recently, i only read fiction. it started with the boxcar children and nancy drew and slowly progressed towards those teen romance novels that are all the same and has now matured into various genres of fiction. i try my best to diversify my taste, but the farthest i’ve gone is kurt vonnegut, in contrast to the rainbow rowell and john green. my mom has always wanted me to be interested in nonfiction, and my dad hints his hopes for me by giving me books about optics or camera manuals every once in a while. but while i think knowledge is something i, personally, could always benefit from, the act of reading a book (that isn’t assigned in class) in and of itself is a break. and the contents should be make-believe, because knowing about reflections isn’t going to nullify the horrors of a bad day. obviously this makes me unrealistic, expecting the best (and most impossible) scenario. but i like my choices. they make me who i am, and i’m quite glad to say i don’t regret that.

fangirl (day forty nine)

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sanctuary (day twenty three)

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Easy Fix.”

Easy Fix

Write a post about any topic you wish, but make sure it ends with “And all was right in the world.”

francie sighed. she had not had a great day. the electricity went off, like it often does when her mom forgets to pay the power company, so she woke up during the beginning half of second period. she grabbed the first outfit she saw, but unfortunately this meant showing up to english in a lime green tank top and white skirt over purple underwear. three teachers scolded her choice in clothing since the weather had taken a nasty turn and decided to allow the wind blow in every direction (but mostly up). she walked into french relieved to see her friends, but was instead greeted by them complaining about their discriminating history teacher and his “harsh” grades. after a mediocre lunch of soggy fries and slimy turkey wraps, she walked into the library. it was silent except for the constant hums of the machines and the clickity clacks from mrs. meade’s heels as she put books back on the shelves. she sits down facing the m’s and for the first time all week, she breathes. reaching forward, she grabs the first book she touches and all was right in the world.

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