Over the weekend, I saw Katherine Heigl’s latest comedy One For the Money. I was in the mood for a girl-power flick and I pretty much got what I was looking for. Heigl plays Stephanie Plum, a former lingerie clerk who starts working as a recovery agent at her cousin’s bail bond company to earn some extra cash. If you liked the Janet Evanovich novel, I think you will like the movie. I found Heigl to be endearing and genuine as Plum. One of the things I liked about her character is that she seems like one of those girls who went through a long awkward phase in school and ended up on the other side blissfully unaware that she is gorgeous and that guys are drooling all over her. You know those girls? Let the record show that I am not one of those girls, but it did get me thinking about my awkward phase. If you ever need a reality check, I highly recommend the Google search ‘celebrity awkward phase’. You will not be disappointed.
As for my own awkward phase, it was 3-fold and, at the time, seemed to go on for decades. In hindsight, however, these three tragedies really allowed me to learn some big lessons a little earlier than the others. Seriously, having a really long awkward phase is the secret to life. Allow me to recount my experiences.
Stage 1 was the snaggle-tooth. If you want to end up as a super-fly lady later in life, you better pray your mouth looks like Chicklets in playdough. There is no better way to teach humility than 3 rounds of head gear. This new Invisiline system is terrifying. You mean to tell me that a kid can straighten their teeth and then remove it to make-out with their boyfriend? No! Braces are the 20th century’s version of a chastity belt. You guys, I once had a contraption on the roof of my mouth which had to be cranked by my mother nightly before bed. You better believe that thing kept me outta trouble. It is easy to turn down ‘Seven Minutes in Heaven’ when you have the mouth of a robot.
Stage 2 was the growth spurt. I learned how to bond with other girls after my growth spurt in 7th grade. By the time I hit my 13th birthday, I was 5’ 7”. I towered over the boys. I might as well have been Andre the Giant. Even if a guy had gotten a crush on me, I would have been sure it was a sick joke, because who would would want to date The Jolly Green Giant? This was also about the time I got my first nickname from my big brother. Lurp. It was accurate and I spent a lot of time trying to get my mom to ban it from our house.
At the time, the whole thing was pretty heartbreaking, but looking back now, I can see that this really freed me in a major way. I just stopped worrying about dumb school-boys and bonded with my fellow stretched-out sisters. We spent our time reading choose-your-own-adventure books and obsessing over *NSync. During this time, I planned my wedding to Lance Bass (we all know how that turned out) and learned how to paint nails. Both of these skills have served me well in my adult life. It was the first time I had a great group of girlfriends, and that never would have happened if I hadn’t been towering over the boys.
The final stage was the dreaded mustache. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was sitting in English class during silent reading pouring over Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul. Our desks were formed into tables and I sat right across from Aaron. “You have a mustache,” Aaron announced to the class with disgust. I was horrified, mostly because it was true. I remember rushing to the bathroom to see for myself. There it was, an eyebrow growing on my upper lip. Looking back, I now realize that Aaron was just jealous of my fierce lady-stache. I remember during lunch that day all my girlfriends comforted me and downplayed my mustache. My girls totally patched up my leaky ego balloon – something that would happen a million more times in my life and save me from a million mean-boy comments until eventually, those mean-boy comments couldn’t get near my ego balloon. Plus, my femme-fur allowed me to keep my virgin lips well into high school (when I was introduced to waxing).
I now live as an above-average height, straight-toothed, hairless woman. Great, right? Anyway, back to the movie.
I recommend seeing this movie if: you are still in your awkward phase. Or, if you are on the other side of life’s evil hump, rent it and watch it at home on a Saturday morning.
I wanna know: What did you guys think of One For the Money? What was your awkward phase like? And what movie should I see this weekend?