“You don’t have enough experience.” That’s what the Sacramento Bee told me when I applied for an internship last summer. One of the editors told me that while having a column was good and all, I barely did any real journalism. He told me that if I ever wanted to work at a newspaper after college, I should maybe quit the column and try reporting.
Around this time, I also received a very livid piece of hate mail (I’m very fortunate to have only received a few throughout the years). You should have read the thing. It was just seething with absolute hatred. The person wrote that my column was absolutely worthless, all it did was contribute to the world’s toxicity, it was proof positive that the human species was declining, it wasn’t even that funny and that I should be rendered sterile! I mean Christ, that person didn’t even want me to have babies because my column about being pussy-whipped sucked so badly.
But the more I thought about it, the more it was all true. My column isn’t about politics or the economy. It’s about boys and girls and my mediocre life. Hell, and I know the writing itself isn’t anything spectacular, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no Hemingway. All in all, what I produce on a weekly basis is just some inane, goofy shtuff. And there I was, wanting to be a journalist, yet I wasn’t doing any of their dignified work.
Then again, that was last year. (Who knew I had so many insecurities when it came to this one little column!?) Although I still don’t know what the future holds for me, I do know that I’ve enjoyed writing this and making people laugh, above all else.
I know you can’t really tell with all the boob, penis and “Boo, I’m single,” jokes, but I take this seriously because that’s my name up there, after all. This column is mine and I never let it turn into something I never wanted it to become due to some fear that I’d never get a job or no one would take me seriously because of it.
I love this column because it really is an extension of who I am. If you know me, you’d know that I think things really do look like penises or boobs; you would also know that I really am perplexed about boys, girls and what happens when they meet; and you would really know that I am excited to fall head over heels in love.
So that’s why I write the things I write about. As for the reason why I keep on writing, well that’s really because of you. Even if all you’ve ever read was this one column right here or you’re a loyal minion that keeps up, I am reaffirmed that this column has at least some merit and you guys get all the credit for my justification.
It’s not really an egotistical thing. I’m not writing with this whole, “Look how many people read my shit, I am the best, har, har har!” mentality. If you really want to hear it, the truth is that life can get quite lonesome.
After four years of walking to class, eating lunch and sitting in lecture alone, it’s easy to lose touch with the general population – not to mention we’re also carrying around our own extra problems. I don’t think we’re consciously being anti-social; it’s just easy to forget that these experiences are actually shared with complete strangers.
And that’s where you guys come in. Even though it’s a selfish reason because I have you guys all to myself. It’s the e-mails I get saying, “That happened to me too …” or “The way I got through it was by …” or “That stupid guy/girl said the same thing to me too!” It’s a little corny but I feel like there’s a string, one common experience, which you can tie to every person around you and everyone is connected to each other in that way.
We often forget this is possible because the human condition feels so isolating, but I know for a fact that this is true because of you guys. And I don’t know, but it just makes the world a little less … heartless? Not to mention, what we experience is pretty damn funny most of the time, given some hindsight. (Plus, it’s nice to get those words of encouragement from time to time like, “If that guy doesn’t like you, he’s an idiot!”)
If you didn’t know it already, my column’s title comes from a quote by Oscar Wilde: “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh. Otherwise, they’ll kill you,” which essentially sums up the one thing I’ve been trying to do. I just wanted to tell people what I’ve experienced and hopefully, get a few laughs while I’m at it – and I thank you guys for the opportunity and for enjoying it because it looks like I’m still alive today.
LYNN LOO LA can’t believe this is her last Tuesday on page two. It has been an amazing three years. Please e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org even if you’ve never done it or did it last week. So, this is it she guesses – thanks and goodbye.