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“Hilarious. Kind. Mega-babe.” My classmate used none of these words to describe me.

In graduate school, I took a class on therapy group dynamics. As part of the experiential curriculum, we formed our own groups. The instructor asked us to go around our circle, and use a sole descriptor for each group member. One of my peers looked straight in my eyes, and said without hesitation, about me,“Intense.”

Her assessment took me so far aback, I disappeared into my neck, Beaker, style.

Intense.

Moi?

 

Meep meep?

See, I had earned the reputation in my family as the easy going child. I enjoyed a narrative of the One Who Got Along With Everyone; the loveable, sweet-natured bridge-maker with spoon-thumbs—a recessive trait that made me even softer around the thumb-edges. What I failed to account for, however, was the relativism of easy-going among a family of the medium-to-over hard going variety. That day in my group, I learned that when compared with the truly over-easy of the world, my sunny-side up looked a lot more hard-boiled and minced with chopped liver. Pliable, yes, soft even, but with a strong aftertaste and certainly not for everyone. Meep!

Today, if this group exercise continued scrutinizing me and my quirks Duck Duck Goose style,  it might sound something like this:

“Literal.”

Once Ann told me she met someone on Twitter that dated Don Draper. The next week she told me—oops the person did not literally mean that she dated Jon Hamm, but that she once dated someone who resembled John Hamm.

“Space-Cadet.”

Ann is highly attuned to you—nearly to a psychic degree– except for on a day-to-day basis when you look right at her and say hello, and she doesn’t blink or register your presence. If you think Ann is snubbing you, try stepping directly in front of her and shouting HELLO ANN. Then again, the gym teacher recently threw a ball off the roof of the school in Ann’s direction and Ann didn’t appear to register the projectile, even as it landed three inches from her sizable head. Ann is highly attuned to you unless your voice registers a similar frequency to that of her children or husband, she is looking at her phone, or she is thinking a thought.

“Earnest.”

I thought she’d be funny, but she’s actually very brow-furrow-y. Her tagline should read Stay At Home Furrowist.

“Kirsten/Kirstin/Kristen -phobic.”

She never greats me using my name (Kjersten). I’ve had it with her addressing me as GOOD DAY, FELLOW PLEBE!”

“Persuasive”

Especially when she’s wrong. I really thought she tweeted with someone that dated Don Draper.  She really seemed to know what she was talking about.

“Inflection-afflicted.”

Ann will flat-line her most sincere compliment. Her “You are sooo beautiful” sounds exactly like “You are suuuuch a wanker” inflection-wise.

“Malapropy. Typo-prone. Yammer-er. Hyper-snacky. Working on stronger hugs and lower-body flexibility. Sugar Freak. Not a morning person. Not a night owl. Doesn’t see big picture. Nope, not small details either. Remembers insignificant childhood moments, but not days of week. Pines for breakfast always.”

“Peters out at the end of blog posts without really finishing them.”

Enough duck duck-ing about my quirks, imaginary therapy peers. Instead, go read what Lisa wrote about her “Features” over at Smacksy, Goose.

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