So, I have a theory that the most compelling, entertaining kind of personal writing involves complete, utter, naked embarrassment on the part of the writer. And who among us was not at their most embarrassing during that heady decade between the ages of ten and twenty?
Case in point: a dear friend (who I will not link because she doesn't want to talk about it anymore, OK?) recently admitted via blog that, at nineteen, she dated one Dave "Uncle Joey" Coulier. I know. I know. But we're not going to talk about it.
Instead, in the spirit of sisterly support and solidarity, I would like present some of my own sins from the high 80's. (Sadly, they do not involve Canadian-born sitcom stars.) The scene: I was twelve, and entering the National Written & Illustrated By Contest, and putting together a volume of poetry (poetry!) and this is it:
That's right. "Impressions." Which sounds very much like a series of trite motivational posters, or a brand of pantyliners with Monet's waterlilies on the wrappers. (Or, come to think of it, those things the hilarious Dave Coulier is known for doing, but we're not talking about it!)
Really, I dare anyone to come up with a title as bland, nondescript, and twee as "Impressions." It's almost painful to look at.
And even worse with splatter paint.
All of the book's actual poems and table of contents were typed up in Word Perfect, printed out on a dot matrix printer, and lovingly trimmed and pasted onto the page.
Dot matrix 4 ever, baby. Can you make out that list of titles? Let me help:
"Horse?" "Dreams?" Mother freaking "Dew Drops?" It's almost like a parody of a book of poetry written by a twelve-year-old girl in the late 80's. I do wish there were at least one called "Pegasus" and maybe one called "Feelings" and possibly one called "Puffy Iridescent Lisa Frank Stickers On My Soul."
The actual contents are too painful to reveal. They are baaaaad, so nakedly earnest yet horribly cliche and hokey that I can barely bring myself to read them, let alone post for the greater Internets to see.
I will give you one, a precious little haiku called "Reality."
Deep. I mean, it really makes you think, right? About, like, life. And dreams and stuff. And just what did I choose to illustrate this stunning bit of wisdom?
Girl, please; it was 1989.
(Needless to say, I did not win. The winning entry was called "Life in the Ghetto" and, really, how could my suburban, Idahoan, rainbow-painting ass possibly compete with that? Well played, Anika Thomas, wherever you are.)