My friends and I used to play Charlie’s Angels and of course I was always Kelly, the Jaclyn Smith character. My hair was long and black so it was natural that I should be her and not the Kate Jackson angel. Who would ever want to be her? So serious, so smart. Brains were the kiss of death in my neighborhood, a sure path away from boys and popularity and all the treasure that came from having those things. Even though I didn’t have the word for it, I knew what every other person in America knew: she was not sexy. So even if I secretly admired ol’ what’s her name, (Jill, don’t pretend you don’t know) I could never chose to be her in the game. That dishonor was saved for the greasy-haired girl down the road who ate her own boogers and snitched on the other kids. In fact, her nickname was Snitch.

Wait a minute, you say, what about the other character, the bombshell? Even at nine, I knew I was no Farrah Fawcett. That would be crazy. I wasn’t blonde, I wasn’t cool, I didn’t have any hope of ever reaching FF-level popularity. No, I strove for mediocrity. Not so much has changed.

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