Memoirville

EXCERPT: Mortified: Love is a Battlefield

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

By Rachel

One of the highlights of our book tour was spending Valentine’s Day with hundreds of other awkward single people (and one couple that wouldn’t stop licking each other’s faces) at a live Mortified event in Los Angeles. It was everything we hope to someday achieve with a SMITH Slam—great writing, brilliant comedy, perfect projections and video pieces, plus a rockin’ band. The readers were painfully heartfelt but genuinely hilarious. You can’t return to that night (or bring home a one-eyed pink construction paper heart-man like I did) but you can buy Mortified: Love is a Battlefield and recapture the magic in your own home.

Below, David Nadelberg’s introduction and a Mortifying middle school diary.

Here, check out The Mortified Shoebox Show: Videos from the Vaults of Everyday Life.

+++

Introduction: Mortified: Love is a Battlefield

As adults, we’re fascinated by the subject of love and lust. Ballads dominate pop FM. Sex scandals stalk CNN. Dating sites boast more subscribers than most magazines.

As kids, our curiosity about romance is even more intense. After all, we don’t just like someone. We like like someone. We don’t just flirt. We fixate.

The voices captured in the pages that follow are like brave little explorers surveying foreign soil, desperately hoping to make sense of the terrain. Some are cautious. Some are reckless. All are clueless. Imagine Lewis and Clark lost in the pages of a Judy Blume novel.

We spend our whole lives trying to understand that terrain. Hell, even asexual people—from monks to Morrissey—struggle to make sense of it. And regardless of whether we are pining for it, experiencing it, or alienated from it, each of us manages to emerge from the ashes of adolescence with our own personal interpretation.

From the first kiss to the first rejection to all the thrills that fall between, the following entries chronicle our early awkward attempts to understand the one word that we never quite master anyway: love.

Through delusional displays of celebrity obsession, prudish outbursts of hand-holding, and disturbing sexual awakenings, whatever we discover about romance during our adolescent expeditions is what we carry with us for the rest of our lives.

As such, we hope you’ll see this collection as we do: an overdue Valentine to those confused kids we left behind on the bright yellow bus.

After all, they deserve some action.

The New Girl
by Leonard Hyman
Least Likely to… Be Quarterback

Growing up in American Samoa, I was the smartest kid in my school. My parents had moved there as Baha’i missionaries, and education was important to them. So I became a star student. Along with my best friend, Josh, I enjoyed life at the head of the class.

But the summer before seventh grade, Josh moved away. Suddenly, I was alone.

And that’s when she arrived on campus.

Her name was Mele, and I have no idea where she came from or how or why. All I knew was that she bested me in every regard—she was instantly popular, devastatingly cute, and worst of all totally brilliant.

With my status as resident child genius threatened, I began to follow the wisdom of ancient philosophers: Keep your allies close but your enemies closer. Unfortunately, I took that to heart.

August 30
I love the 7th grade. I’m helping with the school newspaper, friends with the class and enjoying life! Weird! Wow! I just realized I never mentioned the geography bee! I won it! Anyway, back to the point. The newspaper is great! And the media instructor is cool!

September 5
I think Mele Parker is a witch. A WITCH!! So does Misa, Solip, Hes, Olita, and a few other people. So we are trying to come up with ways to make her feel bad. Any way, I just found out she likes me, I mean loves me. She’s a witch. Here’s the problem. Misa and Solip have this plan that I’ll like her and then dump her. But what if this backfires? What if she kisses me or asks me out (despite boys are supposed to ask girls.) My life will be ruined! My first date/kiss will be with a witch! Oh well, maybe I’ll read up on insults to blow off losers!

September 6
Finks! Misa and Solip are buttholes! They lied about Mele liking me and today they told Sani who told Mele that I like her! That is according to them. They lie so much. I don’t know what to believe. I may be worrying about nothing. Maybe Mele doesn’t have a crush on me and Misa never told Sani. But, what if they did tell Sani who told Mele. This is terrible if Mele likes me and if she doesn’t! Why me? The scary part is the fact that everything is unknown.

Brilliant idea: The thing we should fear most is the danger of the unknown.

Life sucks. Mele is getting popular. I think Mele really does like me and I pray she does so I can embarrass her and Misa and Solip instead of visa-versa. I hope tomorrow never comes.

Today I started daydreaming about the problem and Ms. Willis said I was spacing out and Olita said I was daydreaming about my girlfriend. Mele’s head jerked up. Does she know something, or is she hoping I do, or don’t? Then Ms. Willis told us to talk about personal affairs outside of class. I said “Yeah!” Smooth move. Then they teased and said that I really had a girlfriend.

I am weird.
Everything is weird.
Except my life…
It sucks.

September 7
The world hates me. The Misa, Solip, Mele incident is over and Mele hates me. And most of the class does, too. In the words of Bill Nye the science guy, “consider the following.” Maybe I should runaway. I wish I didn’t have a conscience. Then I’d… do a lot of things.

October 14
What if my life ends up like my childhood, a total zip? I need a friend or a girl or both. I’m lovesick. I’m falling in love with every girl I see and expecting love in return. Would you believe I even liked Mele for about a half an hour? I should be out having fun, instead I’m here explaining my thoughts to myself. I’m a kid for gosh sakes. I NEED A LIFE! I’m young and restless.

October 22
Dear Diary,
I’ve fallen in love with… Mele. Yes, the same Mele I called a witch. Now that I’ve become a better person, I’ve seen her good side and oooh! She’s cute, funny, smart, talented, and beautiful. What a bod OOOH-WEEEE! I love her, more than I loved Sala. I now realize that Sala was toying with me. But now I love Mele. The soap opera continues… I think I may have a chance with her but I’ve thought that with all of my crushes with the same amount of conviction. Oh well, I love Mele Parker.

November 15
“Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”
I’m speaking of Josh and Mele. I’ve only been gone from her a day, but I love her. She is just so missable. Josh, oohh, now Josh, I could, mmmph, him one or two. He’s off having a life, with a girl. Well, that’s according to the Ouija board. But if he is, man! He’s having a life while I’m in the armpit of the universe! I’m going nuts! This whole I love Mele and don’t have Josh have totally ruined my whole #@* life! I love her. She may/may not love me. Oh, by the way, there’s going to be a new girl in our class on Monday. For some reason, I’m really excited. It may be my love for people, I don’t know. Life’s going to lead me to a disappointment, I know it. Oh well. I’m so joyful and happy. Let’s not ruin it.

January 8
Well I was right, I was disappointed about the new student. Liz, the new girl, has now joined Sara’s “I’m uncool” club! One mistake can ruin your life, and Liz has made that mistake. I think she likes me (but then in my mind everyone does.) She kept staring at me during song practice. Oh well, I don’t like her. She’s creepy. Oh, by the way yesterday Mele put her arms around my neck to reach the keyboard. Her chest was very close. Oooh-wee! It’s hot!

January 16
Liz likes me still. Jun Wong thinks so too. He’s not a very reliable source, but still. I’m trying to be friends with her at least but they still think I like her. She keeps coming up to me and saying little things like, “The zipper on your bag is open.” Or some other little remark. She always seems to be looking at me too. Oh, well.

January 17
I’m starting to like Liz, as a friend mind you, nothing more. I think that’s the way she likes me, as a friend. I’m just afraid I may start to like her, which could ruin everything. I feel strange… as if nothing matters, life goes on, life seems so pointless. What if I end up a squat? I feel alone… alone.

January 18
Despite what it sounds like, I still love Mele. We were teasing each other and we both really kept our cool even though I wrote on the computer, “Mele Parker is a lesbian prostitute who is having an affair with Madonna.” She wrote something about me going to a surgeon and getting my dick cut off. Well, well, well. Aren’t we sane? I love her, though.

She says she’ll get me on Monday. I hope she does. I just wish something would happen in my life, you know? Something new. A date, a friend, something! My life just seems so… pointless!

February 17
Dear Diary,
My life sucks! However on the lighter side of my life, uh, uh, er, um, well, hmmmmmmm.
Well there is one thing kind of. Liz. According to Sara and my intuition, she likes me. I also like her. The thing is, I’m 11 she’s 12. It would never work. She’s different though. She isn’t as pretty as Mele and not as mean or annoying as Sala. She’s smarter, less girlie, and I love her.
Life is like a Rubik’s Cube. It has so many sides, so many shades, and seems impossible.

Text copyright © 2008 by David Nadelberg. Published by Simon Spotlight Entertainment, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Tags: , ,

29 responses

  1. Alex says:

    Battlefield best game!

  2. Kia Monahan says:

    Wow because this is excellent work! Congrats and keep it up.|

  3. valentines day home decor says:

    Nice blog here! Also your website quite a bit up fast! What host are you the use of? Can I get your affiliate hyperlink to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  4. Logan Ronne says:

    }

  5. http://biggerpenisxxl.info says:

    heya right now there, your current web page takes place despicable. We figures out thanks meant for composition

  6. imagine you new says:

    Let me to first begin with introducing my self. My name is Jerilyn however, you can telephone call me something you like. His wife and him chosen to reside by using Alabama great he could be considering other available choices. It’s not called soft skills thing still what a person likes charging is researching cryptography certain to he also has time to on new things. Credit authorising is very much what As well as do for the living.

  7. AscensionPoint says:

    I think we count on establishing long lasting interactions and then being sure that our valued clientele flourish in pretty much all their desires due to the fact that their profits is our fulfillment. What exactly do you consider that?

  8. tagihan listrik bulanan says:

    I’m not sure where you’re getting your info, but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for wonderful info I was looking for this information for my mission.

  9. the logo boutique says:

    While doing a search online I regularly find this type of guidelines but it is frequently arduous to observe. I hunted universally the search engines like Google and additionally discovered this informative article that has been amazingly helpeful. Thank you.

  10. Cars and Trucks says:

    Good article and straight to the point. I don’t know if this is really the best place to ask but do you people have any thoughts on where to hire some professional writers? Thank you :)

  11. Corporate Website Templates says:

    I’m still learning from you, as I’m improving myself. I definitely liked reading all that is posted on your site.Keep the posts coming. I loved it!

  12. NHcars.net says:

    Try to maintain your way of living force, chi. This method is totally absolutely essential. Make an effort to appreciate the potency of words. Better not execute vulgar vocabulary or rather leisure interest.

  13. Julian Vanstrom says:

    Things i have observed in terms of laptop or computer memory is there are specific features such as SDRAM, DDR and the like, that must match the specific features of the motherboard. If the personal computer’s motherboard is pretty current while there are no operating-system issues, modernizing the memory literally takes under one hour. It’s among the easiest computer system upgrade treatments one can think about. Thanks for revealing your ideas.

  14. Gabriella Brienen says:

    Simply wish to say your article is as amazing. The clarity in your post is just spectacular and i can assume you are an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the enjoyable work.

  15. Billy says:

    Cze??, wyj?tkowy wpis. Jaki? czas nie s?ucha?em tak fajnego pisarstwa.

  16. Christopher says:

    Siema, fajny artyku?. Okre?lony czas nie czyta?em tak fajnego tekstu

  17. Wall Painting says:

    Needed to draft you a little observation to help give thanks again for the pretty suggestions you’ve discussed at this time. It’s simply extremely open-handed with you to grant unreservedly what exactly some people might have sold as an ebook to make some money for themselves, most importantly now that you might well have done it in case you decided. These secrets as well served like the fantastic way to be certain that the rest have a similar passion much like my personal own to understand many more regarding this problem. I know there are a lot more pleasurable occasions in the future for those who read your blog.

  18. Save That Money says:

    As I site possessor I believe the content matter here is rattling magnificent , appreciate it for your hard work. You should keep it up forever! Good Luck.

  19. tagihan listrik online says:

    fantastic issues altogether, you just gained a brand new reader. What could you suggest in regards to your post that you made a few days ago? Any positive?

  20. Scooters and Mopeds says:

    excellent submit, very informative. I wonder why the opposite experts of this sector do not understand this. You should continue your writing. I’m sure, you have a huge readers’ base already!

  21. Accounting  says:

    Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification appeared to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while people consider worries that they plainly don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people can take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  22. Auto Parts says:

    fantastic issues altogether, you simply won a new reader. What could you suggest in regards to your post that you just made some days ago? Any positive?

  23. Home Improvement  says:

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  24. best matress to buy for 2016 says:

    How do I use wordpress and comicpress to create a website and publish my comic strips?

  25. Apartamenty Sopot says:

    Thanks for your odpdoss writing odpdoss. I would also like to say that your health insurance broker also works best for the benefit of the actual coordinators of any group insurance coverage. The health insurance professional is given a list of benefits searched for by an individual or a group coordinator. What any broker does is try to find individuals or maybe coordinators which often best complement those wants. Then he gifts his advice and if the two of you agree, the particular broker formulates a binding agreement between the 2 parties.

  26. polecam link says:

    This webpage odpdoss does not display properly on my iphone4 - you might want to try and fix that

  27. nieruchomosci bialystok says:

    I will also like podiscsd to mention that most of those who find themselves without having health insurance are normally students, self-employed and people who are jobless. More than half in the uninsured are really under the age of Thirty-five. They do not experience they are requiring health insurance because they are young as well as healthy. Its income is frequently spent on real estate, food, in addition to entertainment. Many individuals that do work either whole or part-time are not provided insurance through their jobs so they proceed without due to rising cost of health insurance in the usa. Thanks for the strategies you write about through this site.

  28. visit this page says:

    Children have more need of models than of critics.

  29. dom sprzedam says:

    I really like your tyidosnns wordpress design, where did you obtain it from?

Leave a Reply

The name you want displayed with your comment.

Emails are not published with comments (i.e., everyone won't see it).

Your Website. This is optional.

 
SMITH Magazine

SMITH Magazine is a home for storytelling.
We believe everyone has a story, and everyone
should have a place to tell it.
We're the creators and home of the
Six-Word Memoir® project.