I practiced for the school spelling bee for weeks in the fifth grade, and when the big day came, I spelled my way to safety through a dozen rounds. Eventually it was down to me and one other kid, standing in the front of the auditorium while the whole school sat and watched. My opponent had just flubbed a word, and if I spelled the next one correctly, I’d win the whole thing. A kindergartner in the front row held her breath while I walked up to the microphone.
“Corral,” I said. “C-O-R-R-A-L. Corral.”
I am a bad friend.
Sure, I have my moments. If you’re my friend and someone is mean to you, I will 100% make up cruel and crazy rumors about them without you even asking me to. If you’re feeling sad, I will stare at you uncomfortably and then suggest that we work through our feelings by eating them. If you’ve just had a baby, I will only compare it to my kitten a few hundred times instead of a few thousand, which is what I would do if you were just an acquaintance.
I’m big on organizing and ordering information. I don’t know if you could tell from my list-based blog, so I’ll come right out and say it: I like lists. A lot.
– Lists are efficient! Say you and I are attacked by bears. (Please don’t let this theoretical situation deter you from inviting me on your next outdoor adventure. I’m super fun on camping trips!) (I’m not fun on camping trips.) You’re carrying a book titled How to Survive a Bear Attack! It’s incredibly in-depth and would probably be helpful if you weren’t currently facing an angry bear. On the other hand, I’m holding a list highlighting the key aspects of bear fighting. While you’re frantically skimming Chapter One (“Identifying Bears”) and being charged by what you now recognize as Ursus americanus, I’m punching my bear in the face and showing what it really means to be an americanus.
I’m sick again because my immune system checked my calendar and noticed this would be a really bad week for me to be less than functional. My white blood cells schedule all their fights for the days I have a lot to do. It’s a fun game we like to play.
I’m not good at getting sick. In an ideal world, I would get unearthly pale and sit in my bed embroidering something while people fretted around me. I’d bravely said things like, “Don’t worry about me. I’ll pull through.” with a weak, tragic smile. If it was bad enough, I’d die with a tiny sigh and a promising poetry career cut tragically short. Also, for some reason I’d be blonde.