It is National Tap Dance Day, in honor of the 1878 birth of dancer Bill Robinson. The Muppet’s puppeteer Frank Oz was born today in 1944. He voiced Fozzie Bear, Bert, Grover, Cookie Monster, Sam Eagle, Animal, and Miss Piggy. Also Yoda. Coincidentally, Star Wars was released today in 1977. Wrestling champion William Muldoon was born today in 1852. Both poets Ralph Waldo Emerson and Theodore Roethke were born on this date, in 1803, and 1908 respectively. And one of my most favorite writers Raymond Carver. Computer scientist and psychologist Catherine Wolfe was born today in 1947. Her story is pretty amazing. It reminded me of the Diving Bell and the Butterfly.
Let’s see, Babe Ruth hit the last home run of his career today in 1935, at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. Oh, you don’t care about Babe Ruth? Yeah, neither do I.
John Scopes was indicted today in 1925 for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution in a classroom in Tennessee, where he was working as a substitute teacher. I would like to think we have come a long way nearly a hundred years later, but sadly, not as far as one might have hoped.
The last Oprah Winfrey Show aired today in 2011. Aside from admiring her as an incredibly successful woman, I have never been too interested in the Oprah phenomenon. If anything, having an Oprah Book Club stamp on the cover of a book sometimes deterred me from reading it. Or at the very least, hiding the cover if I was reading on the metro or something. Isn’t that stupid, this fear of admitting that I am any part a marketer’s demographic, when I am, for the most part, exactly that? I am absolutely one of those people whose likes and dislikes could be picked by an algorithm to a horrifying degree. Or is it that most of us are, and that is what is scary?
I’m thinking there’s something so much more vulnerable about saying you like something than saying you don’t. It’s like we are all still on a playground, holding out something we think is special, only for it to inevitably be smashed to the ground by some jerk. In fact, it’s actually really difficult for me to say my likes and dislikes in person, because if you say you like something, I will most likely agree, because I don’t want to be the playground jerk. I mean if I start the conversation, I would be fine, but I almost never start the conversation, so there you go.
In the spirit of full transparency, here are things I like that I would be most embarrassed to tell you in person, with a few things that I do not. Okay, right off the bat, I read both Bridget Jones books probably every other year. I have read Jacqueline Susann’s Valley of the Dolls at least 20 times. I like, and hate myself for liking, the Dave Matthews song “Crash into Me” Oh my god, you have no idea how hard that one is to cough up. In high school, I really liked Jewel. And I saw her in concert.
Also, I was a jerk in high school. I was the punching playground jerk. The problem is I am really good at making fun of people. Which I did, a lot. I justified it by assuming I only made fun of people who seemed higher up the social order than me, but for real I didn’t really think about most people not being cartoons until my twenties.
I love, but am also ashamed of loving, feeling superior (it’s a rare thing anyway, so not too much of an issue). I am almost always on a diet, but I would rather die than be seen eating diet foods, and I don’t like people who equate food with being bad and want to tell me about it. I don’t care that they think it. I just want them to keep it to themselves. Like anyone who has ever told me eating potato chips is bad for me or seen me drink a soda and told me I am ruining my teeth. My eyes seriously can’t roll back far enough. Also, my teeth are fine.
Also, I am super lazy. That one might not surprise people who know me, or maybe, I don’t know. I would always choose to nap as a pastime if there were not people in my life who force me to chose otherwise. Feeling angry at the several primary care doctors who have told me I can cure my depression with exercise can keep me awake at night.
My favorite movie is Desperately Seeking Susan Susan. I have watched it easily 50 times. Also Reality Bites, which is a terrible movie, but I don’t even hate-watch it, I just like watching it (yet I loathe Ethan Hawks). I hate pretension, yet am also pretentious. I have ordered clothes from Delhias. As an adult. I will absolutely read any celebrity magazine put in front of me. And I have followed Jennifer Aniston’s career with semi-interest because she really does have nice hair.
My freshman year in college, my roommate and I coordinated our class schedules to make sure we were home for Wednesday night 90210. Not in an ironic way, we just liked it. Okay, that’s enough confessions for today. Reading over the things that I am most embarrassed about makes me realize what I am hiding is just that I am drawn to, terrified of, sometimes feel shut out of mainstream culture. It’s all ego. My biggest fear is rejection, and I will happily make myself or anyone else the butt of a joke to make someone laugh and accept me.
You can unfollow me now if you want, I won’t judge you. Or I will, but I will keep it to myself, while angry eating potato chips. Rippled. Preferably very salty, with vinegar.