I found a writing prompt on the ValSox blog which was a challenge from her first improv class instructor. “What’s one (or 10) things you wouldn’t mind sharing with the world; things you may have been embarrassed to admit in the past but wouldn’t mind admitting now?” Seeing as I have a chronic sense of over-responsibility, I chose to write ten things instead of one. Some readers may know me well, and sharing ten things rather than one may help disillusion them even further. Some readers may be just getting to know me, in which case the following Ten Things will provide a broader picture of what they are getting themselves into. This prompt is also a perfect precursor to my next PoeWar writing prompt: “Write a 500-word biography of your life. Think about the moments that were most meaningful to you and that shaped you as a person.” Stay tuned for that one. In the meantime, let’s get ready to get really personal.
1. I have never written a “bucket list,” but I’m thinking about writing one for 2013. I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions.
2. I discovered masturbation at seven years old. I didn’t know what it was, so I told myself that’s what it felt like to give birth. That was the only thing other than peeing that I knew vaginas did. I couldn’t wait to grow up and have a bunch of babies. It was a bad day when that illusion shattered.
3. I almost died four times from ages 14 to 18 due to complications of type 1 diabetes. Diabetic ketoacidosis is the diabetic body’s inability to absorb enough insulin to regulate glucose. As a result the body begins to burn fatty acids from all its organ systems and releasing poisonous ketones into the blood and urine in a last-ditch effort to lower glucose. It is a life-threatening condition, and it is a bitch. What I haven’t told anyone before was how much I wanted to stay in the hospital all those times. I was too unconscious to take care of myself, but there were dozens of trained professionals who took over my self-caretaker role. Not only did I get a break from my relentless self-care regimen, but they did it without any emotional strings attached, no guilt trips. I didn’t realize until much later that staying there cost me about five grand a night.
4. I did a lot of theater in high school, and I was pretty good, at least by high school standards. I won several awards. I was in a specialized theater program and got an excellent education in theater. I did improv, directing, crew work, and acting. They sought me out for the complex (crazy) characters, and I loved doing comedy. I realize that every poseur says they did theater in high school to sound cultured in theater related conversations, so I want you to know that I have nothing to prove by telling you about it. The next item on the list will explain why sharing my theater experience is unique.
5. I quit theater after my first year of college because I didn’t want my first kiss to be on stage. I had never been on a date nor had I kissed anyone until my mid twenties, and I was afraid I would either portray an alarmingly inaccurate kiss on stage, or I would be turned off to mouth-on-mouth contact for the rest of my life.
6. I had my first kiss when I was twenty six years old. He was my next door neighbor, his chihuahua had just peed on my shoe, and I didn’t love him.
7. I lost my virginity to the same next door neighbor the day after that first kiss. I was tired of carrying the burden of virginity and its irrelevant religious implications. I wanted to get it over with. I told my neighbor that, and he was happy to comply. My first time was terrible, and it smelled like cigarettes and chihuahua urine. Then I moved on.
8. I work with animals, specializing in treating disorders of the eyes, and I have gotten to interact with many different types of exotic animals. It’s the coolest job I can think of.
9. My earliest memories of writing involved me wearing my grandpa’s fedora with a post-it sticking to the brim on which I had scrawled the work “PRESS” in marker. I composed a series of 10 interview questions, deep, insightful questions such as “When getting dressed in the morning, do you go sock-sock then shoe-shoe, or sock-shoe then sock-shoe?” or “Exactly how much Listerine do you use, and is there any way you could use less?” (He always had an aura of pure alcohol flavorless Listerine, and I hated it.) He would answer my questions as though he took me very seriously, and I always loved him for that. I would then create my own newspaper page on a legal pad, with scribbles for every headline but the interview with my grandpa, and I would sell it to him for twenty five cents. After he died, there was a folder in his filing cabinet containing everything I had ever written and sold to him as a kid.
10. I can drive a stick shift. I’ve never had a problem telling anyone this, but I put it on the list because people seem to think it’s cool.
There you have it. If you decide to use this prompt on your blog, please tag me so I can read it!