Mighty Life List
Apr 24 2009

Kidding Around

Two things reminding me of childhood:

This painting looks just like the slide in my childhood backyard. It shook when you slid down, but for the most part we could never use it because wasps were perpetually building nests beneath it.

In other news, we happen to know two former yo-yo champions. For some reason, I’m disproportionately impressed by this skill. The link takes you to a video of them messing around on the deck of our cabin.

Mar 24 2009

First Kiss at the Junior High Dance

We were twelve. He was born on the same day as me, at the same hospital, delivered by the same doctor. When we finally met, I was the anxious new girl in his eighth grade homeroom.

He was shorter than me, a lot shorter, like all the boys back then, and neither one of us was cool. Apparently I was a little less cool than him, because we’d been meeting at a neighborhood park for a while, and he wanted to keep it a secret.

We were at a school dance, and it was the last song — a saxophone-laden ballad by George Michael. We’d been hugging at the end of every slow song, so I was confused when he pushed me back a little and then leaned toward me.

His kiss landed on my cheek, on the soft skin just below my eye and above my cheekbone. He barely touched me, and half my face lit up.

Walking out to the car where my mom was waiting, I could feel that spot glowing. Mom took me to the McDonald’s drive-thru for soft-serve butterscotch sundaes with crushed peanuts on top. I was uncharacteristically silent, every bit of me distilled into that one point where his lips had brushed me. Lovely.

Jan 29 2009

First Job: Whistleblower in Hotpants

My first real job was as a file clerk for the school district office, where my friend was stealing time. I’m the kind of person who feels a German level of discomfort about littering, so you can imagine me as a righteous, dismayed fifteen year old.

The clerks eventually told management about our suspicions. Did they not find it odd that she would sit in back with us for fifteen minutes, but mark six hours on her time sheet? They watched her for a week, pulled her aside to chat with her, and then never mentioned it again.

She continued to steal, in a slightly less dramatic fashion, and a few weeks later I was reprimanded for wearing cut-off shorts to the office.

Oct 6 2008

Advice from Mom, Part II

You can’t change people.

Learn to type. You can always be a secretary.

When someone is drowning, don’t jump in after them. Find a branch.

Men like it when you ask them to open the jars.

If you’re in a contest, you have to find a way to be different than everyone else.

Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone.

It’s just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor one, Margaret.

If you ever want a nose job, I’ll pay for it.

In a fire, cover your mouth and nose with your T-shirt while you crawl out.

Airplanes are too big to float.

If you ever need birth control, you can go to Planned Parenthood and they’ll tell you what to do. I don’t want to know about it.

May 1 2002

Things That Happen

When I was little, our kitchen sink had a bright light just above it. In the summer evenings, Mom would leave the back door open for air, and moths would come to knock stupidly against the light. One night, a moth flew into my mom�s ear while she was washing dishes. It was still alive, so she could feel it fluttering in panic as Dad drove her to the hospital to have it removed with an extra-long pair of tweezers.

After twenty years, thinking of this incident still provokes my gag reflex.

Oct 23 2000

My Girl Scout troop leader once said that raising boys was easier than raising girls because you could let them run and climb trees without worrying that they’d hurt themselves.

2:18 p.m.