26. I Am Sue Heck

by 4linnea

My brother swears by the fact that I am the character Sue Heck from The Middle.  And, I agree.  The Middle is a great little show on ABC showing the reality of a quirky blue collar family.  Sue is the middle child and known for “failing with gusto”.  She has never made anything she’s tried out for, let alone win something.  Throughout the last few seasons Sue is always wearing her cross-country sweatshirt because she made the no-cut team (actually by going around a track on crutches).  She is looked over a lot, mostly just because she is in that weird, awkward junior high stage.  Her parents actually have forgotten her birthday.  Also, her first and middle names are “Sue”, as it was mistakenly written down twice on her birth certificate.  And she was born on a leap year.  Of course that would happen to her- classic Sue.  At one point Sue does get a boyfriend, who ends up being gay- completely unbeknownst to her, of course, yet she squeals every time she sees him and makes sure to bring up the word “boyfriend” as much as she can.  Here are some great Sue Heck quotes:

“Embarrassment is an important part of sports.  My coach told me that.”

“I finally have something to put up on the cupboard besides my braces-tightening schedule.”

“This is my mom’s old phone.  It doesn’t work.  I just use it as a clock.”

It was after an incident the spring of my senior year of high school, that I started to be compared to Sue Heck.  One day, two of my teachers asked if I was dropping their classes since my name had been removed from their grade lists and seating charts.  One of them showed me.  It was just a blank space with no name in the spot I usually sat.  I thought this was odd, but I carried on.  Later that day, I went to the office to pay my final school fees.  The lady asked for my ID number, but when she typed it into the computer, she looked at me and said, “This number doesn’t exist in the system.”  She tried again, still nothing.  Of course I’m in the system! That’s been my number for the past twelve years- since kindergarten! She tried typing in my name- I wasn’t in there at all!  She directed me to another lady, back in this weird labyrinth of offices I didn’t even know existed.  This process took a little over an hour from start to finish.  Anyway, the end of the story is that they had confused me with another student and I had apparently graduated early, so my name was completely wiped from the system.  Shoot, I wouldn’t have been showing up every day if I had already graduated.  I was forgotten after 12 years of nothing but strong ambivalence to you Mason City Schools!

As soon as I got my senior yearbook, I flipped to the back and scanned for my page from my parents- you know where they send in a cute baby photo of you and write how you’re going to accomplish all your dreams and whatnot.  My brother had gotten a beautiful half-page layout when he graduated.  There was, however, nothing.  I asked my mom about it and she was really sorry and said that it had slipped her mind.  Now, by forgetting this, I’m not saying my parents don’t love the heck out of me (because they do), but it’s just showing that as the second child, my accomplishments aren’t as awe-inspiring anymore.  I wasn’t even mad that I didn’t get a proud parent page in my yearbook, I instantly thought it was funny because the joke that my brother is the favorite was slowly becoming truthiness as well as perpetuating the theory that I am the real-life Sue Heck.

In one episode of  The Middle, where Sue Heck gets her yearbook, she flips through the pages to not find any other pictures of her.  Until she finds one where she swears, “that’s my shoe!  That’s MY shoe!”  Knowing, this is most-likely false, her mom just nods her head and says, “Yeah, that’s great Sue!”.  This happened to me.  Also, the time when I received my senior yearbook.  I swore (and still do) that I found myself on the cover.  The cover!  The picture on the cover, though, is the crowd in the stands at a basketball game.  I’ve gotta be at least 8 rows back and only half my face is visible from the tall gentleman standing in front of me, but dammit it’s me!  On the cover!

The summer after my freshman year of high school, I went on a camping trip with my YoungLife group to Lake Saranac, New York.  I was the only freshman girl going, but the trip was great.  On the way back, on the Pennsylvania turnpike, we stopped at an all-in-one rest stop.  I went to use the restroom one last time before we left and as I came out the door, there was the bus, pulling onto the highway.  If I hadn’t had my phone, I would’ve probably freaked out more, but I calmly sat down on the curb and called one of my leaders who began yelling at the other leaders on the bus.  I was left!  Don’t worry though, I made the most of it and took photos of myself in the photo booth inside with fake tears and my thumbs down.  Since we were on a turnpike, it took about 45 minutes for the bus to turn around and come get me.  One person on the bus told me to buy her some ice cream while I was there, so I did.  When I went to get back on the bus, the man wouldn’t let me on with it because it was dairy.  Dairy!!!!  I never got paid back for that either.  Sue Heck…

Just 4 days ago, I pulled an awkward Sue Heck stunt in public.  At the movie theater, I used my rewards card (not nerdy at all, be quiet) and it was rewarding because with the purchase of my ticket, I got a coupon for a free movie ticket.  A free movie ticket! FREE!  So, naturally, I took it and said, “SCORE! A free movie ticket!” while doing that move where you make a fist and bring it down towards your waist while you bring your knee up too.  My friend caught the boy in the ticket booth laughing/poking fun at me!!  The best part is that he was one of the most awkward boys I have seen in a while- about 14 or 15 with acne and crazy, outta-control hair.  HE was laughing at me!  Oh well.  I got a free movie ticket…

Definitely the last year of high school, if not longer, I was asked (no exaggeration) at least three times a week by different people if I had cut my hair.  This doesn’t necessarily bother me, but what did bother me is when they would argue with me about it.  I would say, “no, I didn’t”.  And they would say, “Yes, you did, come on.”  And again, I’d say, “No, really I didn’t”.  They were calling me a liar.  About my hair?!  Why would I lie about something as mundane as getting a haircut?  Anyways, this became a running joke with my friends and I and I would keep track of how many times in one day and by how many different people would ask me.  It was as if no one noticed me before, then something looked different about me and all of the sudden they knew in their bones that I got a haircut.  Either that, or nobody knew what to say to me, so they’d just try and compliment me by asking if I got a haircut.  It was always just kind of a funny thing that I found odd, but again, it’s such a typical Sue Heck quality, that I have to love and embrace it.  (And yes, this still happens to me).

I seriously could type for hours many, many more stories that show embarrassing examples of my life that would make Sue Heck proud, but I’ll save you from tragedy.  Remember that the Sue Hecks of the world are the ones that make life that much more humorous and enjoyable, so be kind to them and don’t laugh at them as they forget they’re in public and do weird things.

P.S. This post is dedicated to those who actually read this whole thing.  God bless ya.

Over & Out

Currently listening to:  The Black Keys- Everlasting Light

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