1. I tried to buy something to drink in an Australian convenience store with a Chuck E. Cheese token.
2. Henry was only supposed to be a fling.
3. I wanted to go to art school in San Francisco but my grandma threw a fit because “that’s where all the gays live.”
4. In 7th grade, I stapled my finger to the wall on purpose just to make people laugh.
5. When I was 10, I had a treasure trove of slap bracelets but my mom pitched them all when OMG PPL WERE HAVING THEIR WRISTS SLIT BY THEM.
6. I used to be REALLY into collecting rocks. There used to be a Geek Store (note: not the actual name) at the mall when I was younger, and I would make my grandma buy me deluxe rock sets there. And then later, I was dead set on striking gold by formulating au naturale eye shadow from the powder of crushed rocks. Needless to say, I feel robbed now by all that mineral shit the make up moguls are shilling. MY IDEA FIRST!
7. Another store that was in that mall many moons ago was this incredibly hip shop called Art Explosion. It was kind of like if Spencer’s wasn’t tacky.
I remember that it was always dark in there, and they had the coolest, kitschiest things. I had a revolving lamp from there, it was squat, like a siren. The shade was translucent and had a Hawaiian-beach theme. I loved how it looked it my room with the lights off. But then we moved from that house soon after (when I was in second grade) and the lamp didn’t survive the trip. Ten years later, I found a shop when I was at Cedar Point with some friends, and they sold lamps that were almost identical. I bought one that had fish on it and it never freaking worked. Tears.
8. The worse thing anyone ever said to me was, “I’m going to gouge out your eyeballs and shove them up your vagina.” And considering it came from the mouth of the psychopath I was dating at the time, I was a LITTLE scared.
9. I was pregnant when I was 23 and the sound of bass made me so nauseated that I could only listen to soft rock channels. I have two mixed CDs from that time that I associate with morning sickness and still can’t listen to them.
10. I used to “run away” a lot in 10th grade, but I would only go two doors up to my grandparent’s house. I would sneak in through the porch, go through the garage, and hide out in their game room, where I would write suicidal stories, drink root beer schnappes from behind the bar, and make plans with my friend Jeremiah to take a bus to Hazelwood (quasi-ghetto in Pittsburgh) and join a girl gang. I did this so many times, and every time I would hear my grandparents and mom upstairs talking about me, freaking out, wondering if they should call the truancy cops, but never once did anyone bother to, I dunno, CHECK THE HOUSE.
11. My step-dad accidentally chopped off the tip of his finger on a log splitter when I was 17. We hated each other more than Jennifer Aniston hates A.Jolie (TEAM ANISTON, HOLLA) and so the first fight we had after that incident, I screamed, “I WISH YOU HAD CHOPPED OFF YOUR HEAD INSTEAD!!!” and fled to my grandparent’s house. It sucked then, but OH how we laugh about it now when it comes up at Christmastime.
12. When I was 15, I had a two-year friendship with some guy named Kevin Wilson. He was 18 and we met when he called my private number by accident. I remember he was asking for Celeste. He called back and was like, “You sound cute, wanna talk?” It was always strictly platonic. He lived nearby, but we never met, although he ended up working for my mom for awhile. I would always call him and cry when the guy I was SO IN LOVE WITH OMG would break my heart repeatedly. Kevin was like a big brother, and he ended up moving to Virginia Beach and we lost touch when I was still in high school.
13. Maniac Mansion for old school Nintendo is my all time favorite video game.
14. In junior high my old bff Christy and I once took one of those “word a day” calendars and used every word to write sexual sentences about Andre Agassi. We wrote it on my old Apple computer and saved the file as “math homework.” We never made it through all 365 words.
15. Growing up, we had a hammock in our backyard, the kind that was actually supported by trees and not a metal stand. I think of that hammock every summer, how I would lay in it whenever I wasn’t feeling well, and how my brother Ryan and I would do flips off it. There was a thin part of a tree root under it, where the grass had been worn down by our feet pushing off the ground, and Ryan would spend days pulling and tugging on that damn root. He was convinced it was Hell’s telephone wire.
16. I jump rope every day while watching my DVR’d shows. Usually shows that I won’t have to pay full attention to, like The Real World.
17. I have always been hurt more by friends than boyfriends, and to this day I have a tough time trusting girls and I open up faster to guys (EMOTIONALLY, you guys. God!).
18. There used to be a really nice restaurant in town called Tambellini’s. My grandfather was friends with the owner, Louie. When I was 4, my grandfather asked me where I wanted to eat for my birthday and my aunt Susie (his youngest daughter) was all, “Tell him you want to go to Tambellini’s!” So I did and he was all, “Yeah, OK.” So we get to this restaurant and he goes, “Here we are, Louie’s Lookout!
” and I think I’m the shit, right? Having my birthday dinner at Louie’s restaurant? So then it becomes tradition that we go there for my birthday. But once I start reading, I see that the sign says “Paulie’s Lookout.” Feeling betrayed, I’m all, “Yo, Pappap, wtf?” and that’s when everyone starts laughing and I learn that he just didn’t feel like going to Tambellini’s that one year, so he pretended Paulie’s Lookout was Tambellini’s. I still called it Louie’s Lookout after that, and I still always picked that place for my birthday dinner. It’s not open anymore, but if it was, I’d so be taking Chooch there on his birthday.
19. Once, when I was dating my last boyfriend Jeff, we went out to dinner at this place called SkyVue. As we went up to pay, we were told our check was picked up by an elderly couple in a booth. I didn’t recognize them, and when we went over to thank them, the man said, “You two look like a nice couple and we like to treat people from time to time.” It was one of the nicest things a stranger had ever done for me, and I will never forget it. Not surprisingly, it hasn’t ever happened to Henry and me, probably because we don’t look like a nice couple. And Henry looks like a molester.
20. I used to collect brochures. The kinds you find in the lobbies of hotels and truck stops? I’d take one of each. It could have been about the best place in town to get dentures, and I’d still snatch one up. I had so many that I kept stuffed in the drawers of my desk, that I often was unable to close them.
I will never forget how panicked I felt the day my mom made me throw them out.
21. When I was 16, Nick at Nite ran a marathon of Sid and Marty Kroft shows. It was billed as Puffapalooza and I watched every single show they aired. During the commercials, they’d run ads for commemorative Puffapalooza ringer tees and I begged my mom to order me one. That shirt is STILL my all time favorite t-shirt I ever owned, but I unfortunately haven’t seen it since I moved out of my mom’s house.
22. I went through a phase in ninth grade where I would shave stripes through my eyebrows. It didn’t make sense because I kept my bangs so long you could never see my eyes anyway.
23. I was always trying to fight people in high school. I had/have rage issues. There were times when the social worker would have to call my mom to pick me up because I’d be on a rampage. But I never, not once, had detention. Teachers liked me for some reason and I was usually able to schmooze my way out of situations.
24. No one ever wanted to be in my group when we’d have to make videos in English class, because I was known for my directorial histrionics when things didn’t go perfectly. And once, everyone in my group got an A and I got a B because I wasn’t “in the video enough” and I flipped my shit. “Do you not know that I WROTE THAT WHOLE THING?? I EDITED IT AND MADE THE CREDITS AND I TOLD EVERY ONE WHAT THE HELL TO DO!” Then I threatened to take it to the school board (wtf, lol) and after meeting with me alone after school, she raised my grade to an A. Personally, I think she was just pissed because there was a scene where I parodied her, but whatever.
25. I’ve picked up somewhere around 8 hitchhikers in my day and the only one that made me scared for my life was a woman.