Childhood

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

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Youthful Ignorance and Michael Jordan: A Betrayal Like No Other

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…