Saturday, December 7, 2013

Mortification Survival Guide

These five easy steps will come in handy when you are, say, riding your 10-speed through the school parking lot and the cute boy you have a crush on waves to you and you crash into a school bus (true story):

1) BREATHE.  Before you say or do anything that will mortify you further, oxygenate.  Take a moment.  Regroup.

2) LAUGH.  A little self-deprecation goes a long way.  If you can’t laugh at yourself, smile.  The simple act of smiling will make you look better and feel better in the face of humiliation.  (This is not your mother talking; this is a scientific fact). 

3) QUOTE SOMEONE AWESOME.  “I am not having a day of power.”  -Anne Lamott . “Jump into my nightmare; the water’s warm.”  -Jerry Maguire

4) OWN IT.  Yes, you are the girl who rode your bike into a school bus. 

5) MOVE ON.  No one act defines your life.   In the words of the late, great F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.”  Some day, this singular, mortifying moment may jumpstart a great cocktail party conversation—or even a best-selling Y.A. novel. 

P.S.  The 5 Steps to Surviving Mortification also apply nicely to parenthood.  When you go to pick up your daughter from school and she is, say, on all fours under the snack table, barking like a dog while the other nice little children are sitting in a circle (true story), breathe.  Smile.  Say, “Yup, that’s my girl.”  Give her a hug.  Take her out for ice cream (or a dog biscuit).  This is the good stuff, people.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Prize-winning Challenge

Be the first person to match each mortifying moment with the correct character, and I will send you a Perfect, Lush, or Bounce t-shirt.

Mortifying moment:

1)   “I am left in the dust, still holding a brown bag with my name on it.  I would feel like a loser right now if anyone in the cafeteria were looking at me.  But no one is.”

2)   “My tongue feels like sandpaper.  Suddenly, my Saturday night feels just as casual and meaningless as all the other grist for the rumor mill.”

3)   “I am painfully aware that I am wearing a reflector vest and a bike helmet.  And everyone else arrived in cars.”

4)   “I was on speaker phone, listening to my friends talk about how they didn’t want to talk to me.”

5)   “Staggering through the woods like a rabid bear, unzipping my jeans and squatting, before I even find a tree.  Making noises that no human being should make.” 

A)   Isabelle (Perfect)

B)   Sam (Lush)

C)   Evyn (Bounce)

D)   Josie (For Keeps)

E)   Lexi (My Life in Black and White)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Dear 13-year-old self

Dear 13-year-old self,

I know that eighth grade is a torture chamber.  Trust me; I was there.  I remember the movie date with M.S. where a certain unmentionable event took place and he told everyone.  The next day your locker was decorated with toilet paper and the words “Pepe Le Pew” written in black sharpie.

I remember the night T.W. plied you with half a purple passion wine cooler, a certain unmentionable event took place in your backyard, and he told everyone.  The next day the hockey team serenaded you, in front of the entire cafeteria, with “I Get Around” by the Beach Boys.

I remember the school dance to which you wore a homemade skirt (intentional) and a see-through shirt (unintentional).  When H.H. pointed out that he could see a certain unmentionable body part, you announced, “I’m not interested in sex.  I’m interested in romance.”  It took years for you to live down those words.

Oh, 13-year-old self, your moments of mortification were plentiful.  It’s a wonder you survived.  But guess what?  You did.  You are still here.  And while life as a grown up hasn’t become any less mortifying, it has become a whole lot easier to laugh at yourself.  In fact, some of the coolest, smartest, most functional adults you will meet have the most cringe-worthy stories from their youth.

So my message from the future isn’t so much “it gets better” as “it gets funnier.”  Please don’t burn your Judy Blume diary.  


Your older, wiser self