Embarrassment

Beauty is Pain, First Impressions are Forever

I started a new job in March after almost six months of unemployment. I had worked at my previous company for six years, so beginning a new role at that point was a herculean task, like diving headfirst into fog-obscured depths or dragging yourself to the kitchen pantry when you’ve run out of bed-donuts. Unemployment is a slippery beast. You always think you’re going to get all this stuff done when approached with an abundance of free time, but then suddenly it’s two months later (or is it three? Who can tell?) and you’re picking crumbs out of your bed sheets while Friends barrels through its fourth consecutive loop. You didn’t clean the apartment like you meant to. And you definitely didn’t write that novel. But you did discover several plot holes in a show that’s been off the air for fourteen years and you only posted about it on Facebook like twice, so accomplishment comes in many forms. Successes like these make the world go round. And so does self-delusion.

A few weeks after I started…

Things I Thought Were Cool When I Was Younger But Am Now Realizing May In Fact Not Be

  • 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

  • Smoking cigarettes

  • My Fine Arts degree

Follow

Reasons I am Super Chill

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…