Thursday, October 18, 2012

"Because in some men it is in them to give up everything personal at some time, before it ferments and poisons--throw it to some human being or some human idea. They have to. In some men it is in them."*

   There are things that you probably shouldn’t share with people because they are embarrassing/humiliating/shameful, but I don’t seem to have too many of these. I spent so much of my adolescence and teenage years (not to mention the better part of my twenties) feeling embarrassed, that I can’t afford to waste time on it anymore.
   For instance there’s the time when, in 5th grade, my mom bought me the COOLEST HAT IN THE WORLD. It was a winter hat but shaped like a baseball cap with flaps that came down over my ears and a string tie under the chin. And, oh yeah, IT WAS FUCKING HOT PINK. I died when she gave me that hat and I couldn’t wait to wear it to school.
   But when I walked down the driveway at St. Margaret Mary to line up for the first bell, Pat Raynor said, “Nice hat, dork.” And I never wore it again. Ever. I found it at my parents' house not too long ago and would definitely wear it now, but it won't fit over my enormous cranium.
   And then one time when I was 12 I called the Human Society sobbing because a dog had been hit by a car in front of my house and the woman who answered the phone said, “How old are you, young man?” I started crying even harder and promptly developed a phone phobia that only cleared up about two years ago.
   But no more.
   The only things that embarrass me these days are when someone acts appalled that I don’t know the name of a political figure or didn’t hear about something major that happened on the news within the last 4 months. I’m embarrassed about those things because they reflect on my hideous irresponsibility when it comes to educating myself on current events. They don’t really reflect on me as a person the way my clothes or voice do; they have something to do with making fun of my mind and spirit, which is legitimately unfortunate.
   I include this preface as a way of telling you about some of the things I do/have done on a regular basis that are shameful (or should be) but which, without mentioning them, I wouldn’t feel like the over-sharing, inappropriately frank person I have become.
   Here are some of the things that have happened to me recently (or a long time ago) that should embarrass me, but don’t:
1. A couple of days ago, I ate a piece of dark chocolate. Shortly thereafter I found a brown stain on my couch pillow. I got out the Resolve and tried to work the stain out of the pillow. Then I left the pillow to foam, replaced it with an identical pillow, and sat back down. When I got up again, there was another brown stain in the same spot. I repeated the stain removal routine and checked my shirt. No chocolate. Then I went into the bathroom and did a slow 360-degree rotation. There was a huge chunk of chocolate melted to my back. I basically ruined two pillows because I can’t keep food off my BACK? That’s asinine.
2. I decided to put the earring I normally wear in my right ear, (halfway between the top of the ear and the lobe), in my left earlobe. It was bugging me and I thought maybe my lobes could benefit from some earring practice, since they always get irritated, red, and itchy whenever I wear earrings. I thought I'd force my lobes into loving earrings. So I put in ONE earring. And then I forgot about it. For two days. So yesterday, I went to the grocery store with one earring in my left earlobe. Nice. I’m like a gay man from 1991. A total anachronism.

3. I don't really know my left from my right. Doing the L-shapes with my thumbs and pointers doesn't help, because I don't know if I'm looking at them or if I'm making the signs for someone else.
Should be embarrassing but isn't: I spent 38 minutes making my thumb into the chick from Prince's "Raspberry Beret".
4. I am currently reading a book called Jemima J. by a woman named Jane Green. It’s about a really fat chick that loses weight and then men fall in love with her. A time-tested story of romance. Classic. It wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t my 5th time reading it. But I’m a strong proponent of balancing quality reading with absolute trash. It keeps your brain humble. That is why I reread several pieces of crap each year: Best Friends, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, and Find a Stranger, Say Goodbye immediately come to mind. (The last two aren’t necessarily crap but, in fact, Young Adult books. I actually think they’re both quite beautifully written, albeit for 9-year-olds.)
Should be embarrassing but isn't: a new addition to the foyer of my apartment building.

5. Years ago, I walked to the gas station near my apartment to buy cigarettes after consuming many drinks. As I walked to the door, the cashier was outside smoking and asked if I’d like a drag. Since I was there for cigarettes, I really did want a drag and accepted. Only after inhaling did I realize that he was offering me a marijuana cigarette. He apologized when I looked surprised and I said it was okay. Then he asked for my number and in my inebriated honesty, I told him I didn’t want to date him because he was too short. He was pretty nice about it. He’s seen me since (I still live in the same neighborhood), but he’s never recognized me. Perhaps because he’s always high?
6. The other day I was eating deli turkey and hummus and only halfway through my snack did I realize the turkey had mold on 85% of it. I had eaten half the package.
7. I just cleaned the floors of the apartment I’ve lived in for 6 months for the first time 3 weeks ago. The amount of filth I pulled up explained a lot about the state of both my feet and my shower.

8. I have dyscalculia, insofar as I switch numbers around in my mind the way a person with dyslexia might. If I never called you, it's probably because I programmed your number in my phone wrong.
   That’s enough for now (though I could go on for ages). I don’t want to show all my cards just yet. I'm probably going to be one of those old ladies that's always trying to get naked in public and date 25-year-olds, but who cares? It’s been a hard week and I took the GRE again (did better!) and I feel like I have enough positive qualities to outweigh the heinousness that I share on a regular basis. Think of this post as watching a terrible car crash or accidentally seeing your fat neighbor naked and discovering you liked it. I just needed to get it out of my brain and into yours.
   You’re welcome!
*The last book I read before reuniting with Jemima J. Carson McCuller's The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. See? I don't just read crap. See?

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