Are You There, Tom? It’s Me, Sophie.

3 Jun

Okay, so since this is my first foray into the blogosphere, I want to establish a couple of disclaimers about my blog.

Disclaimer #1: this is NOT and can NEVER be mistaken for a journal.

When I sat down to write this post, I was reminded of the two times I attempted to keep a journal. The first occurred circa 2002 when I was sent to the “Louisa May Alcott Writing Camp.” Having grown up in Concord, MA, I was obsessed with Little Women. Sure, Barbies were still cool razor scooters were a good time, but what could be more of a raging party than discovering the power of the written word alongside my idol? Or, at least the woman who was paid to dress up as my idol and to babysit a group of kids for half a day. Real or not, I distinctly remember envisioning myself frolicking barefoot in a brook alongside “Louisa” as she taught me the secrets of her craft. (For some reason, I’ve always thought “barefoot brook frolicking” was just what people did in the olden days. As if no one had anything more important to be worried about than getting their toes muddy in the good old fashioned brooks that were apparently found on every street corner.) If I haven’t already made this abundantly clear, I was the kind of nine-year-old who thinks about writing and brooks…Anyway, I went to this camp for just one week, but oh what a week it was. We filled our journals with stories and plays and poems until our hands grew weary and our eyes grew bleary (I credit Louisa Camp with giving me the tools to craft a lyrical rhyme such as that one). When I stumbled upon my camp journal several years later, I took a moment to read my fine work. Here is a sample of said craftsmanship: “the sky was blue…the brook was, too.” Okay, now this obsession with brooks has just gone too far! That passage pretty much characterizes my entire first “writing journal”: short, irrelevant, and desperate for a good old-fashioned rhyme. Thanks, Louisa.

My second attempt at journal keeping happened roughly three years later, during the end of a period of time I like to refer to as “The Dark Ages” (more on those later). Seventh grade was a tough year for a multitude of reasons. I was stuck at the confusing intersection of stretch pants and blue jeans; the fork between undershirts and bras; the Spork between the bob cut and long, flowing locks of maturity. What’s a girl to do? Obviously, a girl is to beg her mom to buy her a pink, fuzzy journal, and to get to work scribbling on about the pain of her tormented soul. The following are ACTUAL quotes from the diary of a confused seventh grader:

“Emma started using Sun-In over the summer. I feel like she’s changing so much. Can we ever be friends again?”

“I forgot to do my math homework, and Will started laughing at me in class. I think he’s crushing.”

And, my personal favorite:

“Mom finally agreed to buy me a bra with PADDING. I feel like a new woman!”

A word of caution: if your seventh grader ever asks you to buy him/her a journal, suggest a less-scarring pastime, such as knitting or brook frolicking. Finding his/her seventh grade journal tucked away in a closet years later will only leave him/her feeling humiliated, violated, and allergic to the written word. It was after re-reading my seventh grade journal that I decided to never touch a journal ever, ever again.

Given my past experiences with journaling, you can probably see how keeping a blog would unleash a whole bunch of mixed emotions and convoluted images of the 1800s, bleached hair, and padded bras. I know what you’re thinking: who doesn’t have an embarrassing journal from their youth? While I would argue that I might have been the only child on earth with a journal entry about brooks, I would also agree with you, readers (hopefully I will get some readers soon so it doesn’t seem like I’m just talking to myself…even thought I have been known to do that,) that embarrassing journals are a right of passage for any child. So, that is why I’ve decided to slowly re-enter the world of journal-like writing. But, in order for me to do this, we need to establish disclaimer #1: this is NOT a journal. Therefore, if my tone ever resembles that of an intellectual nine-year-old trying to establish her “voice,” OR that of a seventh grader just hoping to grow boobs, please, PLEASE just tell me to dive headfirst into a brook.

Disclaimer #2: this blog is meant to be FUNNY. You WILL laugh.

Okay, I mostly just wanted to be really bold with that second disclaimer. If you don’t find me funny then that’s fine, I guess. I’m plenty capable of playing the laughing track from “Friends” in the background while I write and read my own writing. Even if you don’t want to laugh along, please do not come to this blog looking for information on current events, great Saturday night dinner party ideas, or instructions on how to mend a hole in that sweater your grandmother bought you for Christmas. A.) I only get the New York Times emails, I don’t actually read them. So, please don’t be fooled into thinking that just because I’m an International Relations major I have any insight into current affairs. B.) I just learned how to open a can last week (and I mean with an actual can opener, not via my previous method, which involved a homemade rocket and some string,) so I really should not be offering cooking or hosting advice to people who don’t want to end up with a giant hole in their roofs. And C.) Why and where were you wearing that awful sweater long enough for it to develop a hole??

Given all the givens, I beg of you: LAUGH, goddammit!

My third disclaimer: Tom is not a real person.

The other day, I used the expression “Tom Foolery” several times over the span of a few hours. I used it once to describe my hair after a night of humid sleep and a failed attempt at brushing it; a second time to describe the hectic process that is my family’s way of deciding where to go for dinner; and a third time to describe the disaster that is my skin after a weekend at the beach. To these uses, my little sister responded, “who is Tom and do you have a crush on him or something??” Who knew that casually using such an outdated expression could remind me of the fact that I currently know zero men on which to “crush”? After explaining to Lydia that “Tom Foolery” does not reference an actual man but rather a kind of action or event or (in my case) lifestyle, she responded, “So why don’t you just say ‘Sophie Foolery?'” The kid had a point. Why should I be blaming poor Tom for all of the ridiculous things that happen in my life? That’s like blaming the mailman every time your neighbor’s chickens poop in your garage; or blaming President Obama every time you get food poisoning after a trip to the sketchy 99 Restaurant on the corner. These things just happen. Chickens poop, and so do we. That is why I decided to stop blaming Tom for foolish life events, and to start chronicling them in a blog.

And so we arrive at my final disclaimer: “foolery” is a term of endearment.

I mostly wrote this final disclaimer so my friends and family won’t think I’m a total bitch when I write about them in my blog and when I attempt to analyze my life through a “comedic lens.” I do not actually think I am “foolish,” nor do I consider those around me to be a bunch of “fools.” Rather, I think that my life just lends itself to odd events that, if compiled into a blog such as this, will seem funny, quirky, and cute. Basically, I hope for this to be the Zooey Deschanel of blogs. So while my forehead is way too tiny for any kind of frontal bangs, I think my stories and anecdotes can achieve the quirk factor all on their own.

So those are the disclaimers! If you’re still reading this incredibly long post, thank you. I have no idea how much rambling is socially acceptable per post, so I hope I haven’t given you some kind of weird brain disease by forcing you to look at a computer screen for this long. I’m excited to start writing! Now, I can’t promise that this blog will be updated on a regular basis – I tend to get up a head of steam when it comes to projects like these, only to release it when my ADD kicks in and I decide to watch Dawson’s Creek re-runs while painting my toenails Fire Engine Red and baking the world’s largest cookie (warning: don’t do that last one. You WILL end up with a weird, bread-like blob with some chocolate chips scattered throughout. But, if you’re like me, you’ll eat it anyway.) So unless I start doing all these things, you’re in store for a few quirky blog posts and probably more information than you would ever want to know about my life.



One Response to “Are You There, Tom? It’s Me, Sophie.”


  1. Are You There, Tom? It’s Me, Sophie. | A Series of Tom Fooleries - June 13, 2013

    […] Are You There, Tom? It’s Me, Sophie.. […]

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