Secrets

With the end of the school year approaching, taking online classes, going to New York for Spring Break, waiting for Radiohead’s new album to be released, and finding pictures of me napping to put on the Instagrams, I neglected our Girls Gone Oscar Wilde Writing Group.

A couple of days ago, when Liesl sent me one of the saddest SnapChats I’ve ever seen, imploring me come back, I decided I needed to get my Hashtag Priorities together and rededicate myself to GGOWWG. I started by re-reading some of my entries. I’ve decided to post some of them on my blog over the next several days for your reading pleasure.

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When you’re 25, unmarried, and living in Provo, a lot of people try to set you up on blind dates. I have mixed feelings about blind dates. On one hand, if you don’t like the person, you never have to see them again, which can take off a lot of pressure. You don’t need to worry about seeing them at work or school or church and feeling uncomfortable. On the other hand, you do have to worry about seeing the person that set you up and attempting to tactfully explain to them why you didn’t fall instantly in love with their cousin or friend or nephew or co-worker or cousin’s friend’s nephew’s co-worker. 

Worse than that though, is that blind dates feel unnatural and contrived, full of trite questions about majors, hometowns, and “hobbies”, like people actually have those. Several months ago, I was set up on a blind date and the guy texted me for a day or so before the date. It’s bad enough trying to talk to someone you don’t know on a date, let alone through text before you ever meet them.

He asked me about my job and my interests. I was driving in the car with my roommate, Heidi, when I got this text: “Tell me something about you that no one else knows.”

As if, of all the people in my life, the one I am most likely to tell my secrets to would be the blind date I’ve yet to meet.

Heidi and I started making a list of potential answers to that question.

“I collect fingernail clippings.”

“I can type 83 wpm with my feet.”

“There’s a meth lab in my bathtub.”

“My pillow is filled with human hair.”

“I’ve read the entire Animorphs series…twice.”

“I was born in a dog-food factory.”

“I once performed a lobotomy on myself.”

“My teeth are whittled from poached elephant tusks.”

But then I started thinking of real answers to that question, which was harder than I expected. I realized most things no one else knew about me were probably things I didn’t actually realize about myself. Many of the few I thought of, I remembered that I’d told at least one person, and thus didn’t think they counted.

I’ve been thinking about this for weeks now, and I can only come up with six (that are shareable on the inter-webs):

I generally think in complete sentences. Frequently, they sound like a conversation, like I’m talking something out with myself. I don’t know if other people’s psyches sound like this. Is this a sign of insanity, talking to yourself in your mind?

One day when I was probably around 7 or 8 years old, I wrote two sentences of a story about a panda named Julie that lived in the jungle with her two friends, a koala and a frog. I stopped, re-read the sentences I had written, and decided they were so awful that I threw away the story and started crying. I’ve always been too scared to write fiction ever since.

I always use two towels when I shower because, although I know it doesn’t make sense, I hate the thought of using the same towel on my face and hair that I use on the rest of my body.

I think I want to be a foster parent someday. Being a teacher, I’ve seen there are a lot of kids out there that just need someone solid and stable and loving in their lives. I think it’s a bit of a blessing that I love junior high aged kids as much as I do, and it’s an age where they need those things all the more, and I think I could do that for them.

The two things I dream about the most frequently are 1) waking up one morning to discover that I am either getting married or I am pregnant and having no recollection of the events that led up to that moment and everyone around me seems to know what is going on and are really excited and all I can think is how terrified I am, and 2) tornadoes. What these things say about my subconscious, I don’t know. Any insights you might have are welcome.

When I was nine years old, my sisters and I went to a movie theater in Denver on a very rainy Friday night to see the Mormon horror film, Brigham City. The only other person in the theater was a sinister looking old man, as if the universe couldn’t find anything else to have made that night more terrifying for me. I was so scared of being murdered in my bed after watching that movie that I refused to sleep on my stomach for the next decade.

So there you are, Internet. Now you know my secrets. And if we ever go on a date, we’ll have nothing to talk about.

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