Monday, June 29, 2009

That's Me!

In fifth grade, we had a class assignment to write our autobiography. This should have been a piece of cake for me. I mean, I wrote at home all the time... FOR FUN. But? Those were stories about punk rock Valley girls! Runaway cult members! Girls who dressed up like hookers for Halloween and wired the insides of trees in their spare time! In other words, people with much more interesting lives than mine. What did I have to offer the world? Let's see...

In my first attempt, I took a straightforward approach:

I was born on June 24, 1977. It was dinnertime.
I was named Sada Rose. Sada after Sada Thompson an actress on the T.V. show, FAMILY. Rose after my grandmother's maiden name. I was Halle and Charles's first child, their first little girl. I was born at home in Buffalo, New York.

Blah blah freakin' blah. Where was the DRAMA? The biker gangs? The secret passages? The Wheel of Fortune wins? I quickly jotted down the most important points to cover in my 11 years of existence:

Genie born
Will born
Getting Hurt Badly
Interesting things

Could this work? Could I pull it off and transform myself into a fascinating protagonist?

Well, apparently not. Instead I decided to go in the complete opposite direction, by insisting to the reader that I was BORING AS ALL GET-OUT.
Here's how I began Draft #2:


My mother says I don't have a boring life. My grandmother says I don't have a boring life. My father says I don't have a boring life.


As you can see, I was keeping expectations low. EXTREMELY LOW.

I was born, naturally, but that's boring. EVERYONE was born. I was born at home.

When I was a baby, I went to King's Island. I met ______________. But I don't remember. That's boring to me.

You know who the blank is? MUHAMMAD ALI! Totally not boring! When I was six months old, my mom and I happened upon him while flying out of NYC, and he not only held me, he even kissed me! And I cried. And my mom didn't take a single photo, a fact over which she should still be kicking herself. That could have MADE this autobiography.

When I was a baby, I went to the Virgin Islands. WOW. WHERE ARE THE VIRGIN ISLANDS?

Not only was I boring, I also lacked basic geography skills. Or looking-at-a-map skills. Or asking-my-parents skills.

But, man, I was onto something with this "boring" theme! It was time to set to work on the final draft. Here's what I turned in to my teacher (photos and all).


This book is dedicated to:
my parents
because without their help I never
would have had this life

Bow chicka wow wow! On the other hand, that could be translated as "Without you two I never would have had such a BORING life!"

Since I think I have a boring life, the most exciting way to write this story would be to tell you everyone's suggestions...and things I remember.

SPOILER: That might, in fact, be the LEAST exciting way to write this story.

You guys, I loved this pile of dirt. LOVED IT. In fact, check out this other photo (not part of the book, but included here for your viewing enjoyment), where I'm all, "Holy God! This is the best pile of dirt EVER!":


"I have a boring life." I exclaimed. I had just walked into my little brother's room. It was the week-end and the morning.

I was right! This is boring already!

My mom tried to be helpful. "When you were little you used to lay down and suck your fingers to go to sleep." she said.

And then there's a photo of... me sitting on a stoop with some disembodied legs?

The caption for this one reads "Me (notice the slippers)." I have no idea why. Of much greater interest is my MAINE POTATOES shirt, because my family calls me Sada Potato. For those of you who don't know me, that rhymes.

"What about me?" asked my little brother, Will. He won't be left out of a conversation.

"Well," said mom. "You used to call Josh:Dosh, Sada:Ada, and Genie:Nenie."

Will laughed into his pillow.

"And Genie used to call American Cheese: AMERICACHINO." added mom.

More hysterical laughter from Will.

I rolled my eyes.

My sister had a Groucho Marx mask that she bafflingly referred to as her "Philip Face." Here I model the mind-blowing Philip Face and peach leotard combo. Hipsters, you might want to be writing this down.

"I have a boring life." I said to my grandma.

"A BORING LIFE." cried Grandma. "I think you have one of the most exciting lives of any 11-year-old."

She went on to make suggestions:

Me wearing my Santa pajamas.

"You traveled to the Virgin Islands when you were a baby. How many people do you think have done that?" questioned Grandma.

"I don't remember." I said.

"You've seen your brother and sister being born." continued Grandma.

"I don't remember Genie." I told her. (Genie is my little sister, of course.)

My siblings and I were all born at home (a detail that I clearly had to leave out, lest I make this autobiography slightly interesting), and I was present at their births. But whatever. The miracle of life? BORING.

Me and dad on the boat, cruising the Carribean

I neglected to mention that we stayed on a houseboat in the Virgin Islands. I know, right? Being on a boat? TOTALLY BORING.

I remember stories my mom told me like the time I was in my crib.

I was supposed to be taking a nap. I saw our neighbor and I started to wave and call, "JULIE. JULIE." Then, I fell out of my crib and out of the window.

YES! Finally we get to some good stuff, i.e., Getting Hurt Badly by Falling Out of a Window! Well, except for this:


My mom just came in and told me I fell out of the crib (I'd been leaning out of the window) and smacked my head really badly on the hardwood floor.

That was the end of the crib.

...And the end of this story, which was way better when I thought I fell out of the window. Falling on the floor? BORING!

Me doing "exercises"

Please note the Super '70s playpen and the sock monkeys strewn willy-nilly.

When I was little my feet used to point in so, I wore a brace (on my feet) that kept them out. My mom's friend, Maura says I used to walk around with it on my feet.

Me and the brace (I used to make that face all the time)

Yes, everyone, I was dropped on the head AND I was pigeon-toed. You want to make fun? Just try it! I know Muhammad Ali!

Well, back to Will's room.

I was asking my mom about when I was in the hospital.

"Well," she began. "You were yellow."

"Yellow?" I repeated.

"Yellow." she said.

The first photo in the infamous "Eating Sand" series...

"And," she continued. "We took you to the hospital. Your blood was different than mine. So, they poked and prodded you and gave you blood transfusions and all that." She went on and on and on and on and on..........

In other words: BORING! I mean, my body was just REJECTING MY BLOOD. No big whoop.

I could tell funny, interesting, exciting stories about my brother or sister.


So that's my boring life.

What do you think?

My teacher's comments?

Excellent! You did a wonderful job on this aubobiography Sada!

I am not kidding. It definitely says "aubobiography." Which probably explains a lot.

NEXT TIME: Fifth graders cannot keep their stinkin' traps shut in THE BIG SECRET.