Thanks for the birthday wishes. Mom's comments are very encouraging. I have decided that This Will Be the Year that is All About Me. I will keep you updated!
Reading all of the comments brought back MANY cringeworthy moments. And I thought I did not have any! I was a dork (actually in NJ circa 1970s - 1980s, I was referred to as a DEXTER, thank you very much), with glasses, palate expander, braces, frizz ball hair. Very shy. Interestingly, I developed earlier than most girls my age. So, I was a Dexter with a Chest, which is the worst thing to happen when you are trying to be invisible most of the time.
At recreation summer camp one year, my neighbor up the street, Michelle, liked to yell across the camp yard, "HEY LAURIE, DO YOU STUFF?" I did not understand what she meant. By the 5th time, I gathered that she was referring to the possibility that I was stuffing my bra. I was mortified each time she screamed it, usually in the company of snickering boys. This went on ALL SUMMER LONG. Always in public.
Looking back, I wish that I had some witty retort, or at least screamed back my observation that Michelle was older than me AND was flat as a board and had the body of a boy. However, I was painfully shy and suffered each day in silence.
So, I send a shout out to Michelle M. from Morris County, NJ: "Michelle, you were the pre-teen definition of bitch and I hated your guts for it. Your sister Denise was always the pretty cheerleader, and it must have been tough knowing that you were homely and DID NOT HAVE BOOBS of your own, so you had to make me feel bad for mine. I hope that the real world eventually smacked you in the ass. Love, Laurie"
Whew, that felt good.