Friday, June 15

Mars & Venus

It was sometime around the second grade when it became known that my middle name is Noël. Not knoll, like Noel Coward. But Nowell. Like Christmas. Only French.

And even though there wasn’t a single eight-year old among us who could speak a foreign language, much less recognize one on paper (we just figured those were words we didn’t know yet), from the moment Mrs. Parker got called out of class, and Scott, who was well on his way to being Most Likely To End Up On America’s Most Wanted, ran to her desk, snatched the class roster, and scanned the list for embarrassing middle names to make fun of, life as I knew it would never be the same.

Recess, which once consisted of much anticipated cartwheel competitions, now became mini marathons, as I did my best to flee the surly band of thugs, armed with the lyrics of “The First Noël” that they sang at the top of their lungs. And it took me two full days to discover the one place, (besides the principal’s office), that none of them would willing enter.

But after nearly a week of being camped out in the girl’s bathroom, while my friends all progressed from cartwheels to back hand springs, I finally emerged, sweaty and defeated, head bowed in shame, as they descended upon me, harmonizing together in a lofty, prepubescent soprano.

“Why do they do it?” I wailed, looking to my mother for insight, while knowing that she alone was completely to blame, for giving me such an awful, horrible middle name.

But she just shook her head as she sat down beside me. And after pouring me some milk and passing me a cookie, she told me the scariest, most confusing thing I’ve heard to this day. “That’s what boys do when they like you,” she said, nodding as though it made sense.

What are some of your favorite "cultural" differences between the sexes?

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Erica Orloff said...

What an adorable story (miserable while it was happening though)!

There are a thousand Mars/Venus stories in my life--most of them discovered over the last 15 years and four kids of my marriage. Things like why do men use the last piece of toilet paper, pull out a new roll, set new roll on the bathroom counter, but do NOT replace it on the holder? WHY? Do they think a toilet paper fairy replaces it on the roll? Or why do they think "doing a load of laundry" is putting it into the washing machine, adding detergent, and starting it. And that's it. And I find it mildew-covered two days later, assuming (foolish me) that "I did a load of laundry" means washing it, putting it into the DRYER and then FOLDING. But apparently there's a laundry-folding fairy as well. ;-) Anyway . . . after a lot of years, I realize we are wired differently. I used to want to kill him. Now that I'm a Buddhist, I just BREATHE and move on. Otherwise, he would be dead.

Thanks for the sweet story.

P.S. I think Noel is pretty.

Alyson Noel said...

Hey Erica-
Apparently I have a toilet paper fairy too--although she always seems to be on a break since I'm the one who actually puts it on a roll!
And I'm with you- I just breathe, and then focus on the good stuff!

Kelly Parra said...

That is just a great story, Alyson! Not that you had to go through it, but you know what I mean! :) :) Boys were an oddity to me for a looong time!

Simone Elkeles said...

OMG! I can totally relate! My name is French, but I'm not French. And when I was in high school the WWF team "The Wild Samoans" were the baddest team around.

I was called "The Wild Simo'an" for my entire freshman (and maybe sophomore) year of high school!

"Wild" Simone Elkeles

I also think Noel is pretty. But I feel your pain.

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