Tonight I find myself thinking of past opportunities, squandered of course, and equally of-course wishing I’d actually manned up and taken them. Then I think about how gendered my vocabulary is, how the verb is “man up” rather than “woman up” or “nonspecifically-bodied person up,” which leads to my usage of the word “dick” to describe a not-nice person rather than the sexually neutral “jerk” or “jackass,” and is it so impossible to use nongendered language? But eventually I end up back at past squanderings of lore. For which I say now:
I should have actually auditioned for Broadway. I mean, I got all the way down to the casting call for that musical –– and nabbed the very last audition number. They literally closed down the sign-ups after I got there! That’s got to be some kind of sign, right? My voice wasn’t (isn’t) quite strong enough, but regardless. A sign. I got all the way there, only to sit in the waiting room for ninety minutes and give my number away to someone who had arrived too late to sign up.
I should have had the balls in high school to ride the upside-down coaster at the local amusement park. (Again, gendered language! Can we say anything that doesn’t implicate male genitalia? Seriously.)
I should have gone to every dance of sixth grade. To hell with the pimply older kids! I should have twirled as much as I wanted.
I should have told several people off.