Some highlights from the list of failures:
1976 (age 4): I awaken after bedtime, needing a trip to the little boy’s room. I am happy to be able to do these things myself. Unfortunately, I am still dreaming: the “toilet” is a kitchen drawer that I’ve pulled open and begun urinating into with company present. The first of many such incidents, sadly.
1977 (age 5): Having seen Star Wars 7 times, I attempt to kill my sister with my lightsaber. Paper towel rolls prove to be nonlethal instruments. Fortunately, opportunities for sororicide continue to present themselves.
1980 (age 8 ): I open my eyes underwater during baptism to see my sins being washed away. Water gets up my nose, but I see nothing unusual, nor does my Pooh Bear, sitting near the font. Parents question my attachment to said Bear. This attachment will naturally fade over time, around the time I first notice Susanna Hoffs.
1982 (age 10): Living in a new town, with few friends. Neighborhood kid comes over, and while playing in my room I offer my toys as presents in exchange for friendship. He declines, and I return to building model airplanes by myself. The urge to buy friends, or compensate those who choose to spend time with me still remains, thankfully counterbalanced by relative poverty.
1984 (age 12): Newly ordained a Deacon, I am confident in the newfound priesthood power I possess. Invoking the divine authority of Jesus Christ during the 800m race is ineffectual for some reason. Over time I learn that the Priesthood cannot be used in this way.
1985 (age 13): Tootsie airs on local television. Apeing Bill Murray, I tell my sister, “Kelsea, you’re such a slut.” Apparently “slut” is a negative word of some sort; Kelsea, age 16 at the time, is visibly upset. Bill Murray was funny when he said it, because Dustin Hoffman was a slut. Kelsea probably wasn’t.
1988 (age 16): First solo date, with Sarah Jean Tingle (begin obvious jokes). Mother offers date advice, which I refuse. At the end of the date I pull over across the street from SJT’s house, and loudly declare, “well, good night!” She confusedly lets herself out, where upon I take off, screeching gravel. She sadly walks alone across the street and into her house. Surprisingly, this is our last date.
1990 (age 18): In my freshman BYU ward, I get up to bear my testimony and declare that “I believe the Church is true,” under the impression that my intellectual honesty would be appreciated from the pulpit. Sigh. I discover that I am mistaken both as to the purpose of testimony and as to the nature of intellectual honesty.
1998 (age 26): I sign up for a two-year law degree in France. I am under the belief that it will be a cakewalk, as I’ll compete against 18-yr-old frogs with no legal training. Alas the program is consistently and infuriatingly difficult, and my plans for a two-year Paris vacation are ruined. The experience is not a total wash: Sumer learns French, I learn law, and Jim and Janice Faulconer are in our ward.
2002-2004 (age 30-32): A member of the Manhattan 1st Ward, I am home teacher to several families, many with urgent needs. Despite good intentions (and at times even a willing companion), I rarely (ever?) perform my task. In many ways this failure reminds me of all the people I could have spoken to on my mission but didn’t, or all the kindness I could have shown my grandparents while they were alive. Home teaching is a life preserver to some; a guilt preserver for others.
2005 (age 33): After gaining entry to the New York City Marathon, and after training for several months, I withdraw two months prior to the race. A fractured toe, blackened toenails and aching muscles take their toll, keeping me from entering what could be my last shot at the famous race. Now living in Seattle, I have my race entry card posted on the wall above my desk. I have not yet re-entered the race.
2005 (age 33): After angering some and disappointing many, I decide to stop blogging on BCC. I fail to realize how much I will miss my friends. I miss the blog I helped to found. I read it every day, looking for familiar faces and old rivalries (Lyle! Dan Peterson! Ed Enochs!). I email my BCC mates behind the scenes, trying to stay in the loop despite taking myself out of the loop. I am afraid to return to blogging, but I miss my friends.