Recently I contracted mono. It sucked.
Even more recently I graduated from college. It less-sucked.
Most recently I finally had enough energy to go for my first run in three months. It really sucked.
About a mile in I was at the point where my inner thighs had rolled my shorts up into a strange unsightly wedgie-looking bunch that would have mortified me in high school. I was breathing like an asthmatic and the remaining contents of my broccoli based dinner had been churned up sufficiently enough in my stomach to cause significant gas cramping in its attempts to leave my body.
Before I continue my story I want it to be known that long ago I gave up the idea that regular people could appear lady-like and fierce while running, I also gave up the idea that sweat was the only stinky thing that your body releases while running. Long ago I accepted that if I was going to be a 'runner' then I was going to burp and fart throughout my run, my legs were going to jiggle, my mouth was going to gape open in a desperate attempt to fill my lungs with oxygen and my arms were going to resemble a T-Rex punching the air...
I know these things and I accept them.
...As I was saying...
About a mile into my run I had reached the full T-Rexing glory of my pathetic stumble to health and some of the fumes from that broccoli dinner finally squeaked out. Honestly I hardly noticed, I was more concerned with the wad of running shorts material that was bunching up between my inner thighs.
Unfortunately I was not the only person on the street. It would seem that while I was preoccupied trying to remember all the lyrics to 'Eye of the Tiger' while at the same time fixing my running shorts vs. inner thigh issues, releasing broccoli gas and stumbling along at a slightly-faster-than-walking pace, I had run myself into very close proximity to a group of teenagers.
Now it's not that long since I was a teenager. In fact it has been such a short amount of time that I sometimes forget that I'm not a teenager and try to eat entire pizzas by myself. As recently removed from teenagerhood as I am I wasn't expecting to get 'the look'.
The look. They gave me the look. The look that I remember my parents grounding me for giving. The look that terrified my substitute teachers. The look that defines a large portion of my adolescent years. The look.
They gave it to me. I got the look. I could tell in that moment that I was an embarrassment to these teenagers. These teenagers that just a few years ago may have admired me and my 'mature' college-girl ways. Not only were they embarrassed of me. They were embarrassed for me.
They were embarrassed on my behalf because they thought that I didn't know that I should be embarrassed.
They thought I didn't know that I should be embarrassed that my shorts were wedged uncomfortably close to my crotch, and they probably were embarrassed that I didn't know that I shouldn't be digging to try to fix that wedge in public. They were embarrassed that I was farting while I ran and they were probably embarrassed that I was wearing a Sesame Street t-shirt that said 'Cool Kids on the Block' and featured Big Bird and Cookie Monster wearing chains and throwing gang signs.
They were embarrassed of me.
Well you know what, random group of privileged, white, middle class teenagers?
Frankly I just don't give a damn.