by Linda Chandanais

I come from homely people. Not below average looking or plain as mud fences, but downright homely.

Momma says it’s our curse to bear. Grandmother Carpenter says there’s nothing Momma loves more than a pity party and besides, what’s she complaining about? She got plenty close to at least two men.

It’s true, Momma has two daughters, and neither of us has met our fathers. We don’t even know their names. That’s the only thing Grandma Carpenter is as tight-lipped about as Momma.

To listen to my grandmother being homely is a blessing. She says if folks like you, it’s for who you are and not the pretty wrapping paper.

By that logic, couldn’t someone dislike you because they don’t like your wrapping paper? I mean, I love the color periwinkle, but chartreuse makes me want to puke. Unless it was the only one left, I wouldn’t pick it, maybe not even then.

I’m thinking I might be an ugly duckling. There are unknown genes rumbling around in me. It’s nice not knowing what my father looks like. It gives me hope for periwinkle. But, my backup plan is brains.