Perfectly Ugly Karma

Dateline 1977: In those dark days of junior high school, one day I was at my locker in the eighth grade hall. Two lockers down was Jena Owrey’s locker. Jena was beautiful and popular, but unlike a lot of the “proud crowd” (as they were known at my school and in my day), she was always incredibly sweet and nice to me.

At my eighth birthday party; little did I know at the time.
At my eighth birthday party; little did I know at the time.

It was between classes in the hall. 300 kids were struggling to get to their lockers, switch books, and get to their next classes. Jena was in a hurry too, and opened her locker too fast, causing its metal door to whack into the open shoe box she was carrying, tossing its contents, about $15 in change and about 30 spirit ribbons, to the floor.

In the awkward moment of silence that immediately followed, I instinctively said, “Smooth move, Ex Lax!”

In some ways I get the feeling that all the ill that has befallen me since that day has been a karmic kick in the nuts for my inconsideration.

It wasn’t a one-way street, however.

Also during junior high, one day I was riding the sixth-hour bus home because I stayed late to help a teacher move some chairs. There were only a few of us on the bus. Two rows behind me were two girls my age, about 12 or 13. I could hear them talk, and I heard one of them say, “Look at that guy’s hair. It’s so pretty!”

This got my attention, since they were undoubtedly talking about my hair, so I turned my head slightly so I could hear a little better. She obviously got a glimpse of my face at that point, because she immediately added, “Oh, but he’s ugly.”

I don’t know who it was, but if I had to venture a guess about how her life turned out, I’d bet it wasn’t happy. Karma kicks people like that at least as hard.

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3 Comments

  1. I think all the time that guys see my hair, then my face, and have the same thought. Apparently it’s all your fault (karmic transferrence).

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  2. It’s amazing how those moments stick with us, not quite haunting, but always giving us pause.

    I recall writing an anonymous note in the fourth grade that said: “Lisa is ugly.” Interestingly, I also remember that she was quite cute, so I cannot remember why I would have written such a thing. She eventually learned that I’d written it.

    She moved away the next year and I fretted about that note until I was 25 years old and bumped into Lisa at a convention in San Antonio. Wow. What to say? As it turned out, she didn’t remember me at all…

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  3. Where should I begin? Hmmm. Nicole, there is not a guy on the planet who would ever consider you ugly. Hellooo. You are a knock out. Richard, you were not being insensitive because you said “Smooth move Ex Lax. You made an awkward attempt at wit and while you failed in creativity, you were not rude.

    I hope the rude girl on the bus eventually evolved, but many people do not. But her comment spoke to her own ugliness much more so than to your physical appearance. My own insecurities caused me to primarily date dudes who were very good-looking back in my dating days. And to think our world has only become even more superficial as time goes on. I don’t mind that I’m not “pretty” anymore, but I do resent myself for not putting effort into taking care of my appearance. Because the most anyone should do is look the very best they can and I don’t even do that. You blow people away everyday with just being who you are, Richard. I always knew a very smart woman would discover you and indeed she did. Abby is beautiful, smart and very lucky. But wouldn’t it be ironic if it turned out that she was that ugly girl on the bus all those years ago!!! Of course that could not be the case because something tells me that Abby has never been ugly. But still, wouldn’t it be ironic? I’m just sayin.

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