Monday, May 5, 2008

Of essays and nostalgia

I was fixing an old laptop today when I discovered folders upon folders of memories from college.

Here's an application essay that was bastardized rewritten as a joke by the bf (who wasn't quite "the bf" then). It cracks me up every time I read it, and I hope to God it's obvious which parts were changed because there are things that I would never think to write. Ever:

I watched carefully as she put her hair up in the mornings. Rays of sunlight peeking in through the curtains landed on the plush carpet next to her bare feet. With a stuffed bunny in my right hand and a glass of soymilk on the other, my eyes followed those fingers attentively as she lined her lips with a pink pencil. The room was rosy and bright. Amongst it all was a sense of cheerfulness floating in the air. When she turned around making a soft swishing sound with her skirt, she was like a goddess. Twinkling eyes and all she would look my way, smiling. I smiled back in awe each time.

Mom was getting ready for work at the office and no doubt beauty radiated through her. It wasn’t just the skirt, the stockings or the lipstick. Neither was it the radiant smile nor the huge eyes that came with it. It was her elegance. My mother is a beautiful epitome of elegance.

As she stepped past me kissing me on my forehead before reaching for her pumps and briefcase she would say, “I love you my big headed ogre.” At that moment, I would bask in her affection hoping that one day I could be exactly like her.

Today as I rush out of my dormitory room with barely brushed teeth, an unwashed T-shirt against my unpolished skin, and a torn backpack slung over my shoulders, I’m very sure I’m far from the image of splendor that my mother exudes. I worry my way to class over a possible quiz and stress over the essay I’m about to turn in -Is it too long? Should I change the conclusion? Am I too late for that? What if my grade falls? Damn, I hate myself!- Knowing how I’m letting my insecurities eat me away, I smack my bulbous forehead with my palm in an attempt to wake myself up. In class, I nod as the Professor looks my way sexually, what does he want from me? After 2 hours I trudge my way gladly out of class, knowing that I’ll only be met with another Professor… I hope he’s not another pervert.

With my eyes half closed and dragging along by themselves, I dream of skipping lightly to class the way mom does to work. I skip all the time. Instead of looking down I’d be holding my head up. My posture? Poised. My T-shirt with the words “Got Beer?” on it, is replaced by a pressed white blouse and my jeans; a pencil skirt size 39. My eyes are shining and my face would glow from the remnants of oil oozing out of their pores. I am gripping a file full of essays written with love and confidence. I, Danielle Chong Jen Yee, would be on my way to class. … An ugly duckling metamophorsized into a beautiful swan… albeit with a big, bulbous head.

Who am I trying to kid? I’m not Mother. Mother’s sweet and elegant. The air of confidence she possess, emits from her figure like the sparkles around a princess looking forward to the ball. Nonetheless, I’m not giving up on my dream. I look up and open my eyes to the brilliant sun. There’s still time for a change. Tomorrow, I shall come to school with a pressed shirt. Walking to my next class, I feel myself skipping as I wonder how much my professor would enjoy reading my essay. Would I get a 10 out of 10 or a 9? Doesn’t matter.

And here's a picture of the bf and I when we weren't quite bf and gf:

I had originally named it "My bro and I" which is a little weird now that we're together. Boy were we young then.


Alex said...

you're so damn cute

Daniel said...

oh big head