Confessions of a Mostly Open Book

I’m not a huge fan of having secrets. I actually enjoy disclosing information about my life. Possibly to a fault. I am an open book—blog, rather. To clarify, that doesn’t mean I don’t keep secrets others confide in me. I keep cats in bag and ships unsunk like nobody’s business. Most of the secrets I have, I keep to protect other people. That being said, I’ve come up with a list of a few I can share without embarrassing anyone but myself. And possibly my family.

I wear men’s deodorant. If anyone has walked the hallways at school and questioned the source of the distant fragrance “Old Spice FRESH: High Endurance,” that would probably be me. It works so much better than most of the women’s brands I’ve tried. At least my confession wasn’t that I didn’t wear deodorant.

Sometimes I put a bunch of undergarments on the blades of my fan and watch them fly off when I flip the switch. Have I confessed that I alleviate boredom in strange ways yet? Because I do.

I know every word to “White and Nerdy.” I’m actually pretty proud of that. But I’m confessing it anyway so more people can know.

I often go 1-2 weeks without shaving my legs. Screw social conventions, man. As long as I can’t see the hairs flowing in the wind, I don’t mind. If you’ve seen me walking around in 102 degree heat with a pair of jeans glued to my body with perspiration, now you know why.

I played with toys until 6th grade. I had a special corner in my room dedicated to my tiny plastic figures and their dramatic lives. Toward the end of that stage in my childhood, I had a collection of monkey-shaped erasers that “lived” my own personal soap opera.

I filled out a mock “Teacher of the Month” slip for a teacher I strongly disliked. It basically praised the instructor for reminding me of my incompetence in front of my peers and really fostering that 1890 one room school house environment of public humiliation for academic shortcomings. I turned that slip in to the office, too. No regrets.

I’ve never been drunk or high. Part of that is due to the fact that I’m paranoid about how I would behave in any sort of altered state. The other part is my morals and all that jazz. But yes, contrary to the surprisingly popular belief, I have never smoked marijuana.

I’ve eaten more Craisins in the past two weeks than most do in their entire lives. What do you get when you overly process sugar and cranberries? Perfection. Beauty. The god above all dried fruit. In other, probably unrelated news, I’ve gained 3 pounds.

I could count on one hand the number of friends I had at any one time until I entered high school. That’s probably part of the reason I interacted so much with monkey-shaped erasers.

I would post more if other people cared less, but a blog post probably isn’t the best platform to disclose most of this sort of information, and I don’t have time to get permission from everybody.

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Jinx, You Owe Me A Concert

I’ve never attended a concert. I mean, not a real one, anyway. I’ve been to live shows that were standing room only, but that was mostly because they were being held in a venue so small that one could fit three in Kim Kardashian’s closet. As far as jumping around in a mosh pit while a recognizable band plays its songs from the radio, I have only my friends’ fuzzy Instagram videos and Snapchat stories to cite as experience.

It’s not like I’m not trying. I’ve bought tickets for a number of shows, but something always happens to thwart my being there or everyone’s being there. I’ve had a string of bad luck, and I’m beginning to think that the bad luck might be me, considering I am the common denominator, and that, right when I purchase a ticket, the band’s bassist usually gets a blood clot in his brain that forces the cancellation of the tour or something. And that’s not just an outlandish example I pulled out of my imagination–it actually happened. Here’s a list of my almost concert experiences:

Disclaimer for concert enthusiasts: I know that most (probably all) of these bands play at concerts with names other than their band names, but I don’t pay attention to that stuff, so I’ll just identify the concerts by the band I remember best that played there.

 

Fun:  My dad and I were going to go see Fun in Kansas City somewhere, but then my friend did a random drawing for whom she would take on her family vacation with her, and my name got pulled out of the hat. Going to the Outer Banks with one of my best friends trumped whatever fun I would have had watching Fun, I’m sure. My dad ended up going with my uncle and some of my uncle’s friends, so he wasn’t lonely.  Partway into the main event, it began pouring. The concertgoers in the outdoor venue scrambled for cover. My uncle and his friends took refuge in a string of port-a-potties. My dad did not. He saw a white tent in the distance and ran toward it like a moth to the light. When he arrived, he noticed a table, laden plates of barbeque, with several guys sitting around it. He did not notice that these several guys were the band members of Fun. He had a 15 minute conversation with the lead singer, Nate Ruess, before he put the pieces together. That has nothing to do with this post, but I like to mention that my dad had a one-on-one conversation with Nate Ruess whenever the opportunity presents itself.

 

Imagine Dragons: I was deadset on attending this concert, but up until two weeks before, I didn’t realize that the date of the concert coincided with a day I would be in a different state on the other side of the country. Missing that one wasn’t as much bad luck as just poor planning on my end. Even though I wasn’t there physically, I still saw most of the concert on Snapchat from the comfort of a hotel room. And, for the record, my hotel room was much cooler temperature-wise than Starlight Theatre.

 

Mumford and Sons: Mumford and Sons’ music was my jam for the longest time. If one were to ask me in June 2013 what band I wished to see at my first concert, Mumford and Sons would be the instant, borderline-shouting response. Unfortunately, a few weeks before the concert, doctors found a blood clot in the bassist’s brain that required immediate attention and the subsequent cancellation of the tour.

 

The Jonas Brothers: The Jonas Brothers were going to have a reunion tour last year, and they were going to be in Kansas City on Halloween night. My friends and I decided that this would be the best option for me as far as first concerts go because most of them had attended their first concert when the band had been touring the first time around, so I would have the opportunity to relive the childhood I almost had with those who actually had it. We had Disney-themed costumes coordinated, tickets purchased and expectations set sky-high. Then, due to a “deep rift within the band,” the brothers canceled the tour and (thankfully) refunded our money. But they could not refund our crushed dreams and deflated spirits.

 

Vampire Weekend: Vampire Weekend is my band. Usually, when I decide I like a band, I listen to its albums on repeat for a couple weeks and then move on. I’ve been listening to Vampire Weekend on repeat since January. My good friends had an extra ticket, which they were willing to sell me at the original price, even though the concert was about two weeks away. Since it was too late for me to put in a formal request off work, I waited until Thursday afternoon to see if my work schedule would ruin everything. For the first time, I was scheduled to work until midnight. On the day of the concert. I went in and talked to my supervisor. I said the reason I needed off was “very important,” but I didn’t let on that I just really wanted to go to a concert. My supervisor straight-up told me that “no one is going to take your shift.” But I did not give up hope. I left a note by the time clock with my contact info, Facebook messaged some friendly coworkers, spent some time in prayer–the whole nine yards. My friends even started a Twitter campaign.

 

But, despite our best efforts, I ended up spending the night standing in a nearly empty grocery store, watching people walk past my line to the self-checkout to pay for their late night donut runs. On the bright side, I not only saved $50 bucks, but also made about that much more.

Ed Sheeran: I wanted to experience for myself the angelic voice that silenced a sold-out Madison Square Gardens. But, on the day tickets went on sale, my friend faced a small delimma. Tickets could only be purchased in groups of four, and my group had six. I honestly could say that I wouldn’t know what I was missing out on, so I conceded my spot, out of the goodness of my heart. Also, maybe it’s because I’m not a fan of spending my hard-earned cash on anything besides food, but I was already slightly reluctant to part with the $70 needed to secure my spot. So, there’s that, too.

 

 

 

Uninspired

Charles Schulz once said, “Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia.”

And that’s cute. And so are all the other little inspirational quotes people vomit onto my Facebook feed and my Twitter timeline. But I strongly dislike it. I strongly dislike all of them.

If one Googles “blog ideas,” one is led to various websites outlining the different forms and shapes in which blog posts can come: lists, reviews, personal essays, etc. A key bullet point in nearly all of these ideas is to make sure that one does not rant. “No one is interested in reading about a person’s personal vendettas,” the websites say. “Make sure everyone leaves your site laughing or smiling or feeling emotion,” say the websites. “Use your blog as an opportunity to voice your opinions and feelings, as long as those opinions and feelings are not obnoxious or angry,” the websites remind. For 41 other blog entries, I have adhered to the protocol of the all-knowing blog websites. Today, I will rebel against these well-meaning online resources. Today, I will rant.

Inspirational quoters would probably have what they perceive to be calming words of encouragement ready to post on my Facebook wall if they knew I was writing an abusive post about their favorite mind-numbing baloney circulating the inter-web. And yet, I proceed.

Here are the reasons (rant-y they may be) that inspirational quotes lead my mouse to the “unfollow” and “unfriend” buttons quicker than any posts about home-cooked meals ever have:

Context: Writing can inspire. I have read novels that have brought me to tears, essays that have motivated me to alter the way I perceive life itself. But these moments most often happen when I’m curled up in my pjs, sipping hot chocolate and focusing on the words on the pages in my hand. I’m not moved by little motivators that my thumb scrolls by on my iPhone when I have a few minutes of downtime before class or work. Taking one superior sentence from an essay and pasting it in front of a stock photo of a sunset does not inspire me without context.

Stupidity: Some (not all) of the supposedly inspirational quotes I’ve seen fail because they unintentionally decrease the intelligence quotient of their readers. A poster captioned with “Just hang in there,” accompanied by a kitten hanging from a tree doesn’t make me feel better prepared to tackle the obstacles of my day. It just makes me feel bad for the kitten. I don’t want an adorable baby animal to be forced to pose in different pathetic positions on the off-chance that its image will make a person feel better about his quote-fueled existence. And yet, it happens.

Underlying Assumption: Inspirational quotes are spewed across the internet with the underlying assumption that their words apply to everyone. That everyone can relate to the deep, meaningful nonsense Ghandi may or may not have said. The creators of the inspirational quote photos just come up with a sentence detailing a bit of common sense, then slap a famous person’s name on the end, hoping no one will fact check and everyone will repost.

To be fair, I suppose that if the goal of inspirational quotes is to invoke emotion, they have succeeded. I feel a strong emotion: irritation. But, I think as humans, we can do better than this. Call me naive, but I like to believe that we don’t need a cheesy poster or a cliche to achieve our goals or to find our place in life. Inspiration isn’t an app.

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My Life as an (Almost) Athlete

I started my life as an (almost) athlete dancing. And crying. One stemming out of the other, a chain reaction caused by hating the awkward reflection in the mirror, tapping shiny shoes asynchronously to a Nickelodeon TV show theme song montage. My mom always wanted a girly-girl. She got me instead. She got over it.

The last time my parents made me tap dance.

The last time my parents made me tap dance.

After dance, I gave basketball the old pre-K try. My parents were less than enthused as they watched the money they invested in the Parks and Rec program waste away with every cartwheel I turned on the court during practice and games. I got in trouble a couple times for trash-talking the other team. I was compensating for a lack of skill–I’ll admit that now.

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Ball is life

Searching for a sport with a potential to improve my hand-eye coordination, my parents signed me up for tennis. I missed numerous practices because the supposedly sports proof sunscreen burned my eyes. Around the same time, I got a beta fish. I named it after my tennis instructor. After the fish died, I got another one and named it after her, too. Crappy sunscreen and two fish named Nikki are all that I remember from that time in my life.

Before the sunscreen

Before the sunscreen

Then there was swimming. At first, we were hopeful. I aced levels 1 and 2 with flying colors. I got 9/10 of the way through level 3 with no problems whatsoever. I could do the backstroke. I could sort of do the crawl. My butterfly was coming along nicely. But then, diving happened. To pass level 3, I would have to get down on one knee, as if proposing to the banners that hung high above the glassy water, and, with arms outstretched, catapult face-first into the freezing deep end. I wasn’t afraid during my first attempt. I sent up a prayer to Poseidon (as felt appropriate) and secured my goggles, not knowing that the next few moments would ruin water for me forever.

As my toes pressed off the edge, my arms led the rest of myself down, deep into the water. Then, they kept leading me in an underwater circle, peeling off right before they crashed back into the concrete side of the pool. My head did that instead. I failed level 3 three times because of that traumatic moment. I still can’t dive, and I’m not interested in trying again.

After I outgrew all of my swimming classmates by at least six inches and two grade levels, I threw my swimsuit in a dark corner of my closet and laced up some soccer cleats. After a few games, I figured out something fantastic: goalies don’t have to run. Upon having this realization, I became a full-time goalie, much to my parents’ dismay. For some reason, they were not fans of sitting in the 103 degree summer sun to watch their daughter stand motionless on the far end of a soccer field clad in gloves and a yellow penny for two hours every Saturday. My soccer career ended soon after.

Next, after a short stint as a competitive cheerleader, I took some time off. Kim Possible was on Disney Channel everyday from 3:30-4 p.m., and sports practices really cut into that special time. Eventually, however, I decided to turn off my TV and embark on another athletic endeavor. My lack of coordination and strength somehow made gymnastics a prime candidate.

The girl in this picture with me is now a cheer captain at our high school.

The girl in this picture with me is now a cheer captain at our high school.

“Well, you outwork everybody. That’s good.”

“Work ethic is more important than results sometimes, right?”

“Hard work beats talent when talent hardly works, I think.”

Despite the encouragement, I knew pretty quickly that gymnastics was not my calling. I got to Level 4, which is the level right before back flips and balance beam cartwheels. When the team would split up to work on events, the girl with Down’s Syndrome and I would go to one part of the gym, and the rest of the group would go elsewhere. A fractured shoulder from a tragic dive roll accident gave me a gracious out, and I decided to try basketball again and leave the coach-assisted back-handsprings behind.

I really did try

I really did try

My second attempt at basketball was about as successful as my first, initially. I started playing year round at the beginning of fourth grade, and I didn’t win a game until second semester of sixth. I would say I learned what it meant to be a good sport,  but really, I just learned to completely ignore the scoreboard at all times to avoid the possibility of crying in public.

In sixth grade, I also tried volleyball, track and cheerleading (again). Two of the three were humbling experiences. I annoyed the older cheerleaders at practice by using it as a daily hour-and-a-half basketball shoot around. As a result, my during game cheering was incredibly sub par. In track, I was a distance runner/shot putter. Not because I was good at either of those things. I just wasn’t good at anything else.

Shot put was an enjoyable, if not embarrassing.

Shot put was an enjoyable, if not embarrassing experience.

I continued to play basketball until tryouts of my junior year of high school. I still remember, with painful clarity, scrolling through the online posting of the Junior Varsity team roster the night after the last day of tryouts. I checked and rechecked the list, searching for the name that wasn’t there. Its absence ended my attempt at athleticism.

I wish writing were a sport.

 

The Free Press at the most recent KSPA competition. Proof that writing is (almost) a sport.

The Free Press at the most recent KSPA competition. Proof that writing is (almost) a sport.

 

 

 

 

 

I’m a Big Kid Now

As I filled out my returning staff application for the Free Press staff 2014-15 this afternoon, one question’s answer made my childhood’s impending doom feel incredibly close and disgustingly real. The question  read, “Grade NEXT year.” Below it, three options: 10, 11, 12. As I clicked the circle next to ’12’, a wave of nostalgia washed over me and I saw my entire 17 years of life flash before my eyes. One more year before I’m a legal adult.

Every year of my life, I’ve felt old. It’s funny how you can feel so mature and grownup and then look back and realize how young and stupid you were.

One of the first times I felt I knew where my life was headed was in preschool. I was three or four.  We had a plan, Madeline and I. We wanted animal crackers, and we just couldn’t wait for snack time.  My heart was about to jump out of my throat as we asked the teacher to “go to the bathroom.” The thought of lying made my stomach churn with a guilty fervor. As Madeline and I greedily scooped animal crackers from the unattended bowl in the classroom, I knew there was no turning back. I was a criminal mastermind–I might as well accept it. Suddenly, a hand grabbed my shoulder. It was our teacher. I was going to spend the rest of my life in jail and amount to nothing. She wanted to see what was in our hands, and, left with no other option, I showed her the stolen crackers. But, Madeline revealed two empty palms. I was astounded. When we got back to the playground, I wiped the tears from my eyes and asked Madeline how she did it. She laughed and said, “I hid them in my panties. Want one?” I said, “No thank you.”

As I left preschool behind and began first grade, I decided I was no longer a criminal. I was a student–so, basically, an adult. On the first day of first grade, I was wearing a white blouse tucked into a plaid skirt. Knee high socks complemented my clunky leather shoes. The outfit was inspired by a  Hilary Duff movie I had seen recently and seemed perfect for the first day of first grade.  My giant pink butterfly backpack felt so grownup against my shoulders. My mom wouldn’t stop taking pictures, so I knew I was making an important transition. At my very first recess, I saw a girl in a plaid jumper. Her name was Lacey. She looked so nervous standing there, and I couldn’t see why. First graders weren’t supposed to be nervous–feelings were for babies. I ran up to her. “Do you want to see me jump off this slide?” I asked. She quietly nodded that she did. I laughed, “Well I’m not gonna do it.”

Lacey and I are still friends, and she still brings up the first time we met. She thought we were friends that day because I was the only one who talked to her. I just assumed talking to strangers was something practically adults did, like going to school and carrying a backpack.

First grade class pic. I would be the only girl on the far left, striking a pose.

First grade class pic. I would be the only girl on the far left, striking a pose.

As I got older, I realized how childish I’d been in years past. First grade was ages ago. I was much wiser now. In sixth grade, I’d already found the lucky boy I was going to marry. Some said he was chubby and had a unibrow, but I felt like I was mature enough to know true beauty comes from within. We would spend all of lunch doing the Saturday Night Live 2008 presidential campaign sketches back and forth. We agreed the Sarah Palin rap was the best, and we both knew it by heart. We had a magical bond, but that was the year I learned all good things come to an end. After lunch one day, someone told him that I liked him, and it was awkward the rest of the year. The next year, he transferred to a school in a different town, and I faced  junior high school with little certainty about the future. If my love life could fall apart that easily, was anything sacred? What else didn’t I understand? I used to feel like I maybe was getting close to knowing everything there was to know, but now, I wasn’t so sure.

In junior high, I didn’t feel grownup anymore. My friends and I dropped to the bottom of the heap in the 7-12 secondary section of my little private school. I realized how long a school career actually was. I was barely past the halfway point, and I could hardly remember the beginning. I fully understood my childish naivety when I and one other junior high girl wanted to play basketball. My school had a no cut policy, so instead of telling us we couldn’t play, they kindly let us sit the high school’s varsity bench as awkward, insecure seventh graders. A few upperclassmen made it their mission to show my fellow seventh grader and me we weren’t welcome even on the sidelines because were younger than them. It’s funny because they went like 1-19 for the season, so I don’t know if us playing would have made much of a difference.  I didn’t appreciate other people thinking they were practically adults because of their year in school, so I made up my mind not to use my age as an excuse to be a butthead.

After a tumultuous junior high experience, I made the decision to leave the school I’d attended with pretty much the same people since first grade and go to public high school. As I walked to the double doors on my first day of freshman year, I was 97 percent sure it would be the day I died.  I knew about 5 of the 1500 kids who went there. To prepare, I spent the preceding week memorizing the school’s map and my classes’ room numbers. That day went by in a blur–a terrifying, horrifying blur. During English, I sat next to some chick I played soccer with in third grade, and hers was the most familiar face of the day. Then, during P.E., I got hit in the face with a football, and my newest friend loudly exclaimed, “Kyra! Are you crying?”  I quickly learned about PDA and was horrified when I heard someone mutter a cuss word in the hallway. While embarrassing, the new experiences made me feel older. I was now rated PG-13 for extreme savoir faire. Even though I’d vowed to not abuse the perceived power that comes with age, I couldn’t help but feel like high school made me a big deal.

first day of freshman year

That classic first day of school pic from freshman year.

It’s amazing how much someone can change. As a second semester junior, I look back and realize how foolish I was, and then I realize I’m looking back at not only years past, but also literally yesterday. I now have some things I never thought I would, including a blog, a weird diet and a tattoo. I’m interested to see how I change as the last year of my fleeting childhood plays out. I’m sure next year I will scroll through my blog archives and laugh about how stupid they sound. I already do. 

It’s More Than Just Bingo

On the first “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” Jerry Seinfeld mentioned in his interview that his doctor told him people live longer, and “90 is a thing now.”

I’ve recently realized the full validity of this statement. I mean, I’ve always known elderly people were around–I just didn’t realize quite how long they were elderly. Ninety really is a thing. At the beginning of this year, I started calling bingo a few times a month at an assisted living home. For the first time, I’m around quite a few older individuals on a fairly frequent basis.

The first lesson I learned while calling bingo is that the residents absolutely hate my hair. Regardless of how I wear it, two ladies in particular are always telling me to “pin it back” or “do something with it.” It’s awkward because I actually do put effort into my hair sometimes, believe it or not.

Also, the activity director didn’t mention this to me, but nobody likes anything other than regular bingo. Big picture frame, little picture frame, Big T, four corners–every time I announce an irregular Bingo formation, the participants’ respect for me drops an average of 13.7 percent.

While some residents aren’t particularly fond of my hair/bingo calling style, others can’t remember if they like me or not.

It’s Thursday, 3:02 p.m. I’m shuffling my giant bingo cards. Yes, the numbers are on giant cards instead of small, easily randomized plastic balls. Contrary to my original hope, I don’t get to spin a big metal contraption and pull out a ping-pong ball with “B6” written on it.

“Hello, honey! What’s your name?” Eleanor asks me for the second time that day. She doesn’t always remember her name is Eleanor. Everyone calls her “Brownie,” and I have no idea why.

“Kyra,” I answer. I then tell her I’m 17-years-old because I know from experience this will be her second question.

“Seventeen!” She exclaims. She grabs my arm quite tightly for a woman of her age,  but also in a surprisingly endearing way. “Why! You’re just starting out! I’m 96 … Well, I’m ninety-something.”

My mathematically-disinclined brain immediately begins its calculations … Ninety-six minus 17 … Carry the one … Pull out phone … Bring up calculator app … type … Holy crap. When I was born, Eleanor was 79. That’s like, really old.

Eleanor is one of my favorite residents. She gets bingo at least once each time I’m there, but she rarely notices. Last Thursday, I looked over at her table and saw she had not one, not two, but three different bingos. When I told her she won in like, three different places, she laughed and said, “Oh, goodness. So I have. I just got so busy visiting I almost forgot I was playing!”

I often wonder if, in 1996, the year I was born, Eleanor knew she had Alzheimer’s. I wonder if she had already started living at the assisted living home.  According to my calculations, when she was born, the year was 1918 or 1919. World War I was ending, segregation was normal, women didn’t quite yet have the right to vote. She lived through the Roaring 20s, the Great Depression, World War II, The Vietnam War, The Civil Rights Movement, The Cold War, the invention of the internet, 9/11, the election of a black president. And now, she doesn’t remember hardly any of it.

I find it incredibly discontenting that someone can live a rich, full life and then spend the last 15 or so years stuck in a care facility. Maybe people visit you. Maybe they don’t. Maybe you don’t notice if they do or not. Facilities like the assisted living one at which I call bingo serve as places for the elderly to make their transition to the grave as peaceful and painless as possible, which is good because if I make it that long, I will probably end up in one.

I have a crazy history of dementia in my family. I am positive I will get it eventually. I have family members who had it on both sides, and my memory is already terrible. So, what is the point of trying to live a full life if, at the end of it all, you don’t even remember your own name? I’ve struggled with this question, and I found part of the answer in the oddest of places: Spanish class.

For some reason the other day, my Spanish 3 class had a conversation about dementia. While I’m not sure what that had to do with learning the Imperfect Subjunctive tense, my teacher made a good point. She said she believed those in the last stages of Alzheimer’s hold on to who they truly were at the other stages of their lives. She said she had an elderly family member with Alzheimer’s who spent the last few years of her life trying to give everyone around her facial tissues because, in her mind, she was giving to the poor–an activity she spent many of her years before dementia doing.

If what my Spanish teacher asserts is true, Eleanor was probably the sweetest person ever. She still is. Some people get dementia and become the mean-spirited person they might have previously only been on the inside, but Eleanor is the opposite. Every time Eleanor makes a mistake, she is overly apologetic. When she asks for me to repeat a number during bingo, she always says thank you. She compliments me every time she sees me. Given, it’s the same compliment, but still thoughtful.

If and when I get dementia, I hope I can be half as genuinely kind and caring as Eleanor. Until then, I will work to make sure when I’m senile, I prove I was a good person the first three-fourths of my life.

This Probably Should Have Just Gone in My Diary

“Kyra, you’re always talking and talking and talking, and you never notice that no one cares what you have to say or that no one’s listening to you. Why don’t you just do us all a favor and shut up?”

Middle school was nice to all of us, wasn’t it. Insecurities feeding off of other people’s insecurities. Crude behavior justified under the nice, friendly belief we’re all just teenagers trying to “find ourselves.”

I find it incredible one insecure junior high boy’s fleeting remark on the way back from a seventh grade track meet still plays over in my head fairly regularly. When I text someone and they don’t respond. When I tell a “funny” story  and nobody laughs. When it’s Saturday night and I’m sitting at home alone.

I have been the weird kid since forever. My childhood memories are those of playing  second fiddle to people’s other friends and just hanging around in the background, available to make people laugh upon request.

I, like others, have turned to comedy to resist the creeping sense of worthlessness. Comics are all insecure. They make fun of others to feel better about themselves, and they make fun of themselves to direct the way other people make fun of them. My personal preference is self-deprecating humor because it tends to offend the least number of people.

I don’t like talking about serious subjects. I’m not entirely sure, but I think that’s why I struggle to make close friends. The one time I kinda had a boyfriend, my mom told me eventually I would need to talk about more than balloon animals and YouTube comedians. Thankfully, we broke it off before it came to that.

I can’t respond to some situations correctly. I want every conversation I’m included in to begin and end in laughter. Unfortunately, I’ve learned people don’t appreciate jokes right after sad stuff like a death in the family. Laughter at such times is deemed insensitive. So, I feel like I am playing life with an incomplete deck of cards. I’m missing the suit that explains how to appropriately deal with serious issues and I have more than two jokers (see what I did there).

I recently realized I can’t have a normal conversation without trying to make a joke.

And so, I’ve devised a plan to remedy my inability to say the right thing at the right time. Miley Cyrus and I both want to be a fly on the wall. I want to listen to other people deal with tragedy. I want to know the appropriate amount of emotion to express, calculate the adequate amount of sentimental words needed to fix things. I do want people to feel better. That’s all I want, honestly. I just don’t know how sometimes. I suppose my “fly on the wall” plan is not the best of plans because it’s creepy and impossible. Also, voicing this sorta makes me sound really strange. Not sure this post will go up on the blog or not. An alternative approach would be to binge watch some soap operas and then tone the reactions down a tad. I might go with the latter.