"The problem with you is that you want to be just like everyone else, but you hate the idea of being average," my cousin said to me as we lay in the middle of a field about a mile from our high school.
We had wandered off a distance from the bonfire party, cozy in our hoodies, sharing drinks from my screwdriver-filled water bottle. My cousin had pulled me away when she saw the telltale signs of tears coming: big smile, shaky hands, glances toward the sky when someone tells a joke.
It was the end of my senior year, and that day my classmates had chosen to classify me. There I was — a princess on the prom court, the state champion soprano, and an honors student who served as vice president for the philanthropy club and as co-editor of the campus newspaper, someone who loved to laugh loudly and often and argue for the sake of it.
And they named me "Most Obnoxious."
The moniker was the punishment teenagers dole out to those who stick out too much and too often. In a society that rewards fitting in, "most obnoxious" is what we call people who don't know how and don't (really) want to.
"Blenders only stick out at the best times," I explained to my cousin, who nodded and took a swig. "Not too sexy, but cute, so no one will say they're slutty, but boys will still ask them to prom. Smart but not brilliant, so they get good grades, but don't make anyone else feel stupid. If they're asked, they know the right answer, but they'd never disagree with anyone in debate class, or actually ask a question themselves."
The more I thought (and swigged), the more it occurred to me that I could be a blender, if I chose. I could simply change my behavior.
-- Kat Voboril
Kat Voboril is a NYC-based musical theatre actress. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and a proud member of Actor's Equity. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.