Saturday, August 23, 2008

Meet Haley!

When I look at myself in the mirror, I don't see a junior high school girl. Neither do I feel like one. Sure, I've been told that I'm 'cute,' not pretty. I have the thinnest, regular brown hair that falls just past my shoulders and light blue eyes that seem gray at times, and I have freckles across my nose and cheeks. During the day, I wear gold eyeglasses. And I'm just a little bit chubby.
All in all, though, I still look and feel like a little girl, not an eleven year old about to start junior high.
Just the mention of the words junior high sends chills down my spine. At my old school I was known as simply "the brain." I was the girl whose test papers everyone used to copy off of.
Just last year I was playing with Barbies. Now I'm in junior high. How things change.

I've spent the last three days picking out the 'perfect' outfit for me to wear on my first day of school. And I think I've finally settled on this plaid skirt with a satin blouse, some tights and some suede slip-ons. I figure it's gonna be cute enough without looking dorky. But then again, I'm the world's biggest dork anyway, so I don't think it's gonna matter all that much.
I'm not gonna sit here and lie and say I'm not nervous. Because I am. I'm very nervous. I always manage to screw these first days up, either by saying or doing something I've got no business.

My name is Haley Hotchkiss. Haley Elizabeth Hotchkiss, to be exact. The last time I checked, I was eleven years old. And the last time I checked, I stood eighteen inches tall and was made of plastic and cloth. But I also like to think I have half a brain, too.
I live in a little town in Louisiana, and I'm told it's fairly close to New Orleans -- yes THAT New Orleans. Though, it's not the New Orleans Venus says she remembers from childhood. You see, three years ago there was a hurricane to hit there. It was pretty bad. There was TV coverage of it even when I was living in Pennsylvania. Venus says the city hasn't quite been the same, although they've had stuff going on there.
Hmm, let's see what else I can say here. I'm an only child, but I live with a few other AGs like myself.

I have a cousin named Nicki, for example. Her full name is Nicole Alexis Fleming, but she hates the names Nicole and Alexis and prefers being called Nicki. What can I say about Nicki except -- she's weird. Part of the reason she's weird is because she's from Colorado. That's a long story because her mom and my mom were identical twins. But her mom married a rancher and my mom went to college and became a high powered lawyer. The only thing Nicki and I have in common appearance wise is, we're the same size, we both have blue eyes and freckles. I think she's actually way prettier. For starters, she's got a tan from riding her horses and spending most of her time outdoors. Then, she's got this long gorgeous curly hair. Mine is usually stick straight.
Nicki says she thinks she can 'feel' me. She says it's because her mom was my mom's twin sister. But our mothers are nothing alike, and neither are we.
Nicki thinks she's special because she was named 2007 Girl of the Year by the American Girls Society. Don't get me wrong, Girl of the Year is a big deal. But it's not the be all end all.
Another thing about Nicki: She LOVES animals. Sometimes I think she likes animals more than she likes people. She trains service dogs. What I mean by that is, her family trains dogs to help people. They also raise pigs for slaughter. Sometimes I wonder if our mothers had switched places, how our lives would be different.
So, when Nicki showed up to visit me right before school started, I was excited -- to a point. We had been IMing each other for the last few months, ever since she got her internet. Her mom says she's happy that we're getting closer, especially since she and my mom hardly speak to each other.
Nicki thinks she's my older sister, even though we were born a few months apart. Then again, Nicki thinks she's everyone's big sister. If you listen to all the stuff she does, it might seem like she's perfect. She helps her kid brother with his homework, her parents around their ranch, and was on the planning committee for her school dance. I asked her once, "Do you, like, do anything normal kids do?"
"Well, I like going shopping," she said.
Shopping? I HATE shopping, especially in Walmart. There are these long lines and every other thing in there has a Hannah Montana print on it.