Monday, November 21, 2011

HIGH SCHOOL, LIKE LIFE, IS AWKWARD.

I am “that girl.”

You know, that girl that got pooped on by a seagull on her way to the cafeteria. That girl who fell on her a** in a mud puddle in the quad. That girl who made out w/Kevin-the-player behind the gym. That girl who got drunk and slept in a bush at her HS reunion (wait, scratch that last one).

It’s a tricky existence…navigating the hell that is high school, where being invisible is as bad as standing out and so much effort is expended trying to fit in without conforming. Sometimes the real hell of high school is living with yourself. Not some world-wise, grown-up, quasi-superhero, kick-ass version of yourself, but the wimpy, head-in-the-sand, freak-a** version who cares entirely more about the outside than the inside. The version that spends entirely too much time hiding and angsting over what people think about you—people you don’t even like!


Maybe that’s why MTV’s AWKWARD rocked me like a hurricane, because I understood Jenna Hamilton, the show’s “that girl,” on a cellular level.

One of the things I love most about AWKWARD. is Jenna Hamilton’s carefrontation letter. The anonymous letter is brutal in its honesty, so much so, that it is impossible to believe the author is anything other than a frenemy. Jenna’s carefrontation says things like:

·  number 1: Stop being a p**** (think kitty slang)
· number 2: Your instincts suck. Second guess them.
· number 3: The only people more pathetic then you are your friends. Drop the dead weight.
· number 4: When you're pretty, you're happy. And clearly you're not happy.
· number 5: Pull your head out of your a** and stand out.
· number 6: Nobody likes the pitiful. Stop being such a drag.
· number 7: You have to be cruel to be kind.


One of the questions AWKWARD. made me ask is if I were to write a carefrontation to my fifteen-year-old self, what would I say? After a couple weeks of thought, here’s what I came up with.

Dear Carey,

In ten years all this mundane, angsty adolescent bullsh** will matter about as much as something you scraped off your shoe. So stop the Emo crap and grow a pair!!!
·  number 1: Life will always suck. Find the joy in each day.
· number 2: Stop waiting for someone to rescue you. Rescue yourself!
· number 3: Sometimes being liked is not as important as being feared. Connect with your inner BIATCH.
· number 4: Screw what your simple-minded peers think. Do what makes you happy.
· number 5: Invest emotionally in your besties not your frenemies. In ten years, you won’t give a sh** about your enemies but your friends will still matter.
· number 6: When warranted, throw a punch. Some jerkwads deserve it.
· number 7: Always stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. It might be uncomfortable in the short term but you’ll like yourself a whole lot more in the long run.
· number 8: Don’t try to hide, or conform, or blend; Stop worrying about standing out or fitting in; No one will give a sh** whether you were invisible or popular. Figure out who you are and be that person. Own your life!
WOW! If I could only invent time travel, go back and stage an intervention for myself... Unfortunately, I'm not Stephen Hawking or H.G. Wells (I don't even srite science fiction). Fortunately, thanks to AWKWARD. creator Lauren Iungerich, I realize just how far I've come since my pathetic teen years.

Other things to love about AWKWARD. (The part where I shamelessly plug one of my fav new shows.)

·         The music
·         The ΓΌber-talented cast

 
o   Ashley Rickards as Jenna Hamilton

 o   The hotties Matty and Jake played by fatabulous Beau Mirchoff and Brett Davern


o   The nemesis – the lovely Molly Tarlov gives a wonderfully  layered and complex performance as Queen Biatch Sadie

·         o   The bestie – Jillian Rose Reed is hilarious as Tamara
·         o   The mom – Nikki Deloach’s performance can be described in one word “free-boobing”
·         o   The guidance counselor -  Desi Lydic’s Valerie is often ditzy, always radiant



For the full 411 read the glowing NYTimes article High School, That Hilarious Minefield

Now that I've turned you on to AWKWARD. ("You're welcome.") it's YOUR TURN:


What would you put in a carefrontation letter to your fifteen-year-old self?


Carey Corp is the author of THE HALO CHRONICLES: THE GUARDIAN and a new short story THE WAY LIFE WAS FOREVER.

11 comments:

Melissa Landers said...

Ooh, this is fun! What would I say in a carefrontation letter to my younger self?

1. You don't need a boyfriend. It's more fun being alone than with someone who's not right for you.

2. You know those girls who tease you relentlessly in science class? Pick up your book and smack one of them upside the head. Yes, you will get your arse kicked--probably get suspended, too--but it will be so worth it.

3. Buy copious amounts of Microsoft stock.

Carey_Corp said...

@ Melissa - those are great!

Kimberly said...

Carey,
I can't believe I still haven't seen Awkward, even after your hour-long recommendation. LOL.
I will though!!!
What would I say to my teen self?
1. Don't sweat the small stuff. There's plenty of big stuff in your future. Save your stress for motherhood. LOL.
2. Don't be quick to laugh in a joking way with others when it's directed at someone, even if that someone is laughing as well. Many times they aren't on the inside. True wit comes from saying something funny about life and situations rather than people.
3. Put down the Harlequin book in Algebra class. This will signal the time when you go down a very hard road with numbers. Your future self has to double recipes by doing all the instructions twice instead of merely adding fractions. It's a sad math life your way if you don't listen to your future self. Your kids will make fun of you. Repeatedly.
4. Don't worry about what you wear as long as you don't look ridiculous. Don't fall into fads. Stick with what looks good on you. DO NOT WEAR LEG WARMERS WITH EVERYTHING. It looks dumb, even if it's in style at the time.
5. Don't be embarrassed by your mom. Who cares if she's overweight and doesn't care what she looks like? She's the best friend you'll ever have, and her feelings are more important than anyone else's.
Kim

Lorie Langdon said...

I *love* this post, Carey!
A few things I’d like to go back and say to my younger self…
1) Don’t be so self-conscious or afraid of what other people think, they’re probably not paying attention to you anyway!
2) You’re beautiful just the way you are, and not even perfect, little cheerleaders should make you feel inferior.
3) You shouldn’t waste time on annoying high school boys, because your soul mate’s just around the corner. :o)

And yes, Carey, you've inspired me to catch up on all those AWKWARD episodes that I missed!

Anonymous said...

My note to myself would go something like this:

1) You may be a little frumpy now, but you will turn out to be way better looking long-term than those girls you are jealous of right now.

2) Pay attention in those math classes. And take some business classes--you will use these things in the future, no matter what profession you choose.

3) Stay friends with that boy you're obsessed with, because he will introduce you to your husband! But for God's sake, stop crying over him. He doesn't turn out all that great.

4) Convince your husband to get a dachshund puppy while you're on your honeymoon. That's the best chance you'll ever have to convince him.

Beth W.

Lea Nolan said...

Carey this is Fabuloso! Hmm, here's mine...

1) Don't worry about impressing boys. The ones you think are cool end up fat and bald, or unsuccessful losers.

2) Please stop wasting a half hour each morning picking out your clothes. You'll never be a fashion plate, no matter how hard you try. Besides, no one actually cares what you wear anyway.

3) Stop thinking you'll go to hell if you have premarital sex. You won't. I promise. Besides, that first time is going to suck. And not in a good way.

Carey_Corp said...

@ Lea - Hilarious and sadly true, especially #1. Have a great Thanksgiving!

Juli Alexander said...

Okay. First of all. You are so right about Awkward. I adore it. Second, I don't think your letter to yourself would have been very well received.

I would have just thought any such letter was annoying. But in your scenario, we are trying to actually confront someone b/c we care. I'm not sure that's the case in the show...

1) learn to cook something. Anything. Really.
2) Take more pictures. You look really good.
3) And maybe, Grow a pair. No reason to be so afraid of everything all the time!

Carey_Corp said...

@ Juli. Great to hear from another fan of the show. I like your list, especially the last one. THanks for stopping by.

PJ Sharon said...

I love all these responses! You people are awesome and it's all great advice.

I would have loved to tell myself:

1) Don't give yourself to any guy who isn't totally worthy of you. And that includes every guy under the age of thirty, so just wait until you believe in yourself enough to know your true worth.
2) Sex will not give you the sense of connection and love that you are looking for. Only trust and respect will do that for you.
3) Bad boys are bad boys for a reason.

Are we seeing a theme here?

Jennifer said...

Carey, this is awesome! Can you write a letter to teen me? I don't think I'd believe myself ; )~
And clearly I have to investigate AWKWARD... I miss all the good shows!