My Entire Life’s Purpose

It’s the year of The Epiphany. We’re only a month in to the new year and I’m already discovering my entire life’s purpose. I can’t tell you what it is, but it’s really really good.

Oh my gosh. I wanna tell you so bad what my life’s purpose is. I SO do, but I just can’t. It’d be like blowing the candles out on my birthday cake and then telling you what I wished for. It won’t come true! Everyone knows magic is the key to destiny!

But what I can do is share some new discoveries. I tried to write a song the other day.

Do you know how hard it is to write a song? It’s maybe the worst thing in the world. You can’t listen to music while writing music, because all of a sudden your lyrics are to the tune of “Chandelier” by Sia or the two Bob Dylan songs you’ve been listening to on repeat for the last month. You can’t have any distractions, because all of a sudden you’re dancing to “Chandelier” by Sia (how could you not?) and wishing you had a nude leotard and then you quickly check on Asos if they sell one but you have to remember that you’re 5’9″-ish and who knows if that little Spandex number is gonna stretch in your favor or will it be like the time you bought that jumpsuit and really it just turned in to a wedgie machine and then you wasted more money which honestly should you even be spending money in the first place I mean come on, you’ve been through this a million times regretting stupid purchases like the dress you bought to look like Taylor Swift when she was walking down the street with the band HAIM and really it just looks like a hooker-peasant dress on you.

And really, you have to be in a certain mood to write a song in the first place, like either suicidal or engaged. I’m also pretty sure your name has to be Adele or Prince or something cool like that for anything to work anyways.

It’s very hard to write a song. I don’t know how Patti Smith can be all arty and take drugs and find time to write a book while writing lyrics and keeping her killer bangs relevant at all times.

patti

And then AFTER you write the song you have to put music to it and make the guitar do its thing and the piano do its thing and maybe if you’re feeling funky you need some type of beat! I have a Microsoft Windows 8 computer and an iPhone I can barely figure out. There will be no beats. I’d play my piano but I honestly can’t remember who I sold it to and plus it’s in America, and I’m not. So that leaves the guitar… which I also sold, is in America somewhere, and never learned to play in the first place.

Which means I need to start a band. Let me know if you’re interested.

Here’s some other discoveries I found out in slightly less detail.

Things I recently found I liked that I had no idea I probably liked all along: 

Salmon

Circuit training

Taking multiple pictures to prove I’m having a great time

Purplish lipstick

Passionfruit

Toes that aren’t broken

Paying off credit card bills

 

Things I recently found I hated that I had no idea I probably hated all along: 

Broken toes

Not being rich enough to fly wherever I want whenever I want

Chickens that are DISGUSTING visually

Chairs that don’t let me slouch

Internet that has data limits

Data limits

Pants that need a belt when I don’t have a belt

 

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If Only I Were Older

I just realized that I’m actually growing up and it’d be great if that could stop. I like where I’m at right now. I can do my job from anywhere in the world, I finally have an agent, I’m tan, and my credit score doesn’t make me want to vomit. Plus, I can appreciate a sunset now and stuff like that (but I’m no mush).

birthday

For years and years and years and years (i.e. forever), I’ve wanted to be older. Turning 10 was a miracle, because being a double digit was all I wanted in life. My double digit obsession was so significant that my mother made a banner for me and made all my friends sign it. I wanted to be that carefree 10-year-old that you always see on TV that doesn’t exist in real life… well, until I figured out what THIRTEEN meant!

O. M. G. Thirteen was the year. It was my blossoming from mere tween to the effervescent teenager, like the ones you always see on TV that don’t exist in real life. I would be incredible, with clothes from Hollister and American Eagle, my butterfly clips gone and the scarf belts IN. I would be taken seriously as a teenager, and never have to worry about anything ever again… until SIXTEEN was the goal.

DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT IT MEANS TO TURN SIXTEEN?!?!?! Whatever, probably not. You probably don’t know that you can DRIVE and… oh did I mention DRIVE to, um, ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD?! The world was going to change for me. I’d no longer be the 15-year-old dumbdumb who had a weird surgery that left her bedridden for like a million months. Oh, no. I’d be the indescribable hotshot WOMAN who could drive around her brand new Mercedes Benz 1980s Oldsmobile gold mini van that stopped working pretty much in the 1980s. And with all my hard earned money I made as a telemarketer, mall trips would be a display of my riches and glory that was obtained as a working girl… until EIGHTEEN hit that sweet, sweet perfect age spot I craved.

Eighteen was huge. Eighteen was college working horrendous nanny jobs because I couldn’t afford school, Los Angeles New York City, man of my dreams a guy that I dated for four months. Visions of adult me would sparkle so bright they would actually blind you. I didn’t care about living in a hotbox apartment for two weeks in Brooklyn with a heavy pot smoker commercial-jingle-maker and a fetish model because all I needed were DREAMS. Eighteen-year-old me was living in SoHo and paying $$$$ for rent because WHO CARES?! I was working 90 hours a week because I’m young! I’m hip! I’m… not TWENTY-ONE.

UGH. Can you even imagine what it’s like to be in New. York. City. and not be 21? Well, you don’t. You can’t go pretty much anywhere with your friends (update- you can) and you can’t do anything fun at all (update- you can).

But man, twenty-one was the YEAR. Not just the time when I could drink or rent a hotel room. It was the year people were going to take me seriously. This was the year of fame working at a hotel 80 hours a week, fortune see previous ‘working at a hotel 80 hours a week’, fun sleeping during my free time.  Twenty-one was supposed to be so brilliant that I wouldn’t even lie about my age anymore. I would wake up and create and do comedy and never make mistakes! I would not cry over things like rent and little rich boys who are stupid. Oh no, not me! Because 21 was the time I would consciously become older—officially. I would seal the deal with a blowing out of the candles and a dinner with the girls.

The thing is, though, that no one told me that I’d still lie about my age (because God forbid I was young). No one told me that one night I’d go to work and get roofied and then two weeks later I’d have to “resign”. No one told me that I’d not have a job for an entire month and have to clean my room to find spare change for dollar pizza. No one told me that I’d cry a lot (because I never cry!! I’m a brick!! A brick house of not crying!!). I just needed to turn 22 to make this all go away.

The thing is, though, 22 wasn’t any easier. I had a nanny job where kids literally punched me in the stomach, called me names that I won’t even say, and a boss who emailed me 6 times by 6:04 A.M. DEMANDING that I know where her child placed his marker box and that is was MY FAULT. I had some awesome opportunities for TV shows that I (STUPIDLY STUPIDLY STUPIDLY STUPIDLY) gave up because I didn’t want to get fired… from a job where children were punching me and screaming in my face because I wouldn’t let them use a calculator on their math homework.

And forget about acting—I had to almost give that up entirely because there was no time. No time for auditions and callbacks and improvising and seeing shows at 11 PM (see job above). I had a roommate who would not let me use her CEREAL BOWL (????????). THE PACKERS DID NOT DO WELL IN THE PLAYOFFS.

But then, magic happened, and I turned 23… not exactly the year of magnificent change to most. It’s the year I quit my job over the phone in Atlantic City (don’t worry, it’s warranted) and the year I get to sit and type this to you from AUSTRALIA!

My mom wrote me the most beautiful letter when I turned 22– I can’t remember it perfectly but she wrote something along the lines of, “Now that you’re 22, I hope you get to enjoy being your age. I hope you get to see that being where you are right now in your life is worth wanting to stay in.” (is that not poetic or what?).

So now I’m 23 and almost 24 and I want to stay in it. I want to enjoy being this. I wish I could Peter Pan this joint and live forever young. From ages 10-21, all the moments I expected turned out almost the exact opposite. As opposite as Miley Cyrus and me. As opposite as weddings and funerals (haha who am I kidding, they’re the same!). BUT, I really liked driving that hideous Oldsmobile (labeled ‘The Party Van” that I never partied in) and working for rich people (labeled “Upper East Side”).

I don’t know, I like to think I gathered character traits that helped me stand up for not wanting to be punched by small children and travel because that’s exactly what I’ve wanted to do forever. I learned a lot of things the hard way and a few things the fun way. I started drinking green juices. I’m waking up before 10.

I’m enjoying this. So please make it stop. I’d like to be 23 forever. My plea, World, is to stop making me grow. I’m done. You can let me die, that’s fine. Just let me stay 23 forever.

…….Unless 24 comes with a new pair of shoes?

 

The Story of Lannah… Larper

Once upon a time, there was a girl named… Lannah. Lannah had very long, naturally dark blonde hair because she was too afraid to do anything drastic to it. Her eyes were the color of coffee (WELL IF YOU GOT THE RIGHT ROAST) and her favorite pastime was searching plane ticket prices on Kayak.com.

Lannah was sweet and friendly (for the most part). She had her moments, of course! There was an instance when driving (or maybe a million instances, storytelling is very tricky from one mouth to the next) where she screamed at the top of her lungs, “I HATE EVERY DRIVER YOU ARE THE SCUM OF THE EARTH WHAT IN THE WORLD WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!?”. Shouting to nobody in particular, her voice would screech the air, and a tiny little finger from the other car’s window would flip the bird as that stupid idiot in the other vehicle would almost clip her because he was a completely incompetent human being who somehow bypassed the DMV’s system and obtained a driver’s license!!!!!!!!!!

We all know that wasn’t Lannah’s fault, obviously. But she had faults. Oh, did she ever! Poor Lannah couldn’t keep her room clean, no matter how hard she tried. Well, she didn’t really “try” try, but she “tried” as in like, just keep that here for now, I’m sure I’ll need it soon “try”.

She also had a horrible habit of prioritizing things poorly. Lannah’s general priority list would look something like this:

  1. Buy Coffee
  2. Watch Netflix
  3. Check Facebook
  4. Drink Coffee
  5. Watch Netflix
  6. Go to the gym
  7. Watch HBO Go
  8. Clean roo-hahahhaahahhaahahahhahahaha
  9. Financ-hahahahhahahahahhahahahaha

She was a hard worker- I’ll give her that. Whenever Han … Lannah had to work at a given job, she worked her best and her hardest. But on her days off, Lannah had an extreme talent to become a lazy sack of human flesh. (If you read other versions of this story, others have described the lazy-day as “eyes awake but brain-dead”, “an idiot with a cup of coffee in her hand”, and “a braless wonder capable of using the word ‘literally’ incorrectly an astonishing amount of times per day”). She couldn’t fight the urge to sleep. And sleep some more. And then some more.

photo 3

Caffeine stopped being effective. Noises and voices ceased to keep her awake. Pandora no longer asked her if she was listening!

Lannah knew something had to be done. She began to picture her future- and it was dismal! She saw herself surrounded by piles of coffee cups around her La-Z-Boy, her Netflix account being suspended (“We’re sorry. You have watched everything on our site. There is nothing more. This is the end.”). Notebooks filled with pages and pages of two-lines-worth of horribly written song lyrics (“where’d you go/now I know”). A cat.

Ew.

Lannah didn’t want that life. She wanted more. She wanted her dreams fulfilled and a log cabin in Whistler and a beach home in Fiji. She wanted a bulldog named Stud Muffin that she didn’t, like, have to be “responsible” for, but more like the cool fun aunt who bought the dog treats and swaggy collars.

She knew that in order to do that, things would have to change. No more binge watching TV shows, and no more letting responsibilities go to the wayside. (Except keeping her room clean. That was a long shot from the get-go.)

Slowly, Lannah began to change. She started off small, creating attainable to-do lists. Her coffee costs went down (…slightly- errr- minimally). Her penchant for loving every television show EVER on the planet stayed, but her penchant for feeling obligated to watch 20 episodes a day eventually withered.

…I can’t remember the rest of the story in perfect detail. Basically she’s great. She turned her life around. Something along the lines of, “Hannah, I mean Lannah, is an extremely successful actor and writer living in Los Angeles, California. Her Oscar-winning performance in the movie “Kissing Bradley Cooper a Million Times” (starring Lannah… Larper and Bradley Cooper) has been revered as one of the “most inspiring performances from an actor in a thousand years”. She achieved all her dreams because she was willing to stop being so lazy all the time. She’s an inspiration to us all. She’s an inspiration to the world.”

 

Maybe I Knew Her

Her window is half open, and so is mine. Her old ballerina shoes are on the concrete, while I wear my sandals past. Her face is etched in my mind forever. Mine she has never seen.

Or maybe she has. Maybe we have crossed paths once or a hundred times, at the grocery store or the post office. Maybe at the fruit stand on her block. Maybe we crossed paths right where she was last I saw her.

I know her. I know her too well. I see the candles casting a shadow on her face, her black curly hair and smile. I see her in my nightmares and I see her when I can’t fall asleep. I see her under the white blanket of forfeit.

I don’t know anyone else she knows. I don’t know if she had a husband or a boyfriend or a fling or three or five. I don’t know if she had a sister or seven siblings or a twin or a half brother. I could never say whether she was from a loving home or a broken home, or if she grew up with two parents or one or none at all. I can’t picture her family Christmas or Hanukah, because I don’t know if she was Jewish or Catholic or an atheist or Muslim.

But I know her. I know her like the back of my hand. She’s the face I see when I close my eyes and when I open them and feel that she is peering at the back of my head. It’s dark outside but I feel her presence as a ghost or an angel. I see her as she is. As she is now.

Maybe I rushed passed her near the train station so I could beat her to the punch. Maybe I picked up a piece of trash she had littered on the sidewalk (if she even did that at all). Maybe I passed her best friend who was on her way to her apartment. Maybe I saw her at the ballet. Maybe she performed in the ballet I saw.

I don’t know what she found funny, or if her shows were my shows. I don’t know if she cried at pet adoption commercials or changed the channel, or if she had a dog or a cat or a fish. I don’t know if she kept her room messy or clean, or if she recycled or just threw everything in to whatever left over plastic bag she had on hand.

But I know her. If she were to walk past me right now, I’d know her this time. I would say my hello and use my smile and never rush past her just to win my chance at a seat on the oncoming train. I would nod my head as we passed each other at the convenience store, or at the late night bakery where we both craved chocolate.

I wouldn’t understand why she killed herself.

I’d cry myself to sleep and regret not figuring out what was wrong. Did I ignore signs? Did I not answer the one question that had been plaguing her mind with suicidal thoughts? Was the phone call I missed from her one of the many she had made to family and friends?

The truth is: I don’t know.

But I know her. It’s been two weeks, and I still can’t sleep. I’ve seen her alive in a photograph next to a candle on the sidewalk where she took her life. I’ve seen her smiles and funny faces and black curly hair and notes of comfort added to a poster board beside it all.

I’ve seen her dead under a blanket. I felt the shiver as I walked past, the disbelief in what I saw. I’ve let my imagination take full force as she arrives in my dreams and in my room at night and when I walk past her apartment. I see her dead with disfigurement and goriness and horror-movie makeup. I’ve seen her.

I don’t know if she fell through her window on impulse or if she tried long and hard to make the feeling go away. I don’t know if she did it because of disappointment or anger or sadness, or none of those reasons at all. I don’t know if she did it because of money or love or career. I just don’t know.

But I do know that she was loved. I’ve seen it on the sidewalk. The people praying for her or taking the time to look at the same pictures I’ve looked at. Whoever her family is, whoever her friends are- they are grieving. They don’t understand.

They thought they knew her.

 

 

These Are The Plans I Have Made That Didn’t Work Out

I was going to get married young, either eighteen or nineteen (definitely not twenty- a spinster!), have fourteen a few kids by the time I was twenty-four, and sail off in to the sunset as a free woman with all my kids out of the house by the age of forty-two — helllllloooooo Italy!

Well I’m twenty-three now and have done none of those. Not on purpose or  on accident, but because Josh Hartnett did not knock on my parent’s door and profess his love to me during my senior year of high school like I planned on him doing. (Josh could not be reached for comment at this time, or ever.)

The problem is I have believed (and still do, at times) that a lot of achievements could be made through something as simple as marriage or settling down or eating one more slice of pizza (One of these things is not like the other? False. Everything leads to pizza.). I have seen best friends and acquaintances and friends of friends walk down the aisle with the love of their life, barely in their twenties. And man, have I been jealous. Not in the “I’m gonna take your man, get outttttta the way!!” way, but in the “Awwww. WHY NOT ME!? WHY!?” way. They look so happy, mostly because they are, and genuine happiness is what we all want, right? If not all of us, then definitely me at the very least.

My parents were married young. My mom married at nineteen and had me by the age of twenty. She had three kids by the age of twenty-four (sound familiar?), all her kids are out of the house… and she’s younger than Demi Moore by almost a decade. They’re happy, my parents. And in love. Still.

A family I babysit for have the most wonderful fifteen month old baby, and I learned they have been married for fourteen years (WHICH IS IMPOSSIBLE UNLESS THEY’RE CARRYING SOME TYPE OF FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH GENE). They were married right out of high school, having known each other since seventh grade. And they’re happy. They still get pizza every year for their anniversary. (I told you. Everything leads to pizza.)

It’s a funny thing, naiveté. For so long I’ve felt that’s what is right for others should also be right for me. Getting married young, having kids young, grabbing a pretty home in the suburbs and firing up the grill on summer nights. Or even getting married young, and being that cool married couple that lives in cool town, USA, being cool with all their cool and jealous single friends. The solutions for a life of bliss! I suppose it could be viewed as a “small town” mentality, but I don’t think it’s wrong to have those things a young age. I think it’s awesome.

Just not awesome for me. Not right now, anyways. I’m still trying to figure out my own life! Josh Hartnett didn’t knock on my door and Bradley Cooper is NOT TAKING MY CALLS! I’m making serious life changes in the next few months, and the last thing I should be doing is going on dates with a guy who is a self-described “pepperoni prince” (EVERYTHING leads to pizza.).

Plus, deep down, I don’t really want that right now (I know I tell you the opposite, Caroline. But just slap me next time.). I want to create and use my time working on things I’ve dreamed about wanting my whole life! I want to be that twenty-something who spends her time traveling and inventing and sleeping weird hours and taking steps in every which direction. I’m still trying to figure out how to save money and spend it wisely, how to invest in my future without going in to huge sums of debt. I’m trying to figure out how to stop power-watching TV shows on Netflix and actually cross off tasks on my to-do list. I’m still trying to find what it is that I want/need in my other half that includes more than the phrase “tall, dark, and handsome”.

To some, especially in New York, the fact that I’m twenty-three and having these feelings is absolutely ludicrous. Most people I know who are married here didn’t even start dating until their thirties, and still that’s no guarantee that they’ve locked in their dreamboat for life. When marriage does come, the kids don’t usually start until late thirties or early forties (assuming they do want children).

The juxtaposition of the two worlds is strange, as I have been in both for large quantities of time. It seems to be that if I stay in a bigger city with more people and choices, the harder it will be to find someone. Or, the opposite, if I move back to a small town, will I find the love of my life the minute my foot hits something other than the MTA? (Was that too Carrie? Ugh.)

My realization has come to this- maybe neither is right for me. Maybe I’ll be smack down in the middle, finding someone at twenty-eight. Maybe I won’t find someone until I hit forty or even fifty. Maybe I’ll walk out my door tomorrow and go oogly googly over some guy grabbing a coffee from the street vendor. Maybe Bradley Cooper will pick up the phone (?!?!). I don’t think it really matters. What matters is assuming that I know how my life is going to play out which- HAHA! Is a joke! Nothing I’ve ever planned has ever panned out how I thought it was going to, and that’s all right.

I’m going to enjoy not worrying, grab a slice of pizza, and enjoy the unknown like a big weirdo.

 

To My Brother On Your 21st

Dude. You’re twenty-one. How’d that happen?

1966922_10152066874362085_8193797425491355520_n

Since it sounds like you’re not ever planning on drinking, I’m not going to toss you a cold brewsky (who do I think I am, some frat boy?) or take you to wine country to sniff out twenty different types of vino. It sounds like you don’t plan on smoking, which is great, because if you ever did I would punch you in the throat and scream in your ear, “THAT’S what smoking will do to you five years from now, you moron!”. It also sounds like you’re not huge in to drugs, which makes me happy, because if you ever even attempt to LOOK at cocaine I will rig your television to play Les Miserables on repeat and make every ringtone on your phone Liam Neeson’s line from Taken– “I will find you, and I will kill you.” (Inferring that you will pee your pants a little every time it comes on, and that you will always feel that someone is watching you. I may be your sister, but I never promised I’d be your nice sister).

I can tell you a lot about something, though, that I believe will benefit you greatly. As you have turned the ripe, golden age that Americans have deemed “adulthood” (a pack of lies), you are now eligible to stay in hotels by yourself. You can go and check in at the Holiday Inn in Corpus Christie or the Four Seasons in Paris. You can nosh on some guava at the St. Regis in Bora Bora or head to Deer Valley and try your luck at the Black Diamond.

YOU control your room service destiny. Want four pieces of chocolate cake? Done! Hungry for a steak and a fish and a weird wheatgrass shot? Send those babies up. I know you think that these things cost extra, and they do, but do you really think that freedom should have any price limit? I for one will stand up and fight for your right to order a chocolate shake from the hotel kitchen. That 18 percent fee tacked on to your bill has nothing on the pleasure of watching “Storage Wars” while sitting in a bed that you will NEVER have to worry about making. Go willy nilly and veg out on that pizza!

But, man, there’s even more.

As Sister In Charge Forever and Ever No Matter What, I decree that you must choose how you want to live your life by your twenty-second birthday, or you will be married to Lady Bertha of Unibrowlivillia. There are two options, and you must pick the right one- although I would just pick one before next June 7 so you don’t run the risk of making Bertha your bride to be.

Your first choice is to be ordinary. You can do the things other people have told you to do, go through the same motions day in and day out, take no risks and not worry about any reward. This way of life isn’t awful, and you can live a seemingly average life. You can wake up every day with no choices, as you have already planned out everything. You can keep it simple.

Your second choice is to be extraordinary. You choose to do the things that decide to make you happy, not based on how much money you have in your bank account but by how much it moves you to change in to a better person everyday. You can create the masterpieces you put in your Inventor Journal when you were eleven, even if they don’t ever work, but try to create them just for the sheer nostalgia and will to try. You can try your hand at skydiving or  learn how to sail a boat or even finish learning Japanese. You can find a group of friends who inspire you to embrace a side of yourself you didn’t expect, like starting a band or perfecting a soufflé. You can do whatever you want, because you have found a way to make life new everyday, and can make choices over and over again because that means you have not settled for anything mediocre.

I hope you choose the path that gives you hope and joy and sadness and anger and a flood of emotions, because being young is literally a once in a lifetime situation. It’s the time you have an opportunity to be YOU to the fullest extent, even if no one else understands you or likes you. But that’s crap, because OF COURSE someone else will be there to understand you and like you. They’ll be extraordinary, just like you.

That is… if you choose to be extraordinary. If you choose to be ordinary, well- I should tell you that ordinary people never order room service.

I’d rather marry Bertha.

Happy 21st to my extraordinary (hope I’m not jumping the gun?!?!) brother.

Love,

Your Sister In Charge Forever and Ever No Matter What

24 Years of Marriage and Two Birds Named Dan and Debbie

It’s my parent’s anniversary on Monday, which means they will have been married for twenty-four years. It’s fantastic, they’re in love, but most imporantly guys can I borrow a couple bucks? they’ve been pretty exceptional parents.

Seriously, just a few. Like a few dollars? Maybe PayPal it or send it to my Chase, I kind of have a coffee drinking problem and I don’t know how to get rid of it. I have decided to stop drinking soda again, though, so don’t worry! Your money won’t be wasted there. 

mom and dad 3

In honor of their bliss, I have written 24 things I like about them, things they have taught me, advice I liked and/or hated, and observations I have made about them while I’ve been busy growing up.

1. Chocolate milk is not an everyday drink. We only bought it on special occasions, like on a birthday or when cool people were sleeping over. It was a hard childhood.

2. When in doubt, stick an onion ring in your nose. Dad taught me that table manners don’t really matter, and it’s definitely more fun to pretend to be a raging bull eating steak. Or sticking baby carrots in the front of your mouth to play a seal in a one man dinner production of “Dad Seal”.

3. Butts are great to look at. Mom helped me realize this, and it’s probably one of my favorite things on this list. It’s not my fault I’m staring at your butt, fellas. It’s my Mom’s. After all, it is how she picked out my dad behind him on a pew in church.

4. Blanket forts make great dinner party spaces. My siblings and I must have made a million and one forts with our couches and bed sheets and pillows. We were allowed to eat dinner in it, too, and that was pretty cool.

5. Mom hates surprises, Dad loves them. Example: Mom does not like surprise birthday parties. Dad throws Mom surprise birthday parties all the time.

6. After meeting my parents, my friends say, “Wow, they really love you.” That’s pretty cool, huh? WELL IT IS. IT’S AWESOME. The first things my friends notice is that my parents LOVE me?! WHAT! How cool! Not, “Wow, your parents be mad cray yo! Yo dad put an onion ring IN HIS NOSE.”

7. Mom needs to be on a game show. She has the best luck of almost anyone I know. Like, if there is an entire arena full of chairs, and there is ONE prize envelope taped to only one of the chairs, that’s the chair my mom chooses (and it’s true. That happened.)

8. I was a very, very ugly newborn baby. I’m sorry, Mom and Dad, but this makes me angry. I am actually TERRIFIED of what my first child will look like. Remember how we didn’t see Suri for the first six months of her life? That’s because she was UGLY and Katie and Tom were scared of public opinions. My brother and sister turned out fine. I’m kind of angry about that too.

9. The most important thing about Christmas is Luke 2. It’s read absolutely every Christmas morning without fail. Presents are usually opened by Christmas Eve at the latest, because Dad and sis can’t handle the waiting of an extra twenty-four hours.

10. Dad makes the best eggs. He just does and you can’t tell me someone or some place does them better. Your point is moot, and to prove it, Dad will cook you up some the next time he sees you.

11. Dan and Debbie. I remember having birds as a kid, and I named them after my parents. I think one of them flew away because I don’t know? My real parents never flew though. That’s kind of lame.

12. The house is always open for company! This is hands down my favorite, because they taught me to always be friendly to anyone you meet. It’s served me well for most times (except the times I’ve probably been a jerk to people on the subway). It’s filtered in to my everyday life, always trying to help others. They have always helped others, even when they haven’t had much, and even when it annoyed my siblings and me.  We had the house where every kid in town was comfortable hanging out at, the doors never locked, and always having an extra seat at the dinner table.

13. No curfew. I loved this, mostly because I never did anything in high school, and also because it allowed me to have sleepovers on a lot of school nights.

14. Henry and Henrietta. They give themselves weird nicknames, which is way better than, I don’t know, Pooky (BLEH).

15. Don’t wear too much eyeliner, you’ll look like a raccoon. You know when you’re fourteen, and applying eyeliner was like a toddler taking a marker to a clean white wall with extreme vigor? Well I never did that, because Mom was right, you DO look like a raccoon. I’ve never admired raccoons enough to look like them, so I’ve always been keen to the au natural look, which, I think, is easier on my face and easier on your eyes.

16. They will be the best grandparents. They tell me this. All. The. Time. And I believe it wholeheartedly! I’m also frightfully aware that the last person to ask me out was 5’2″ with a lazy eye. (And no, that’s not a joke.)

17. The mute buttons on their phones work really well. I know I talk a lot, and I guess they do, too, since they usually PUT ME ON MUTE so they can go about their business while I’m rambling.

18. Dad called Bob Seger “Tom Seger” one time. It was at a doctor’s appointment, and he was trying to impress the nurse by telling her he used to be a DJ. He was naming off his favorite singers and bands, and going on about this “Tom Seger”. I still laugh any time I remember this story, and I will absolutely never let him forget it.

19. Believe in people’s dreams and stuff. My parents used to drive me an hour and a half to Milwaukee so I could go to John Casablanca’s. If you don’t know what that is, JC is an institution where they convince parents to pay hundreds of dollars because their children insist they want to be an actor when they grow up. JC kind of ended up being a fluke, but I do not remember one time when my parents have tried to dissuade me or pressure me in to doing something I didn’t want to do, and that’s pretty cool. I mean, for goodness sake, they drove seven hours to take me to an American Idol audition.

20. Diet soda is bad for you. The most rebellious act I played out in high school was drinking DIET SODA when I wasn’t around them. Not beer. DIET SODA. Because Mom was allergic to aspartame (an ingredient in diet pops), we never had it in the house. It’s also really really bad for you. And it’s addicting and wonderful and soothing. My mom told me this way before I heard about the bad side affects of aspartame, so my mom was like Buzzfeed Breaking News before there was Buzzfeed Breaking News.

21. 30 Second Songs. We used to go on a lot of car trips growing up, and with three kids, my parents found the single best way to pass the time. We called it “30 Second Songs”, and the goal was simple- someone would throw you a word, and for 30 seconds, you had to sing about that word. That’s all it was. And we played it for hours.

22. You can be mad, but you don’t get to be bad. I have heard this oodles of times from Mom and Dad since I was little, and I love it. I even tell it to the kids I babysit! You can be upset about something, but that doesn’t mean you get to throw a hissy fit. For instance, say your four-year old sister won’t stop following you around, and so you throw your brush in anger at the bathroom mirror and crack it (7 years of bad luck? YOU HAVE NO IDEA.).

23. It’s OK to tell the doctor to shut up. Especially when they’re being mean to you in the emergency room, and you’re insisting that something is wrong. And they keep saying, no there isn’t! And then you have EMERGENCY SURGERY because they’re idiots. Mom and Dad know best!

24. They really, actually, truly love each other. Enough said.

 

There’s probably like, 4,502 more ditties I could put down, but these stuck out to me. I really, really love ’em and everything they do for others and for my siblings and me. So, Happy Anniversary you two lovebirds!