My life began in a unicorn-filled meadow, where I was fed cinnamon rolls for dinner and had sweet dreams of hot pink, glitter-filled balloons. The only thing I remember getting in trouble for was not finishing a satisfying amount of cinnamon rolls by my mother’s standard-a burden which nearly broke me. But it was my unlikely cross to bear. Each night, I painted the neighborhood red on my Strawberry Shortcake banana-seated bicycle, of which the training wheels never quite made it off. I blame what I can only describe as a non-existence of driving skills and an inability to adhere to traffic laws, on my father’s failure to remove said wheels. And the fact that I was born in a trailer park, cus why not?
Up until the day I started college, and perhaps a small significant amount of time afterward, I’d of given up my weaved plastic bike basket to a homeless alcoholic, in a split second, had he asked nicely enough. Back in the innocence of my youth, my Can-I-Trust-You-Gauge consisted of the following checklist:
1. Are you alive? If yes, please skip to question 2.
2. Are you unshaven and wearing an orange-striped jumpsuit and shackles?
If no, I can now entrust you with the deepest secrets of my existence.
I like to refer to this fool-proof analyzation process as: my first big mistake. During the time span between frolicking with unicorns and an undisclosed year occurring somewhere in the range of 2003-2007, I continued to acquire a significant amount of unwanted lovechildren in the form of prematurely trusted “friends.”
Trusting people has now become an activity that I rarely participate in, and based on my life experiences, my checklist has undergone some minor adjustments since my days in the meadow:
1. Are you alive?
2. Are you on more than three major prescription meds that should not be taken in conjunction with one another?
3. Have you or do you ever plan on dating me and then consequentially holding a minimum of two years of my life hostage, while you discover that you, in fact, will never sort out your secret drug addiction or self-destructive tendencies?
4. If presented with the opportunity, would you steal something very valuable from me, like, let’s say, my copy of He’s Just Not That Into You or perhaps a custom designed engagement ring?
5. After I devote several years to our friendship and max out my credit card on wedding showers, baby showers, post-breakup-don’t-kill-yourself-presents, and housewarming gifts will you terminate our friendship for no apparent reason?
6. Are you unshaven and wearing an orange -striped jumpsuit and shackles?
And now I’ll present you with another charmed memory from my dusty archives. This letter was illegally passed to me in class circa 9th grade. It was the first note I had received at the new school I started Freshman year. I had never met this guy, but for some reason the phrase: “you can tell me, cus I won’t tell no one” was all I needed as a vow of solidarity between me and a complete stranger.
Hey girl! Sup? Not a lot here. You probably have no idea to who I am. Well my names Mark. I was wondering if you liked anyone and who it was. You can tell me cuz I won’t tell no one.
Love, Mark W/B
Big. Big. Mistake.