Tights In Gym Class - Not Cool

    Me: (at 8 years old:) "Mama don't make me wear these tights!!"
    Mama: "Grandma got them for you....They will keep you warm."
    Me: "But I don't like them."
    Mama: "Oh, sweetie you look so cute in them."
    Me:  "Everybody will laugh at me!!"
    Mama: "They wouldn't dare. You are my angel."
    Me: "Angels don't wear tights!"
    Mama: "Hurry, put them on, you're going to be late."
    Me:  "But Angels, don't wear ti-i-i-i-ghts!  (Mama pulls my arm forcefully.)

There I was nervously looking at the clock.  It was 9:25 AM, only five more minutes till gym class.  I knew that once that clock would strike 9:30 my whole world would be over.  As each second passed I became more and more anxious imagining the worst possible scenarios: Little Johnie giving me a wedgie,  little Umberto hurling one of his gargantuan boogers at me, or little Melissa not being my steady girlfriend anymore.  Despite my age I had a vivid imagination and in my imagination I was heading towards the kiddie guillotine . Why would my mother force me to look like some demented Eastern European gymnast? 

I could fake an illness, but Sister Elba, my second grade teacher was a no nonsense nun. She would always talk about how kids who misbehaved would disappear in her native land of Cuba during the Castro regime. I was paranoid.  I always thought I was next on his list. The bell rings...

I took off my uniform pants as slowly as I could. It got worse . I forgot that the tights were fire engine red! With my navy blue gym uniform I would stick out like a sore thumb! I was a dead man.
I didn't understand why my grandmother bought them for me.  It was already bad enough that each time she saw me she would strike me with a cane for chasing her chickens away.  Maybe in a karmic way my grandmother was getting me back for scaring those chickens.

I just didn't get it. Who would wear these things?  Maybe these tights were all the rage in 1980's Czechoslovakia where fashion always took a back seat to proletariat politics.

As I walked into gym glass one of my classmates shouted, "Look. Marco is wearing weird pants! Then the entire class joined in sneering and giggling like I was some side show circus freak.

Of course this had to be on a Wednesday; the dreaded day that we have to race on a scooter; belly down. Come on - what sick freak invented this?  Each time I tried it, my legs would get stuck,   As if the sight of a very tall 8 year old boy wearing tights wasn't enough, stick him on a flat square dolly with his long red legs dragging behind him. Oh the laughing! Oh the mocking!  Oh the humanity!

After  gym glass, the kids kept calling me "tighty." I went from being kinda cool to being the dorkiest kid in class. I rushed home and cut a hole in those tights. "Gee I don't know mama?" It must have happened in gym class."  (Strange thing. About 5 years ago while I was rummaging through my mom's attic I found another pair of those tights.)

P.S.  My mom still calls me her "angel" but thankfully sans tights. Oh yeah I eventually got little Melissa to go steady again.

Seriously mom what were you thinking?


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