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This morning I managed to spill the seeds of 2 pomegranates we had painstakingly picked apart and put in the freezer two nights before all over the kitchen floor.

"I think I want to be a doctor," I told my grandmother at four years old, poking around in a fabric child's doctor bag I'd been given as a gift. "Oh, that would be great. Will you take care of me when I'm sick?" she asked me, grinning. I looked up at her, puzzled. "Well, yeah," I said, "if you pay me." Sorry, Gran.

I inherited my mother's sigh - an exasperated one-two-punch of a sigh that is not just a "ugh," but more of a "u-u-ughhhhhh," two sharp intakes of breath before the final shuddering sigh.

In third grade, I stole an orange bullfrog-shaped eraser from the book fair and was so racked with guilt that an hour later I "went to the bathroom," ran down the hall to the media center, fished it from my pocket and deposited it back in the bin before anyone else could see my secret shame.

You'll probably get a bunch of birthday presents from me because I buy them early, get too excited to hold onto them, and will inevitably give them to you early, forcing me to go buy you another one.

When I was nine years old, my father asked me while cooking our spaghetti dinner (one of two things he could cook - this and beef stroganoff so tough it hurt my teeth) how I would feel about having a sibling - my first and only. I gave it the briefest of thoughts before shrugging and saying, "Do I have to share my room?" When he told me no, I gave my approval for a sibling.  I was the first one she opened her eyes for, the one who taught her to crawl and who read her Goodnight Moon so many times I still have it memorized. (In the great green room there was a telephone, and a red balloon ...)

I buy a lot of lip balm and lotion, and routinely forget to apply either. I am obsessed with wax melts and candles and nail polish. If in our dystopian future every unread book you own was worth $1,000 I would be able to live comfortably for several years. I am allergic to almost every deodorant I have ever applied except only two scents of one particular brand. If you leave me alone with a 5 pound bag of Sour Patch Kids, I'll eat them until my tongue starts to bleed.

I remember sitting in my grandfather's backseat around age ten or eleven, when he cupped my chin in his hand and informed me that I was getting a double chin. "Those are for fat people," I remember thinking, bewildered. I have been fighting the ghosts of stress eating for years, and have lost 54 lbs since June of this year. I have a long way to go, but I think my grandfather would be proud to know my once-triple chin is now almost just one, regular chin. Several weeks ago I shrieked to my boyfriend, "I have a collar bone now!" - these discoveries are things you might take for granted. Enjoy the swell of your hip bones, sometimes they disappear.

Somehow I managed to never see some basic films growing up: the 1989 Batman, any Matrix movie. No Star Wars, no Lord of the Rings, no James Bond or any super hero movie. I am currently listening to The Shining on tape while commuting to and from work and my absolute innocence at the world of the book has bewildered a few people - but all I know is REDRUM and that gif of Jack Nicholson popping through the wall with an axe because it's been mutated so many times with so many different faces plastered over it.

I was obsessed with the Titanic in the 90s before it was cool to be obsessed with the Titanic. I like professional wrestling more than most over-educated women do - it's one of the only things my father and I have created a shared bond about, but sometimes I am listening to the classic rock station in my car, "American Pie" comes on, and suddenly I'm eight years old again, sitting in the front seat of his cherry red two-door car and listening to my father exaggeratedly belt the chorus as he keeps time with the rhythm on my thigh: "This'll be the day that I die." I never once asked him what a levy was, even though I wanted to know quite badly, because I was too enamored with the moment to care.

I'm Patricia, I'm 26 years old, and I can't wait to share this next mini-season of [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol with you.

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