I vividly remember the first time I had to justify getting extra time to take a test. It was my sophomore year of high school, and the other special kids and I had been cordoned off to take our finals. My crush walked by and I said hello, hopefully. "What are you getting extra time or something?"
It was a Sunday in 1996 when a man told me I reminded him of Scout in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. I'd been chasing water bugs and was covered in mud. My overalls hung off of me and my short hair stuck to my neck. A curious child, I implored my mother to buy me the Book on Tape. I liked Scout.
I learned about dieting when I was 14-years-old. I went away to summer camp and came home 12 pounds heavier. It was the first time I'd gained weight. I didn't like it so I consulted my mother. She explained that certain foods are unhealthy, i.e. everything I loved, and that most skinny women eat them in moderation.
It was any 16 year-old's dream prom. My long-time, incredibly handsome crush drove three hours to take me. My dress, like the stretch hummer we rode in, was white and sparkly. And I'd been invited to the after-party hosted by our exceedingly wealthy Northern California classmate. The prom itself was, as most proms are, unspectacular.