Parity

I remember the Spice Girls. I remember all four of us: Cortney, Tasha, (my cousins) McCall, (my sister) and myself, dressing up and choreographing dance moves to all of their songs. None of us could be Baby Spice, because all of us wanted to be Baby Spice. I still think I should have been her, though. After all, I was the only one with blonde hair.

I remember long summer days at the pool, and our quad piling into the back of my mom’s minivan in our bathing suits. I remember sitting side-by-side with my cousins and comparing the sizes of our thighs. Mine were way bigger.

I remember asking my mom later if I was fat. She told me that I wasn’t, and that my cousins were simply too skinny. I was seven years old.

I remember the summer before 8th grade when I decided to participate in the Miss Kaysville Fruit Heights scholarship pageant. I won the Director’s Choice Award, but I know that the pageant was rigged, and the only reason I got any sort of award was because the director of the pageant just so happened to be my neighbor. I’m still glad she didn’t let me leave empty-handed, and still have that little trophy sitting on my dresser.

I remember Lakin Larsen, my favorite babysitter, who always made me two packets of Easy Mac and played Kim Possible outside with my little sister and me. She was always Kim Possible, and we were the bad guys.

I remember going to bed with one little sister, and waking up with two.

I remember when the only things that mattered to me were whether or not I would be sleeping over at my cousins’ house for the third time in a row, and who had the most Water Babies.

I remember when everything mattered.

I remember when everything mattered so much that I couldn’t bring myself to fall asleep at night because I had too much worrying to do about things that mattered.

I remember how in 8th grade health class, we had to practice reading each others’ blood pressures, and mine was so low that even Coach Downs couldn’t find it. I’d never seen a teacher look so concerned before, and I doubt he’d seen a student so underweight before.

I remember buying Coach a snow globe with a John Deer tractor in it for Christmas that year. The man was obsessed with John Deer tractors.

I remember our summer snow cone stand out in the front yard and how we got a whole gang of older kids on bikes to buy fourteen dollars worth of snow cones in one day. They came back once a week, and we’d always spend our entire earnings on syrup and ice so that we could re-open shop the following day. We owned that neighborhood.

I remember when I finally decided that I was going to stop taking myself so seriously, because, let’s be honest, nobody else does. Life has been significantly easier since I’d made that decision.

I remember starting high school with a brand new clique of friends. My best friend, Brooks, introduced himself like, “Hi, I’m Brooks! And I’m a giant teddy bear!” and then shook my hand. I knew right then that we were going to be best friends for a long time.

I remember Brooks coming over to my house for the first time. He laughed at the chubby third grade version of myself my family had mounted on our living room wall. I locked myself in my closet and wouldn’t come out until I felt that he’d adequately begged for my forgiveness.

I remember my Chemistry teacher, Mr. Stevens, and how one day, in front of the entire class, he advised me in his British accent to enroll in medical school for the sole purpose of finding a mate. He said once I’d done that, I could just drop out and be a trophy wife. That was the day I decided I was going to get a PhD.

I remember back in high school when I was a ballroom dancer, and I’d have to get spray tans for competitions. I remember being told by a fellow classmate that I looked like I “rolled in a bag of Doritios.” I blushed, but you couldn’t see it due to my artificial tan.

I remember waking up at 5:30 every morning to get ready for school, which gave me two whole hours before class started. I didn’t mind, because just like everything else, looks mattered.

I remember when I’d foolishly decided to sign with a modeling agency. The agents were all real smooth-talkers, and wrongly convinced me that I “had a great look” for modeling and said that if I worked hard, I could be successful. Guess who didn’t get an ounce of work through aforementioned modeling agency?

I remember how in junior high school, the proper way to tell a boy you liked him was to hurl Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups into his back yard while he was jumping on his trampoline with his friends. This method was successful on all trials but one.

I remember being labeled a perfectionist by some shrink my parents made me see one time

I remember deciding that things didn’t matter any more, and how that mindset resulted in really poor grades, and a lot of sneaking out of my house on school nights.

I don’t remember ever finding a balance.

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Insolence

Lately, I’ve been feeling a lot more angsty and sassy than usual, which is frightening for those of whom I come in contact with on a day-to-day basis because my personality is slathered with both angst and sass, even on a good day.

Anyway, I’m in a creative writing class at my local commuter-university (which I LOATHE, literally a third of my fellow classmates grew up with my PARENTS) and we are currently working on our poetry unit.

I am no poet. I used to be, back in grade school. I spit out a poem about some old tree I could see through the entrapping window by my desk in the third grade, and wound up winning some statewide poetry contest. And 25 bucks, which is practically making it rain for a nine-year-old.

Needless to say, I spent every penny of it at Baskin Robbins. Sigh, those pre-anorexia days were good.

As the years passed, so did my lyrical, poetic writing abilities, as you can gather just by reading a post or two of this lovely blog of mine. My writing style is a direct reflection of my ever-increasing sarcasm and blunt ways of saying what goes on in my never-silent brain. As you can imagine, this makes it rather difficult to get in touch with my inner Poe.

But, for my grade’s sake, I was forced to give it a shot. Our prompt was, “Write a poem in the format of a letter to someone.”

I love how specific writing prompts are.

As per typical me, I put my own spin on this prompt, and decided to write a poetic letter to my alma mater, my high school. The way this creative writing class works is that each student writes his/her poem, submits it online, and the rest of us get to play critic and (both literally and figuratively) tear each others’ works to shreds.

Luckily for me, I have some pretty thick skin, and don’t really give a damn about what other people think about my work.

Here are some of the comments I received on my poem:

“I think that some lines were a bit too harsh and mean-spirited.”

“It’s unfair to say that (insert “unfair” segment of poem here)”

“Maybe you could change it to something softer and less-harsh?”

I am in a class full of sissies.

So now, I present to you the final draft of my poem, and am calling all readers of my blog to give me their honest critique.

Dear High School,

 Now that I’ve had a taste

Of that real world you claimed to have prepared me for,

I hope that you’ll take a moment

Of your bell-dictated time

To accept this, a grammatically proper token of my

Reluctant gratitude

For without you, I may never have known

 

That sitting by myself at the lunch tables with a tray of reheated mystery meat

And a fixed frown is absolutely the most solitary state I will ever be in.

 

That if you can “get with the cool kids”

Life’s problems will pass over you, after all

The lamb’s blood of today is popularity.

 

That looks are everything

And the girl with the blonde hair and size-two waist will always get the guy.

 

That the possibility of getting marked tardy will not

Get me to set my alarm any earlier,

And that Mrs. Teacher keeps a running tally of each one

In Sharpie,

But that’s okay, because “three strikes-you’re out!” Right?

 

That due dates are not do-dates

And that unpleasant assignments can easily be avoided by sluffing a day or two.

 

That the dress code was not a tyrannical act of oppression

Because showing my shoulders will force boys to lose focus on their own work.

 

That if it weren’t for your forcing me to run a mile every Friday during Gym class

I would not have the active lifestyle I lead today.

 

For without you, I may never have known

 

That every test is closed-book, and we all have differing

Answer keys.

-M.

For Maximum Efficiency

My friend and I were reminiscing on acquaintances from high school yesterday, and naturally, our conversation morphed into a bash-fest of people we loathed. My friend brought up a girl that we’d been mutual friends with, but my friend’s relationship with this girl turned sour due to the girl’s blunt honesty and disregard for others’ reception of her verbalized opinions. I am still on good terms with this girl, despite my friend’s animosity toward her. 

My friend began listing out the qualities about this girl that caused the termination of their friendship. Her list started out with the girl’s character traits, but, as any gossiping female would, her list ended with insults on the girl’s physique. (Her “weird-shaped” head, of all things, which is completely unalterable, and quite frankly one of the most comedically pathetic insults I could possibly think of.) 

I told my friend that regardless of her opinion, I still liked the girl, and told her to be nice. (BLEH, she says.) Before I continue any further, I just want to acknowledge that I know that I am more than guilty of saying bitchy things behind girls’ backs, and I, too, have made fun of girls for their physical appearances, even though, hypocritically, I believe that the way a person looks has absolutely nothing to do with their value and like-ability. 

I’m a hypocrite, yes. 

Again, i’m only human, and I am only using this story to make a point. 

As with most things, I gave this conversation way more thought than normal humans do, and I noticed that this similar situation happens frequently among the ladyverse. 

When we’re blabbing away to our girlfriends about other girls that we can’t stand, why is it that we feel a need to not only insult their “hamartia”, but, while we’re at it, attack their physique, weight, hair, boobs, etc.? 

“Ugh she is such a fat, ugly b*tch.” 

“That slut’s nose is as big as jupiter.” 

Why does calling a girl a brat or a jerk or stupid not satisfy our tongues? Why do we feel the need to include the fact that she’s an UGLY brat or a FAT jerk? 

I’d be willing to bet that the majority of us females, myself included, would rather be called a brat than be called ugly or fat. Because hey, I may be a sucky person with a drag of a personality, but at least I’m pretty and that’s all that matters. 

I’m right, aren’t I? 

Most of us would never admit this out loud, but the sting of being called “ugly” lasts way longer and affects us way worse than being called “stupid” or bratty. 

Beauty takes the cake in the way we want others to think of us.

I know that people will continue to bad-mouth other people to their friends, but it’s possible to hate someone without ridiculing their physical appearances. 

That’s your food for thought on this fine Thursday. 

M. 

How To Lose A Girl’s Interest In 4 Seconds

I recently quit my job of two years at the local trampoline park, which has given me an abundance of this thing called “free time,” which I have been using to expand and strengthen my social circles. 

I began hanging out with some of my old guy friends from high school again. These fellas are a year younger than me, which makes them seniors in high school. (May I just say, the difference in maturity level between a high school student and a fresh graduate is unreal.) These friends have been their own exclusive group for who knows how long, but I have only known them for about four years. 

All was well, and we started hanging out all the time again just like the “good old days.” I had dated the majority of them throughout the course of my high school career. Never seriously, but my prom dates were always members of this clan. What I’m saying is I’ve had history with one or two of these gentlemen. 

With me graduating a year before these boys, we had become more and more distant, and I had assumed that I’d left all this “history” behind me when I obtained my diploma. But apparently, I was wrong. 

One night, we were all hanging out at this one boy’s house. Let’s call him Tom. We spent maybe an hour listening to a couple of us mess around on the piano and guitar. Once we all grew bored of that, we migrated downstairs to the basement to watch a select handful of them play video games. Yes. Video games. 

I was reminded rather quickly why I had allowed myself to “grow apart” from these kids. They play video games. A lot. And when that stupid controller is in their hands, they develop the personality of  a brick wall, and about the same ability to converse. 

So there I was, bored out of my mind and laying hopelessly on the couch, listening to the sound of fake gunshot from the TV, when Tom decided he’d come and “cuddle me.” 

I moved over and gave him a little space to lay next to me. Once he was situated, I laid my head on his chest and continued to stare blankly at that blasted television screen. I didn’t think much of it, and decided that Tom made a great human pillow. Him and I began to chat a little and before I knew it, his face was right up in my grill. And he was doing that thing where a boy stares at your lips while you talk and then you just KNOW you’re about to get kissed. 

Over my dead body. 

I pulled away fast and whipped out my phone and pretended to be deeply engaged in an SMS conversation to avoid his gaze at my mouth. That went on for a while, and eventually, the rest of the group decided they were as bored as I was with those video games, so we decided to drive to Krispie Kreme for a late-night pastry. 

After consuming our donuts, we slowly made our way to our cars. As I was approaching my own, one of the boys drove his car right up to me. Tom was sitting in the passenger seat with the window down.

“Give me a kiss.” He said bluntly.

The kid driving the car smiled and said, “Yeah, you owe him.” 

Um. WHAT. What does he mean I OWE him? And how dare he TELL me to kiss him in front of his bone-headed friend? 

I realize these kids are stupid high school boys with a significantly lower IQ and maturity level than a sophisticated lady like myself, but at moments like these, all I can think is “What the hell?”

He pulled my arm down toward him and put his face really close to mine again and attempted to kiss me, to which I politely refused.

Haven’t talked to the chap since, and we’ve been friends for four years. 

What makes him think that’s okay? If I wanted to kiss him, i’d have done it already.  I was livid. So angry. All I wanted to do was punch him square in the mandible. 

Boys, have some class, and use your brains. Nothing makes a girl lose interest faster than ASKING HER TO KISS YOU IN FRONT OF YOUR STUPID FRIENDS. Furthermore, he had already presented me with the opportunity to mack out earlier that evening, and I had declined. 

I know your ego’s a little damaged now, but rejection happens, psycho. 

Grr.