11 Why I’m ashamed

[This is the first draft of the eleventh part of my Master’s thesis/book, Confession.
Comments and questions are always appreciated.]

Everyone has regrets, things they’re ashamed of, things they don’t want to tell anyone. These are those things.

I lie.

Or I used to. Recently, since I’ve been out of college, the allure has worn of completely. It’s not fun anymore, and I’m tired. When we first started dating, I told Bennett I was abused as a child. I wasn’t, but I didn’t know how else to explain my eccentricities. I told my friends similar stories in high school because I wanted to feel something. I wanted to be paid attention to. Why else lie about something so horrible? It cheapens true accounts and, if they ever find out, it ruins my credibility with my friends.

I steal.

Though there are rules. I don’t steal from friends or family, and I don’t take from independent businesses. WalMart, Borders, Safeway, Sears, Hot Topic, though, are all fair game. Chain businesses are up for grabs. I have never been caught. I would rather just buy what I take, but sometimes (most of the time) I cannot afford it.

I have plagiarized.

Which is essentially stealing intellectual property. In college, I stole a poem, “shoe-lace envy”,* word-for-word from the then-girlfriend of one of my co-activists. I loved the poem so much, and I wished I had written it. The real author lived in Northern California and I was attending school on the East Coast. I didn’t think she would find out, so I submitted it as my own to the on-campus literary and arts magazine, Prolog, and it was accepted. I thought nothing of it and even used the poem in one of my school portfolios before I received an angry email from the real poet ordering me to cease and desist. Although I never responded to her letter, I did stop using her beautiful poem as my own. To Ms. Freytag: I am so sorry I stole from you. I swear it has never happened before or since.

* Freytag, Ellen. “shoe-lace envy,” Masque Magazine, volume 4, issue 2 (spring 2001); p. 3. [http://www.stanford.edu/group/masque/]

I like kinky sex.

But it’s complicated. I probably shouldn’t get too detailed, but suffice to say I have a healthy interest in sex not of your mother’s choosing. Unless, maybe, you’re mother is Jenna Jameson. That doesn’t mean, though, that I’m an easy lay.

I’m chronically late.

To everything. I’ve been late to class, church, appointments, interviews; you name it, I’ve been late to it. I’ll probably be late to Christ’s second coming, even if I’m already dead.

I am classist.

I would like to think I’m “racially colorblind” but I’m not. In high school, I was exposed to very few people who were different from me in a few significant ways. That is, I lived in an area where all the kids wanted for very little, and some were even quite affluent. When I moved to New York City after college, I was introduced to large groups of people who were in significantly different income brackets, and that was odd at first. I thought I could handle it. Then, I was annoyed. I wasn’t annoyed at black people, or Puerto Ricans, or Chinese people specifically. I was annoyed at people who acted poor. Not the people who were poor but held themselves with poise and dignity, just the people who seemed to expect me to feel sorry for them because of their income status. My disgust, what I had feared was based on skin color, was actually based on action. What I really hate is “white trash” and “ghetto fabulous” behavior, not matter the person or income bracket. And, I think, that makes me classist.