This was originally posted as a guest blog on I Heart Lesfic. You can find it here.
“You can tell how smart people are by what they laugh at.” – Tina Fey
Tina Fey is not wrong. She’s not wrong about literally anything, actually, and I will fight anyone who wants to argue with me. Throughout my years on this planet, I have found that what makes one person laugh might not make another person laugh. I am funny in certain situations and downright awful in others, even though I am always the same person no matter what. I one time said something I thought was hysterical to the wrong audience. Lord. You could have heard a pin drop. Not cool! Call it poor comedic timing or call it not reading the room, either way, it was not fun.
That being said, regardless of my timing and my inability to read a room while inebriated, one of my very favorite things to do in life is laugh, and to make others laugh. I can think of literally nothing else I love more than the sound of laughter. Whether it’s mine or someone else’s, I just love it. There are so many different laughs in this world, too, which is funny in and of itself.
I can say with 100% certainty that laughing is my favorite thing to do in this world.
Wait. I take that back.
Sex is my favorite thing in this world. Aside from Baby Yoda, of course. So, sex, Baby Yoda, and laughing. Not necessarily in that order, of course. Oh, who am I kidding? Definitely in that order.
Now, laughing during sex?
Sadly, my embarrassing moment didn’t happen during sex, although what a way to set up the story, right?
Actually, my most embarrassing moment, and one I continuously like to look back on to keep myself grounded, happened when I was that ripe age where I was secure and nothing ever bothered me.
I was a senior in high school, for Pete’s sake, and I was a hot mess. Structurally, I was larger than my friends, which was so hard for me to deal with. And for some reason, after I had my senior pictures taken, I decided to cut all of my hair off. I was a jock so I told myself short hair would be easier. And I had no idea why I wanted a boyfriend, but at the same time, I never wanted the boy to touch me or kiss me. In fact, if he did, I would find some reason why I needed to leave. Immediately.
I look back on those days now and realize two things. One, I was a raging lesbian. And two? I was a raging lesbian who had no idea what being a lesbian even meant.
I did have a crush on a man, though. It was an insane, stupid crush that now, when I look back on it, I cringe at how ridiculous it was. How ridiculous I was. I guess it’s sort of sad that I so badly couldn’t come to terms with being into vagina that I found the most unavailable human being in the fifty mile radius and latched on.
My United States History and Government teacher was the lucky soul. He stole my young heart. Not on purpose, of course. He had no idea whatsoever. I’m sure of it. He was absolutely hilarious. He made everyone laugh. I don’t think there was a single student who didn’t like him. He was also a really good teacher. I mean, I still know every word to the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America because of him. I also know there are three branches of government thanks to him. A lot of the American public seems to have forgotten that… But I digress.
I’m going to protect the lives of the innocent and call my teacher Mr. Muppet. Not because he looked like a Muppet (he really did), but because I hope it will help add to the humor (please, God, let it add to the humor). Mr. Muppet was married, very happily, to my drama coach. I know what you’re thinking.
“Erin? Needed a drama coach? No way! I thought all that drama came naturally.”
I think the same thing all the time. Alas, I did, indeed, need a drama coach. And she was, and continues to be, a very important person in my life. She was incredible, and now that I think back, maybe it was her I had the crush on? Jesus. The revelations I am having right now are CRAZY.
Mr. Muppet was also the track and field coach. So, what’d I do? I joined track and field, baby! I was actually really good at throwing shot-put and discus, so it wasn’t a complete waste.
So, my most embarrassing moment… ugh. I cannot believe I am about to reveal this.
Bear with me, okay?
If you know anything about me from reading my bio, you know I’m from a very small town in Colorado, where everyone knew everyone. Growing up there was hard. Very, very, very hard. It was impossible to truly find yourself in a town where the second you let a fart slip during PE the whole school knew about it and laughed at you about it and called you something like Breezy, with the emphasis on EEZY, because my initials are E. Z. By the way, that’s not my embarrassing moment, sadly, even though it seems like a pretty vivid memory, right?
So because I was scared and lost and had no idea how to handle myself or my developing feelings and emotions (and hormones) I had for Mr. Muppet, I decided to write him a letter confessing my feelings. Instead of, oh, I DON’T KNOW, putting it into an envelope and setting it on his DESK, I slipped it under his classroom door.
“Erin!” You shout at me. “Why would you do that?”
“Listen!” I say in protest. “I don’t freaking know. Okay?”
I was so dumb! And young, naive, scared, with insanely low self-esteem. All of those wonderful qualities added up to a severe case of “what the fuck was I thinking?”
Don’t worry, it gets better.
Mr. Muppet didn’t get the letter, which seems like a great thing, right? Because if he’d received the letter, it would have been so awful. So very awful…
The janitor got the letter. And opened it because it wasn’t in an envelope. And the janitor read it. And the janitor freaked out. And turned it into the principal and I ended up having to have a huuuuuge meeting with Mr. Muppet, Mrs. Muppet, my mom and step-dad, and the guidance counselor. The whole thing was the worst thing that ever happened to me. And I’m sure it was the worst thing that ever happened to Mr. Muppet. And maybe the janitor? Who knows?
Seriously, though, I was a straight-A student. I was a varsity athlete for volleyball, basketball, and track and field. I was the co-president of the student body for Student Council. I was a member of Future Business Leaders of America. I was in drama (with his wife, remember?). I never got in trouble. I couldn’t! My step-dad was the chief of police. My mom was the director of nursing at the hospital. Everyone knew me.
Every. Single. Person.
The whole thing was horrifying. It still is! I look back on it and literally want to smack myself. I know kids do stupid things, but come on. The saddest part is none of my “feelings” had anything to do with Mr. Muppet. I know that now. They had everything to do with “not wanting a boy” and being too scared to come to grips with the fact that I liked girls. I wanted to put all of my fear and anxiety and nervousness into someone where it wouldn’t go anywhere. I wish I could apologize to him. Tell him how sorry I am for how stupid I was. There are moments when I wish I could re-live my high school years just so I could do that one part of my life differently.
Oh, and to make matters worse?
I guess you could call this “the best part” of the whole story. Shocking, I know, that there could even be more to this story…
During the sports awards ceremony, Mr. Muppet was the lucky guy who got to hand out an award to me. After peeing down my leg (figuratively speaking, of course), making my way up to the stage, accepting the award, and shaking his hand, I turned around and ran smack-dab into the flagpole.
On stage in front of the entire school and my parents and my friends and every other set of parents and siblings…
Senior year of high school was the worst.
God Bless America.