Thursday, June 29, 2006

i swear i didn't make any of these up

Today I have this need to share some of the most horrifying experiences of my formative years, and even one from just last month.

1. This one happened in fifth grade:
I was a very awkward child…very awkward. No social skills, because I was a total nerd and being around pretty people really spooked me. There was this one time after a ballet class, where I was standing around with some popular dancers; we were waiting to be picked up by our parents. These girls also doubled as cheerleaders for their school, and were total snobs. Naturally, I was desperate for them to like me. They were taking turns sharing stories about something, and I wanted to join in with a story of my own. With all the tact and finesse I could muster I began with, “That reminds me of this one Mexican girl I knew who was sooo smelly…”

Yeah, it gets worse. Seeing the disdain in these girls’ eyes as I spoke, I paused to think about what I had said wrong, then realized that one of the girls had an olive complexion. I then say, “well, no offense, Tina.” Her general glare of disgust then turned pure hatred while all her friends immediately started yelling at once, “SHE’S ARMENIAN, STUPID!! SHE’S NOT MEXICAN!!”

Yeah, it gets worse. Out of total humiliation, I said, I actually said this: “Oh! You look Armenian!” I was mocked all the way to Pittsburgh for that one.

2. This one happened in sixth grade:
When preparing an oral book report, the assignment sheet read “include a summary of the book” as one of its components. I don’t know why I immediately concluded that the teacher was asking for what was written on the back of the book, otherwise known as the jacket blurb. I honestly thought that’s what she was talking about. So, during my oral report, I read the jacket blurb word for word. Everything was going fine until Jocelyn, who just happened to be reporting on the same book, noticed I was blatantly plagiarizing, since she had a copy of the book right in front of her, and promptly told on me. I got a C- and was ridiculed by my classmates for weeks. “Oh Mary…I really liked the part about ‘A tesseract, in case a person doesn’t know, is a Wrinkle in Time.’ That was really creative. Oh wait….you didn’t actually write that part, did you?!” Evil, evil children.

The horrors follow me, it would seem.

3. This one happened last month:
I stopped by a friend’s desk (a friend who also happens to work in the temple with me) to drop off some stuff. Before I left, and with a strong loud voice I asked her, “Hey, Alma… I hear you’re moving out of state pretty soon, is that right?” Her horrified expression and stilted gaze helped me to conclude rather quickly that she had not yet discussed this with her employer, whose office was a mere three feet from where I was standing. The door was open. I truly wanted to perish in that moment.


I’ve been thinking about some of these things for so long...I've never been able to let them go. They truly are some of my worst memories. I've held them in secrecy because of shame and humiliation, wishing that they didn't really happen, that I really didn't say or do those things. But you know...they did happen, and I really said those things. Not happy or proud. But now it's time to let them go, and laugh about it.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

some middle new ground

It won’t be any great shock if I say that since college my life has been in almost a constant state of flux. That’s true for almost everyone, right, and it’s certainly true for me. After all, it’s only I, (the Roman symbol for desperate and hermitic) and no one else but I, so frankly I get rapidly bored with the I. However, and this is something I’ve just recently noticed: as one gets older, frequent and drastic life changes are rather frowned upon, connoting instability restlessness and, in some extreme cases, neurological underdevelopments. Not very sexy.

Today, I am exactly one month shy of 32. And even I sense that by this stage in life I should be responsible and mature enough to stick to one job for more than a year and half, stay in one city, live in the same apartment, and talk regularly to the same people without aggressively resisting the urge to set my hair on fire. If you're 32 and married with children, this is precisely what your life is: you stick to one job (for the benefits, or because your job is being "Mom"), you stay in one city because of the school system, and you talk to your spouse, every day, and pretty much no one else, forever and ever. I'm not married yet, but it's almost as if part of me thinks like a married person, but only part. Bottom line, I just think I need to stop living like a college student.

In order to satisfy both the social demands placed upon 32 year-olds as well as the self-imposed ones, and to continually achieve success in the avoidance of self-hair-burning, I have found some middle ground. And it is thus: I have made plans to move to a new lovely suburb of Boston at the beginning of August, and into a beautiful apartment with three new lovely ladies. I am keeping my job, meanwhile currently looking for supplemental means of income, to liven up the monotony. Finally, already I have begun to make new friends who have, just in the last couple weeks, added a great measure of fun and happiness into my life. No, Mom, I do not have a boyfriend. Kindly note the plural, platonic usage of “friends.” Enough change to satisfy; enough stability to pacify.

People in the area have already begun to ask me what in the world I’m going to do without my precious roommate, Peggy. The answer is simple: I cannot and willnot do without her. That is why I’m only moving 10 minutes away. There will be a lot of late-night 10-minute drives back and forth between her place and mine. There will be withdrawal symptoms too ugly to describe so publicly. (some less gruesome examples: head-banging; running mindlessly into walls; wearing a thin dingy nightgown singing “Come Sail Away” in a minor key and rocking, to name a few…)

There is no way to describe what Peggy means to me. She’s been my Boston sister for almost three years. We moved out here at the same time, meeting as roommates in November of 2003, and I don't want to know what Boston would be like without Peggy. She is absolutely amazing, and no one can calculate the love I have for her, or my gratitude for all that she’s put up with from me. That girl knows me so well, all the good the bad and the hopelessly dysfunctional. But I’m not afraid to be known by her; so far, she seems to be on par with it all. And though I do itch for certain things to change every now and again, the stable force of Peggy in my life is not available for overhaul.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

here she is

Our bright little graduate. A shining star. Jennie Sue.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

brain spill

Hello Everyone! I’ve missed you! I’ve missed writing on my bloggy blog. I got back from California two days ago after a wonderful vaykay with the fam. Who knew a mere three hour time difference could change a person so dreadfully? I just left a message for Peggy for the purpose of delivering a very simple message: “Here is a girl’s phone number, an old friend whose lost touch. Call her.” It took me three pregnant pauses, two yawns, several silent glances at a piece of paper, and 12 minutes, to leave her that message. Sorry, Peg.

Little Jennie (“little”…she’s a gorgeous 6 feet tall) graduated from high school. That’s why I went to California.

Sitting in the seats at the graduation ceremony, I can tell you it was a surreal experience to be back in a high school and feel that unwieldy, unfettered, unpolished, teenage excitement. It made me remember my own graduation. Right before Hitler invaded Poland. It was also nice to look down the row and see the faces of each member of my family seated next to me. As I calculate, it’s been over two years since we were all in one place at the same time. We all came from our various earth perches to witness our baby girl’s rite of passage. It was a really great feeling.

Jennie was born when I was 13 years old, and therefore she was mine. My baby. As she grew into childhood, I got more self-absorbed (hello adolescence, boyfriends, weekly soap operas). When she grew too big to sit sweetly on my hip, I suddenly had no time for her. That’s just the awful, shameful truth of it. Then I went to college, then I moved away, and I’ve pretty much been away ever since. And all the while, this girl kept on growing. Totally without permission by the way.

[tried to post photo of beautiful Jen here, but Blogger is cranky today.]

Jennie is a beautiful young woman now. She’s incredibly quick-witted, insightful, and deeply loyal to her family. She is the anchor that keeps us all together. She loves it when everyone is home. Jennie seldom asks anything of us, but when she asked me to come to her graduation, I knew instantly by the tone in her voice that it was something she really truly wanted. She knew, as I did not, how very important it would be to come, not just for her, but for me as well. She was right. Sitting in that row, hearing her name called, and cheering like drunken idiots right afterward, I realized she was right to insist that I have this moment in time with my family. Again, as always, Jennie was loyal to her sister in giving her a fantastic life memory. Thanks, Jen.

Monday, June 05, 2006

too deep for me

I’m coming back from Quincy Market and I read this guy’s, what looks like iron-on, t-shirt:



Break it down...let’s say for the sake of argument that there are no typographical errors or otherwise duplicitous vowels which fundamentally alter the meaning of this statement.

What on Buddha's green belly does this statement mean? I’m walking down Tremont thinking this apart. Open your mouth....loose your head. Open your mouth…express yourself…empty your head of its contents….loose your head? I guess that could work, but it’s kind of a clunky choice of words.

Perhaps it’s an inside joke? Maybe this is an expression shared by a precious few in his private sphere and the entire purpose of putting it on a t-shirt is to needlessly preoccupy people like me while they walk back from their lunch break?

Now, let’s say that the gentleman’s spelling is abysmal, and indeed the word 'Loose' should have been spelled 'Lose'. I still don’t think I get it. So….open your mouth….to say something….and if you do…’ll lose your head. Yeah. Don’t get it.

I finally gave up because my thoughts became more and more literal, imagining his mouth wide open, singing "Ahhhh..." while his head sort of flopped around.

What's your explanation for this? Take a stab. Teach me. What am I missing?

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