Last night I attended the Austin chapter of Mortified.
If you haven’t heard of Mortified or don’t listen to NPR, what kind of fucking hipster are you?!

Oh wait, I keep hearing that that word is dead (and therefore my blog irrelevant?)

What kind of fucking young, creative urbanite are you!?

Mortified is when a bunch of adults go onstage and read awkward diary entries from when they were kids to an encouraging audience.

The set I saw last night was good. Intimidatingly good. These people were once bona fide dorks, nerds, geeks, freaks, and dweebs.

I on the other hand, sat there in shame realizing I could never own my adolescent awkwardness as well as they did.

I was a nerd alright, but a color-inside-the-lines nerd. I had a great childhood. Full of non-angst and zero boy drama. In fact, I wasn’t even sure I liked boys. I knew I didn’t like girls, but I just didn’t like anyone other than myself. If I thought I could have married myself, I would have. Of course that led to my mother quite seriously asking me when I was 15 in a Subway restaurant parking lot if I was gay. I nervously scoffed it off, but wondered that if I was indeed in love with myself, did that make me gay? These were questions that trouble teens during their burgeoning sexuality, but I have to say that at 27, I think I may have had the right idea.

I mean, don’t all kids masturbate to a shirtless photo of Elton John on their wall? Don’t all kids force their friends to watch Last Tango in Paris in their dark basement? Burn a cork and draw giant Jewish eyebrows on their face and do impersonations of Rod Serling in front of the mirror? Have conversations with their dog? Walk around with a tampon jammed half-way up their cootch? Buy suits at 13 so they can look like Dana Scully? Play every day in a cemetery? Stick whoopee cushions in their underwear? Sleep next to a Jeff Goldblum action figure? Dress up as various characters on Kids in the Hall and tape hours and hours of skit reenactments? Write thinly disguised school plays about off-centered young women with extreme passion for pop culture referencing?

My father sent the above photo to me this week thinking that it would somehow bring a smile to my face? The body of the message? “What a good kid.”

“What a fucking gawky-ass kid who dressed like Paula Poundstone” sounds more like it. Why is it that parents loved you most when you looked aesthetically least pleasing and most like a Muppet man-child? My Mom still won’t take down my over-sized glamor shot from when I was 13. No matter how much I plead with her, the framed example of what furry caterpillars making a home above the eyes of Woody Allen if he were a pre-pubescent girl, will never be taken down from the entrance way to her house.

I’m thinking of auditioning for the next Mortified, but not sure if I have enough good stories or can act in front of anything other than a mirror.

I might have to do some reckoning with my adolescence first…

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  • Reply KeLLy aNN August 27, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    In my best Cajun Waterboy accent ~

  • Reply Vanessa August 27, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    "What a fucking gawky-ass kid who dressed like Paula Poundstone' sounds more like it." – this line made my morning, haha. Perfection.

  • Reply DavidRayDog August 27, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    What Kelly Ann said. Cause it's brilliant.

  • Reply Hannah Miet August 27, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    do it do it do it do it do it do it do it do it, etc.

  • Reply girluntitled August 27, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    at least you weren't obsessed with the diary of anne frank and started calling your journal "kitty"…

    …and still do to this day…:S


  • Reply theTsaritsa August 27, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    My eyebrows still look like Woody Allen's! haha, I wish I had kept any of the journals I wrote in when I was a kid, it would be funny to read now.

    You should do it, though! Just GET UP THERE!!

  • Reply Big Mark 243 August 27, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    While there was some intra-family angst (which did not come to a head until everyone was adult), it is good to see that I was not the only one to enjoy their awkward teenage years.

    While I did call them 'the era of my discontent', it had more to do with why the world insisted on trying to make me doubt myself. I have never been able to question myself on the validity of any of my ill-advised forays into the ultraworld. Either I do something or I don't.

    I never understood why my Mom was worried about my sexuality. It was not that I did not like girls as much as they DID NOT like me. Though my darling brother evolved from being Diana Prince and twirling around to become Wonder Woman, to defending himself with karate chops a la Miss Piggy, I was the one she physically forced into the Men's Bible study sessions and made me do a 'home report' on the book 'As A Man Thinketh'. Even though I would try to play ice hockey (my darling brother was once a national figure skater) and box, I was the one she was concerned about the most. Go figure.

    I am sure there were some funny and awkward memories of my teenage years, but I don't really have any that stand out. I was alright.

    And I thought Dana Scully was hot.

    Now as talented a writer you are, I am sure that you can get up and strut your stuff. Oh, though I do listen to NPR (member, WUOM), we don't get Mortified. Every summer they but 'The Moth' but no Mortified. You will have to let me know when to listen for it and I will have to connect to your station on line.


  • Reply Skeptical Czarina August 27, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    I read about these events in the Washington Post Magazine! Wouls love to attend one

  • Reply - B August 27, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    From the looks of your picture, I think we had the same outfit…hahaha!


    You seriously should do the show! I think you'd kill it.

  • Reply Austin Eavesdropper August 27, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    DO IT, Lauren. I watched you at New Movement. I know you got the goods.

    Isn't Mortified fucking awesome? The producers who help shape each person's piece into a shining bit of awkward, uncomfortable hilarity are geniuses. Every damn one.

    I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

  • Reply a blount August 27, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    i have the book Mortified,
    and i had no idea people actually do it in real life.

    i'd love to go see it.

  • Reply Cassandra Marie August 27, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    Lofl..this is awesome! You definitely have to do it!

  • Reply Megalithic Rick August 27, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    All I can say is, aleast you were not a Juggalette. From your picture your dad sent you…your style looks kinda like Blossom minus the hat.



    Elton John !?! *blush* Mine was Kimmy Gibbler from Full House.

  • Reply William August 28, 2010 at 12:01 am

    alright. You've convinced me. I'm coming to Austin. Mortified sounds spectacular.

  • Reply Hipstercrite August 28, 2010 at 1:03 am

    @Kelly Ann- Hahahaha…it's amazing how much that line has earned its spot in history.

    @Vanessa- 😀

    @David- It really sums up so much, doesn't it?

    @Hannah- You do it!

    @Girl- Hahahaha…that's awesome! It's funny because Anne Frank was one of the topics at last night's Mortified. Kind of.

    @Tsaritsa- I'm in the same boat. I have no idea if journals from when I was a child exist. They probably do because my Mom is a nostalgic pack rat.

    @Mark- YOU HAVE TO DO MORTIFIED! It's decided!!!

    @Czarina- Here is the schedule: http://www.getmortified.com/live/…if one isn't near you, you should do one!

    @B- Good! I'm glad to know that I wasn't the only one! And thank you!!!

    @Tolly- You did one, right?

    @Blount- Here is the sched! http://www.getmortified.com/live/

    @Cassandra- Hahaha…thanks!

    @Rick- Ooohhh I got compared to her all the time. Just wait til I dig up the pics with the floppy hats with broaches.

    @William- Austin kicks ass! Come!

  • Reply amy August 28, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    I say do it!
    P.S. Your diary entries from adolescence can't be any more bland than mine, which include but are not limited to me praying to God that he says it's OK for me to watch Dirty Dancing with little girlfriends at a slumber party.

  • Reply Christine Macdonald August 29, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    I say this in a tone only reserved for awesome hipsters: You are adorable. I know, I know…Trite word but true.

    Happy to read you as always.



  • Reply laurenne August 30, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    Paula Poundstone! hahaha.

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