When I was in the fourth grade, a pivotal moment shaped me. It was a moment so steeped in hurt and meaning and feelings and bullshit—but it was also pretty much a rough lesson as to How the Real World Works—that it’s stuck with me ever since.
We were waiting in some line to go somewhere, I forget. Anyway, my dumbass friend and I were waiting in the hallway that led outdoors, with teacher at the back of the line getting the rest of the nose-pickers wrangled. My friend kept fucking with the door, opening and closing it, rattling the handle, making a ruckus. I remember even telling her, “You better knock it off. You’re going to get in trouble.”
“Who’s making that noise?” yelled Bitch Teacher, who I already pretty much hated because she harassed me about wearing my glasses daily.
And then my dumbass friend goes, “Molly’s doing it!”
I’m standing there, thinking, uh, yeah, I’m not taking the fall for this one. So I pipe up, “Um, no, Jennifer’s doing it.”
Now this is hardly the first jackass time this dumbass friend ever got me in a bad situation, nor hardly the last. In fact, she was a pretty shitty-ass friend to begin with. But, while I was standing there quietly, following the rules, I realized that I had just been fourth-grade buttfucked by an asshole. (This is a valuable lesson, for there will be countless times throughout one’s life when one will find oneself buttfucked by a moron/asshat/dickbag.)
Bitch Teacher comes storming up, glares at both of us, then goes, “The rest of you go to lunch. Molly, you stay behind.”
Then she pulls me aside and gives me a Big Speech about lying and covering your tracks and putting blame on other people. Then she says to me, “Do you know what a negative attitude is?”
I nod no. I’m a fourth-grader and that’s a big fucking word.
“It means you have a crappy viewpoint about everything. And you have a negative attitude and will never amount to anything.”
Well, maybe she didn’t take it that far, but that was the gist of the conversation.
That little discussion has stuck with me for life, for I don’t see myself as a negative attitude kind of gal. I’m kind of always the what-the-fuck, let’s-give-it-a-go kind of gal—adventurous, but realistic. Yes, I’m a realist, like this glass may be half-full, but it’s the desert and 110 degrees out here and three other people want this water and holy fuck how are we gonna get out of this realist. I equate extreme optimism with stupidity—you may have a fantastic attitude, but it ain’t gonna save your ass without some smarts and elbow grease.
And luckily, I found a career that indulges my ability to sniff through bullshit, approach most everything with cautious optimism and separate the wheat from the chaff, as a writer/editor. I don’t see my viewpoint as negative—in fact, I’m quite positive about life—I just hate all the crap that organized religion/corporations/Hollywood, etc., pumps out, trying to convince you that you need to have it/like it/accept it or you are a piece of shit. I believe this kind of thinking is called free will?
So, what am I even talking about? You may be wondering, dear reader, what has been up with me lately. I had a job, I lost a job, got my old job back. I live across from the PJs. I don’t have no mans. I mean, I’m watching Access Hollywood and even that crazy old coot Elizabeth Taylor is engaged to a 49-year-old guy—and she’s in her 70s, in a wheelchair and someone has to hold her water and straw for her to drink out of! And she has a mans! I realize that I need to step things up if I am to complete my Summer Trifecta of Happiness, (i.e. bike, dog, mans or multiple mans).
And so, I decree that my optimism will be taken to new levels for this summer. And to me, the very definition of optimism is buying condoms. You know that awesome feeling when you just meet someone new, and you’ve hung out once or twice or a few times, and you’ve got that feeling of anticipation that something is gonna happen. I love walking down the aisle of Duane Reed/Target/CVS, what have you, and feeling the need to chuck a 12-pack—no three-pack here, that’s amateur hour—into the old shopping cart.
(Long awkward pause…Usually I know how these things are going to end before I start writing. Not so here. This took about an extra day).
Optimism is showing up on the pavement—that’s right, our new season of street hockey has begun—and knowing that although your team got thrashed last season, this year might be different. And so, after the first half of the game, and being down 2-0, our team came back to score 5 goals in the second half and win the game. We had real passing and assisting going on—and it was fun. And we discovered that winning is so much better than losing.
After the game, we hung out at the league-wide bar, where many chicken wings and Miller High Lifes were consumed. And it sunk in even more that this year could be totally different. Like we could actually win some games and be good at it. Overall, the male hotness factor of the league has improved exponentially—and, I must say, successful flirtations were had with at least two hot guys.
Yes, this summer can be totally new—and so I hereby proclaim that 2010 will be the Greatest Summer of All Time!
Or, as our league motto says, “It’s on, asshole.”