So, all the stuff I’ve written about myself makes it pretty clear that I’m rather hesitant to engage people. People who know me might find this to be a bit surprising, given my annoying personality. Still, I’ve found that I tend not to be very adventurous. I’m content with my relatively small comfort zone for now, and I try to work with that.
When I was two years old, I had no such issues. One of my father’s favorite stories from this time period is about my first day of preschool. As could be expected from a parent dropping off his then-only child at school for the first time, he was a bit concerned.
Keep in mind, before I hit my teen years I was a typhoon of bombastic, potentially-hilarious overconfidence and zeal. Thus, as my father hesitantly pulled up in front of the building, I was already concocting a plan.
He moved to unlock his door, but I was already in motion. In a flash, my seatbelt was unbuckled and I was opening the door so I could leap out of the truck. By the time my dad, in his tortoise-like lack of quickness, had opened his door, I had already come around the truck to meet him.
In my mind, his role had been fulfilled. He had taken me to this land which I, in my youthful hubris, had determined I was destined to rule. Now, his job was done, and I no longer needed his services.
“All right. You can go now.” Having dismissed my father, I turned away from him, striding toward the building’s front door. I was already picturing the magnificent kingdom which awaited me.
Imagine then, my frustration when I realized my dad was holding me back. Looking back, I realize how weird it would have been for this little kid to storm into the preschool without an adult to explain why, but at the time, this just made me angry.
This also set the tone for much of my preschool experience. It was kind of too early for me to really say I was an advanced student, but I certainly stood out in terms of stubbornness and refusal to work with others.
For example, one part of my preschool program was regular meetings with the parents to discuss how everything was going. Given that I spent my formative years apparently practicing to be a supervillain, my parents both made a point of attending these. While the adults were meeting, I was supposed to be out on the playground, out of earshot.
In an attempt to get me to respect the privacy of those in the meeting, the adult staff were out on the playground with the kids, keeping them distracted. Unfortunately for them, the kids outnumbered the adults. When everyone was getting settled in, I whinily demanded that we play hide and seek.
You can tell what happened next. They closed their eyes, and I promptly hauled ass back to the building, ending up (I thought) hidden outside of the door. I would later realize that people had been onto every step of my cunning scheme, but they’d decided it was easier to just roll with it than to try to dissuade me.
My unwillingness to accept outside authority extended into factual knowledge as well. At the San Diego Wild Animal Park (a sister facility to the Zoo), there was an annual tradition of setting up animatronic dinosaur exhibits for around a month in the fall.
As previously discussed, I was pretty dumb when I was little, although I made up for it with bluster. Still, in class, when they mentioned that dinosaurs were all extinct, my hand was the first to be raised.
“You’re wrong.” Social skills have never been my forté. “I went to the Wild Animal Park last week.” It is at this point that I uttered a phrase which, while kind of lame, was the start of my lifelong proclivity for bad puns. “They have dinosaurs that got UN-stinct.”
I’ve just realized- I really never developed my sense of humor past preschool, I just refined what I had. That makes me sad. I’m going to sleep now.