Too much.

When I was seven years old I got in trouble at school for asking my classmates if I made them horny. I didn’t know what it meant, but my family had just watched the movie Austin Powers, a new release that year, and all I knew was that he kept saying it and everyone in the room was in stitches with laughter.

I liked making people laugh, even back then, and I was learning that I was pretty good at impressions, so… why wouldn’t I test out this newfound material on all of my classmates the next morning?

My teacher did not find me nearly as amusing. Nor did my mother when she got the phone call from my school.

Or at least that’s how I remember it. Honestly, if I was the teacher in that situation I would have a really hard time hiding my laughter while also trying to discipline an obviously hilarious star in the making.

That’s the first time I remember feeling like I was too much.

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It’s a long story. Link in bio.

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I’ve been listening to an episode of The Guilty Feminist (one of my all time favorite podcasts) on this very subject - not weird kids who impersonate Austin Powers, but women who have been led to believe they are too much - and while I generally relate to every episode of this podcast, this one hit really close to home for me.

I’ve always been too much.

All my life I’ve been too loud, too chatty, too tall, too colorful in my appearance, too childish, too nerdy, too skinny, too emotional, too goofy, too open, too curious, too messy, too enthusiastic.

How the heck can anyone be too enthusiastic, by the way? If anything, we should all be enthusiastic about whatever we’re doing, shouldn’t we? Even if I’m planning a funeral, I want to be enthusiastic. It shows that you care. That you’re invested. The same goes for being too emotional. I remember being told once that I was letting my emotions get in the way of my voting choices during the presidential election. I was too emotional about human rights and too emotional about feminism.

I’ve been told I’m too emotional about animals because I’m a vegetarian and I spend money on my dogs’ healthcare.

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Family portrait (Mr not included)

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I’ll allow the too messy thing. I’m a terrible housekeeper, and to be honest, that’s not something I can be proud of. I’m very lucky that The Mr cares about having a clean home and reminds me to get off my butt and do some laundry. It’s not that I don’t care or that I don’t notice the mess, it’s just that I’m, well, too easily distracted.

I’m sure we all have our own lists of too much for ourselves. Some of you have been told you’re too quiet or too heavy or too sexually open or too easily persuaded. Maybe you’ve been told you’re too desperate or too bossy. Too old. Too young. Too nice. Or maybe you like horses or Harry Potter too much. You watch too much tv or spend too much time on instagram. You drink too much coffee or you’re too spiritual.

Maybe you look too much like your dad.

Am I going on about all of this too much? Too bad.

Maybe like to dress up like a centaur and gallop around your yard with your best friend. As long as you’re both happy, I say neeeeeeeigh to the nay-sayers!

Maybe you like to blog about your life and tell funny stories on the internet and there’s some person in your life that thinks you are way too open with your personal life to the general public. Well, maybe they’ve missed the fact that you’ve found a real community of people on the internet who get you and who like your stories and that you’ve been growing as a person both mentally and creatively because of how open you’ve been. Hypothetically.

Obviously all of this too-much stuff is malarky. We’re all exactly as much as we’re supposed to be. Sure, we can all grow and change and none of us are exempt from criticism every now again, but I say that as long as we’re not intentionally or knowingly causing any harm with our too muchness, we’re doing every just fine.

All I really want to say is this: You are magical. You’re not perfect, but you are magnificent. And you, my darling reader, are, if anything, just right.


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like bonus content or pictures of my dogs), please click here. Thank you so much to Ellen W., Rachel P., Hanna B., Lena S., Sara O., Leah B., Maddie G., and Grace V.

Here’s Looking at You, Canoe.

There are a lot of things that I love about the town I live in, but one of my favorites (and I would argue our biggest claim to fame) is that we are the town that was the inspiration for Stars Hollow, the quaint and idyllic setting of the show Gilmore Girls. In truth, the town doesn’t really look that much like Stars Hollow, but it is tiny and adorable, and everyone knows each other. There are quirky and endearing characters who drive each other crazy over the smallest of things, and yes, we have festivals. Maybe not a festival for every month of the year, but we do have festivals.

In the winter time, we have “Holiday in the Depot”, with horse drawn carriage rides, carol singers, and Santa. In the fall we have “The Harvest Festival” during which there is a scarecrow building competition. This year, we had our first ever “Community Block Party,” to kick off the Summer season, and it was delightful. It also turned out to be the event during which I had my most Stars Hollow experience ever.

I spent the day of the Community Block Party working at the bookshop, and then when I got off of work, The Mr and I walked around the town with our dogs, enjoying free ice cream and performances from local musicians before stopping and hanging out at our church’s tent where we gave out free hugs (the dogs were way more popular than the humans for that) and promoted our summer programs. One of the things we were promoting was our huge annual tag sale that the church puts on as a fundraiser, and we were doing this by featuring a gorgeous canoe that was donated to the church so that it could be auctioned off at the event. It’s a beautiful boat, with two wicker-backed seats inside that face each other, and enough space for a little picnic basket. It basically requires one to wear a long, flowing white dress with a matching parasol. It also wasn’t very heavy, which would come in handy later, but I’ll get to that.

The family that owns everything we were using that day (the tent, the popcorn machine, and the signs) were also the keepers of the canoe. So they were there for the first half of the block party, but they had to leave in the middle of it to go to some awards thing for one of their kids because she is amazing and they love her or whatever. That was fine, though, because they were so sure that they would be back before the end of the block party to pick everything up.

So the block party was scheduled to end at 9:30, I think, but all the vendors were packing up at 8:30 because that was when an outdoor screening of the movie Casablanca would start in the park (yes, seriously, Gilmore Girls fans. It was so Stars Hollow that I’m actually disappointed there wasn’t a barbershop quartet there to sing about the lazy-hazy-crazy days of summer), and so we followed suit, us and our pastor tearing everything down and waiting for the family.

None of us had anywhere we needed to be, so it wasn’t really a big deal, but the dogs hadn’t eaten dinner yet, except for maybe the ice cream and popcorn they’d mooched off of several people, so The Mr decided he would take them home, feed them, start cooking dinner for us, and then I’d let him know when the family showed up so that he could come back and get me. I’d had plenty of free glasses of sangria at this point, so all plans sounded great to me.

So my pastor and I sat and chatted and waited.

And waited.

And waited some more.

At one point I looked over and saw a kid (old enough to drive, but probably not old enough to drink) trying to load a very large table into a very small car.

Me: Do you need help?

Him: Um… maybe? I had a ride coming to help me, but they got into an accident, I guess, so now they’re not coming and so I’m trying to figure out how I can get this stuff from here back to my church, but-

Me: Oh my god! Okay, better plan, I have a Jeep Wrangler. Where is this going?

Him: Right up the street to <insert location here>

Me: Cool, I drive by that place on my way home. I’ll take care of it. You go and make sure your friends are okay.

Him: Oh my god, thank you.

So now my pastor and I had a tent, a popcorn machine, a few signs, a very fancy canoe, and a very large table.

And no vehicle. Well, that’s not true. We had her Prius. But my point still stands: we had no vehicle.

At this point it was about 9:30 at night. The sun was officially down. The bugs were officially out. We had texted the family who owned all of the things (minus our new table), but the texts weren’t going through because I think they were in a school where the reception gets blocked. It was well after dark, and the only people left in town were all watching Casablanca in the park across the street, so I texted The Mr.

Me: They’re still not here.

Me: Please come.

Me: Also, we have acquired a table. Long story. I’ll explain when you get here.

Him: On my way!

He arrived and we started loading everything into the Jeep, but the table was actually too big even for our car, so we had to remove the windows from the back (yay Jeeps!) to get it all in there, but we did it, by golly!

Now all that was left was the moneymaker for the tag sale that we definitely couldn’t just leave sitting in the middle of town: the very fancy canoe.

The Mr: I mean… it’s not that heavy….

Me: …no… it’s not…

The Mr: And has wheels that hook onto it.

Me: …where are you going with this?

The Mr: Well, they live right around the corner. Why don’t we just… walk the canoe to their house?

So… after we assured our pastor that it was all fine and that she could go home, because at this point it was almost 10pm and she’d been there since 3, we attached the wheels and… started walking. The Mr with the canoe, and me with my camera.

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I’m honestly upset that I didn’t think to take a video of this because what made it truly great was that one of the wheels was super squeaky, so as we walked through the center of town, no one could really see us, because we were hidden behind the screen that was showing the incredibly romantic and beloved film Casablanca, but everyone could definitely hear the squeak, squeak, squeak, of us walking by.

I also considered sitting in the canoe one point during our journey, but the sangria was wearing off at that point and the look The Mr was giving me for even having the thought made me decide I better not. I only mildly regret this.

As we were squeaking our way around the bend, the mother of the family came whipping around the corner in her car to come and meet us at the tent. She saw us, stopped, laughed, and then turned around and drove along side us while she explained everything that had happened.

I won’t go into all the details, but needless to say, the story checks out and this family is more than forgiven for abandoning us with a canoe.

And a tent. And a popcorn machine. And some signs.

Actually, come to think of it, it was a nice night, and we were even stranded right next to the coffee shop, so we kind of had everything we needed to survive… The Gilmore Way.

P.S. If you’re interested in a very fancy canoe, here is a link to all the details about the tag sale. It’s very easy to transport.

P.P.S. We also did return that table, but I have no idea what happened with that guy. Send good vibes!


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like bonus content or pictures of my dogs), please click here. Thank you so much to Ellen W., Rachel P., Hanna B., Lena S., Sara O., Leah B., Maddie G., and Grace V.

I Quit!

I normally always try and find the good in things. This is not to say that I don’t have my fair share of complainer moments, of course, but when one of the things I love about writing this blog is that I never like to go negative, so as long as I keep writing for it, I generally have a pretty sunny outlook on life.

In my last blog post I wrote all about how much I loved freelancing.

Since then I have quit freelancing.

Or rather, I’ve paused my freelancing career.

“But Emelie,” you’re maybe thinking, “You were just raving about how freelancing has been pushing you as a writer into fun a new territories, forcing you to write about things you didn’t think you’d ever want to. What changed?”

Well, my darlings, that’s just it: freelancing was pushing me to write so much about the things I didn’t want to write about that I no longer had time to write about the things I do want to write about.

I posted about this on my Patreon (thank you to all of the amazing Patrons who keep this blog running, by the way!) a few days ago, and I was telling all of them that freelancing was supposed to be another side project that could help keep this blog and my book writing afloat. Instead, it became the thing that was drowning these projects.

I was constantly cancelling plans with The Mr and our friends because I had deadlines to meet. I was freelancing through Fiverr primarily, and on there you don’t really get the option to accept or decline a job. You can request a cancellation once someone has hired you, but that will negatively affect your stats, which lowers your visibility, therefore harming your chances of getting future jobs. It kind of sucks.

But I’m fortunate to not be totally relying on that money. I work full time at the bookshop, and The Mr works full time from home, so after almost a year of stressing out over projects that were more hindering than beneficial, I decided that it wasn’t worth it anymore. I’d rather pour my energy into this blog and its Patreon page, which is how I pay for the web hosting fees and any advertising expenses, or the travel blog that The Mr and I launched last year and that we’re reviving now (please give us a follow if you like travel and dogs!).

Money is important, yes, but I’ve never wanted it to be what drives me.

So I’m turning back to my passions where I get to explore what it means to truly be awkwardly alive and pleasantly peculiar.

You’re about to see a lot more of me, I think, and I hope you’ll stick around and even join in on the ride.

If you’re interested in supporting the blog, please do consider visiting my Patreon and becoming an Awkward Ambassador. It’s $5 a month, and 10% of everything I earn goes to a charity of your choosing. If you don’t want to do that, or if $5 a month isn’t in your budget, that’s okay! The fact that you’re here, reading the words that come out of my brainspace, means the world to me.

Here’s to living the dream.

Stay weird, friends.


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like bonus content or pictures of my dogs), please click here. Thank you so much to Ellen W., Rachel P., Hanna B., Lena S., Sara O.. Leah B., Maddie G., and Grace V.


P.S. I need to give a shout out to my friend Katie who just launched her travel blog, Open Atlas. Go check her out and follow all of her adventures. She’s amazing and I promise you’ll adore everything about her.

Sure, why not?

Freelance writing is a weird thing.

I currently freelance through the website Fiverr, which has its ups and downs. On the one hand, you can find tons of jobs. On the other hand, tons of jobs can also find you and sometimes you get asked to write really strange things. Things you have not said you were qualified to write about.

One of my most popular gigs is simply “uplifting and humorous content,” and through this gig I have been hired to write a series of educational youtube scripts about microbiomes and gut bacteria (which I’m pretty sure never saw the light of day, but hey, I got paid), a blog post about a woman whose husband lit his dinner on fire, an article about why free-range hens make the best eggs for an omelette restaurant, and a 4,000 word article about “the soul of metal working from past to present.”

Every time one of these weird gigs dealing with a subject about which I know literally nothing comes my way, I am filled with a small feeling of dread.

How can I make gut bacteria funny?

What the heck does he mean by “the soul of metalwork?”

Are people seriously still questioning whether or not free-range eggs are a good thing?

But then I dive in, maybe have a small panic attack along the way, and get to work…. and weirdly, it starts to become fun. For those bacteria videos, I essentially went to science class every week, took a bunch of notes (way more about poop than I anticipated, which always makes for great comedy), and then wrote a funny essay about what I learned. And I ended up working for that guy for, like, 7 weeks. It was awesome.

And for this metalworking gig I’m working on now, I’m discovering this whole entire new-to-me world of people who make our world way prettier with metal by hitting it with a hammer or spraying it with fire. It’s insane.

Of course, not every gig pushes me completely out of my comfort zone. Sometimes I get gigs where I get to write about books or my dogs, but most of the time it’s these kinds of jobs.

One day, I hope to be able to get more of my own ideas pitched and published in proper magazines, but until then, I’m enjoying pushing myself further and further with my writing. Without these gigs I doubt I would have ever written about these subjects, and now I’m not so scared of saying “yes” when people ask. It’s a nice feeling.

I guess the point is that we don’t know what we don’t know, but what I do know is that I can at least try to figure it out. I never thought I’d be writing bacterial comedy, but if I had said “sorry, not my area of expertise,” I’d be a lot poorer and know a lot less about what’s happening in my own body.

So thanks, weird Fiverr gigs. Keep ‘em coming.

Welcome to Procrastination Station

Some days it’s really hard for me to sit down and do the thing I’m supposed to be doing — even if that thing is a thing I enjoy doing. Writing a blog post, for example, is really all I am supposed to be doing today. Sure there are other things that could be done, but blogging is really the only thing that has to be done according to my own self-imposed blogging schedule of posting every Monday.

Then again… the garden also needs tending to, and today is the first nice day in a while... Brussel sprouts and cauliflower can’t transplant themselves, after all, and sure, I could have said, “Great. Write blog post, then go out and garden,” but then the sun came out and I figured that there’s no better time to go outside than when to sun in shining. After all, who knows how long this will last?

In fact, I thought, I should take full advantage of this weather and throw some laundry in so that I can hang it outside to dry! So… first, sort and wash laundry, then garden, then blog post. Got it.

Oh, but then the guy who mows the lawn showed up. “Perfect,” You’re probably thinking, “just the sign she needed to get herself back on track!”

And you would have been right, because I certainly can’t be out in the garden with the dogs or hanging laundry while the lawn is being mowed, so logically, blogging was now moved to the top of the list, right?

Ah, but then I remembered that we still needed to book our flights to Ireland for a wedding in September… oh! and then to Montana for another wedding later that month!

So new plan: Book flights while the lawn is being mowed, hang laundry, tend to garden, then blog! Flawless plan.

So I spent some time doing flight research and after about 30-45 minutes, our flights were booked. Whew! Finally something to check off the list!

Time to hang laundry and garden. Shouldn’t take too long since I only need to transplant 8 seedlings. Oh, but then there’s weeds to pull… and I should probably rake up some of the grass clippings for the compost pile…

After about an hour, time to head back inside and… blog? What? No! Don’t you remember? I JUST BOOKED MY FLIGHTS TO FREAKING IRELAND. The only logical thing to do is start researching AirBnbs and sights to see! Duh!

Oh, and pick out dresses to wear for the weddings… and if I’m going to wear a dress, I’ll probably also need shoes… And maybe a hat or a fascinator? Those are coming back, right? Side note, how big is too big when it comes to hats and fascinators?

Hey, I wonder what my friend Lane is up to… maybe we can go paddle boarding today since it’s so nice out… No, Emelie, no. You must blog!

Oh, but shoot. I forgot to check and see how the peas were doing out in the garden when I was out there… and also I heard the mail truck stop by, so I should probably go get the mail… right after I go check on the peas…

Wait, what’s this? A super cheap foreclosed house not too far from here? Should we go look at it? Sure we’re not really house hunting right now, but it’s always good to keep an eye out… you know, just in case….


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like bonus content or pictures of my dogs), please click here.

Turning over a new leaf.

If you had told me a few years back that before turning 30 I would start considering whether or not to set my browser homepage to the Old Farmer’s Almanac website, I would have nodded politely and said “huh, interesting,” while thinking you were a psycho who should definitely get out of the fortune-telling business.

But… that would have ruined both of our careers, because here we are: I have a vegetable garden, and indoor grow-light system, and I obsessively check the weather every morning to determine if I need to water the plants that day or not, or if they need to be covered with a blanket that night.

But more than anything these days, you can find me combing the Old Farmer’s Almanac website for all of this information and more.

If you’re not familiar with the Old Farmer’s Almanac, allow me to enlighten you with this brief description from wikipedia:

The Old Farmer's Almanac is a reference book containing weather forecastsplanting charts, astronomical data, recipes, and articles. Topics include: gardening, sports, astronomy, and folklore. The Almanac also features sections that predict trends in fashion, food, home, technology, and living for the coming year.

Released the first Tuesday in the September that precedes the year printed on its cover, The Old Farmer's Almanac has been published continuously since 1792, making it the oldest continuously published periodical in North America.

It’s essentially the one-stop shop for everything you need to know about… everything. And I’m obsessed. I can check the weather, I can learn how to properly plant a leek, and I can read my horoscope - all in one place.

(I promise, this is not an ad. I’m just that obsessed)

Side note: I have no idea know who the original old farmer is, but I like to imagine they’re the stuff of legends… like, at some point, we all become the old farmer by following in their manure-ridden footsteps…

Obviously, I didn’t always feel this way. First of all, until recently I was absolutely awful at caring for plants. Dogs were my jam, but plants for some reason always seemed to wilt in my presence, and I didn’t really get why so many people were so obsessed with them. They just sit there, being green, and then they die, leaving you with a feeling of failure. I was always kind of baffled when people would come into the bookshop every September and obsessively request the newest copy of the Old Farmer’s Almanac, with a passion in their eyes. I’d curiously flip through it and wonder what the heck the big deal was…. and then… then I decided to start a vegetable garden and all of a sudden BAM! I, too, was one of the tribe.

So while the rest of you cruise through Facebook or Pinterest, you’ll find me reading up on how to plant according to the phases of the moon, or this actual article titled “Celery: Bland and Boring? Not so fast!

Because I think it’s time I embrace this new side of myself: I am Old Farmer. Hear me roar.


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like bonus content or pictures of my dogs), please click here.

We Really Need to Get Out More…

I don’t watch Game of Thrones (don’t @ me), so it’s been a relatively slow week for me, but today two adorable things happened and I need to share them with you all.

First, a dear young friend of mine emailed me and told me to search for “Turtle Chases Rabbit” on YouTube.

It was easily the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

Until I moved my gaze over just a few feet and saw this:

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Apparently she really loves turtles. Or bunnies.

It’s actually not the first time we’ve caught her watching TV. She absolutely loves it when we watch nature documentaries, so sometimes when we need her to sit quietly for a bit, we’ll do what all parents do: pop something on the tele. While for some kids it’s Peppa Pig, for Aloy, it’s Planet Earth (and now Netflix’s Our Planet). We hit play and before we know it, she’s up on the couch, chin on the armrest, and she’s focused.

We’ve learned that she loves chase scenes (which is probably why this one, even in its slow nature, caught her eye) and birds, but fish and bugs don’t do much for her. Lizards and snakes are hit or miss.

Either way I’m not sure if I should be proud or ashamed? On the one hand, it’s kind of a cool party trick, right? On the other hand, have we domesticated our animals so much that they’re even learning to become tv-watching couch potatoes who are more likely to experience nature on our televisions than in real life? One of the big benefits of having a dog is that they get us outside, right? Now all of a sudden, nature is just her toilet. And now that I’m thinking about it, I woke up this morning to find a giant poo on our kitchen floor, so maybe I’m not even doing that right…

In all honesty, though, I think this is the perfect solution for when the weather is crappy and we can’t spend a lot of time outside. While the dogs and The Mr and I all love the snow, we all tend to agree that winter camping isn’t for us. So… we go out for an hour or two to play in the snow, and then we come inside, snuggle up with tea and a bone, and watch the world from safety and comfort of our homes and internet connections. And at least we’re all learning more about the planet, right?

Now, of course, the days are getting nicer and the ability to get out and do stuff is growing, which thankfully means that our couch time is shrinking.

But I have to say, on rainy days, I’m really grateful for this amusing party trick.

And let’s be honest, she doesn’t seem too upset either.


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like bonus content or pictures of my dogs), please click here.

I DROVE!!!!!

Earlier this year we traded in our old Jeep and bought a new one.

New Jeep, who dis?

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She’s amazing. Her name is Rubi and I love her so, so much. She is bright orange and so happy looking, and she has a leather interior, so the dog fur is so much more manageable, and it’s so freaking easy to take her top off, which I realize sounds really sexist and terrible now that I’m personifying my car, but we all know what I mean, so let’s not freak out here. After all, just because she likes to go around topless in the warmer weather doesn’t make her any less of a respectable vehicle. She’s beautiful and she flaunts it.

There’s just one tiny problem... She’s a stick shift. And I never really learned how to drive a stick shift. I mean, I had a few lessons when I was a teenager, but none of my cars ever ended up being manual, so I never had to get used to it.

So now, the only car that The Mr and I have is only drivable by The Mr.

And now my vehicle feels even more sexist.

Until yesterday.

Because yesterday, my friends, I. DROVE. MY. CAR.

ON. THE. ROAD.

IT. WAS. AMAZING.

Pretty shortly after buying it back in January, The Mr took me to the school parking lot and we practiced there for a bit, but then winter kept happening and it just never really came up again. We both wanted me to learn and get comfortable, but it never felt necessary. I don’t really ever go places without The Mr very often and so I didn’t need to ever drive myself.

But there’s a strange sense of imprisonment that occurs when you can’t drive yourself places - even if you don’t have to. The fact that I couldn’t go meet a friend for coffee without getting a ride from my husband was annoying.

So the other day I put my foot down, metaphorically speaking, and demanded to start putting my foot down literally speaking.

Not that he fought me on it. He doesn’t like having to chauffeur me around either.

So yesterday we were leaving church and he said “Hey, you wanna drive home?”

And so I did.

And I didn’t stall the car once.

And I felt so gosh darn free.

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I love you, you fools.

I don’t have kids, but The Mr and I go to a lot of high school plays. It’s not as creepy as it sounds, I promise. We’re actually the leaders of our small-town church youth group and so we always try and show up to major things that the kids are doing, like track meets, soccer games, and musicals.

We had two weekends in a row of being supportive mentors this past week, and while I’m sure a lot of you are thinking that this sounds like some sort of self-inflicted torture, both shows (Young Frankenstein and Footloose) were pretty incredible.

I was in drama club in high school, and there really is nothing like theater when it comes to formative group experiences. There’s a strange familial bond that occurs between you and all the cast and crew and you’re all doing some ridiculously embarrassing things for hundreds of people, but for whatever reason, those embarrassing things become awesome things. You hope.

When I was in elementary school, I played Little Red Riding Hood in a community theater production in which all these fairy tale characters ended up together for some reason. The only problem was that I had cut off all of my hair before the show, and in the ‘90s in Suburbia, Ohio the costume mom certainly couldn’t let a small pre-pubescent girl who might pass for a boy go out there to play a female character, so I was given a brown, shoulder-length wig.

The costume mom and the choreographer should have talked, though, because community theater wigs and somersaults do not get along too well.

It’s all on camera somewhere, that moment when I went head over heels and my wig flew off and slid across the stage….

But the show must go on, so I smiled, retrieved my wig, tugged it back onto my head, and flashed a quick set of jazz hands before stepping back in line with the rest of the cast to finish the song. It was embarrassing for a moment… but then it was awesome.

Because while I was up there, and even in later years when I found my place with the set and lighting crews, I was with my weird, temporary-but-it-didn’t-feel-like-it family. And as long as they were singing with me, nothing could embarrass me.

I’m always so unbelievably proud of every single kid that I see up on stage during a low-budget, not always in tune, musical production. It’s a really hard thing to do, even when you’re “just” a chorus member or a stage hand. I was one of them and I remember how hard I worked just to be a wig-wearing Little Red Riding Hood with no lines, or a dead woman in Our Town (ironically with more lines than Little Red Riding Hood), or the one who had to cue the black out at the end of the show.

My drama club teacher always used to tell us that the person in charge of pulling the curtain is just as, if not more important than the lead, because if that curtain doesn’t open or close at the right time, the whole scene is ruined.

Each and every part carries the show. If your wig falls off, people notice. If the dead woman moves, the magic is gone. If the spotlight fails to follow the actor, your show is suddenly for radio.

And that’s why I give a standing ovation as soon as the curtain call starts, when they send the minor parts out to bow. They worked so hard just to be on that stage and to make you truly believe that you were in a small town in the ‘80s where dancing was outlawed by a crazy preacher, or in an old, mad scientist’s Transylvanian castle watching a man revive the dead, instead of sitting in a high school auditorium where just last week a recovering heroin addict probably told all the students to stay off drugs.

New Jeep, who dis?

A post shared by Emelie Samuelson (@awkwardlyaliveblog) on

Today is April Fool’s Day, a day that a lot of people associate with trickery or being fooled. I, however, like to think of “the fool” or “the jester” on this day - the person who worked tirelessly to keep everyone else entertained, offering even just a few moments of escape from whatever was happening in their daily lives. They let themselves do ridiculously embarrassing and silly things just to see the world smile.

So here’s to the fools. May we all have even an ounce of their bravery.


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Ah, to be young...

In our quest to figure out what the heck is really wrong with my skeleton, we’ve been seeing a lot of doctors and specialists lately, none of whom seem to really have answers, but they’re all like a team of detectives trying to figure me out, which is kind of fun! The latest of many theories is that the problem is not just in my hips, but also in my feet.

Apparently I stand with my feet pronated, or tilted inward, and that is a big no-no.

So on top of trying a new anti-inflammatory medication every morning, taking CBD oil, doing daily yoga, and eating an anti-inflammatory diet, my rheumatologist has assigned me with the task of getting orthopedic shoes. And, I feel like with good reason, I’m not thrilled about it.

Now, I’ve never been that hugely into my appearance. Like, my sisters have always had questions about any given outfit I’ve decided to wear, and I spent a lot of my childhood and teen years in my brother’s hand-me-downs, which was interesting because he’s a 6’8” and I am not, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve figured out and defined my look in a way. I definitely tend to opt for comfort and practicality over style, but I know I like color. My clothes are always covered in dog fur, because huskies, and I’m not a big shopper or trend follower (let alone a trend setter), but there are people who I look to for inspiration when I need to buy something or put together an outfit, and as far as I can tell, those people aren’t societal outcasts, so I’m probably doing okay. I’m also pretty into not wasting materials, so things don’t get refreshed in my closet all to often. I tend to sort of just buy or acquire stuff and wear it until it falls apart. In fact, while facetiming my sister the other day, she totally called me out for wearing a t-shirt that was hers in high school. She graduated in 2002.

So when it comes to shoes, I’m not that different. I go for basics and I wear them until they can’t be worn any longer. I’ve got my brown boots for the colder months, my Chuck Taylors for the warmer months, and one pair of brown sandals for the beach days. I think I also own a pair of running shoes from when I tried to run that one time, but I don’t know where they went.

Come to think of it, I’m actually surprised the Fab 5 from Netflix’s Queer Eye haven’t shown up at my door yet.

All of that being said, I know enough about style to know that orthopedic shoes are kind of a fashion death-sentence. There’s a reason a doctor has to tell us to wear them, right? They’re like the grapefruit for breakfast of footwear. Nobody wants it, but it’s good for you and your digestive health, so we sprinkle a little bit of sugar on top to make it tolerable and then get on with our day.

Of course it’s not just the look I’m worried about, but it’s what the look says. I already knit and crochet. I enjoy a nice, warm cup of tea in the evenings before I go to bed by 10pm. I read physical books and complain about my back multiple times a day. I don’t like gratuitous sex or violence in my television and I’m very sad that I don’t have a good space in my apartment to set up a jigsaw puzzle to work on throughout the year. I got very excited when our seed catalog arrived last month, AND I’M ACTIVELY WATCHING AN EPISODE OF THE GOLDEN GIRLS AS I WRITE THIS, so… I’m pretty sure that the minute I put on a pair of orthopedic shoes I will suddenly rip off my mask and reveal to the world that I am in fact the oldest of bitties in the blogosphere.

Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not trying to harp on the elderly. I just didn’t think I would be joining them quite yet! I mean, I’m not even thirty! I was supposed to have a few decades left before all of this really started happening.

It’s not just that the shoes aren’t my style (they don’t make orthopedic Chuck Taylors, I’ve looked), but they’re also damn expensive. Obviously, I could go the inserts route, and that is what I’m going to try first, but what if that’s not enough? What if my doctors end up saying “Sorry, toots, but you’re going to be spending over $100 on every pair of shoes for the rest of your life. And you won’t like a single one of them.”

Because that’s the thing, right? I know my style isn’t “stylish” according to the rest of the world, but it’s my style. I like it. When I walk out the door, I like to think that people can get an honest sense of who I am and what I’m like before I say “hello.” They can see that I like nerdy things from my graphic tees and that I’m an animal lover from the dog fur that is at this point just woven into the fibers of every article of clothing. They can see that I’m outdoorsy from my worn boots and artistic from the white converse that I’ve doodled all over with sharpies. And that’s what I want them to see. I’m not ready for them to see my joint pain or my spina bifida right away. I’m not ready for them to see an old lady before they meet a young woman.

And I know that these are just shoes and that I’m probably being dramatic and building it all up in my head, but if it’s orthopedic shoes today at 28-years-old, how long before it’s something more, like a cane or a walker? 35? 40? Can I push it until 50?

The truth is, of course, that there’s no way to know right now whether or not things will get worse, or if these shoes will prevent any further issues from one day developing. All I can do is trust the doctors and give it shot. Because if this works, then that’s a great thing, and maybe it’ll end there. So I’m not going to let these new shoes cramp my style. I’ll decorate them with sharpies and glitter. I’ll sprinkle them with sugar and get on with the rest of my day. And they will be fabulous.


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