Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Everyone Is A Superhero

I used to strive to be great at things. It didn't really matter what thing I was great at, I just wanted to be great
Remember Doug? I used to really like Doug.
at something. And I wasn't. I was mediocre to good at several things, but never great. I made the basketball team, but rode the bench all year. I played waterpolo, but got kicked out of most games, and our team never won a game all season. I made first row, but never first chair in band playing clarinet (for you band geeks out there, you know how frustrating that is). I went to the county meet for my swim team, 50m backstroke was my event. I came in last place at county, didn't even make my qualifying time. I was never very good at any one thing.

And then, in my sage old age of my late 20's, I decided that I was great at things, just not the things I was trying to be great at. I realized that I, like everyone else, actually has superpowers. These superpowers might not be as conventional as comic book or traditional superheroes, but they are superpowers nonetheless. (I love that nonetheless is a word. There is something great about three words all going to together to make one word.) I started noticing that all the people I know and love posses superpowers, which at first might not seem to be superpowers, but the reality of it is, they are nothing short of superpowers. For instance, my friend Joanna has a superpower of making delicious, amazing food out of whatever the hell is in the kitchen cabinet. You can look in the cupboards and find nothing resembling a meal. Allow Joanna an hour in the same kitchen and you will soon be enjoying one of the best meals you have ever had in your entire life. Also, the food will be spicy, even if you didn't think you had anything to make food spicy, I guarantee, the food will be spicy. This is another one of her superpowers. My friend Kat has a very unique superpower. Give her a scarf, bandana, or any other piece of fabric that she can tie around her forehead and she becomes Axl Rose. When she starts singing "Welcome to the Jungle", it is more than an impression, it's as though Axl Rose really is performing a VIP concert for you, in your living room. I have benefited from both Kat and Joanna's superpowers a great many times, and for this I am thankful.
This is Axl Rose. This is not my friend Kat. Or is it?

The great thing about people is that we are all so different. Everyone I know has a very distinct superpower, but they are all equally amazing to witness or participate in. My friend Timmy has a disappearing superpower. He can be anywhere, in any social setting, and without a single person noticing, he has left, made it home, and called you to say he left, without ever saying goodbye or being spotted slipping out the door. I have attempted to mimic this superpower, which is now known by many people as "Pulling a Tim Henry", but I have never been as successful or stealthy as Mr. TH.

My new-fround friends in Costa Rica also have an impressive array of superpowers. Jackson makes the best milkshake you have ever had. It's more than a milkshake, actually. So much so, that we need to come up with a new name for it. Once, he made a "milkshake" that was leftover birthday cake, milk, ice, and guaro (we were fighting a hang over). He didn't even have ice cream! Never in my life have I had a milkshake, that was lacking ice cream, that I still enjoyed to such a great extent. I am particularly found of Jackson's superpower, and very happy that he is my friend. Dannie has two superpowers that I have been able to determine thus far. (This is pretty common that most people have more than one superpower. Once you start to discover people's superpowers, don't be alarmed if some of the most amazing people you know posses three or even four superpowers. You probably have that many, too.) The first of Dannie's superpowers that I enjoy is her ability to drink Bloody Mary's. The girl can gulp down a Bloody Mary's in under a minute, and not even be phased. It's impressive drinking, and I come from a long line of impressive drinkers and am constantly surrounded by impressive drinkers. So, for this to stand out as a superpower is really quite astounding. If you don't believe me, just take her to Mango's for two for one cocktails.
This is a Bloody Mary, in case you didn't know. Or if you are from the mysterious land of Canada, you may know it as a Caesar. Don't matter what you call it, Dannie can drink it.

Dannie's second superpower is giving things away. If you are standing in her presence and voice that you need something, suddenly she will hand it to you. I don't know where she keeps these items, or how she conjures them up so quickly, but she does. Almost like a genie granting wishes. Don't get the wrong idea though. You can't just go stand next to her and start rattling off the list of things you want, it's only when you really need something and you just happen to be around her. You cannot abuse her superpower, or anyone else's for that fact.

Superpowers are a delicate thing, and misusing or abusing one can result in you being denied it's service or benefit in the future. You just have to let them happen as they happen, and realize at that moment that you are experiencing greatness.

As for my superpowers? One of them is making Alfredo sauce, or some variation of it. I make a wicked Alfredo sauce, I really do. You should try it. Also, I'm great at turning things that others would throw away into something useful. I've been told I would have done great during The Depression because of this superpower. I'm also really good at letting people borrow things, just please return them.  If you had told me as an awkward, chubby, hormonal, redheaded preteen striving for greatness, that these would be my strengths, I would have cried. These were not the pinnacles of success I strove to achieve growing up. But, you know what? Fuck it. Some things you just can't control.

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