some of yall might know some of this already, but…
one. my name is jennifer kristin. jennifer: the cornish derivation of the welsh gwenhyfar (guinevere) (means white wave, by the way… which suits because the waters of my internal landscape are NEVER calm). kristin: after my uncle, frank christian. so guinevere, a queen with weak morals and weaker knees… and christ. which really kind of suits because i’m hugely contradictory. also, counting my last name, there are five i’s in my name (even the e’s sound like i’s), which i’ve never liked…
two. because i’m an aries, the infant of the zodiac. the sign that’s all about me… me… me. and my parents like to point out how everything’s always about me at every available opportunity. you’re the ones who put all the i’s in my name, folks, and decided to have a baby in late, late march.
three. plus, i’m the middle child… and the only girl.
four. i’ve spent the majority of my forty-four years as a resident of the great state of texas. save for: six months in natchitoches, louisiana (second half of third grade); nine months in roswell, new mexico (fourth grade); eighteen months in nevada, missouri (freshman and sophomore years of college). it is a great state, but i am itching to get the hell out of dodge. my small town ain’t so small anymore, which i hate. the world is too big. i wanna go go go…
five. but you have to have money to go go go… which means you have to have a job, and i’m having a really hard time finding one of those. i used to write for a newspaper. i don’t want to do that anymore. i’m actually sick to death of the media, and my father’s got it on. all. the. time. one lady said i could use her as a reference and then told the manager not to hire me. the manager told me this… so one of’m’s not being honest. i’d really wanted that job, but now that i’m privy to this information, maybe it’s good that i don’t have it. it wasn’t anything grand, just clerking in a store, but i liked how casual the place was, the friendly atmosphere, that it closed at six p.m. weekdays and all day sunday, so i could have my nights and half my weekend. it was the kind of job you could clock out and walk out of without responsibility following you…
six. so i could spend my nights writing… not the great american novel. i don’t have such grand expectations for myself. i just want to write a good love story. it was written. i’ve completed the first half of the revision process, which means cutting out the crap. now i have to replace the words i erased with better ones… only i’m so stressed out about the fact that i can’t find work that i can’t find the words.
seven. i live with my parents. i’m trying not to be ashamed of saying that. it’s so much more practical that i do. i’m not involved with anyone; i have no children; i have no job; they’re in their seventies, and they travel every few months for a period of several weeks each time to colorado to see my mother’s relatives, that uncle after whom i’m named and her other brother and the nephews and their wives and children…
eight. i’m in a critique group with three other writers. one of them calls me her rainbow rowell girl, which warms my heart and intimidates my brain. another told me yesterday she sees me as a more literary writer while she and the others are more commercial fiction… like she thinks i’m the best of us. most of the time, i feel like i’m the weakest one in the bunch, so it makes me really happy that they say these things.
nine. that i think that way surely has something to do with the bipolar disorder (a diagnosis i received from a shrink in my twenties) or the major depressive disorder (a diagnosis i received from a therapist last year) from which i suffer. i’m on meds now. for most of my adult life i had not been. i don’t like needing them, but… if i skip a day, i can definitely tell that i’ve done so.
ten. hell, there are days that i take them, and i’m still not on my best behavior. i bitched at a postal clerk because she was being a cow… telling me she didn’t have an attitude when clearly she did. i bitched at the customers in aldi because they were all are you in line? no. no i’m not. i’m not standing near the registers with my fucking basket full of bottled water (which i probably should’ve been drinking instead of snacking on snickers). i didn’t say that, though. instead i snapped i am, but you go ahead. i did that FOUR fucking times.
eleven. i am NOT a nice person. really, i’m not. it bothers me that i’m not. so much so that i go out of my way to do nice things for others to make up for the fact that the thoughts in my head are hideous. and when i can’t keep those thoughts from rushing out of my mouth… i always feel guilty afterward because i wasn’t strong enough to stop them.
twelve. i cuss. a lot. it drives my parents nuts. one of my mother’s friends told her she was friends with me on facebook. your daughter’s funny, and she swears a lot.
thirteen. my mother says i’ve got the go to hell look patented. it probably doesn’t help that my eyes are like slits (weak muscles due to a mild case of cerebral palsy and a trio of surgeries made’m that way) and, thanks to her mother and my father, have a tendency to appear to be black (they’re dark brown with a bit of amber, but when i’m pissed, the amber disappears). it also doesn’t help that i’ve got resting bitch face, and mine’s better than most.
fourteen. this is because i’ve no patience. none. NONE. when i’m watching my younger brother’s twins (they are now nine… holy fuck. that can’t be right. EIGHT. they’re eight. not that that’s much better.), i don’t do the waterworks. the moment tears roll’s the moment time out starts. most of the time, it works; they rein it in pretty quick.
fifteen. that mild case of cerebral palsy has resulted in six surgeries, thirty-some-odd scars, the mental imbalance and vision issues that can’t be corrected. the last two contribute to sometimes severe social anxieties… which sometimes contributes to my not being as nice as i should. i’m like a cross between sheldon and bernadette on big bang theory… unless there’s a hot man in the vicinity… then i’m one hundred percent raj. actually… i’ve been told i’m intimidating, so maybe i’m ninety-five percent raj and five percent sheldon. you know, like when he’s looking at someone like that person’s the most idiotic person in the world… that. it really, really sucks.
sixteen. i’ve an english degree. not so much because i wanted that degree but because i wanted to get the hell out of school (it took me five and a half years to graduate because i was indecisive as shit… and because i let others influence my choices too much as an adolescent and young adult) and english was the quickest way to get out. i really wish i had some focus, some interest in learning. i REALLY wish i’d taken a year off and worked six months as a server and six months as a retail whore. had i done that, you can bet your ass i would’ve done better in school.
seventeen. i graduated without ever having read dickens, dostoevsky, nabokov, either of the brontes or austen. amazing, ain’t it? and then about fifteen years ago, i decided i’d take some undergrad english classes to see how i felt about going to graduate school so i could get my mfa and teach freshmen how to write, and one of my professors assigned dickens — our mutual friend. i fell in love with it on the first day of class (victorian literature, which ended up being my favorite subject).
eighteen. least favorite subject was principles of accounting.
nineteen. favorite color is green.
twenty. favorite candy is smarties.
twenty-one. favorite food is chicken spaghetti.
twenty-two. coke. NEVER pepsi. that shit’s N A S T Y.
twenty-three. i’d live in london if i could… in the summertime. in the winter, i’d be in fucking fiji or some place like it.
twenty-four. that said, my favorite place to be is here.
twenty-five. it’s two minutes past ten p.m. texas time, and i’m yawning and wanting to hit the sack. LAME. where the hell did my youth go?