My Sad and Weird and Angry Milkshake Brings All The Boys to The Yard

I was in ninth grade, sitting on a bench with a friend waiting for the first bell to ring.  The usual group of older kids walked past us from the art room over to the 600 Building, like they did every morning.  There were probably a dozen of them, all friends, boys and girls, with one couple who seemed to be attached to each other as if their limbs were going to fall off and die when they got separated from the host-body of their love.

I always took notice of the couple because she was adorable, like a smiling little elf, and her boyfriend wore one of those hats that guys wore in the early 90s, which probably resulted in a lower birth rate in the early 90s, because those hats were sexually repellent.  This one.

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About four months into the school year, Hat Boy walked by one day, poured across the girlfriend as always, and leaned over and handed me an envelope and walked away.  On the outside of the envelope was written, “To the girl with the beutiful eyes”.

You have no idea how many times I just had to type that to get it to stop auto-correcting the spelling of “beautiful”.

As a professional social leper up to that point in my life, in my stretch denim skirt and turquoise mock turtleneck over my much not-sought-after chest of an anemic 10-year old fetus, I assumed he handed this envelope to me as a joke of some kind, and that if I opened it, a can of snakes would shoot into my eyeballs.

Or maybe it was a case of mistaken identity?  Either way, he was just an intermediary passing this card off on behalf of one of his dozen friends.

I opened the envelope and there was a Christmas card inside, with a cute cartoon chipmunk wearing a Santa hat on the front.  Inside the card it said:

You’re too pretty to be so sad.  I’ve never seen you smile, but I hope you will.

Have a very Merry Christmas!

From someone crazy.

Someone you don’t even know.

Okay, no case of mistaken identity there.  In walking past me every day for four months, nobody in that group had ever seen me smile?  That sounded about right.  I was conceived, gestated, born, and raised with Resting Bitch Face.  These are un-retouched progression photos of me from birth to today:

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I know, it seems impossible that a person could look so permanently sad and weird and angry and not be in prison for life or at the bottom of the East River after plunging off the Brooklyn Bridge.  I know this about myself.  Sad and weird and angry is my charm.  If I were a man, you’d call it “brooding”, thereby making male-me irresistible to women with perilously low self-esteem.

And I should know.  I spent most of my dating-years being that woman.

“This guy seems sad and weird and angry!  Let’s date him and then be surprised at how sad and weird and angry he continues to be!”

I spent the rest of the school year trying to figure out which one of those guys had written this card.  It drove me crazy.  At that point in my life, most guys’ opinions of me were, “I guess she’s kinda funny?” and the notion of any of them desiring romance with me was as laughable as I thought my jokes were.  And by “most guys” I mean literally one guy named Mike.

Nothing came of it.  Their big group of friends still walked by every morning, and I had no idea who was behind this.

Four years later, I was seated at a table at Denny’s around 3am with my degenerate friends, and guess who our server was?  Hat Boy!  He took our order as if we had never seen each other before, brought us our food, and eventually the check.

As we went to leave, I found my nerve and said, “You handed me a card from a secret admirer like four years ago.  Who was it from?”

He said, “It was from me.  Why would I give you a card from someone else?”

I said, “Well, you were with your girlfriend when you handed it to me…”

He said, “And?”

Dewds.

The Smiting of Wyatt Stupid Face

I wrote a piece about growing up poor and how I exacted revenge on a young man who made fun of me for it.  It’s one of my favorite funny pieces and it’s very near and dear to my cold, steely heart.  I’d been looking for a good home for it for a long time and I didn’t want to trust it with just anyone.

It finally found the perfect home right here on good ol’ page 44: The Smiting of Wyatt Stupid Face

Hand to Mouth is a special edition zine dedicated to writers responding to living in poverty, and is hosted by Kissing Dynamite.  This issue is full of poetry, creative nonfiction (that’s what I do, suckas), and artwork – and you should read it cover to cover and support the heck out of it because they’re good people doing good in the world…

…unlike me, a person who basically works for pizza money and unfettered mirror-time.

This means that you’re a good person if you print it out 10,000 times, wallpaper the entire inside of your house with it, invite me over, I’ll walk in and get freaked out that you’re a stalker, then pepper spray you and kick you in the jimmies with a sensible shoe.

And won’t that be a story to tell at your next court-ordered group therapy session.

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If you’re not already following this blog, go ahead and click the “Follow” button on the home page and you’ll get a nifty email anytime I post new stuff on here, usually about once a week.  I won’t go blowing up your email unlike certain people named Old Navy those denim-clad sons of bitches.  Who needs five emails a day from Old Navy??? We’re breaking up!  I don’t even care how well your Rock Star stretch jeans fit.  WE’RE DONE.

That’s a huge lie.  I will never quit Old Navy.

You can also follow me on Twitter at @romcomdojo.

I ALMOST FORGOT!

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Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now, Daddio

Hi frenz!  My micro-essay “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now, Daddio” is up at Foliate Oak Literary Magazine today.  It’s a short humor piece about how I successfully tricked a local radio DJ into playing my favorite Starship song when I was a kid.

No, really.

You can read it here: Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now, Daddio

Foliate Oak is the literary magazine for the University of Arkansas, and the irony that I did not attend a single day of college in my entire life is not lost on me here.  This is my first publication in a university journal, which basically means I get an honorary doctoral degree now or something, so you may now commence calling me Doctor Pissypants.

I have actually been to Arkansas, though.  Right in that area where you drive over the Mississippi River out of Memphis, Tennessee and you see that “Welcome to Arkansas!” sign in the middle of a corn field and say to the person in the passenger seat, “Uh oh” and then turn the car around and drive back to Memphis for more day-drinking.

Thanks so much for reading!  I’ve just been walking around all day lately not believing my luck.

And here’s your weird boyfriend Nicolas Cage, who is also my weird boyfriend, and the universe’s weird boyfriend.

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