One of the best first dates I’ve ever had (which is, I’ll admit, a low bar, because if it’s not universally accepted that first dates tend to be uncomfortably awkward at best, it’s certainly been my experience) was my senior year of high school. I finally got the nerve to ask the pretty, artsy, quirky redhead in my algebra class out on a date. We’d been clumsily flirting with each other for a while in that adorkable teen way, exchanging music with each other (she came up to my desk one day in class, asked me, “Do you consider yourself open-minded?”, and then handed me a cassette tape of Louis Armstrong) and hanging out with friends after school, but we’d never been alone together and neither of us had directly said “Hey, kissing would be nice, wouldn’t it?” to the other. But I managed to shut down my inner voice of insecurity just long enough to ask her if she wanted to meet up on a weekend night, just the two of us.
It was terribly sweet for two teens who were into Romantic poetry, Shakespeare, and alternative music. At my request, she met me at a park around the corner from my house. A not particularly well-lit park. Long after dusk. We sat at the park and just…talked. A lot. About our feelings and our families and our shared interests. Then I walked her home and we had our first kiss. Simple, sweet, and no money spent.
But also, WHAT THE WHAT?! That is a crazy date to ask someone to! I would never, ever ask a woman “Wanna meet me in a dark, secluded park, alone at night?” now. I definitely wouldn’t expect a woman to say yes to that, unless she’s absolutely set on being murdered and hoping I’m the serial killer to make that happen.
She and I were talking about this date the other day and how insane an idea it was, how it’s not something any woman should ever say yes to, and she said “Ha! Never again.”
Oh, sweet innocence of youth!
“A long time ago, in the Before Times, music was sold on vinyl record albums. They were large and unwieldy and pretty fragile, but there are people who still prefer them to this very day. Artists would often release singles, just one song–well, two songs, the single on the A side and another song on the other side, the B side. But that’s not important. Anyway, full-length albums were these large 12 inch squares–I mean, the actual album was a circle, but the album sleeve was a square. And singles were smaller, 7 inches. But sometimes the artist or producer or some DJ would remix a single and make it longer for dancing purposes. These were released on records the same size as full-length albums, 12 inches. Although I don’t know why everyone says they’re 12 inches instead of a foot. Except now that I say it out loud, ‘foot-long dance remix’ sounds weird, so maybe it’s for the best that no one has ever called them that.”
— me, explaining “12-inch dance remix” to a younger coworker
(Referring to older technology as being from “the Before Times” is something I yoinked from Wil Wheaton. I’m sure he doesn’t mind. I mean, I’m giving him credit, so it’s all good, right?)
There was a fun thing going around Twitter the other day about what you wanted to be when you grew up, at different school stages of your life. I thought I’d expand upon it here, because while Twitter is good for some things (like memes, jokes, poisoning the social media well with white male supremacist toxicity, watching the U.S. collapse into straight-up fascism in real time, cute animal videos), there aren’t enough characters in a single tweet for me to really dig deep into what I imagined my line of work would be in THE REAL WORLD.
First, a disclaimer: I can’t say I ever really wanted to grow up. I didn’t want to always be living with my family and I definitely fantasized about having a career or two, but there was little I saw of adults that made me think, “Yeah, I want to be one of them!” I didn’t want to smell like sweat and cigarette smoke, I didn’t want to yell and get yelled at by people, I didn’t want to always be complaining about my job and stressing about money, I didn’t particularly want to drive a car, I didn’t want to stop playing. Unfortunately, growing up is pushed on all of us whether we want it or not. Some people might argue about how well I’ve achieved “grown up” status, and being an adult is something I resist as much as possible, but here I am regardless.
Second, another disclaimer: this post is taking me longer to write than I thought it would when I started it, so I’m breaking it up into two posts.
For someone who talks as much as I do, and I’ve been told all my life that I talk a lot*, it’s funny how often I feel like I don’t have anything to write about. I mean, I have a lot of (vague, not-so-vague, super-incredibly-vague) story ideas, but one of the many things that stalls me from writing them start-to-finish is the nagging question “What exactly am I writing about? Do I really have anything to say?” When I write non-fiction pieces for this blog, I try to keep the post on-topic and not just ramble, and it isn’t often I feel like I have something important and specific to say that warrants a blog post.
But in real life, in person, I mostly just ramble and babble. Right now, I’m wondering why I’m okay with doing that in person (not that I can really help it, it’s just the way my brain and mouth work) but not in writing (where I can edit, rewrite, organize, and trim off all the things I don’t think are relevant–but do I absolutely HAVE TO do that?).
I’ve been wanting to publish on this blog more. It’s been nagging at me for at least the past six months. But then days and weeks go by where I don’t feel like I have anything worthwhile and organized to write about. Soooooo…maybe I’ll just babble more? I think it’s okay to do that. Considering it’s my blog and no one is being forced to read it. (If you’re currently being forced at gunpoint to read this blog, I’m sorry. Please read this next sentence aloud: “Dear captor forcing me to read this at gunpoint, you should put the gun down, walk away, and reconsider your life choices. Thank you.”) I’ve looked at my blog stats and I don’t get a lot of hits. This isn’t a bad thing, this is liberating.
Okay so yeah, more blogging about whatever, as well as the usual poetry and rare short story. For reals. (more…)
I woke up tired and cranky this morning. It wasn’t until I was halfway through my first cup of coffee that I started to feel awake and upbeat. This is a pretty typical morning for me. The thing is, I didn’t acquire a taste for coffee until after college, and this morning I found myself wondering how I made it through college without drinking coffee.
And then I thought, “I’m amazed I made it through college at all. How did I do that?” (more…)