RB: Everyone Wears Underwear

I have the bad habit of comparing myself to others and more often than not finding myself lacking, especially when it comes to writing.

I read a post on The Kill Zone blog the other day about writers and their inner voice. P.J. Parrish mentioned this interesting fact:

“Many writers are unable to “see” the faces of their protagonists. The main character often registers as a blank – or, in one case, pixelated like a censored photograph.”

I was extremely excited to hear this. Most of the time, okay all of the time, I have to concentrate hard in order to visualize my characters when I talk to them. I thought for sure this was a mark of an amateur, never-to-reach-fandom writer. (Yes, I know. I roll my eyes quite often at my insecurities.)

This reminded me of a situation that happened my first year in college. I was attending a community college, still living at home. My social status had not changed much from high school.

I was just like this, except with crooked teeth. Mom couldn't afford braces.

Just like this, except with crooked teeth. Mom couldn’t afford braces.

It was second semester, first day of classes. My heart pounded as I waited for the teacher, praying he or she wouldn’t make us introduce ourselves. Then in walked a girl from my first semester first aid class. We’d been paired together for most of the semester. Our relationship had not changed to the BFF stage or even the F one, so I was surprised, and happy, when she raised her hand and waved at me. I waved back, smiling widely, glancing down at the empty seat next to me.

The girl.

Yes, she was Ms. Popular.

 

Me.

I was. . . Not.

It was exciting. Had I finally made a friend? Maybe we would go to the movies this weekend.

And then she turned into the row directly in front of me and sat down next to someone else.

Yeah.

She hadn’t been waving at me.

Cheeks burning, I pretended great interest in my empty notebook while silently berating myself for being an idiot. By mid-class, my red hot face had faded and I risked a I glanced at the back of the girl’s head. She was leaning forward in her seat, listening to the teacher, the top of her white underwear peeking above her jeans.

I paused, cocked my head, and will admit had stared at the cotton white for longer than appropriate.

I had categorized this girl as better than me by her looks and her personality, yet she was showing her underwear (this was way before showing underwear was in style). To my geeky eighteen year old self, I was unworthy to be in her presence, to even consider that she would want to sit next to me.

But she was just a girl. Like me. Wearing underwear. Like me. White cotton underwear. Similar to mine.

She immediately fell off the pedestal I’d put her on.

I still have the  habit of thinking most people around me are better, though I certainly don’t wave back until I’m one hundred and ten percent sure they are looking at me, but sometimes I’m reminded, or I remind myself, that everyone wears underwear. Even Gena Showalter, Richelle Mead, and Kresley Cole.

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5 thoughts on “RB: Everyone Wears Underwear

  1. I get that way every so often. I read something somewhere and my jaw drops to the floor and I burn my MS while dumping all my notebooks and pencils in the shredder. Then I read a free book off Amazon and feel better.

  2. Yup. I do the same thing. I put writers on pedestals with skills and powers unattainable to mere mortals like me… forgetting that they’re just people. Wonderful, talented, magical people. 😛

  3. I just don’t see people wave. put them in a blind spot 😛
    There will always be people better than me, but I am unique so that is pretty easy.
    So how do you compare yourself with a guy, Joke.
    It is like reading Ella’s work and wanting to write like her. Stop copying LOL At least that what I think at that time, and just be me. the best me I can be.

    Been a while lol. hope you two are smiling and doing okay with the writing.

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