Ciao, baby. Have a nice series of My God Myrtles

Jaclyn Youhana

Myrtle and her husband, Edgar, are two old people on their front porch in rocking chairs, reading the paper. Something catches Edgar’s eye on the front page, and he exclaims, “My God, Myrtle! You gotta read this!”

I heard this story in journalism class as a high school sophomore, and the idea was that everyone has a My God Myrtle — something that makes him or her different from everyone else. A journalist’s job is to find that My God Myrtle.

Without even realizing it, I search for this quality in almost everyone I meet. I do so, not as a journalist, but as a nosy 22-year-old woman who just wants to know the cool things everyone has done. See, I worry sometimes that I haven’t done enough, and I like to jot down ideas so I might steal one or two for myself.

Sometimes I worry that my life is too boring. I didn’t see enough concerts or do any drugs or take enough road trips or write well enough or important enough or just enough.

Most of my My God Myrtle experiences revolve around a certain quality: As Bridget would say, I’m shameless.

I have a bizarre, “Eh, I’ll get over it,” attitude when it comes to, for example, men. Bridget can’t understand how I am able to ask out someone and shrug it off after a rejection. My thought process? “Hey, better knowing than always wondering,” because there is nothing worse than a What If.

I’m shameless when it comes to a good song. Get me in a setting of friends and play me some of Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” or Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and you’ll quickly learn the beauty of my tone deafness. This is not an uncommon phenomenon, but I’m usually sober when I serenade my comrades.

This leads to some words of wisdom from a graduating woman who can’t wait to get out of Kent but doesn’t want to actually leave. Be shameless. In love, in life, in risk-taking. So what if you fall flat on your ass? The point is to surround yourself with the most beautiful — I’m not talking physically here, folks — intelligent people you can and to always be conscious of their beauty, of what you can learn from them, of how lucky you are to be graced with their presence. That way, when you fail, there’ll be a good crowd to lend a sympathetic ear at the beginning and laugh at your stupidity once the tears have dried.

I’ve been uncannily lucky in finding these types of people, without whom these past four years, or four weeks, would have sucked, and from them I’ve learned plenty: Candy the Teacher, Lauren the Roommate, Clare the Editor, Morgan the Best Friend, Aaron the Idealist, Mike the Boss, Kathe the Consigliere and because I’m doing this in order of appearance, Brendan the Why Did You Wait For Grammar Class to be More Than Half Over to Talk to Me.

Here’s to My God Myrtles. I’m off to shake Paul Martin’s hand.

Jaclyn Youhana is a hopeless sap, a senior newspaper journalism major and the news editor at this paper she’s called home for four years. Contact her at [email protected].