STORY #1: Last week, my new workout girlfriends and I managed our way through a cellulite-crushing hip hop fitness class with the same amount of agility that one might have trying to sprint through quick sand. With our endorphins high and the cheeseburger cravings on emergency level, we headed to the locker room, laughing about our poor life choices and discussing what women use to stuff their bras. “Pudding. I’ve heard pudding is an excellent bra stuffer.” We are going over the fascinating details of the pudding pushup when Trish (not the real name) undoes her ponytail, begins shaking her hair to-and-fro as if we are all in an organic conditioner commercial, and casually says: “I love that hip hop class. But I just don’t know if I could do those moves and get all sweaty in front of a guy. I would look weird! Yea. I just couldn’t do it.” I am not sure if Trish noticed that as she recited this comment, I was standing in front of her wearing a fanny pack, mismatching socks, and a classic D.A.R.E. t-shirt. I looked like a little boy geared up to take over the neighborhood park with water balloons and cheese crackers. You could tell by my choice in outfit that my last concern in life is whether or not my fitness activities will deter a man. If you know me well, you know that I consider fanny packs to be quite the sexual attraction. STORY #2: Yesterday I went to a comedy show in Hollywood. I shared a table with a very beautiful woman named Heather (not the real name) who had posture better than the flag pole outside of every elementary school. Heather was chatty. Which is fine. But I was busy stuffing my face with chicken sliders. “It is so weird that they serve food here,” she said as she watched me salt my fries. ...is it that weird? I start thinking that maybe she is correct. ...we are in a comedy club. With people in it. At dinner time. I am hungry. I am hungry. I am hungry. These are my thoughts. I am hungry. I offer her a sweet potato fry or two. But no more than two. Because I am selfish. “Ehyou wahnt one?” My mouth is kind of sort of maybe like a hamster preparing for the worst Montana winter. “Oh. No. The guy I am dating only likes girls from New York. And those girls are so beautiful, graceful, and thin. So --- I can’t eat as much as I used to. It would be awkward if I ate.” ... would it be awkward? I am hungry. WHAT I HAVE TO SAY: If someone says that you are weird, awkward, not normal, special, or strange -- thank them. In second grade, Handsome Todd (real name) announced to my class that I was weird after I read aloud a short story about mermaid cats. Instead of thanking Handsome Todd, I didn’t say a word in any classroom until ninth grade when Pretty Brianna (almost real name) told me that I was funny. And that she liked my pocket-less jeans. I spent approximately eight years quiet and not myself because some dude with freckles and a cool Pogs collection told me I was weird. I am proud of my credentials as a weird, awkward, and “different” woman. In first grade, I made sure to wear diamond-studded suspenders in my school picture. It is still one of my favorite portraits. here).