How I Lost My Virginity

May 19, 2014 — 223 Comments

wu-tang221113

The real title to this blog entry is “How Reading Saved My Life.”

Fat chance you were going to check that out, Sean and Don.

I’ve decided to embrace the whole “Google search term” thing.

No use fighting it, or trying to class it up with highbrow intellectual titles.

Nope. I’m giving EVERY BLOG POST a lascivious title.

Otherwise, how will I continue to attract the meritorious people of the Interwebz who are looking for,

“wife is always dry with me but if she reed sex stories she gets wet.”

(this is just a guess, pal – but maybe she would be a little moister if you weren’t a complete illiterate).

But now that you’re here, stick around. I promise to jazz up the story with the pottymouthed language and sexual innuendos you come here to read.

Because I led you on, I’ll provide sordid details of  my deflowerication at the end.

Which did not happen, contrary to the post image, with the Wu Tang clan “en masse” (French for gang-bang.)

I wasn’t always the Happening Chick you see in my saucy gravatar.

saucy gravatar

saucy gravatar

I grew up on Staten Island, the forgotten borough.

The New York subway system doesn’t run there.

You get there via the Staten Island Ferry, which is like the Love Boat – only when you get off, you find out you have herpes.

I've always thought the ferry looked like the cover of a Doors album

I’ve always thought the ferry looked like the cover of a Doors album

I lived in one of the worst housing projects in all of NYC – The Stapleton Projects.

I had this lovely view just outside my front door.

So cosy- like Auschwitz.

So cosy- like Auschwitz.

We were one of the very few white families residing there.

Stapleton was made famous as the birthplace of the Wu-Tang Clan.

They were a hardcore gangsta rap group, back in the day when gangsta rap meant you had a prison tattoo and an unlicensed gun, not a trust fund and a beach house.

Staten Islanders believe the Wu Tang symbol is their own private bat signal

Staten Islanders believe the Wu Tang symbol is their own private bat signal

In case you’re wondering why we grew up there – my dad was a cop, and we moved there when the projects were built for city workers.

Unfortunately, dad died, leaving mom with six of us.

The projects morphed into Section 8 welfare housing, and mom couldn’t afford to move us out.

So there I was… a skinny nerdy white girl growing up in a gangsta rap video.

Pippi Longstocking meets Ghostface Killah.

Even I long to beat this child up.

Even I long to beat this child up.

I got my butt kicked on a regular basis.  Learned how to project fight – “hit them hard, fast, and FROM BEHIND.”

Being tough – awesome.

Feeling like an outsider your entire childhood – not so much.  I was desperate to find an escape.

So I read.

Constantly, because we were poor and books were available.

Fuck you, we had an elephant.

Fuck you, we had an elephant.

I didn’t know it yet, but I was actually working on one of the defining characteristics of my life –

RAISING MY CONSCIOUSNESS.

At 9, I tried to wrap my brain around “A Wrinkle In Time.”

A bizarre science fiction masterpiece of Inter-dimensional time travel, quantum physics, and plucky heroine Meg Murray fighting the iconic battle of good vs. evil.

Meg – trapped and unseen in a family of brothers, wild curly hair, braces, glasses. too smart for her friends, alienated at a young age by her lack of patience for utter BULLSHIT.

She was ME. My literary doppelgänger.

Reading A Wrinkle in Time is similar to taking a hit of really strong blotter acid.

This book twisted my mind up to where 35 years later, it has still not fully recovered.

download

But in a GOOD way.

A New York City program allowed poor slum kids to obtain their working papers at 13.

Yes. Isn’t that enviable? Instead of attending rainbow parties at 13,

Yeah, No.

Yeah, No. Not this kind.

like the entitled brats where I now live, I was told,

“Happy birthday! Now get a job!”

My first job –

The Public Library. Surprise, surprise.

The library owned every banned, highly coveted  book – but did not circulate them.

The banned book has a longstanding and ludicrous history.

Did you know that the innocuous Where’s Waldo was banned?

Amongst those thousands of characters a tiny woman on the beach showed microscopic side boob.

Some degenerate with a magnifying glass and a propensity for comic book erections actually found this.

The library sequestered all illicit books away in a super-duper top-secret file named “Banned Books.

I cleverly unearthed these nuggets of literary rebellion.

And read every motherfucker in that file.

I discovered On the Road by Jack Kerouac. It’s an American classic of crazy adventure and freedom.

It’s positively riddled with drugs, jazz, drugs, sex, and drugs.

I tore through Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs.

Naked Lunch? This isn’t really a novel; it’s a twisted series of disturbing, drug ridden, sexually explicit vignettes.

Burroughs wrote it while living in Tangiers, in a one-room apartment above a male whorehouse, strung out on smack and male prostitutes.

Awesome.

I’ve decided to go the next school board meeting and demand that they put these on high school reading list.

Naked Lunch must be made part of the new “Common Core.”

common-core

The ONLY reason to see “The Notebook.” There is no reason to read it.

We finally moved when I was in high school.  *sigh of relief*

Were you hoping for the happy ending?

Not. So. Fast.

Back in those days,  if you were “bright,” you got “skipped.”

The misguided educators actually put you a grade ahead with kids a year older, forgetting about social, emotional, psychological and physical (especially physical) development.

I also have an end of the year birthday, so I was almost 2 years younger than most kids in my grade.

Get the picture? No more scary gangsta projects.

Instead, we’re talking TRAINING BRA in the GYM LOCKER ROOM.

I think my pal Ghostface Killah did less damage to my psyche.

So, guess what I did to heal all those psychic hits on my ego?

Yep.  I read.

Alongside Holden Caulfield, I gave “phonies” the metaphorical finger.

I still do. Some things never change.

I found a new doppelgänger in Lorraine in The Pigman – zero self confidence, intense desire to write, compulsive pathological liar…

(Am I? There’s lots of speculation in the blog world on THAT one hehe).

I knew the loss and alienation of “Anonymous,” the 15-year-old author of Go Ask Alice.

SHIT GOT REAL WITH THIS BOOK, YO.

This book had been banned for its graphic depiction of homelessness, prostitution, rape, and a stint in a mental institution,

everything this girl endures once she becomes addicted to drugs.

Her family finally rescues her.

And then…the Epilogue.

The frickin’ Epilogue (SPOILER ALERT) tells us that 3 weeks later, she’s found dead of a drug overdose at her parent’s home.

I was shattered.

The only chance you have of surviving the pain of being different is to find like minded souls- even if they only exist in books.

The true gift is this – reading will raise your consciousness.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of letting society determine your values.

No one wants to be the one who doesn’t fit in.

I know – hell, I live that shit.

So, you can do/look/be/act like everyone else.

Or you can RAISE YOUR CONSCIOUSNESS.

And possibly make a difference in this world.

You can expand your mind, one book at a time.

Luckily for me, I shed the nerdy cocoon in college. Or maybe, it was just cool to be nerdy.

Either way  – in college, I really hit my stride and began my outward development into the deeply hip woman you now see before you.

Just remember – I created her.

One book at a time.

Oh, right!  The virginity thing.

I promised if you stuck around, I’d get into it at the end.

I lied, perverts.

Go read a book.

Were you a nerd, or a cool kid? Did you “fit in?”
What were your favorite books when you were growing up?
Talk to me.  I’m listening.

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223 responses to How I Lost My Virginity

  1. 

    Nerd.
    I read books for awhile. And then started playing dungeons and dragons with a small group of friends. We would huddle in the shaded recesses of one of the drama building alcoves and dice our way through lunch periods. It was how I survived high school. Invariably, if I was detained elsewhere on campus during lunch, I was bullied.

    • 

      All right, you… because of this comment, I’m coming out of the closet: I actually started playing D&D in my mid-20s, and I’ll be damned if it isn’t endlessly fun. Of course, we break most of the rules…

    • 

      Nerds are sexy!!

      I’d like to travel back in time via “the tesseract” and give those bullies a project girl beat down!

      • 

        I’d like to travel back with you, and watch that go down!

        Actually, I’d rather just travel back myself, and whisper into my ear: It’s okay if you get in trouble, you don’t always have to run away, you don’t always have to be “the good guy.” Throw the first punch after they call you names, pull your pants down, take away your stuff. Stand up for yourself. No one else is going to.

      • 

        Little Dude is super smart – but my Ex put him in marital arts young. Said it would give him confidence and he’d never get picked on.

        I believe it may have worked. My son would punch a kid in the face if he got picked on. He actually did do that, in kindergarten. At my coaching.

        You can take a girl out of the projects, but you can’t take the projects out of the girl…

      • 

        I was signed up for karate for a whole two lessons. It just wasn’t the right time – I wanted to run and play and learn how to hit and kick things, and the instructor wanted to teach us discipline and how to properly train our bodies. BoOoring. So, I quit. And ran wild in the desert instead. Still a mental and physical education, just different. But, alas, no confidence to throw a punch.

      • 

        It’s true- boys need to blow off steam. I’ve always had Little Dude in two sports- one for running around.

        My Ex was right about the confidence thing, but it was also recommended for my son’s ADHD that he study martial arts. As an alternative to drugs. Lots of ADHD kids find their way to martial arts. It helps with focus.

        Here’s hoping you never need to throw a punch, but could throw a doozie of one if you had to!

      • 

        I’d throw one now, no problem to protect either the Queen or the Little Prince, or to protect myself if they were around. If I was by myself, I’d probably find a way to walk away from the situation…

        I can see how martial arts could help with focusing, and I applaud whoever recommended it for your son. So often these days people seem content to push drugs and not even talk about other methods of curtailing ADHD.

        I was only ever in one sport… but, I was in scouts, and I played two instruments, and if I wasn’t busy with one of those things I was running wild in my backyard, climbing trees, riding my bike, rollerblading, …

      • 

        The only reason people push their kids into organized sports so much around here is that playing outside does NOT exist.

        My kid would sit inside and read and play video games all day if I let him, and THAT’S not happening.

        Regarding the ADHD – I may try meds. But for now, we’re trying everything else. Doctors starting pulling out the prescription pad for Little Dude since he was 3.

        Mama, on the other hand – she NEEDS her meds to deal with him. Vodka and Red Bull, anyone?

      • 

        That’s. Hilarious.
        I was thinking on the way to work about sending you an email, subject: Is today a VRB day?

      • 

        Send away!

        Every day with a kid is a VRB day. Don’t you think?

      • 

        Well, either a VRB or a tall glass of single malt deliciousness.

  2. 
    NotAPunkRocker May 19, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Was a nerd. Am a nerd. Didn’t fit in. Don’t fit in.

    I effing love William Burroughs work. Kerouac too, of course 🙂

    I was into horror books, really young. I rarely read anything from the school library unless it was required. True crime books about serial killers too were a favorite. We had so many bookshelves full of these and religion, the occult, etc. when I was growing up.

    Wonder why I am such an outcast?

    • 

      I can just picture young Sheena, grinning craftily and poring over books on the occult.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if most bloggers turned out to be nerds.

      Serial killers? Intense. Wow.

  3. 

    Thank you for sharing. I remember trying to wrap my head around a Wrinkle in Time when I was shorter, I still don’t think I get it. Hmm, I remember having access to those books at my Library, the idea of banning books is odd to me.

    • 

      oh yeah didn’t answer your question. Total nerd. I read just about anything, from fantasy to Agatha Christie. Non fiction has never really appealed to me. I would read about anything I could get my hands on. I kind of wish I was a shorter (a kid) today, there are so many more fantasy, science fiction books for younger audiences now. (Oh I did stay away from the Romance books).

      • 

        Agatha Christie! Oh, yes! And Hercule Poirot!

        Of course, when I was shorter the precursor to those were Encyclopedia Brown books.

        Romance? Pfftt. Never read them.

      • 

        Yes! Encyclopedia Brown! Did you by any chance read any of the Three Investigators books? I was just talking with my co-host about those. Ahh, good memories.

    • 

      Hi there and welcome! You’re one of the quiet ones! I’m so glad you’re in a sharing mood today!

      Every great classic was banned by someone, somewhere. From the Bible to The Grapes of Wrath to Catcher in the Rye. Just made me want to read them more.

      I was a rebellious nerd!

      • 

        Heh, my theory is people are more inclined to do something if you tell them not to, lol.

        Oh, hmm, well now that I am talking you won’t be able to shut me up 😉 No, lol, I’ve been super busy lately so I haven’t been able to comment like I like, usually just catching a quick post here or there.

  4. 

    Un-fucking-believable. Though thanks for throwing Don under the bus too!

    I love your New York/childhood posts so to be fair, you didn’t even have to dupe me into coming here. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if you get thricely pressed for this one either. I’m not sure how WordPress feels about the Wu though..?

    PS – Big fan of that Love Boat comparison. Glad we avoided it now!

  5. 
    confusedfrenchgirl May 19, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Hello. I really enjoyed reading you once again, you have a way with words that really touches me. Just wanted to let you know that 🙂 My favourite book when growing up… Mmh I’d have to say either the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho or Black Trillium by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Hey, nerd here! Anyway, thanks for the inspiration 🙂

    • 

      You may have been a nerd, but you sure know how to rock an ombré now, baby!

      Thank you for the lovely compliments! I’m familiar with both those books but haven’t read either *scrambles furiously off to the library*

  6. 

    Burroughs is fucking awesome.

    Literature has always had a bad influence on me, here here!

  7. 

    HAHA – Love the lascivious title. Way to bring ’em in.

    Go Ask Alice totally rocked my world too. Although, I’m pretty sure I picked up The Lovely Bones at too young of an age and have been scarred ever since.

    Way to get people to read 🙂
    -Gillian

    • 

      Right? I feel like I really pulled ’em in! Wonder how many people would have stopped at the real title?

      Lovely Bones is a tough one at an early age. But then again, so was Go Ask Alice . *shudders involuntarily*

  8. 

    ADORE YOU! You’re amazing, and you make me want to READ. So hard.

    Loved, loved, LOVED this. And still need to read A Wrinkle In Time…I’ve heard of it before, and been told it’s good.

    • 

      ADORE you right back, lovely!

      A Wrinkle In Time was pretty much a life changer for me. I still love it today. But it lacks the “oomph” it had when I was 9. It just opened my eyes in a way they’d not been opened before.

      It had that effect on a lot of young readers, which is why it’s the cult classic it is.

      • 

        I missed it. I cut my teeth on nothing so existential, but got hooked into Durrell, from a very early age (once I was past the Famous Five) and spent hours with him on the glittering, secluded beaches of Corfu, searching for the gulping blennies in the limpid Mediterranean sea, stealing grapes from vineyards on the dusty road home, and watching the olive groves reflect the silver of the moon’s perfect bubble as it hung over the island, still ringing with the zithering of the cicadas.

        It was rich, bright and utterly transcendent. I could feel, smell, hear and taste the paradise of Corfu, as he told it, and I love it still.

      • 

        I must read this Durrell!

        Your comment was sublime. Better than most blog posts, including this one.

      • 

        Find yourself the Corfu Trilogy, Precious – they are full of animals and the microscopic world of bugs, peasant politics, the seasons sweeping their fingers through the vineyards and the times when the olive oil poured, like distilled sunshine from the presses. The rich, bitter scent of their discarded skins leaping, redolent, from the page into your mind. They are perfect – they are written in HD (the way you write, and the way I aspire to) and they are fully, immersibly GLORIOUS. I cannot recommend them highly enough.

      • 

        I will, I promise. You’ve recommended it to me before, and it sounds amazing.

        YOU write in ultra HD. If I could grow up to be a writer, I’d be just like you.

      • 

        You ARE a writer, ya goof 🙂 And you write beautifully. So if we grow up to write like each other, I guess that can only mean we each write well now, so there’s that.

  9. 

    Nerd, with December birthday and young-kid-in-class syndrome, too, Samara. Split time between watching sports and reading my ass off.

    Did the ‘Wrinkle’ along with Mark Twain stuff as a little kid, the ‘Catcher,’ ‘Grapes of Wrath’ and ‘Red Sky at Morning’ as pre-teen.

    Read ‘The Godfather’ and ‘Catch 22’ and ‘One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ and pop-culture hits I bagged from my father’s briefcase as a young teen, and never turned back, from John Updike and John Irving and Richard Ford and Pat Conroy and many more who I think tell a thorough, complex and interesting story.

    I just got finished with Jane Smiley’s “Ten Days in the Hills,” from the public library, where I still get ’em all.

    As you say, one book at a time, Samara, live and learn.

    • 

      “I’m giving EVERY BLOG POST a lascivious title.”
      (Yeah, me too; I am learning.)

      Honestly, I don’t know where to begin…
      I have read most of these books. (I can add “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”)
      Oh! And “Confederacy of Dunces”

      But not much more, except maybe ‘Hamlet’ (Yes, I know; not a ‘book’)

      This post requires more than one read.
      Certainly.

      Wow!

      • 

        Sorry Mark; missed the mark.
        Was supposed to be posted at the end.
        Anyhow…loved your comments as well.
        –Lance

      • 

        I LOVED “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.”
        The title alone pulls you in. Not unlike what I did here..

        I don’t know “Confederacy of Dunces.” It sounds right up my alley.

        I would count “Hamlet” as a book. It’s technically a play, but you do READ it. So it counts!

    • 

      With that December birthday you were probably THE youngest kid, if not one of the youngest.

      Last one to get your drivers license. That must have sucked, huh?

      You sure pulled some fantastic literature out of dad’s briefcase. I think you inherited his “reading gene.”

      I love the public library, to this day. I spend a LOT of time there. I’m such a nerd.

      • 

        The youngest, every grade. It didn’t suck that bad. I just got rides everywhere from friends who had cars and licenses.

        Yes, I am a library rat, downtown branch and the local branch in my neighborhood, both. I don’t think there’s a thing nerdy about either of us at this point, Samara. Enlightened throwbacks, I’d say.

      • 

        I love that! Enlightened throwbacks!

        I raised my kid in the library. We happen to have an amazing one; it’s enormous and there are tons of events going on.

        Little Dude learned to play chess at a Saturday morning chess club at the library. He saw his first movie and heard his first concert at the library.

        He’s been taking books out week since he could read. I don’t even know if he’s figured out that it’s optional! I think he thinks it’s “what everybody does.”

        Someone’s gonna tell him all kids don’t do that. And he might be pissed off at me!

      • 

        No, Samara, if he’s like you, he’ll be pissed off at the other kids for not taking advantage of what’s out there for them!

      • 

        He did seem to inherit the “reading gene” (according to our favorite librarian)
        She believes that even if you encourage kids to read, some are just more inclined to fall in love with books.

        The first time Little Dude sat engrossed in a book for hours (which was a miracle, because he never sits still) I took PICTURES of it! hahahaha

      • 

        The whole reading experience is yet another addiction. When you got it, you got it, you must escape into the world of words, the little switch that goes off in your head that brings you to another place.

      • 

        That’s exactly it. It’s escapism, but the kind that increases your brain power, your vocabulary, raises your consciousness, liberates you…

        I could go on and on. Reading took me up and out of the that shitty housing project, so is it any wonder I fell in love?

        Did you ever read my Valentine to Wrinkle in Time? Reading truly is my first and most enduring love.

        Mark, you are an amazing supportive friend. I owe your blog a visit!

      • 

        I did read you Valentine to ‘Wrinkle,’ Samara. I read all of your words! Wouldn’t miss ’em, my friend.

  10. 

    Books are life savers, you are so right about that. I love the title of this post so much that I might steal it sometime. 🙂

    • 

      You should DEFINITELY steal it.

      I would love to see what you come up with it. Because I know it would NOT be anything expected.

      I’m so glad you stopped by. It’s like having a rock star stop at your house, unexpectedly.

  11. 

    Samara, I always say that I was a nerd before it was cool. I developed late, or rather never, and then in the 8th grade, some horrible rumors were spread around about me that ended my small stint at popularity immediately, so I found books, or they found me. Either way, we’ve had the healthiest relationship since.

    P.S. I love your writing. You make me want to be better. If that sounds like a come-on line, it kind of is.

    • 

      I’ve always said, my relationship with books is my most enduring, profound and loving. I wrote about that on Valentine’s Day.

      It’s hard to imagine you as a nerd! Really???

      Thank you for wanting to be better. I always want to be better. All come on lines from you are welcome!!

  12. 
    madirishhazel May 19, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    Nerd, who was accepted by fellow classmates due to my ability to spell any word of the english language aged 8 and willingness to share said ability in exams.
    ‘Alice in Wonderland’ was a favourite, along with ‘I Capture the Castle’.. reading was, and continues to be, the ultimate form of escapism.
    Loved this post! Really need to get around to reading ‘Go Ask Alice’ pronto, thanks for the tip 🙂

    • 

      Reading IS the ultimate form of escapism. I couldn’t have said it better.

      I adore spelling! And I have never understood people who can’t spell! What IS that??

      Go Ask Alice was so intense for me as a teen. You’ll have to let me know how it plays out for you as an adult.

      I’m so happy to stopped by to say hi! It means so much to me!

  13. 

    Nerd. The bullied kind of nerd. Loved horror and historical books. And I still do. I love your NY posts too. I’m from Kansas. We grew up very different but I feel we are the same.

    • 

      LET ME AT THOSE BULLIES Grrrrhhh!

      Of course you know all the people who bullied you have turned into big fat losers, right?

      I remember you’re from Kansas, Julie. I once listed all the good things about Kansas for you. And people can be very much alike, even though they have totally different backgrounds.

      Especially when we are UNITED AS NERDS! hahahaha

  14. 

    Great post. Reading saved my life in many ways. People role their eyes at Stephen King but some of the stuff he wrote in the 1980’s felt like it was written just for me. And I have read enough, and I’m clever enough, to have earned the right to like anything I want. I feel bad for people who grewxup in shit and do not have the ability, or the motivation to read. They will forever remain in a prison.

    • 

      John, you mentioned once before how academics, even at a later age, had such a profound impact on your life. I get it. I really do.

      Books- where do I even start? Yes, people who don’t understand reading are surely cheating themselves out of a world of pleasure.

      People roll their eyes at Stephen King? I had no idea. I thought he was considered brilliant and prolific. I’ve only read 1 or 2, but man- they were intense. Dolores Claiborne comes to mind.

      • 

        Oh yes, many people do roll their eyes a at Mr. King. He’s an easy target. Stand By Me, It, and Shawshank Redemption all had a profound effect on me. Shawshank specifically was hair raising for a young male teen to read because male rape was so prominantly featured. Talk about being scared straight. Yes, I could likely talk forever about books and what they have meant in my life.

      • 

        Well, they’re idiots! He’s not Danielle Steele, for goodness sake!

        Shawshank. Even the movie makes my spine tingle. And I don’t believe it even contained the rape.

        Books are supposed to be life changing. Anyone who’s ever made it up and out of an oppressive situation likely did it by reading. Knowledge is power.

  15. 

    Only you. Only you, my shining light of a Sisterwife, could combine “Fuck you, we had an elephant,” and, “Just remember – I created her. One book at a time.” to such chest-clutching, eye-opening effect. And you turning the search terms around on the pervs… Feminism by any other name doesn’t smell quite as AWESOME.

    I delight in knowing you.

    P.S. I used to work in a bookstore, and my greatest joy in life was taking home the advance copies once the owners decided whether to carry them. We should compare notes. A lot of days, I still wish I worked surrounded by books.

  16. 

    More bonding moments: Until the age of 15 when we moved to the burbs, I was the only skinny nerdy white girl in my neighborhood in Detroit, I was an avid reader (still am) and I was told “Happy birthday! Now get a job!” at the age of 15. Cheers.

  17. 

    Total nerd, “Plain Jane” and bookworm. The popular girls had confidence that I could someday have “any guy” I wanted, if I just wore a little makeup. And grew tits… 😉 Down These Mean Streets, The Catcher in the Rye, Belinda (by Anne Rampling/Rice; Ralph Ave. Woolworth’s dollar-bin, torn-cover discount) and the first 4 tomes in the Flowers in the Attic series and My Sweet Audrina (actually, my favorite from V.C. Andrews).

    Funny, but in the late 80’s/early 90’s I spent lots of weekends in Staten Island both with my good friend, Spanky, at whichever club the Dead or Alive cover band complete with lookalike lead-singer was playing at and occasionally with my mother at the mall. I forget how many times I passed the Stapletons.

    • 

      I was the lead singer for that Dead or Alive cover band! How IS Spanky and the rest of the gang?

      How did you end up on Staten Island on the weekends? Are you from Jersey?

      I haven’t thought about Woolworth’s in a million years. I used to shoplift EVERYTHING from there. *sigh* Memories…

      Did you ever grow boobs? I’m still waiting for mine to come in…

      • 

        Really!?? I swore it was a dude, BUT I was only around 19 at the time sooo… :/

        Originally from Brooklyn; worked with my good friend Spanky in Chelsea at that time. He was the SI resident which is how I wound up there after clubbing on weekends.

        Everyone makes that joke about his nickname so I’m guessing you didn’t really know him(?). If you think you did (he DID know the singer from that band pretty well if I recall correctly), then you’d know his real name and/or his dog’s name. 😉

      • 

        I was on fact NOT the singer but God how I wish I was. My whole life would have turned put differently.

        What was his dog’s name? I must know.

      • 

        Diamond. He was teased relentlessly over it because he had such a heavy New-Yawka accent and that was one of his favorite, famous excuses for being late to work, “My DAWG DOIMOND got loose and I hadda chase him fuh BLOCKS!”

      • 

        I LOVE a Brooklyn accent.

        NOT a Staten Island one. Each borough is different. I can tell Queens from Staten Island from Brookly.

        THAT’S how good I am.

      • 

        PS – As for boobs, I only got further than average for a minute or two when I was overweight. I think I prefer IBT Club membership!

      • 

        Pregnancy did wonders for mine. Now THAT was a party.

        Of course, we all know what happens to balloons when the party’s over…

      • 

        Oh NO! LOL After I lost my pregnancy weight, mine actually went down a cup size. :/

  18. 

    Blast you, Samara! Every time you write one of these, my response is too large for me to be able to answer it in a single paragraph. I’m going to have to blog it out! I still love you, though. Your closing comment made me smile.

  19. 

    “The true gift is this – reading will raise your consciousness.”

    Slam-thefuck-dunk!!! This was such a stellar post, from title to end. I can’t even explain to you how powerful your writing is. I feel like I just attended a sermon and I’m not even kidding. I sort of want to get up with the choir and sing,” FUCK YOU, WE HAD AN ELEPHANT!”

    You rock my world, Sister wife. So proud of your badassery.

  20. 

    S U P E R B!
    LoOOOOooove This so much!

    • 

      Wow! Thank you for all the “ooooo”s!
      I feel extra special loved!

      I’m so glad you stopped in and commented. I Loooooooove meeting new people!

  21. 

    Great post. The fact you are Wu Tang 4 life makes you my hero.

    • 

      It all about the music right Lance?
      I’m married to writing but I cheat with music

      Wu Tang 4 evah! I love being someone’s hero!
      (I shall wear a Wu Tang shirt at BlogHer) hahaha

  22. 

    Was and am a nerd. You kind of described my childhood, except replace “Wu Tang Clan” with “Snoop Dog” (I’m from LA).

    • 

      You’re too beautiful to be a nerd! Nerds are awkward! You’re gorgeous!

      But I suppose, if you’re addicted to books, you qualify.

      Love me some Snoop Dog. I follow him on Twitter. Am I ridiculous?

  23. 

    This post could be a case study in how to make something that sounds boring, irresistible, nice! I was and am a nerd, huge bookworm as a kid, and just when I finally started to feel like I was fitting in… I moved to a foreign country where, even if I paid a million dollars, I could never be part of the in-crowd. So, perpetual outsider it is, then.

    • 

      “Perpetual outsider” should be the name of this blog.
      Oh, wait! It kind of is. I’m the Buick in the land of Lexus.

      What country is this that has you outside the in-crowd? Remind me never to go there.

      I’m so happy you came to play on my blog! I love meeting new people! Yay!

  24. 

    S, I’m not sure if I was a nerd or not, I didn’t have many friends, I was pale, thin, carrot-topped, freckle-faced and blessed with that ubiquitous of combinations, a razor sharp sarcastic wit with direct access to a filterless, big mouth…so, I got beat up a lot too. Oh, and I read a lot, so I guess that covers some of the definition. All things Enid Blighton, everything from Hardy Boys, Three Investigators, and my parents old stuff through to the LOTR trilogy (I read it twice by the time I was 14). I should have been diagnosed with depression as a young child, real life sucked on an epic scale so books became my reality. I liked them better than people. I still don’t like people much. Fucking awesome post, love yer work, darl. Rd

    • 

      It’s hard to imagine this big strapping tattooed motorcycle man as a pale thin outcast! But then again, I created myself the way I wanted to.

      Yes. Books were my reality. That’s an excellent way to express it. And I have a hard time with people as well. Correction – with grownups. I get along great with 10 years olds and teenagers. It’s grown ups who suck.

      Thanks for checking in, my REDdog friend! I love when you visit.
      xo,
      S

      • 

        Oh yeah, I was built like streak of pelican piss, didnt really start to fill out til my late teens, early 20s. Starting to surface properly this week, darl…even writing today yaayy.

      • 

        Oh, Red, I’m SO happy!
        Can’t wait for you to post. Unless it’s the book you’re working on?

        “streak of pelican piss.” LOVE it! I have to remember that one!

      • 

        Working on a post, may even squeeze it out in the next hour or so…stay tuned xOx

      • 

        Done…just in case I don’t turn up in your reader…again xOx

  25. 

    Ha, I love it! Way to tease us. I love hearing about your past, Samara. Reading can raise your consciousness. I think most definitely. It’s so great you turned to books for salvation. I read when I was a kid, but I danced a lot so was really busy that way, with rehearsals, etc. I didn’t start reading until later. Your post makes we want to get back to those banned books. I can’t believe you had to work when you were 13. I’m glad it was in a library! I read A Wrinkle In Time, but not until my thirties! You’re so inspiring! xo

    • 

      Amy! Hey!
      I danced too, but in my mind. Yes. In my mind, I was A DANCER.

      I actually tried, years later, to study dance. When I was in my early twenties. It was kinda pathetic. Here I was, taking dance classes alongside people who had been studying for 20 years.

      Epic FAIL! But I got moves! I’m a black girl trapped in a white girl’s body (is that un-PC to say? Damn).

      Yep – we all worked at 13. It was a special program for underpriveleged (poor as shit) families. But it turned out well. I hid in the library and read.

  26. 

    You lied?! I demand a refund.

    We didn’t grow up in the projects, as there are none in the area, but it’s rural and I don’t come from money (i.e. prole). We worked to the point of exhaustion and then we didn’t have time to think about vacations or fancy-ass furniture. My luxury these days is drink, and I’m usually reading at the bar while I’m partaking in it.

    • 

      That’s what I say to my therapist all the time. “I’m still a mess. I demand a refund!”

      Rural prole, projects- I expect it’s all about the same, in terms of leaving you very little to entertain yourself with. Books were free. That’s the beauty of the library.

      Damn- I used to sit at bars and read, too! When I lived in NYC! Sometimes I just wanted a glass of wine and a good book, and to be out in the world. A tiny chat with the bartender. Just enough social interaction so that I didn’t feel completely cut off from the world.

      So good to hear from you, Nate. Thanks for stopping in.

  27. 

    Ha! Glad you raised your consciousness!!

    I was in the “cool group” but not the cool mean group, in High School and had the cute boyfriend (although I found out he was cheating on me Senior year). I was a good student and loved history. Math, not so much. I actually didn’t spend as much time reading as I did writing. It was my outlet for everything (an alcoholic father), and I had tons of journals. I still prefer to write than read in my free time.

    ps. What’s up with that x boyfriend hacking your accounts! That’s horrible!! I hope he can be stopped pronto! 🙂

    • 

      Your boyfriend cheated on you?? LETS GO KEY HIS CAR!! hahaha

      So, writing was your escape. I suspect it still is. It’s an incredible outlet.

      P.S. It’s my Ex husband and he’s psycho and he’s done it before. Ugh. I was hoping someone could coach me instead of me paying an IT guy, which is what I did. What is wrong with men???

  28. 

    I was the dorky awkward kid. Not even worthy of nerdiness. I was smart, but not smart enough to hang with them. Strangely at my high school, being nerdy was kind of cool. Actually, being whatever was cool. We didn’t even have cliques. I think our school was such the underdog that we all had each other’s backs.

    I honestly can’t comment any more on your writing. I sound like a gushing idiot, but you know I think you’re INSANE with the words and completely original and basically you just rock!

    • 

      I can’t see you as dorkward! (I just made up when I fat fingered and decided to leave it).

      You seem more like the beautiful blonde volley player who everyone wants to date.

      There are schools where it’s cool to be nerdy. College, for instance – at least mine. And some schools just really prize intelligence over everything.

      Thank you for your support, Gretchen. I HAVE to make it to your blog. I think I remember you had a post tweeted by a couple of people, and I’m sure it’s amazing!

      • 

        Ha! Thanks for the laugh in the morning… (what time did you respond by the way? I’m worried about you and not sleeping!) And dorkward is the perfect word to describe who I was! Clumsy, insecure. I was pretty good at hiding it as I got older but sometimes it still comes out. I’ll say something completely inappropriate or awkward followed by crickets chirping. And just a month ago I tripped and fell walking out of my son’s school. I ended up doing a somersault and landing on my back with both legs in the air. In front of the whole carpool line. That’s the story of my life right there. My son asked if I was ok but he was mortified. Thank god the kids weren’t out there to see me, just their parents. It’s middle school so I can only imagine how awful it would have been… So yeah, still dorkward. Still clumsy, still insecure! Yay me!

        Love ya gurrrlll!

      • 

        I checked. It was 1:46. The shank of the evening for me!

        I often trip over invisible objects. It’s my superpower

        That fall sounds painful. When I bite it really bad like that, I always get up saying, “I meant to do that!”

  29. 

    Samara,

    This is going to seem way off-topic, but I am not a happy chappy. My father is stonewalling me right now because I stuck up for Cimmorene and her blogging. (Hung up on me about 15 minutes ago, he did.) Someone that my father will only say “knows me” is supposedly uncomfortable about some of her posts. Whoever this person is, did a third-person cowardly murmur and won’t talk to me or Cimmy directly about it.

    Also, some bullshit that the “concerned person who knows me” said about her abuse story opening our family to more predators. I have no fucking clue what that means except maybe 4Chan /b/tard-style trolling or something. Y’know, chaotic evil fucks that just want to see the world burn. I don’t know.

    Anyways, I felt like I could relate to this post, right about now. I wish it wasn’t something quite so personal. You know me– I can say “hurr hurr boobies” one moment but ramble about some cosmic mysteries of the universe in another. And before I forget… nice trolling, but I knew I’d be glad I took the bait. I know there’s razor-sharp intelligence and wit along with the sexy talk.

    • 

      Yes, I hide my intelligence well, don’t I? hahaha

      I’m sorry you’re having all that family drama. I hope it passes quickly. You have enough to deal with.

  30. 

    I do like a lascivious title… I also tag things as ‘free porn’ and big boobs’ now and then…

  31. 

    I wasn’t a nerd – I generally liked everyone in school and fit in with all crowds, whether it be D&D or Cyndi Lauper – but was smart and after hearing from a boy in grade 9, “Oh I didn’t think you were gifted, because you are cool”, I knew what I had to do. Quiet my strong voice. It’s taken me a long time to find it again and it’s been incredibly empowering.

    I grew up in a co-op in a bad area of town. I worked as a little kid for my Dad stuffing envelopes for his small business. At age 14 I worked at McDonalds. Where I realized I didn’t like rules all that much.

    I read crap when I was younger – a lot of “Sweet Valley High” when I was supposed to be reading Tolkien (in grade 5…really?) But then got into D. H. Lawrence and Anais Nin and Henry Miller. Their stories of sex and freedom was amazingly appealing to me. I’m re-reading that stuff again and finding it way more enlightening, now that I can understand it better.

    Thanks for this blog…it’s brilliant…and I would love to find a way to work “fuck you we had an elephant” into something!

    • 

      Just say it to someone who annoys you.

      Hey! Person who took my parking spot when I saw it first. FUCK YOU, WE HAD AN ELEPHANT!

      All those authors you mentioned wrote gorgeous books that were, at one time or another, banned. Ridiculous.

      I am SO glad you came to play on my blog! It means a lot that you took the time to read, and comment.

      xo,
      Samara

  32. 

    I was a nerd before the term nerd was even a blimp on anyones radar. LOL but since I”m probably the oldest here, I can say that. I read everything when I was a kid too, anything I could get my hands on. Kind of how I raised myself too and taught myself lots of things. So be proud! We are nerds and it’s cool…..

    • 

      Jackie, it is SO cool to be a nerd. Because being smart helps with everything in life. WE RULE!

      I don’t know if you’re the oldest here. It’s not polite to ask a ladies age, but I’m in my 40’s.

      You should be proud of raising yourself. I was a latch key kid (I have a post about it) and it made me very independent.

      When you say taught yourself, do you mean, like hula hooping? Swahili? Just wondering.

      • 

        I taught myself about life, possibilities, religions, non-religions, myths, history, I think I read my whole school’s library, in high school. And yeah, I’m still older than you. 😉

      • 

        Wow. You taught yourself the important stuff. Stuff you really can’t learn in school.

        You’re a young soul, Jackie. You have a young blog. Numbers don’t matter. ❤

      • 

        you are so right, numbers don’t matter

  33. 

    What’s funny for me is, I’m a total book nerd. I’ve always had books everywhere. I think there are 5 full sized bookshelves in the room I’m sitting in, and I don’t even know how many elsewhere in the house. I’m always in the middle of about 5 books and I never feel more down than when I don’t have reading material. But that’s not the funny part! What’s funny was, I read the title of this post, and I was like, oh, I’m so depressed, I can’t handle Samara breaking my heart with her in-your-face-make-you-feel-it-right-now How I Lost My Virginity. I’ll save that for later, when I don’t feel so fragile. Ha-Ha, sneaky pants.

    • 

      I’m sneaky the whole outfit! Not just the pants!

      Why are you depressed, Steph? Is everything okay? Should I come read your blog to see what’s bothering you?

      Bookshelves. Love em. I have a bedroom converted into an office, and it’s all books. They’re like…friends. I read some books over and over again.

      And yes- I’m frequently reading several at the same time. I’m in the middlfo of “Readicide” which is about how high school is killing off reading. And a book about embracing your messy, beautiful life.

      Of course, my life is so messy I don’t remember the title…

      • 

        You should come read my blog ANYWAY, but it won’t tell you what my problem is. It comes in waves. Just have to hold on till the tide rolls out. I love turning people on to new books, but then they’re like, “ok, can I borrow it?” And I’m like, “Get. Out.”

      • 

        Awww, Steph. I feel you.

        I get that too, and it’s awful. I hope the tide turns, TODAY.

        Just be sure and write your name in the book. Then people know WHOSE BOOK THEY’VE STOLEN!

  34. 

    Is it possible that I just fell more in love with you?

    I was the nerdy kid. I read every banned book in our small town library – only to find out that interracial sex in an Andre P. Brink novel is no different to any other sex scene I managed to find in the 5654646132 books. Big woo. Most of the banned books in our library was pretty disappointing. I wish the shit you read was around when I was that age.

    I read a memoir by a controversial South African figure, Koos Kombuis, the impact of which is still with me. Sex, drugs, faeces. drugs, sex. It blew my 13-year-old mind.

    Books were my escape. Books made me grow up, question, experience vicariously. Ironically, my escape made me want to go out and LIVE. Books RAISED MY CONSCIOUSNESS.

    AMEN.
    x

    • 

      Yes, I fall more in love with you every time you post, especially when it INVOLVES CHOCOLATE AYYYYY!!

      Those books we read that blow our minds when we’re younger have such an impact. To this very day; absolutely.

      Amen to a raised consciousness. Without it, we would be just like everyone else. Blech.

  35. 
    yeseventhistoowillpass May 20, 2014 at 8:04 am

    Six children and no one to help… She raised a great daughter:) You:)

    • 

      Awwwww.
      My mom was an incredible, yes.
      When she wasn’t beating THE SHIT OUT OF US hahahaha

      No, it was really hard for her. She had no family and no education and worked 70 hours a week. Thank you for acknowledging that part of the post.

      your Grasshopper

  36. 

    I spent most of my childhood escaping into any books I could get my meathooks on as well. My Grandmother gave me the Flowers In The Attic series when I was about 10. So yeah, it messed with my head a little bit, but I was also constantly on the lookout for traps. No one was about to lock ME in an attic. Reading also gave me different characters to pretend to be when I felt this was necessary. This works really well when your actual personality just wants to beat up girls like that picture you showed.

    • 

      You said “meathooks” and want to beat up girls!

      I LIKE YOU!!

      Loved the Flowers in the Attic series. Just what I needed to feed my burgeoning paranoia.

      I pretended to be so many different characters it was ridiculous. Is it weird that many of them were boys? Does that mean I was/am a lesbian?

  37. 

    Nerd to the core. Didn’t fit in, got bullied lots. School was not much fun socially.

    Voracious and precocious reader.

    Banned books are fascinating. At 14 I snuck A Clockwork Orange out of the school library.

    A job in a secondhand store that summer yielded:
    William Burroughs – Naked Lunch
    Henry Miller – Tropic of Capricorn, Cancer
    James T Farrell – Studs Lonigan trilogy
    – all of which left deep impressions.

    From 16, lots of Steinbeck, DH Lawrence, GB Shaw, Anthony Burgess, William Golding, Agatha Christie, George Orwell, F Scott Fitzgerald, Gore Vidal, William Burroughs.
    I kept chomping through books until returning to study at 33.

    People who don’t read are like people who don’t watch films with subtitles, they haven’t a clue what they are missing.

    • 

      You only likd films with subtitles BECAUSE IT GIVES YOU A CHANCE TO READ IN THE MOVIES hahahaha

      So many of those great books – banned. Pretty much everything Miller and Burroughs wrote.

      I hate bullies. But we know that all of them turned out to be big disgusting losers, right? RIGHT?

  38. 

    I read a lot too. Music and books definitely saved me and most likely created me in some way. I never found someone I connected with in a book (that I remember). Music however, is a different story. Loved learning more about you!

    • 

      So you’re a musician? I love that!

      I grew up in a musical family and learned piano and guitar but I SUCK. I’ll freely admit that.

      I keep wanting to start piano lessons again, but when on earth would I fit that in?

      Who did you connect with musically?

  39. 

    I love your story and how reading saved your life. Always and forevermore, humbled by the power of words.

    • 

      It’s the truth. Reading saved my life.

      Or was it disco?

      No, definitely reading. Thank you for stopping by, Brenda. You always say so much with so few words.

  40. 

    “A Confederacy of Dunces.”

    Samara,
    You will love this book. (Google it. You know you want to)

    Trust me, I’m a Texan.

    • 

      I know nothing of Texas except this:

      Why couldn’t the baby Jesus be born in Texas?
      Because they couldn’t find 3 wise men and a virgin.

      I’ll be here all week…

  41. 

    Takeaways:

    1. Don’t ride the Staten Island ferry without wrapping it first.
    2. Protect ya neck.
    3. Read banned books, but don’t read Nicholas Sparks.
    4. You had an elephant.

    You’re always funny. This one had a little extra jam. Loved.

    • 

      No, it’s
      FUCK YOU WE HAD AN ELEPHANT!

      Didn’t you read through the comments? That was Jennie’s big takeaway.

      My neck is protected. I have a giant tattoo on it that says, “Make Good Decisions!”

      • 

        Is that same elephant from the scene where Samuel L. and Bruce Willis retrieve the suitcase bomb in Die Hard 3?

        Please say yes.

      • 

        OMG!
        Math!
        They had to fill the 5 gallon jug and pour that into the 3 gallon jug; then empty that and pour the two from the 5; then refill the 5 and-

        I’m so happy right now.
        THIS IS A MATH NERDS WET DREAM!

  42. 

    I used to devour books as a kid and then one day i stopped, (basketball took over) then one day i started again and that’s made all the difference, a few years back i wrote two posts called How I Learned to Read parts 1&2, it tied acid and reading all together, i believe it was 2010 in the archives maybe Feb. or March, what’s the difference, in a nutshell i tend to write about or used to, many of the same topics as you do just in a different way, nice to know i’m not the only maniac now exiled in the suburbs, though at the end of the day it’s just feels good to live through it… cheers.

    • 

      A maniac exiled to the suburbs…

      That DOES sound like me, come to think of it.

      So acid and reading, huh? Did you ever read trippy books? Like “Be Here Now,” or stuff like “Steal This Book?”

      • 

        I believe the blurb would read: two posts about sex, drugs, booze, rock & roll (VU, Jane’s Addiciton, Jesus and Mary Chain), growing up, falling in love, getting fired and more sex, drugs, booze, a bookstore and some writers named Henry Miller, Charles Bukowski, William Burroughs, Hunter Thompson and Jack Kerouac (who in i know find boring beyond belief but should still be read by all the kids)… it shreds harder than Tony Alva.

  43. 

    Ugh. You lying bitch. Lol.

    I do like the whole white girl in the project part of your life though.

    • 

      THERE YOU ARE, handsome!
      You’re like the missing star of the piece!
      I’m only joshing- but I bet I drove some traffic to your blog, huh? hahaha

      Yes. I’m a white project girl. No two ways about it.

  44. 

    Nice way to draw’em in, Samara! I have always been a reader, too. AND I skipped first grade and was always the youngest in my class. It didn’t make much of a difference until I got to high school, so I hear ya!
    This is a fantastic read and I’m cracking up at ” I lied perverts. Now go read a book.” Priceless!!

    • 

      Sandy, you had the same kind of childhood! What were they thinking, skipping us like that?? I always felt too young in high school.

      Thank you so much for coming by and giving me such wonderful support!
      xo,
      S

  45. 

    I loved reading and looked forward to uninterrupted time for it in the summer. I read anything and everything. Was I a nerd? A cool kid? I was rebellious – no cause, of course. I was also starting to figure out that I’m an introvert. Anyway, I’ve been told that I was pretty cool back then. I certainly wasn’t chasing that label and really didn’t care about it, it’s just how I was seen. And the rebellion? I sort of grew out of it and joined the army! Great post, Samara! 🙂

    • 

      I think that sums me up – rebel without a cause. Wait, wasn’t that a movie??

      Lynette, I love that SOMEONE in the comment thread was cool back then. You are numero uno.

      Thanks for coming to play on my blog! I love having you here.

  46. 

    I’m glad you discovered books. There are a lot of us misfits who read for escape and to find out what the world is like other wheres and other whens. I may never travel physically, but I have been from down the block to Mars and many other planets. I also know how someone else feels when they hurt. Glad you escaped from worse to better. You go girl!

  47. 

    Hello! I’m not gonna lie but I DID click on your post because of your “title”..but I did read the summary and knew you had used a fake title to manipulate us and STILL read on. Do i get points for that?
    I was ummm normal in high school. I did exist. But I was shy and people knew me and stuff but I was mostly quite and shy. Even then I had zero tolerance for bullshit. Then, I used to just move away from assholes. Now I stab them with a knife. In my mind.
    But yes, if being a nerd equals being a bookworm, then yes I was a nerd. I gave it up sometime during my late teens but I have started reading again.
    And who knew? Not only is wordpress a great outlet for me, it also has some really good blogs that are all about books.

    P.S Love the blogasm line. It gives me butterflies in my stomach as well 🙂

  48. 
    Queen of Rawr May 21, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Nerds, all of us. Of course. That’s how we liked it.
    And, yes, reading! Read all the books!

    • 

      That’s the nerd’s battle cry:
      Read all the books!

      I love having RawrLove in my comment section. I feel like I just took a deep breath. xo!

      • 
        Queen of Rawr May 21, 2014 at 5:37 pm

        I think “Read all the books” isn’t just the nerd battle cry, but something Rara herself might have championed, right? 😉

        And, yep, we thought it would be fun to have a little bit of RawrLove popping up here and there throughout the blogosphere.

      • 

        Big. Heart. Squeeze.

        Just gave me a little feeling of her presence. Thank you.

      • 
        Queen of Rawr May 21, 2014 at 5:45 pm

        You’re welcome. 😀 And, thank you.

  49. 

    Ha your post actually brightened up what was turning out to be an otherwise dull night at work!
    Reading is one of my big passions, my problem being once read I can never part with a book, I have way too many books….hmmm can you ever have too many.
    So true though, via reading we expand, get lost in another world, just remembering “On The Road” I loved that book, and Salinger what more can I say, love to read the stuff he will never publish, even after his death, manuscripts lay that will never be published, sad, but I guess he had his reasons.

    And I am waffling now….thanks for the read and brightening up my night, just thought I would leave my thought print!

    • 

      And I am so very happy to have your thought print on my blog! Welcome, and thank you for reading this and giving me such thoughful feedback.

      Yes, expand and get lost in another world – that’s the perfect way to describe it. I remember the exact moment my son first did that. He’s 10 years old now and an avid reader.

      But there was that first time the house got really quiet; the first time he sat and was totally engrossed in a book. And I knew he was in that other world…

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. If You’re Easily Offended, Don’t Read This. | The Dragon's Lair - May 20, 2014

    […] friend, Samara, wrote the post that originally inspired this.  However, other things have happened, too.  They fall along the same line and also need to be […]

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