Age 6 – You meet a future classmate named David at an area park shortly before starting first grade. He is immediately your exciting new friend, and you smile at each other coyly for the first three months of school. At that point, he inexplicably starts taunting and torturing you, and thereafter becomes your sworn enemy for the next seven and a half years.
Age 9 – A friend of your father's invites your family to try cross-country skiing for the first time. You are a natural, darting ahead of the rest of the group repeatedly and having a fantastic time. Your parents are not naturals, and therefore never ever take you skiing again. You are pretty sure the fact that you never reached your full athletic potential can be traced to this one event.
Age 12 – You are deep in Like with a boy named John. Through some miracle of the universe, he actually likes you back, and in a rare bout of sixth-grade-boy bravery, decides to tell you so on the bus one night. You are immediately terrified of and want nothing to do with him. This experience sets the course for most of your interactions with men for the next ten years.
Age 14 – Your classmates in your very tiny private school are bored and tired of each other (and quite possibly just plain cruel), so they amuse themselves by ostracizing one gangly, awkward student at a time. Lucky you: the shunning rotates to your direction just before end-of-year eighth grade graduation festivities. You gain an unfortunate nickname just in time for yearbook signing, and you are nearly ditched--twice--on the class trip to Great America. You end the year with few friends, and decide that public school cannot start soon enough.
Age 16 – In a seeming attempt to prove just how cool you are not, you invite several friends and almost-friends (from widely varying social circles, no less) to your sixteenth birthday party... at a roller rink. Shockingly, most of them come, despite the fact that (a. most of them don't like each other, (b. some of them might not even like you, and (c. you are too old for a roller-skating party to be acceptable or normal, and too young for it to be an amusing, retro, "releasing-your-inner-child" thing to do. In retrospect, you are both mortified and strangely proud of this entire event.
Age 18 – You do not understand the appeal of house parties, and you really, really hope there is more to college than this.
Age 21 – Spending a semester in Scotland is proving to be an excellent decision. You are seeing the world (or at least, several previously unseen parts of it), and you are learning more than you ever thought you would about culture and human nature. Also, you are learning to drink. And you are getting rather good at it.
Age 23 – You are gainfully employed in your first "real" job. It is not nearly as hard or as strange a transition as you expected it to be, though you still feel like you're playing dress-up when you leave your apartment each day. Sometimes you are genuinely surprised when people treat you like a grown-up. You are certain they will call you out as an imposter at any moment.
Age 26 – Your roommate plans a surprise birthday party for you. The surprise is a complete success. It is still a week before your birthday, and therefore only when you see your own mother does it register that the "Happy Birthday" balloons are for you. It is not one of your quicker or brighter moments.
Age 28 – Finally (finally, finally) a man who is neither a relative nor "just a friend" looks you in the eyes and says "I love you." And he means it. It is awesome.
Age 30 – Another surprise birthday party is held in your honor. You do not suspect this one, either, but as it is held on your actual birthday, you immediately realize it is for you. Clearly all hope for you is not lost.
Age 31 – You start publishing your idle thoughts and random stories on the Internet. You join a dating site and start going on dates with seemingly half the men in the greater Twin Cities area. (The total number actually remains under 30.) Bad dates prove to be excellent blog fodder.
Age 32 – You are still publishing assorted thoughts and stories on the Internet. You jump on an absurd bandwagon and decide to post something every day for a month. On day 14, you post your life in brief. It is met with