Well welcome back to you too.
I was looking at my profile, in one of my frequent moments of self-absorption, and I saw that it has been viewed 144 times. Now, I know I may have looked at it at least half of those, so that means that at least 72 of those viewings were done by someone other than me. My question is, who are those people? I bet you anything it's folks I went to high school with who take sick pleasure in watching the super-judgemental Mormon girl go bad and swear like a sailor.
To them I say: I understand completely. Read on! Witness my descent! There's so much further to fall. . . I'm tattooless and I still care about other people's feelings.
So I decided to jump ship and move my sweet little ass down south past SF state (where I'm beginning my graduate work in less than a month). I'm gonna live next to the ocean and read dramatic novels and write papers with too many quotation marks. I'm a little English teacher bonsai. Clip clip. I'm growing into your worst nightmare.
In the meantime, I have to get rid of shit I don't need, which means going through my old "memorabilia." I opened up the dusty box of notes I passed to Tina in 9th grade and pictures of my 8th grade boyfriend (total fox with a shark's tooth [?] or jagged Corey Haim-esque stone dangling from his shapely little brown little ear), sappy, lovely letters from my way-too-nice parents, and old Gap schedules to find a poetry submission to the New Era magazine.
The New Era is a Mormon youth magazine. It's not as creepy as you think; Mormons aren't Southern Baptists. The tone is akin to a Landmark Forum weekly mixed with a real estate brochure.
On July 6th, 1994, at the budding age of 14 I mailed them a poem and I got this letter back. And you know it's hella in Arial font:
Thank you for the your recent poetry submission. Your writing has merit and we wish to encourage you in developing your talent. We publish only one poem in each issue of the New Era except in August when we publish works from winners of the annual contest. Therefore, chances of your poems being used even if we purchased them would be remote.
We wish to encourage you (if you are between the ages of 12 and 23) to submit your poetry to the annual New Era Writing, Music, Photography, and Art Contest. The contest rules can be found each year in the September issue.
If you are over 23 years of age then we suggest you enter the Ensign contest. Rules for that contest are found in the July issue of the Ensign..
Again, thank you for thinking of the New Era.
Back in 1994, when those crazy computers were all new and shit, ladies named Diane who dotted their "i"s with fat little circles didn't yet know that what used to be underlined on a typewriter should be put into italics. And business letters had colons after their salutations. And, Diane, I submitted only one poem, so saying "poems" in the fifth line is unparallel with the rest of the paragraph, particularly because the letter is addressed to a sole "contributor." And uh-oh, Diane, your third paragraph has a double period at the end!
But really, Ms. Hoffman was a sweetie for saying my writing had merit (she did sign her letter herself). Especially since this is the poem I sent:
The essence of a spirit;
A creation of God
A seed without pod
The soul's imbibement
The passing of time
A comforting friend
Killer of time
At least I didn't end the damn thing with an ellipses. However I did write "P. S. Give me a chance, not an apology." Bless Diane for ministering to hyper-emotional Mormon youth in the mid-90s.
Bless her and her fatly dotted "i"s and her convuluted final sentence in the opening paragraph. . .