Part 14: Humility (Excerpt from True Stories of Things I Can't Quite Remember)

Humility comes rather easy to me, not that I’m bragging, I just haven’t really accomplished anything of note to be arrogant about.[1] I have a feeling losing the second grade presidency to a girl[2] set me on a lifelong journey of humility. Her and Jesus. He taught me a bit about it too.

Let’s get real here for just one second: I was always skeptical of invitations to parties, lunch tables, and friendship in general. In the back of my mind I was constantly worried that I was being lulled into a “friendly” situation only to end up pranked, nerd-gets-voted-prom-queen style. The other view I took was that one person in the group was my friend and everyone else simply tolerated me. For my money, this is still the truth of the situation. There is no convincing me otherwise.

I’m not cool enough to be somebody’s actual friend[3]

Sad enough for you? Me too. Moving on dot org: In the summer before 9th grade, I was chatting on AOL Instant Messenger with a girl I knew. I wanted to know her more and made the mistake of telling my sister about it. She, in her ageless wisdom, came up with a plan. I would host a party. My parents were out of town and we were reckless youth. This was perfect. Only I thought it was perfect because I knew nobody would show up. There was zero risk.

Fifty guests later, we were having a party! It was a nightmare. The first person to show up was Dan. We were friends which meant I was skeptical of his intentions. After the 9 longest minutes of my life alone with him, more guests showed up.[4] Each one just as suspicious as the last. I’m sure everyone was having a good time. We had a porch, some snacks, and zero booze.

It was an amazing success! I made so many lifelong friends that I still talk to today. I was so proud of myself. It’s like all of my insecurities melted away during the many conversations about science teachers, creepy dudes, and cafeteria cookies.

Seriously, those cookies with the chocolate and marshmallows were the bomb.[5]

           In reality, this was the last time I initiated any sort of social interactions. It was like I was in the army and I was only to speak when spoken to. Only, I imagine the army has less gossip and math tests to gripe about, not to mention this was a self-imposed rule. Then I graduated and never talked to them again. Not because I didn't like them, but because I don’t think they like me.

I haven’t been invited to any weddings yet, so I must be right. (There may have been a couple, but come on, they were pity invites right? Right?!)

            To be fair, I have learned my lesson. People really do like me and I have opened my heart and let people get close to me. It only takes me three years to let people in. It may be because I've learned to relax now that there’s no chance I can win prom queen[6].

[1] Well, maybe my 23 hours of sleep in a row. See “Sloth.”

[2] THE girl who coined “Fuzzy Wuzzy.” We were a power couple.

[3] In my mind. I hope.

[4] By “showed up” I mean, dropped off by parents.

[5] We used to talk like that.

[6] King. I meant king. 

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