EARLY ASSOCIATIONS WITH BODY TYPES
Nicky sits in the bleachers with her new women friends, wife and fiancé to two of the Goliath pitchers, the professional baseball team for which she and her friends cheer for on weekends. Her business plan was accepted, the first of its kind in baseball, and she knows Stanford, the college of her dreams, is in reach.
“Boys are too much of a risk,” I said. “I don’t want to take a chance. Hey, Ryan Tilton is still looking over here. With all the women he has, I wonder who in the world . . .”
I turned to see if a stunning woman sat behind me. When I saw only families and groups of boys and men sitting near us, I became nervous.
“God, I hate my body, you guys.” I wrung my hands, and shifted in my seat.
“Nicky, there’s nothing wrong with your body,” Tara laughed.
“I’m bigger than all my friends,” I continued discussing my insecurities, hoping for empathy.
“When I sleep over a girlfriend’s house, I can’t use her stuff. All my friends can exchange their clothes with each other, but I’m screwed if I don’t have something of my own.”
Tara covered her face with her hand, trying not to laugh. She didn’t understand my anxiety. Although I was told I was attractive and had a face that made me look like a young woman in her early twenties, I didn’t have confidence in my looks.
My brain interpreted those statements to mean, “because of your body, you don’t look like the others. You don’t fit in.”
At seventeen, all I wanted was to fit in. I was tired of having to handle things differently.
“Your body is beautiful, Nicky, just like you are,” Tara said. “You girls are so ridiculous at this age the way you criticize yourselves. In a few years you’ll look back and see you had nothing to worry about.”
“It’s true,” Alex agreed. “I understand your feelings, but one day soon, you’ll be happy with your body. And your friends may tease you now, but I’d just about guarantee they wouldn’t mind trading places with you.”
“They make fun of me all the time,” I said. “I try to cover myself but . . .”
“Don’t worry about it,” Tara said. “If they poke fun at you, that’s just fear. Let it go and enjoy your gifts, honey.”
“And um, I’m sorry but there’s no covering up those things,” Alex said looking at my boobs and my butt. “I’m afraid you’re stuck with them.”
“Oh thanks, Alex.” I rolled my eyes sarcastically. “I feel so much better.”
“You’ll grow into yourself, sweetie.” Tara patted my leg. “You already have the beauty and the smarts of someone who’s much older. Did you know all the wives were given copies of your business plan?”
“What? No, why would management do that?”
“We had to give our approval because it meant a group of young women, even though you’re all minors, would be on the field in front of our husbands,” she said. “If we weren’t comfortable, it wasn’t going to happen.
“You had to go through quite a few hoops, young lady. Were you ever told how many people looked at and approved your proposal?” Tara asked.
She explained how it went from an intern, to an assistant, to a high-level manager, and up the chain to ownership; and lastly to the players and their wives. I was stunned and pleased with my success.
“Nice job, Nick,” Tara said.
“Thanks, but I don’t understand. What man on a professional baseball team would want us? We’re only seventeen, and who would want them? Yuck, they’re too old.”
“Yeah, you may think the players are too old,” Tara laughed, “but not so old that management wasn’t paranoid. And uh . . .” she nodded to the outfield where Ryan stood. “Seems like you’ve already peaked someone’s interest.”
“He’s just curious about the grotesque thing sitting next to you,” I laughed.