When I was 5 years old I was staying at the neighbor’s house while my parents went out of town for the day. “Lauren you can ride a bike without training wheels, right?” Answer: No. My response: YEP! And from there they watched as I hopped on that two-wheeler, coasted off into the sunset and into a mailbox splitting my knee open and somersaulting into a ditch. “I knew you didn’t know how!” her mom yelled. “I’M FINE!” I exclaimed, unknowingly at the ripe age of 5 that this would become a catchphrase of mine throughout life. Fast forward to a few months later when my parents again are out for the day and leave me in the protection of the neighbors on the other side of the street. This time no one asked, I just simply hopped on and hoped for the best. Good thing my starting line was the top of a driveway with a significant downhill slope because my speed was fast and my fall was hard… and broken by a large cactus that I gracefully veered into in order to avoid the garage door I was swiftly hurling toward. I sat there for hours while my friend’s dad picked out every single cactus needle from my arms and legs and her mom explained over the phone “Yeah, I don’t know I mean she said she knew how to ride a bike?” “I’M FINE!” my mom heard through the other side of the receiver and she knew at that moment that I absolutely, MOST definitely was not fine. I didn’t learn how to properly ride a bike until I was 19 years old. My parents also didn’t push it.
Throughout the next 20 years of my life I would have 17 teeth pulled, strike out in a T-ball game, cut my leg open on a chain saw, bust my lip swimming *alone* at camp, break BOTH wrists while babysitting, get dumped AND egged in the same evening, and continuously pay close attention to all ‘CAUTION WET FLOOR’ signs as best as humanly possible. Some call me a modern day Josie Grossie, some kind souls tend to find it kind of endearing, but I have come to embrace what my best friend coined “the Banana Peel Neal.” A clumsy, awkward, how-did-that-actually-just-happen curse that I have inevitably been stuck with since birth and I now wear proudly on my shoulder like a bright yellow peel of honor.
I’ve thought for forever about starting a blog because somewhere down the line of slippery hallways and stilettos stuck in sidewalks, I have managed to build up quite the quirky style to match. But I honestly don’t think that I could take full credit for my fashion-sense without attributing much of that to the creative mind that comes from someone so downright butter-fingered. So this is where the banana peel was born. It’s a lifestyle completely inescapable (I admit I have tried), an understanding of all things silly and a fashion unlike any other it can only be compared to that of the bright-colored, brown-spotted skin of one of the most common yet goofiest fruit we know of today.
A banana peel is a light-hearted and happy person who enjoys having fun and doesn’t take life too seriously (or at least tries not to.) It’s a love for all things backwards, forwards and inside out--whether clothing or attitude. And that is exactly what this blog has to offer. I plan to use this online space as an outlet but also a place for other bananas to feel understood- you don’t always have to be the cool kid, snobs are overrated anyways. A place for people to just freakin’ be nice to each other! (And also help look both ways and pick you up when you trip for the 5th time before noon.) This is my expression of fashion, faith, feelings and the truly fruity--an extension of my kooky brain to the outside world.
Thank you for reading, friends.
Photos: Sunnie Reagin