TITLE: HIDING IN THE SPOTLIGHT
GENRE: Adult literary fiction
All I ever wanted was to be ordinary, to blend in with the scenery. I got off to a bad start from the get-go with this headline:
LARGEST NATURAL BIRTH ON RECORD IN TULSA, OKLAHOMA.
Thirteen-pounds one-ounce was just the beginning of a long battle with the spotlight aimed in my direction.
Many newsworthy events happened in '64. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. received The Nobel Peace Prize. The Beatles arrived in the United States. And my mom became the first woman to bend the hospital bed rails at a ninety-degree angle—and likely started the c-section trend.
Daddy's philosophy: "If less is more, then more is better." He was, therefore, ecstatic at my substantial dimensions. "That Patty's one fine specimen of a baby," he told Mama with the enthusiasm of a farmer witnessing the birth of his prized pig.
Mama told me how the nurses gathered around in awe that I behaved in ways considered too advanced for a newborn. I never cried, but looked at each one of them in wonder, smiling. Strangers praised and revered me for my uniqueness. I call that my popular period. A shame I have no recollection of it.
I leaned toward nervous, fretful people the way a sunflower follows the sun. I felt comfortable around people who were stitched from the same neurotic cloth as I. For this reason, Grandma Oma and I were inseparable from the day I first learned I could scratch myself until I bled.