I would punch teen/kid me in the eyeball if I could travel back in time.
I will now start an ongoing, growing list for you of things I used to do (and also say) as a kid that were dumb (and also annoying).
- I liked to make Woody Woodpecker noises. I liked doing it suddenly, in very silent situations. But I wouldn’t do it just once. You do it once, everyone is laughing. I would start doing it and I wouldn’t stop. Even after people were clearly weirded out by it, I kept it up.
- When I was six, I would go to the park and play. If I saw a parent with their child at the park, I would approach the parent and talk to them. Looking back on this, a few things stand out in my mind. One is that I can remember going to the park alone as early as four years old. This was either before the big kidnapping scare, or my parents were hoping someone would run off with me. The other thing is that, at the time, I thought that these parents would really want to talk to me. Through adult eyes, their discomfort is rusty catheter level. They really didn’t want to talk to me. And yet, I would stand there and make up stories about how I was the only blonde hair blue eyed member of my Native American tribe.
- When I was seven, I faked my own death. I recall looking out over the heads of all of the kids on the playground, feeling the liveliness all around me, noticing that none of it involved me, that from my spot on the monkey bars I could come and go and not one of them would notice. This freaked me right out. And so, I dramatically let myself fall straight backwards from the top of the monkey bars onto the concrete below, and there I lay- perfectly still, holding my breath as students gathered around me. Finally, my teacher ran to me, and as I could smell her apple hand lotion I took a dramatic, deep inhale of breath and was resurrected.
- As a teenager, any time the song “Loser” came on the radio, I would sing along with it, but I would change the words to “I’m a loser magnet. So why don’t you date me?” And I would do it with that self-assured look a person gets on their face. You know the look. The one with the smirk and eyebrows inward, my whole face practically jabbing everyone in the ribs and going “Eh? Get it? Clever, right? It’s funny because it’s true.”