It wasn’t as though I was underprivileged and it wasn’t as though my parents didn’t treat me well. In fact, I had way more than I needed and a loving family to top it off. So why did I feel so different?
I felt like an orange among a bunch of donuts. The orange is appealing on its own, but amid those delectable desserts, it doesn’t stand a chance. I became absorbed in thought as my friends chatted excitedly around me. I bit down and felt the familiar emotional sting as my bottom teeth tucked behind my top ones. I wonder if they notice it like I do… my thoughts trailed off as the commotion around me became a blurry background.
My mom worked so hard. My step-dad worked so hard. Why did it seem more difficult for them to do this? My pulse was fast, my eyes were moist, and my jaw was tense.
My friends didn’t seem to notice, nor did they even notice the factor that was causing this internal conflict. I felt my face turn a deep shade of pink as I opened my mouth to speak. Talking was safe, talking would not remind them of my difference. Before long, I began to laugh… hard!
I needed to trail back. This was exactly what I was trying to avoid. It was too late though and, although none of them ever pointed it out, they had to have noticed the obvious proof of my family’s economic class.
I could never confess my disappointment of course. After all, many of my classmates had less than we did and I knew that this was not a crucial use of our family income. I was old enough to understand priorities, so why did I still feel so glum?