So I am taking a creative writing course this semester, (It feels so strange since I haven’t written creatively for an assignment since high school) and my first assignment came together pretty good, so here it is.
Are You Adopted?
You know, sometimes I feel that I don’t look quite right. That maybe I should be different somehow. Like when someone calls you by the wrong name and you know it isn’t quite right but you answer to it anyway. When I look in the mirror my face isn’t quite what I expect to see, my almost black eyes, my crazy hair flying all over the place, the nose that seems a bit too wide. I think I always expect to see someone more like my mother and am disappointed when I see bits of my father peeking through. I don’t know my father, as far as I know he is a voice on the telephone that makes my mother cry. I want a face like my mother’s.
I like to stare in the mirror and pick out the bits that come from her, my high defined cheek bones, my chin, and the shape of my eyebrows. I am not saying that the person in the mirror is not beautiful, because she is, but I can’t help feeling that that is not me. I must say that I am in love with the shade of my skin. It is perfection. It’s smooth brownness that gets coppery red in the summer when I spend all my time outdoors. I am also quite fond of my hands, how when you look at them palm up my fingers seem short but when you look at them from the back my fingers are fairly long. They are strong too, good for milking goats, I do that sometimes when Grandma has a goat that is well behaved and won’t stick her legs in the bucket because she knows I don’t know what I am doing. I like the scars on my knuckles where I scraped them across the ground because I grew so fast that the monkey bars became too short to do flips on. I miss doing those flips, sitting on the edge letting myself slowly fall backwards, holding on to the last minute then letting go and falling through the air briefly to land on my feet. I like my feet too, even though they are too big. I can stand on one leg, balancing for a long time because of their size, like I do in ballet where I fly through the air and twirl and don’t worry about what size I am. Plus I have got good strong bones that have never been broken and good strong legs that can carry me up Grandma’s hill in a matter of minutes. Yeah, I can definitely say I don’t dislike the person I see in the mirror, I just don’t see me.
I wish I had more of the family I know and love in my looks. Parts of them are there but you have to look hard. Like the broad shoulders, long torso and sturdy legs that come from my Germanic ancestors, or the way I use big words that my mother and grandmother taught to me. How I drink tea like my grandma taught me too, strong, bitter and plain. The way I don’t care which walk of life you come from or how you look, if you need a friend I am willing. I got that from my brother. The love of a good corned brisket with potatoes and cabbage, that has to be from that rowdy Irish side. The I-don’t-care-what-you-say-I-am-going-to-do-it-anyway-just-to-prove-you-wrong attitude I got from my mother. I wish I could somehow display these things, so that when a stranger sees me with my mother they instantly know I am her daughter and I never have to hear “Are you adopted?” ever again.