October 30, 2008

My Weekly Writing Assignment

This week's assignment is as follows:

The Prompts:

1.) Write from the point of view of a glass at the edge of the table.

2.) Describe a typical day during your Jr. High years.

3.) Why do you write?

4.) When I'm around too much negativity I...

5.) You've been hired as a writer for "Late Show with David Letterman." Your first assignment is to come up with a witty, nonpolitical Top Ten list for him to read on air.


A Typical Day in April of 1993, Spring of my 7th Grade Year

I wake up at 7:00 a.m. because I had to be on the bus at 7:45 a.m. Yes, I only gave myself 45 minutes. For some reason, it took me a lot less time to get ready back then. Maybe it's because I didn't have kids OR a giant purse. Hm. Anyway, I got my shower and headed back upstairs, turned on the 1"-barrel curling iron and got dressed. I was probably wearing a pair of straight-leg jeans that were docked, a dark green turtleneck bodysuit (you remember them - just like a baby's onesie but a lot bigger and more chic, ha ha) and an oversized white cardigan sweater. Then I did my hair: I pulled it back into a slick ponytail and doused my bangs with hairspray. I wrapped the top half of them around the curling iron, rolled it back, and held it for a few seconds and released. Curled the other half of them down. Then I properly feathered the top half and re-sprayed, just for insurance purposes. Don't need flat bangs by lunch!

I grabbed my backpack, skipped breakfast completely because I wasn't hungry and I didn't have time anyways because I'd redone my bangs four times just to achieve the proper height and proportion. Ran out to the corner and hopped on the bus just as it came up the sidestreet to pick up me and Kim, my neighbor and good friend who was two years my senior.

My school day, though littered with eight classes and a lunch period (this was in the days before block scheduling and different classes in different semesters; we had eight periods a day, same classes all school year long), was spent SOCIALIZING. Seriously folks, for every ounce of nerd in me existed an ounce of wanting to be liked. I was a joiner. That year, I'd participated in junior high basketball, junior high intramural volleyball, marching band, concert band and concert choir. Okay, I only lasted about six weeks into basketball. Evidently, you need to be in the know as far as rules of the game and how the game is played in order to not be last-ditch, gotta-be-fair-and-let-them-have-court-time third string. Hm.

I wrote notes. I now half-heartedly and somewhat sheepishly refer to myself as a writer when in close company - in other words, in front of people who won't laugh at that idea - and I earned a degree in it, so my note-writing obsession was probably just a little hint of what was to come. I used to save my notes. Up through the end of college, I kept an old Utz Pretzel jar in my closet with a batch of notes from grades 7-12. I finally trashed them when I met my husband. Fire hazard, anyone?

I chased boys, although I went about it in completely the wrong way. I thought my best way in was to be a friend first. This failed in multiple ways, but none that I was aware of until I was much older. To begin with, once you're a friend, it very rarely transpires to anything more, especially with teenage boys. And then you end up being the girl the guy goes to when he's have problems with the girl he actually likes, and that girl isn't you. Then you feel like crap for weeks. Finally, I realized that the whole "friend" thing was an easy way out for the guy: he didn't have to tell me what he really thought about me. I'm thinking those things varied: you're not interesting, you have a bad attitude (actually heard this once), you're fat, blah blah blah. Stupid boys.

Boy-chasing was actually a full-time extracurricular among my friends and I. Isn't it that way for most 13-year-olds? Now I can look back and laugh about it, but I was an overly open book about my crushes and all it brought me was humiliation. Ugh. When people ask if I could go back to high school and do it all over...HELL NO! It was awful enough the first time, I'm not that much of a masochist to want to relive it.

Finally, at the end of a day full of note-taking, note-writing, and crush-obsessing, I'd go home, crank out the homework uber-fast and then get on the phone to talk to all my friends about the day's events. There are two things I do well now: write and talk. It was no different at 13.


Anonymous said...

As much I as I enjoy the "blast from the past" during your weekly writing assignments I would really like to see you go outside your comfort zone a little bit. I guessed that you would pick this one before I even scrolled down to read it. Go for it girl! Challenge yourself.

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