Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Your Octagon Daughter

You see me staring at your daughter, your octagon daughter, and glare at me. You think I'm looking out of pity, disgust, or morbid curiosity, the way you'd stare at a car crash. Maybe I'm thinking 'poor little thing' or maybe 'why have people like that out in public?' That's what most squares think when they stare at your daughter. That's what you expect them to think.
But my look is not of pity or disgust, but loneliness mixed with joy. I sit there, fighting between my loneliness and my fear of being judged by people who, like me, have been treated harshly by society. Because you can't see it, but actually I'm not a square. I'm a triangle.
And even though triangles and octagons are more different than triangles and squares or octagons and squares, in some way we're alike, your daughter and I. Because when squares are everywhere, and square is treated as the proper way to be, anyone who isn't a square has something in common. We're all considered broken, we're all the exceptions to the rule.
And even you, in your glare, are confirming square rule. Anyone who looks to be a square is assumed to be one. I doubt you even realized I might also be different. After all, my right-angle corner looks like it could be a square's corner. And that's what everyone sees. They expect to see a square, and a square is what they see. Your daughter has no right angles for people to be confused by, but I do.
So I sit, and watch your daughter. And then you glare at me, with that protective glare, and not knowing how to explain, I simply walk away. But I wish there could have been more. I was glad to see that not everyone there were squares, and I wish you could've seen that too. Above all, I wish you hadn't been trained to expect hurtful square looks. Just as I wish I hadn't been trained to expect hurtful square replies.

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Blogger Andrea Shettle, MSW said...

I don't always comment on this blog (though I do read pretty much everything). But I just wanted to say briefly that I think this blog post is especially moving and well written.

5:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this entry expresses something I have been incapable of articulating in quite such an accessible way.
Your use of shapes for difference allows it to be far more widely applicable.
Thanks for blogging, I read often and appreciate.

1:41 AM  
Blogger groovyteach said...

This is beautiful. I have cried for ten minutes. It's so hard to articulate such feelings and you've done so very well.

9:03 AM  
Blogger wrongshoes said...

This is excellent.

2:53 PM  

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