‘Who I Am’ As Told By Fictional People
This might be the most nerve-wracking thing I’ve written on Medium.
One: I have my CPA and Masters in Tax. This does not add up to a particularly thrilling backstory.
Two: My idea of must-see TV is from last century. (See, even that slogan is dated!) I’m not sure I can make this current. But if you love throwbacks and nostalgia, I’m probably going to be great at this!
~ Diane Court, Say Anything ~
OK. I wasn’t remotely as smart or as gorgeous as Diane. And I never had a Lloyd Dobler.
But, yeah, I led a mostly introverted, quiet existence throughout high school. I enjoyed advanced math classes (really); preferred as little attention as possible; and I didn’t drink, do drugs, or have any beaus of consequence.
I wasn’t a geek, but I wasn’t popular either. I had a wide group of friends — some were really smart, some were very creative and artsy, some were athletic. Often my friends were some combination of all three.
As mentioned here, my senior year I was an unlikely pick for my school’s Interact calendar. Yes, the quiet (but secretly pretty snarky) and unassuming smart chick was Miss February!
And believe it or not I got nominated for two senior superlatives: “best looking” and “most reliable.” If you were nominated for more than one category, you declared which one you would prefer in case you won both.
Want to take a guess which I picked?
It was irrelevant. I lost both (though I would have been worthy of most reliable).
The P.S. to my best looking loss: a friend was helping with the superlative calculations. He confided that I was number two. (Color me shocked!)
The winner looked like Brooke Shields and went onto do some modeling abroad.
It would have been absurd for me to have been selected over her.
My ego happily takes that number 2 slot. I figure I got the underdog vote!
The biggest P.S. is that I always assumed that one of my girl friends had nominated me. For years I believed that.
But a few years ago I learned the truth about who nominated me. I will keep his privacy but that fact that he nominated me is worthy of Say Anything!
~ Alex P. Keaton, Family Ties ~
My hero’s Reagan not Nixon. Alex’s infatuation was economics while my fascination was with estate and gift taxes. Seriously, when I was about 15 I started getting into estate, gift, and income taxes. (Nope, I’m not normal!)
I’m not as high achieving or neurotic as Alex, but his unapologetic love of academics, his yuppy fashion sense, and confusion about dating still resonate.
~ Elinor Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility ~
I can get feisty on occasion, but I default to honor, integrity, and humility. I prefer loyalty, fairness, and introspection.
If I’d had to watch my sister’s lack of decorum, it would have driven me crazy, too. I would have loved her, but not been hip to her actions.
I would have chosen Edward, too!
~ Lynn Stone, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun ~
I chose Lynn Stone (played by my sometime doppelganger, Helen Hunt) for two reasons.
First of all, I would never have had her level of spunk (or been such a horrible babysitter), but I would definitely have been the supportive friend to Sarah Jessica Parker’s character, Janey.
I would have driven us to the dance competition, filled out the paperwork, given a hefty dose of side eye at Janey’s conniving competition, and been the biggest cheerleader!
Secondly, my fashion sense was a bit all-over-the-place back in the day. (Heck, it still is. It’s gotten more sophisticated but still has a hefty dash of whimsy and even sometimes leftover black from my 80’s alternative days.)
Lynn Stone wears the kookiest clothes and accessories! Her tiny dinosaur hair clips are genius! And her OTT ensemble in the finale is fab!
~ Merritt Andrews, Where the Boys Are ~
Honestly, I think this character from 1960(!) is probably the most accurate portrayal of me. I’m not sure what that says about me!
Anyhoo, Merritt is bright but annoyed by some of the antiquated beliefs she is encountering at her college. She gets a bit nervy and ticks off a professor.
She takes a road trip with her friends to chill out, intending to study on their spring break trip. (For the record, she is a passenger. I would have been the driver!)
I usually try to stay out of trouble, but one surprising aspect to my personality is that I can put my foot down against authority if I disagree with the stance.
I still marvel at something I did when I was 16.
It’s not shocking or provocative per se. But no one else had the, ahem, balls to do it.
I was part of the Soccer Spirit Squad for the boys JV soccer team at my high school. Most of the girls flirted with the players, while I always seemed to get the job of being nowhere near any boys and schlepping the soccer balls that got kicked way out of bounds.
I was ready for the gig to be over at the end of the season!
The JV guys played their final game and I assumed my ball schlepping days were over.
Nope. The mom head of the Soccer Spirit Squad informed us we had to help out with the varsity games, too.
My bullshit/hell no radar went to red!
I marched right up to this mom and point-blank said I had fulfilled my duties for the JV Squad and that I would not be helping any further. She tried to intimidate me into submission.
It did not work. I was not rude nor did I call her any names. But I. did. not. back. down.
(No other girl did what I did. I was the only one to take a stand.)
I have done things like that my whole life. Even in jobs. In all sorts of situations.
Merritt has a strong sense of right and wrong that mirrors mine.
Additionally, she’s really not a prude. She values the good head on her shoulders, but balances lots of things in her life: her friends, fun, love, and school.
I would have been WAY into George Hamilton back in the day, too — yes, please!
Perhaps most importantly, when her friend is in crisis, she is the one who finds help and stays behind.
Loyal to the core.
Oh, I’ve also been called a Peanuts character before (because I’m short, cute, and silly apparently) and more recently I was called a Rembrandt model. Which means that my mid-40s increasingly soft-around-the-middle has only gotten more pronounced. Nonetheless, I’ve decided there are less flattering things I could be called.
Welp, yeah. This pales in comparison to Shannon’s, but for better or worse (probably the latter) there it is! I feel like I should pay you for reading this!
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I know you are busy and have lots of ways you could be spending your time. You using your time to read my work means the world to me — my sincerest thanks!