DeenaByrne.com
Author.Traveler.Eater

Essays

I've written a bunch of nonfiction essays as an as-yet unpublished collaboration with my sister I wrote several years ago. Read on and let me know what you think!

Crybaby

I’m not trying to brag or anything, but I think I’m one of the few people who can actually cry at the drop of a hat. It’s hardly for show, though, because I think the loss of such a predominant piece of one’s wardrobe can be quite heartbreaking. In fact, I find it difficult to watch the last scene of “The Chipmunk Adventure”—one of the greatest films of our time—without fixating on Alvin’s red baseball cap being stolen by a gust of wind.

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Body image

I have been a proponent of fitness ever since my high school dance coach insisted I pull my pants higher to hide my stomach bulge, an area I affectionately referred to as the “donut” of pudge around my belly button. Prior to the usual shame-fests that ensued before each and every game and competition, I had never given my midsection more than a moment’s consideration. As my team members each sported effortless washboard stomachs and weighed in at scarcely more than 100 pounds, I was toting around a stomach “donut” and tipped the scales at maybe 110 pounds.

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Girly girl

My Sunday school class was an unapologetic sausage fest, as I was the sole pupil in my grade without a Y chromosome. Rather than rally in the obvious potential of the situation, i,e, the boyfriend possibilities, or the chance to get firsthand insight into the prepubescent male psyche, I felt isolated due to my lack of wang. I dreaded attending, and my mother’s frustration mounted as I became increasingly reluctant to abandon my Barbie-filled sanctuary in favor of the weekly testosterone gathering in the 3rd grade classroom at my synagogue’s religious school.

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Birth Order

There’s a home video of me sans my two front teeth, roller skating up and down the driveway while swinging around my near Crystal Gale-length hair. I had a hoarse voice due to a minor head cold, but it was clear I would have been healthy enough to sit in Ms. Parker’s first grade class and participate in a discussion about the philosophical meaning of “The Baby Uggs are Hatching.” For the first and last time in my life, I begged to stay home “sick” from school. My request was granted, luckily. I was too antsy, and I probably would have been misdiagnosed with ADHD if I tried to sit in school. My mother lacked the energy to argue, anyways—she was a little preoccupied going into labor with my baby brother.

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