Remember Back In The Day when the cast of Dawson's Creek were under media fire for their extensive vocabulary and use of references that any normal teenaged viewer would have to break out their encyclopedia to understand?
Well, not all the cast. Not Jen, who was just there to be a slut, nor Pacey, who I always saw as Dawson's tagalong, but definitely Joey, and most certainly Dawson, who always appeared to be very wise beyond his years. Or maybe wise for his years. You're not fooling anyone with that pepaw, The WB.
I loved the way they spoke. I love words. I have had a long and stable relationship with words since I spoke my first one...at age three.
My mom thinks the tale of my imbecility is really hilarious and, to my sheer embarassment, tells anyone who will listen. I think she waited until I was 14 to tell me on purpose, so I could truly feel the effect on my social life.
My parents started getting a little concerned when after a year and a half, I made no sounds at all, other than crying non-stop, especially since my older sister, Olivia, had started speaking basically out of the womb. By two and a half, and after seeing numerous specialists that could figure out nothing, they booked me an appointment to see if I was just a little bit slow.
The appointment was set just past my third birthday. However, only days before having to endure the diagnosis, I miraculously started speaking... and didn't stop. I guess my mom had used my lack of speech as a vessel for her secrets, and told me everything, thinking her slow daughter would never be able to reveal these little nuggets of information.
Well, I got you, Mom! My very first phrases were along the lines of, "Auntie! Mom hates your haircut. She thinks you look like a boy!" and "Hey, why are you so poor? You're not?" And then I would start crying and crying because why did my mom tell me they were poor then? Until they would finally resign and admit that, yes, Cynthia, we are poor, okay? This was all in Cantonese, and therefore much funnier.
I learned English through the playground, fool. And in fact, I got so good at speaking English, I was put into Advanced courses all through grade school.
By grade four, around age 9, I was placed into a class with an elite group of students called Enrichment. It sounded like healthy bread, so my suspicious parents allowed it.
We got to leave regular class to play math races and read advanced-level books. Then they created a spelling team for us, and in a colour-based level scheme (white being the most basic and moving darker and darker from there), we were labelled The Black Team.
I walked around thinking I was The Matrix for a long time.