I used to despise my superpower. Why couldn’t I fly, read people’s minds, or have the ability to fight off an evil army all by myself? Yes, the ability to be completely invisible can be annoying at times; however, as I have gotten older, I embrace it. For example, it’s frustrating when I see an attractive man and want him to notice me, but that never happens. I could light myself on fire and he wouldn’t bat an eye. I’m not what you would describe as “beautiful”, but I don’t think I’m hideous either. I’m average. Everything in my life is average. I’m of average height, average weight, a mediocre job, and live in an average, decent apartment.
I’m used to falling into the background because I’m child five of six in my family. By the time my parents had me, they already had the parenting thing down. My older siblings helped care for me, and when I was old enough, I was able to help care for our youngest sister. The eldest is Betty, she was the beauty queen, gorgeous, and always had a date every Friday and Saturday night. Jack, the second, was pretty much the male version of Betty, except he was a star athlete on top of everything else. Alex and Samantha are twins. Growing up, Alex was the troublemaker. He was always talking in class or starting fights at recess. Samantha was the nerd. She loved to read and excelled in school. Then there was me. We already had the beauty queen, prom king/jock, wild one, and genius, so there was nothing left for me. I was just there. I held the title of youngest, or baby, which I was fine with, until Emily was born six years after me. She took away the one defining trait I had. Emily was the baby now and would always be the baby because mom had to have a hysterectomy shortly after she was born. Emily was the sensitive, sweet one, that got away with everything. By the time she was a teenager, my parents were in the mid-fifties and had been through it all. They were done with the screaming and discipline so Emily reaped the benefits.
I seemed to just fade into the background after Emily was born, and I continued to stay there my entire life. I am always here, right in front of you, but you never seem to see me. I am invisible, a human blind spot. I am the quiet neighbor in the apartment next door that enjoys listening to Frank Sinatra when I cook. I am the lady on the bus that always sits at the window seat, in the second to the last row. I am the patron at the restaurant that leaves a generous tip. I am the co-worker you always see in the elevator, but never say hello to. I am the friend that always remembers your birthday. I am the lady at the grocery store that let you cut in line because you only have a few items and I have an entire grocery cart full of stuff. I am the woman that enjoys wearing skirts and colorful scarfs. I am the sister that is at mom and dad’s every Thanksgiving and Christmas like clockwork.
The next time you actually happen to see me, or one of my fellow invisible mates, please don’t hesitate to say hello, smile, or just nod in our general direction. It means the world to us that, even for just a brief moment, we do exist in the same world.