Saturday, July 20, 2013

Things About Me That People Want To Know Apparently: Once When I Was Little

For some reason, a lot of people who have been reading my stuff, and by a lot, I mean two, have been asking about my childhood and things. These people of course, are the half of the four of you who read these ramblings and didn't know me until I got to college and had already grown into a perfectly mature and well rounded individual. (Stop laughing. It's accurate.)

You guys are in for such a disappointment. But because I have to write something everyday besides, your wish is my command. 

I was always a pretty awkward child. I was bookish and a giant nerd with huge glasses and excessive collections of Beanie Babies and Lisa Frank folders, with just about every copy of Babysitters Club ever published. 

I avoided intercessory prayer like the plague through most of the year that I was eight because I was honestly and sincerely afraid that I would get the Holy Ghost and that was freaking scary. Also, when I got baptized, I made my grandfather hold onto the baptismal robe because I was thoroughly convinced that if I did not, my pastor WOULD drop me and I WOULD drown and I would meet Jesus directly upon the fulfillment of my sins being washed away. 

I used giant words completely out of context for the sake of using my Gifted vocabulary words and people would often look at me like, "What?" and say how adorable I was but then probably go home and tell their kids not to play with me because let's face it, I was the paste eater. 

There. I said it. 

But honestly, aside from the fact that I cultivated (and have managed to maintain) a high level of nerdom, I had a pretty typical childhood. I was an only child until I was nearly ten and I didn't have a lot of friends, but the friends I did have, I would spend all my time with, and also, I liked to play in mud. I liked blocks and Barbies and hot wheels and Barbies and porcelain dolls and Barbies and also liked Barbies. I was convinced that I was going to be a ballerina, as was demonstrated by the fact that I would occasionally lock myself in the bathroom with a poofy white slip and the soundtrack from Anastasia and demonstrate said mad skills. 

I saw myself as a wonderous, delightful person that could solve all the world's problems and was insistent of the idea that earthworms really did want to be cut into little pieces because it was good because of health reasons. When I was in fourth grade, I was certain that I had developed a cure for cancer, which was probably mostly related to the fact that this was the same year that my grandmother died of cancer. I wanted to be Jane Goodall and Laura Ingalls Wilder and Eva Peron, probably because I didn't realize the extreme fascism endorsed by the latter of the three and I wanted to save the monkeys and liberate Argentina and I wanted to WRITE, to the point where my childhood best friend and I decided that we were going to sieze a great number of the church bulletins each week and colorfully advertise for our book service where we would write books for you at the low, low price of $1. We got five payments up front that equalled out to absolutely no books written and the ushers discovering our entrepreneurial efforts and telling us that maybe we should hold off on until we could get some legitimate ad space. 

I wrote and illustrated a million books and wrote dramatic letters to my mother when she showed up late at the house and kept journals upon journals with colorful drawings at about the artistic level that I possess today. 

I thought boys were wonderful and would write them love letters and then ask them why they didn't write me back and then get completely heartbroken when I learned that they didn't like me and that some might consider compulsive letter writing to one who does not share your romantic interest, even at age nine, a bit creepy and that maybe you should stop it, you weirdo. I flirted and batted my eyelashes and threw snowballs and decided that I needed to become whatever it was that guys actually liked until I finally realized that I still don't know what guys actually want and so maybe I should stop and be myself. 

I was spirited and strong willed and stubborn and the anthromorphization of the little girl with a little girl right in the middle of her forehead, where I could be completely delightful to all those around me in public, but be a complete and total brat behind closed doors. 

My childhood was the beginning of insane clutziness from which to this day I have not recovered. I got stitches in my foot from jumping off of the back of a parked pickup truck onto a fencepost and I have a scar on my lip from chasing the family dog around, scaring  him by barking into a wrapping paper tube. I lost my footing on a step and ended up splitting my lip and didn't get stitches, but I did probably inspire collagen implants in women worldwide. I have a scar on my arm from a hotel stay during an ice storm where my brother and I decided to run down the hall and I slammed into a fire extinguisher box and ended up with a delightful gash to which my parents reacted with, "Well you shouldn't have been running."

I loved chicken nuggets and corn dog nuggets and pretty much any food that could be classified under the distinction as "nugget or nugget like" including Pizza Rolls. I preferred Kid Cuisine to my grandmother's famous lasagna and when Bruce Willis dipped his fries in his Frosty in "The Kid" it changed my life in the most radical way ever. 

I cried about everything, whether I was sympathizing or empathizing or I had chopped off too much of my Barbie's hair (a mortal sin if ever there was one). I cried with joy when I got the lead in the church Christmas play or when I ONLY got a solo in the Easter play and when someone made the mistake of letting me watch "My Girl" and that one girl proclaimed through sobs that Macauley Culkin couldn't see without his glasses. I cried so much that my eventual downward spiral into severe depression when I became a teenager went fairly unnoticed until my mom found some rather dark journal entries and confronted me about it. The depression made me cynical and the cynicism turned into dark humor and eventually, once I semi-recovered, the dark humor turned into dry sarcasm, which then evolved into my awesomely adult self. 

And so basically the question that I got asked was to describe my upbringing in terms of the religion and dreams and perception and ultimately, whether or not that person survived, to which I'd have to admit the answer is not a solid yes and it's not a solid no.

I think the whole depression thing sort of cryogenically froze her and she gets melted a little each day and someday, maybe, if we're all super unlucky, she'll come back and wreak havoc on the world. 

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