Hellooooo-looooooo-loooo-lo! (I can hear the echo bouncing off the walls of a massive empty room)
Anybody out there? If so, I’m writing this just for you. Oh there you are. Hello! I have to tell you, setting up this new site and blog feels a little like being the new kid in school again.
My first school, I walked into the school yard, parting a sea of cardigan sweater-wearing kids, dressed in my smelly sheep coat. They stared at me while holding their lunch boxes, most decorated with TV show characters, as I clung to my transparent produce bag filled with that day’s lunch. Dad packed it.
But the worst part of the day, watching kids in the cafeteria open their lunch boxes. Torture. They’d smile while chewing their American cheese on soft, snowy-white bread, as I’d choke down my grainy sandwich. I’d be pulling sprouts from between my teeth, as I’d hear the crinkle of plastic coming off some lucky kid’s Twinkie. If only I had a treat to trade, I’d think. But no kid wanted to swap one of those golden treasures for a natural yogurt. Every now and then my mom added treats. But I knew whole grain wheat fig-filled cookies from the health food co-op were lame imitations of soft and moist Fig Newtons, the same way carob’s a sad, waxy imposter of chocolate. They didn’t fool me. I used to eat the real stuff back in the suburbs, back when my parents were sane.
Now I’m here writing to myself in this virtual school cafeteria. And I still don’t have Twinkies (Have you read the ingredients? Turns out my mom knew what she was doing). To make myself feel like a weirdo all over again, I’ve been writing about myself in the third person on my bio and home page: “Michele Miles Gardiner has written essays and articles for newspapers and magazines, and performed her stories on stage. She’s currently working on her true tales, “Craving Normal,” a collection of stories about being born to suburbanites who veered way off and transformed into nude-beach-loving, world-traveling-hippies, and other adventures of growing up during the ‘Me Generation,’ and beyond.”
See, she’s a weirdo! But she wrote a book, so this is what she is supposed to do to promote her book.
Anyway, nice talking to YOU. You’re a very patient person and a great listener.