Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Good and Bad (05/07/09)
By Dolores Stohler
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My skin, too, was a problem. At the age of 12 I began to break out in acne and went through high school bearing the shame of my over-active hormones. I never had a date because, in addition to the acne problem, I was classified as a nerd because I went around with my head in a book to hide the skin break-outs. And even though I slathered my skin with tanning lotion, it never turned the golden tan that was all the rage in those days, and still is. No way! It only turned red and broke out in tiny little pimples wherever the sun chanced to beam on it. At the age of 18, I fell asleep on a beach and acquired a sunburn that put me in bed for a week.
To add insult to injury, along came Marilyn Monroe followed by all those mean and ugly “blonde jokes”. Go on, laugh! I’ll bet when you read the title to this piece, you thought it was going to be funny. How wrong you were! It’s the tale of a life filled with tragedy. And all because I was born blonde.
When I ended my miserable high school days, I got a job as a bookkeeper at New York Life and -- wouldn’t you know it -- the young woman I sat next to at work was an outspoken Greek beauty with shining black hair and a teasing manner. She looked down upon me as her mental inferior (because I was blonde?) and took great delight in pointing out my mathematical mistakes.
After two years of her put-downs, I quit and took a job in a one-woman office where I had some authority over a group of middle-aged salesmen. This was great at first but, as the acne subsided, I became the target of a lot of unwanted attention. One by one, these married men began to flirt with me. It was worse with the office supply guy. When he came in to sell his wares and my boss was gone, he actually chased me around the desk and kept trying to put his hands on me. I had to fight him off with my shorthand notebook!
When I married finally, I chose not the boring, fair-skinned fellow my folks picked out for me but the dashing Hispanic guy with the charismatic personality and a great sense of humor. Now I felt the backlash of marrying outside my race. They just didn’t do it in those days. (This was 1957). One of my friends even had the insolence to say, “How come you married someone like that!” Ah, but he was charming. and he called me his “little princess”. Other women found him charming as well. The problems in our marriage didn’t stem from any cultural differences but the fact that he was prone to tomcat around -- and, of course, they were all blonde.
O.K., so there’s got to be something good to be said about being blonde, doesn’t there? Well, it’s not what you think. The good news is that, in the midst of the many problems I faced in the course of my life as a blonde, I found the very best friend anyone could have. I learned to trust in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. You see, I might never have reached this point had I been a gorgeous brunette -- popular, fascinating, smart and successful in every way. So I’m happy to be born blonde and kept humble by the world I live in. Incidentally, my hair is now a lovely shade of white -- just like Jesus. No more dumb blonde for me.
“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Galatians 5:25-26 NIV)
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