I recently realized that my father has been right all of these years… I am a drama queen.
I don’t believe that I’m the usual attention-seeking drama queen. I never started serious arguments in public or told a sap-story with tears in my eyes to gain attention from my peers. I never was the “Daddy! I need a Coach purse!!!” or Master story-teller of Exaggeration. Nope, that’s not me. I’m the “there’s always a problem” type of girl. If we are in a classroom and it’s quiet and someone’s chewing, it’s “Houston, we have a problem.” I won’t focus, I’ll turn around and stare rudely, and I’ll tap the person next to me and say loudly, “Gosh, who’s chewing like a cow. You would think their parents would teach them manners. People these days!”
I never acted-out or embarrassed my parents growing up. I was never the teenager that stole her parent’s car, threw parties, snuck out of the house, or changed into slut-like attire on the school bus. Nope, that wasn’t me.
I was the, “Ivanna, what’s wrong now?” child.
On long rides to visit our family in North Carolina I never slept. No, that would be too easy for everyone. I sat with my eyes open wide staring at I95 with my Walkman on, playing Toni Braxton, Nas, Mariah Carey, or Fabolous. If my brother’s head fell on my shoulder, IT WAS OVER .
I remember us once loading up our 1995 black Honda Civic at 3 a.m., and I was in a sour mood. “James, you’re the youngest, you sit in the middle!” I hollered at the top of my lungs. The words fell on deaf ears. James, my younger brother, learned at an early age how to tune me out. He jumped into the car first and scooted over to the window seat. “Ivanna, hurry up, get in,” my mother said to me as I attempted to roll my eyes, “It’s not fair mom!” I replied. As soon as the words came out of my mouth I knew what she was going to say: “Life’s not fair Ivy, now get in the car!” My father stood by her side and gave me a stern look; I hopped into the car next to James and put a book in between us. I mocked my father’s stern look and whispered, “Don’t touch me!” Jenny, my older sister, crawled in and sat on the other side of me as our father shut her door.
As we pulled away from our home in Jamaica, Queens I sat in a fury, ‘I never get my way,’ I thought selfishly, but I didn’t yell or scream, that was not me. I’d get my revenge someway, somehow.
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