When I was 12, my 6th grade gym teacher called me a frou- frou and said I was bad at sports on purpose to look cute for the boys.
This was so traumatizing that it is the second time I have mentioned it in this blog.
I just do not understand why any person would tell a 12-year-old girl (who is obviously extremely self conscious because she lives and breathes) that she is flat out bad at something. Especially sports, something that is the act of putting your body on display. Yea, make a 12-year-old girl feel even worse about that and call yourself a teacher. Sure, I feel bad that same sex marriages are not recognized in the state of Pennsylvania but I still do not have ANY sympathy for that woman.
The lesson learned this weekend was that frou- frous are good at sports too.
In fact, they can run 10 kms in 1 hour and 40 seconds and still look cute enough for the boys.
I listened to Girl Talk as I ran. Remixes of Salt n` Pepa made me want to stop running and just shake my sh*t, but it was sports time. That frou- frou stuff goes on after the sun sets.
While I exist in this foreign country I manage to understand Japanese subtilties enough that I can create an inside joke, at a work party, with one other teacher and we both snicker at the older drunk mans expense. I build relationships with 10 year olds that exist outside of a shared language and are rewarded with hugs. And I run 10 km races.
I will always be a frou-frou as I talk to various boys on skype during the week and put down those whiskey shots on the weekend. But, in Japan, even frou-frous are encouraged to play sports.
I spent the majority of the race running alongside one of those above frou frous in red. Her hair was curled and tied so delicately in her side ponytail. Her makeup complimented her outfit. And we both pushed each other to keep up. But in the end, the girl with the makeup and scrunchie stormed ahead.
And in Japan, when you get 3rd place in a race like my friend Ashley did, you win cake mix.
And now this frou-frou is off to New Zealand for two weeks. I tell everyone that I want to enjoy some of the breath taking and untouched nature that this world has to offer. But honestly, all that matters is that I look cute for the boys.