Daily Prompt: Standout

When was the last time you really stood out in a crowd? Are you comfortable in that position, or do you wish you could fade into the woodwork?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us STANDOUT.

Lawrence Infants school

I was born to stand out in a crowd; it has been the story of my life. Dad was one of the tall ones and mum was not far behind, so what chance did I have? I never really knew anything else. Every year the school photographer would arrive to take a photo of the school class. Our mums would dress us up, make sure that our faces were red and shining with soap and flannel scrubbing actions and we were ready to go.

We assembled in the hall and then the performance began. The photographer would scrutinise each one of us and chose the tallest in the class. Somewhere he had to begin his masterwork. Generally it was me and two other girls that were known as being “tall”, so he would position us somewhere in the middle, arranging the remaining small people around us. This school photo was the last class of my infant existence, so I would have been around seven years of age. Can you see me? Do not forget mum wanted me to stand out in the crowd, be the one that was noticed on the photo, so that my ancestors family could point with pride and say, that is Pat, our future hope.

So what did mum do to ensure that I would be remembered, would leave my mark in the world at the age of seven? She decided to wrap a colourful bow into my sparsely growing hair. I was never famous for curly thick locks of hair, they grew straight and flat, so something had to be done. Yes, you can see me: the second row from the top, third from the right. Otherwise, just look for the bow. I believe in this photo it was a yellow bow: nicely oversized to be sure that I would be seen and perched precariously on the right side of my head (on the photo showing on the left of course). On this photo I was not alone with my bow, there were  two other rivals for the best bow in the class. I am sure if we were Russians, I would have taken the prize for the best infant comrade, as Russians seem to go for bows in a big way with their children. This was the beginning of standing out in the crowd.

As life continued, so did my standing out sessions. I discovered I had the biggest nose which would turn a remarkable shade of red when the colder winter weather arrived. “Give us a light” my dad would say, meaning igniting his cigarette, whilst we were waiting for the bus on a cold and windy street. I did not laugh, but just accepted the humour of paternal attention. Now dad is 98, but I still remember those wise words.

Mr. Swiss has often told me I have lobeless ears. This is not a problem for me, as my hearing remains although I am sometimes concentrated on other items of interest that I do not always want to hear everything. This seems to be a sign of a Cagot according to Wikipedia

“The alleged physical appearance and ethnicity of the Cagots varied wildly from legends and stories; some local legends (especially those that held to the leper theory) indicated cagots had blonde hair and blue eyes, while those favouring the Arab descent story said cagots were considerably darker. One common trend was to claim that cagots had no ear lobes, or that one ear was longer than the other.

shadows and me 012

As I have had dark hair (now a greyish tone, salt and pepper, but more salt than pepper) I may have belonged to the Arab descent group of cagots. Both of my ears are the same size, but they are lobeless. Mr. Swiss said that criminals and murderers usually have no ear lobes, who knows? The marriage decision was made, so it is his own fault – should have known better, but he is still alive.

Actually when examining the complete situation, I do not think that there is anything average about me. As I said I was born to stand out in the crowd. It has its advantages. If in a theatre or cinema, I see the stage and screen perfectly. It might be that those sitting behind me have problems because my head might block their vision. They say you shrink as you become older. I am still waiting for that phase of my life. One compensation is that in spite of my 1m 75 cm height, my youngest son is 1m 84 cm and my oldest 1m 86 cm, so family Angloswiss all really stand out in the crowd.

I could now write my blogs in capital letters to ensure they would stand out in the crowd, THAT WOULD BE AN IDEA. No I will remain in the background, modest as I am. My height is just a trick of nature. Perhaps if I research my origins I would find my ancestors to be Amazons?

Daily Prompt: Standout