The Worst Day Of My Life

This picture has absolutely nothing to do with this post. Like, at all. Just go with it.

I can count on one hand how many "worst days" I've had thus far in my 24 and a half years of life. There are probably four that stand out amongst all the other days as the ones I would never in a millions years want to relive. The ones that I could easily remove from my memory bank even though everyone says you're never supposed to regret anything because you at least learned something. I call bullshit. 

Because I do regret them. I wish I never had to live through any of them. They're dark. They're death. They're mistakes. They're consequences. 

And while I learned and grew and became stronger from each experience, I wouldn't hesitate for a millisecond if each of those four days grew feet and marched their way right on out of my head. I'd be just as fine as I am now, if not better. But I'm not Dumbledore, nor am I able to siphon the memories straight out of my skull and pour them into a Pensieve… so here they sit, still swirling around in all of their somberness.

If I was brave, I'd go on and use this blog as my magical Hogwarts contraption so that I could spill my inner demons and leave them here to wallow in the realms of the dot com world. But I am not. So three out of the four are just going to have to stay trapped in the depths of my mind where they're safe.

The fourth one, though, is silly. It's the lighthearted "worst day of my childhood" one. The one that came from the same days when having to go to school with a swollen black eye because my brother whacked me in the head with a wooden baseball bat (on accident) (or was it?) was just about the worst thing I could have possibly experienced. Those same days when I was the absolute worst modified softball player on the team but I finally finally finally got to third base one day only to have my helmet fall off my tiny head as I ran, thus forcing me to get off base to pick it up, thus causing me to get tagged out because I hadn't called for a time out. The one time I actually got to third and I couldn't stay because I was trying to protect the same head that had already been whacked a few years prior. Childhood is rough, guys, real rough.

But neither of those days compete with the actual "Worst Day of My Life".

I was in Mrs. Richmond's fourth grade class. The class that raised litters of baby mice with names like Pencil Sharpener and Spongebob. Childhood is also pretty cool, guys, real cool. But this one particular day was totally not. 

It was the day of the 4th Grade Spelling Bee and I was about to own everyone. I was a smart student. I read a couple grade levels above most kids. I was a way better speller than 4/5's of my friends. I was in the accelerated reading class. And I was one of the finalists going in. I had this thing in the bag. That is until Mrs. Richmond decided to forget the start time of the 4th Grade Spelling Bee, causing us to rush our way down the 4th Grade wing to get to the cafeteria where the spelling was about to go down.

Immediately, I panicked.

I walked into the cafeteria already filled with students, teachers, and all the parents who had taken time off of work to come watch their kids try to win. My mother being one of them. Pure horror was the only emotion I remember feeling. The other finalist from my class and I had to go get chairs so that we could join the other class finalists who were already situated and ready to go. So there's little ol' me in all of my 45 pound glory hauling ass to make sure my chair could squeeze in somewhere so that I wouldn't have to set it down in the first spot. Because who the hell wants to go first?!

Certainly not the panic stricken miniature mess that was 4th Grade me. But no, of course the big beefy classmate of mine used his brute force to push me right out of the way, landing me in that very awful no good very bad spot. 

And this was the point in time when I blacked out.

My word was "before". Be. Fucking. Fore. You know, like the easiest of all the words in the entire Spelling Bee since, umm, it was the very. first. one. 

But I was blacked out from the pure fear of it all, you see. Like "equivalent of an entire six pack of Raspberry Smirnoff Ice the very first time I ever drank alcohol" blacked out. I couldn't feel my body moving let alone my brain working to formulate letters into a word. All I could do was stare at my mother in total shock and embarrassment and utter the following…

B… E… F… O… R… BEFORE.

And just like that, I was out of the 4th Grade Spelling Bee. Just like that, I had made a complete idiot out of myself. Just like that, I felt like a complete and utter disappoint to my mom who had taken off work and driven thirty minutes to watch me "win" the Spelling Bee. Just like that, I started balling my eyes out until my tear ducts no longer knew what they were used for.

And just like that, I had officially experienced my first "Worst Day of My Life". My name is Erin Gray and I have a phobia of Spelling Bees.

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Name: Liz from Emeralds and Stripes

Nickname: Lizzie, Lizabeth, Cookie McGee

The meaning behind my blog name: Emerald is my birthstone and favorite color. I'm a fiend for anything striped — horizontal, chevron, zebra. A FIEND, I say! My blog is about adding glamour and fun to everyday life, the way French women style something really casual like jeans and Converse sneaks with diamonds. Emeralds and Stripes is my approach to style and to life!

If I could trade lives with someone else for a day I'd pick: Jennifer Lawrence. I'm sure that's a common answer right now, but I wouldn't mind getting to kiss Nicholas Hoult/Bradley Cooper/Josh Hutcherson and being adorably zany. And with a body like hers, I'd just walk around in my underwear all day.

One thing that always cheers me up is: Making people laugh!

If you were stopped at a stoplight next to me you'd see me belting out the lyrics to: Anything by Imagine Dragons

I know it's a little weird, but, I think: TV talks to me. When I watch anything, whether it's South Park or Doctor Who or Grey's Anatomy, I feel like whatever's going on or being said is eerily applicable to whatever's happening in my life. I'd say most of my reassurances/spiritual insights come from fiction. It doesn't count as hearing other voices if other people hear them!

My favorite quote would have to be: "They'd like to see through me, but nothing is more opaque than absolute transparency." — Margaret Atwood

My guilty pleasure is: Pop music. I'm a crowd-surfing metal chick who would die of happiness in the presence of Britney or Gaga.

The first thing I do when I get out of bed in the morning is: Elbow my guy and yell, "Coffee!"