Pretending to sleep at parties where no drinking was taking place because I thought this made me “cooler than the party”
Drinking a lot of orange juice (“Oh, what am I doing? Just listening to some music, drinking orange juice.” -Me, feeling fly, circa 2002)
Wearing candy necklaces until the color started to wear off on my skin
The band Mest
Sneaking up to people’s houses in the middle of the night (before curfew, of course) and sidewalk chalking up their driveways (That wild, unpredictable suburban life, you know?)
Pretending I had never heard of various pop artists
Pretending to be afraid of E.T.
Coughing when someone made eye contact with me because I thought that made me more mysterious (???)
The three foot marionette I insisted on bringing to parties (There was the occasional clumsy performance)
The cloak I wore for two weeks
The fact that I had never eaten Cookie Crisp
The mushroom cut I got in fourth grade that I so desperately wanted (My hair looks like a botched circumcision and I love it! Take that haters!)
My imagined alter-ego as a sexy, wisecracking, American exchange student in the Harry Potter universe who had alternate affairs with both of the Weasley twins
“Practicing” my softball pitching skills in front of people with no ball or mitt so as to display my immense talent
“Playing” the piano on the gym floor while waiting for warm-ups to begin (Note: I did not know how to play the piano)
Memorizing Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “El Dorado” and proudly forcing people to listen to me recite it
My Fine Arts degree
Captain's Log: Day Four
Cabin fever is beginning to set in. I haven't seen the sunlight or known a man's touch in four endless days. The cat paces wearily about the apartment, longing desperately for the stimulation and companionship my enfeebled mind can no longer provide. As the sun stretches lazily across the afternoon sky, I seize an opportunity. Clad only in soup-stained sweats and salty snow boots, I descend the stairs with the tepid anticipation of one who has nothing left, a husk of the woman I had once striven to be. Timidly, I open the door and the wind rushes my face, stealing my breath. I set an intrepid course for CVS, strangers floating past me like ghosts, as if in a dream, their faces contorting before me with such hideously transparent ponderings as, "The shadow of death is imminent upon her" and "Egads! What’s that smell?" I can no longer comprehend their horror. I have been gone away too long.
I return fifteen minutes later…
Author’s Note: Now, I am not exactly what one would call a “chill person.” Just last night, I was reading about pancreatic cancer and became convinced that this slight pain in my back meant that I had it (and not, of course, that I had been immobile for several hours googling things like “kesha best friends” and “whale sex” and my body had likely started to atrophy from inactivity) and I had to look up a diagram of the human body to determine where my pancreas actually was and the likelihood that it would revolt against me like The Order of the Phoenix and assassinate me for my tyrannical refusal to feed it anything but cheese and Mountain Dew. I also get stressed out by such terrifying monstrosities as voicemails, the cold, and my clock being wrong, so clearly I am a paragon of calm and comfort. I’m like wet socks personified.
So here are some things people other than just me tend to worry about:
When I sneeze with headphones in and can’t tell if someone said “Bless you” or not so I don’t know if I should say “Thank you” so I sneeze and then say “Thank you” to the world just in case as though thanking the universe for the privilege of sneezing…
If you were to describe me to someone who hasn’t met me, you might say such things as: “She will use any excuse to show you a picture (or several) of her cat“; or, “She is unbearably pedantic about Harry Potter”; or, ”It is probably not wise to ask her to share her cheese plate.” All of these descriptors would be accurate. But the characteristic of my personality that has perhaps gotten me into the most trouble is my unparalleled ability to trust the things that people tell me without question. I believed my high school friend’s claim that she was an extra in Remember the Titans (she wasn’t), and someone once convinced me that motorcycles didn’t have to obey traffic laws because their engine would melt if they stopped moving (it doesn't). But in one particular circumstance, this blind trust of mine got me in trouble in the most egregious way.
The year was 1996. I was a cultured, savvy nine year old…