I was just thinking about middle school. The oversized LL Bean backpack that I insisted on wearing on one shoulder despite the threat of scoliosis. Braces that made me look so unattractive (the perm didn’t help) that one popular boy, who barely spoke to me otherwise, was moved enough to tell me how much better I looked the day they were removed. He seemed utterly relieved on my behalf. Keds. Dirty white Keds.