Heredity Sucks

I have a disease. I call it Weak-Knee Disorder Syndrome or WKDS. It was bequeathed to me by my father, whose speed of gravitational blood-pull from his head surpasses my own. It is not because of excessive heat or excessive drink that we pass out. It is when we find ourselves in situations of mind over matter, or lack thereof.

I was only nine years old when I swooned into my mother's arms after a nerve-wracking ear piercing. She immediately picked me up and carried me outside; a wise decision on her part since I gained consciousness and puked as soon as we were out of the building. Not that passing out and barfing in front of my mother was embarrassing. She was outranked by the boys slightly older than me walking by while I sat on the curb of the parking lot with my head hunched between my knees hoping I wouldn’t upchuck anymore wondering how I got there because I had just woke up and I can still see a few stars and my ears hurt and I just want to go home. I will never forget the fact that I had blueberry pancakes for breakfast that morning.

It is often said that kids can be cruel. I am thinking of a particular incident in high school where my classmates teased me out of loving kindness, as opposed to the tormenting bullies that can horribly devastate and scar self-esteem-deprived teens. Freshman had to go through a sex education class via Physical Education. While we watched a filmstrip during second period about a pelvic exam, I got queasy with the thought of a doctor shoving his arm inside of me up to his elbow. This was not a movie but a filmstrip that, like Psycho, doesn't really show anything. This allows the creative imagination to make up all kinds of interesting stuff to screw with your head, like long bony doctor arms. With each scrolling picture, I felt tingly and clammy, as the narrator droned on about the various internal reproductive organs being thoroughly explored by the friendly gynecologist ("and he can feel your ovaries" — ACK! ) At that age, I hadn't yet mastered the art of tampon usage without experiencing some dizziness, so imagine me getting slammed with the thought of multiple hands and instruments going in there while spread in stirrups.

When I pass out, I usually wait until I've completely experienced its cause. I don't fall down halfway through an uncomfortable situation. (I got both of those nine-year-old ears pierced.) I wait until all the gross, nasty, fainting-spell-inducing information has soaked into my head. Then I'm down for the count. So it wasn't until the end of the show "…and that's all there is to it. Now you can get dressed," that I fall out of my chair and smack my head against the desk in the next aisle on my way down to the floor.

An item I would include in my public information handbook entitled "What To Do When Margaret Faints", is to leave me on the floor to get the blood back into my head. One would assume it advantageous to pass out in a class that contained your P.E. teacher. Surely, she has been trained in such matters. Of all people, a woman who has been educated in The Way of the Body would know to keep you lying down, maybe even elevate your feet. No, my teacher’s primary objective was to get me out of the classroom and fast. Maybe she thought I was having an epileptic seizure or something. With a quick call to the nurse's office she shipped me off with two escorts from class who dragged me to the other side of the campus, rather than waiting for a wheel chair, which again, may have helped with the blood flow thing. I slung my arms around my two classmates and wobbled to the nurse's office.

With my ghostly pale face between two black girls, the nurse told me we looked like a walking Oreo cookie. She also reported that she had called my mother who had laughed in her ear. I don't blame my mother for thinking it was funny. She knew I was not in danger. I just can't handle hearing or seeing medical procedures. Naturally, by fourth period English, my friends had caught wind of it, and couldn't have been given a better source of amusement — I mean really, passing out in Sex Ed? How much fun can you have with that? They didn't waste any time with things like, "What did you do, see something you never saw before? HAR HAR HAR!!!".


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