That Time I Smiled

So this is soon to be a cross post from a good friend of mine’s blog.  She’s doing a series on what makes people smile and asked me to write a post for it (yes, getting asked to write something is infinitely more awesome than just writing on my own!).  So of course, this is my post I wrote for her… and you should check out her blog too:

First things first, this is what I look like right now… no joke.  No hair gel, no product, no nothing… Pixar-movie hair in real life = AWESOME.


Ok… onto the cross post.

Loaded question of the day: Justin Plasket, what makes you smile?

When Em first asked me to write this, I knew I had found an excuse to pull this bad boy out so…

I love everything about this. I want this dog. I want him/her to be this happy all the time. I want to be this dog.

Comics, Cars, Food, Family/Friends, Hugs.  Put it simply, those do it.  At least on the surface, it’s pretty easy to make me smile.  I’m prone to laughter at obnoxious volumes (and at inappropriate times), walking around and smiling at my music, or even smiling because I feel like complete shit and that’s the only way I can seem to snap myself out of it (yes, forcing yourself to smile does have a profound psychological effect on your mood).

...There might be a dog theme establishing itself...

But then there’s that type of smile where your entire body warms up and starts tingling.  I get that one too; not all the time but I have my moments.  Recently, I’ve had a couple more of those moments than I’m used to and it’s a wonderfully terrifying experience.  Who knows?  If things in my life actually keep going certain directions, I might actually smile at random children instead of mentally project them playing in traffic.

The bottom 1% of parenting...

There’s this ethereal quality to true happiness that comes along with inner peace (as they are, inextricably connected) that causes your entire body to tingle.  I don’t know about anyone else but when it happens to me and when I cut loose and let the smile rip, it feels like I’m flying.

So I’m this terrible student; definitely worse now than I was in high school but that’s beside the point.  The fact is that while I am an abysmal representation of “the successful student,” I am relatively intelligent and can feign eloquence when absolutely required.  I also have a lazy streak in me.  All of these things added up to me being slightly “less than my potential” on paper (grades) in High School.

Oh Tigermom... you make me aspire to greatness while keeping me rooted in reality.

Now, here’s the point when I stop everything and say that I love my mother.  I’m a Momma’s Boy through and through.

Yup… this is kinda how it is… and yes, this is us 😀

She did the work of two parents by herself… and I’m one of those unique individuals who probably should have been raised by a ROOM of parents (“Parent’s Room”  haha it’s like “Writers’ Room…” screenwriting pun!) so really, she did the work of 6 parents.  Never missed a single performance (Marching Band, Concert Band, Solo and Ensemble Trombone, Honor Bands, Concert Choir, Show Choir, the middle school show choir I choreographed, Musicals, Theater, One Acts, One Act I directed, etc. etc.), cheered herself hoarse in a silent natatorium as her son recorded the year’s SLOWEST time for the 100m Butterfly (2:47… yup), videotaped the finish of almost every cross country race I was in, and even helped me study and write.  That’s pretty amazing for a single parent and then… this little fact: My mother, one of the most intelligent and highly educated people I know, did all of this “raising me” stuff… while she was IN LAW SCHOOL.  She received her Juris Doctorate the week before I walked across the stage for my high school graduation.

I did a lot as a high schooler.  My Modus Operandi has always been “Rush in before I’m ready and do WAY more than I can possibly do” and often, that leads to less than stellar results.  I walked into the gym for graduation with my mom and kissed her good-bye as she took her seat and I went to pick up my cap and gown and get in line with the rest of my class.  I had prepared her the entire way over for me to be outside of the top 15% of my class and that the important thing is that I was graduating.  I was handed a package that had a cap, a gown… and these silver honor cords signifying that I had made the top 10% of my class.

Regardless of whether or not my “potential” should have had me in the top 5% (gold cords… which didn’t look as awesome as the silver accents on the navy blue gown…), I had done something unexpected.  See, mom was proud of me for just getting through it.  High School saw me go through a big dealio with the father (which we don’t talk about and that involved mom as well and a lot of stress for both her and me), coming out, a long period where I just FROZE when it came to applying to colleges, and the usual adolescent struggles.  Most of that all happened senior year.  Mom was simply proud of me for graduating.

So there I stood, waiting for 45 minutes for everyone to get in line, standing in silence (which, for me, is a minor miracle) and beaming from ear to ear while running those silver cords through my fingers.  Fast forward and we’re all lined up outside the Wells Fargo Arena main court (Des Moines).  The band was playing whatever other piece Marcellus had picked out to offset the redundant monotony (see what I did there?  I thought it was clever…) of the Elgar (Pomp and Circumstance).  We all started to file in and as the fluorescent lights beat down on my face, I felt as if I was about to do my best Northstar impression and take off into the sky in a blazing flash of light.

Where my comic book nerds at? Hands up, y'all!

I looked up and made some crappy cute wave with the silver cords toward my mom and saw her start to cry.  Even the fact that my friends couldn’t believe it (I had them convinced I was like… 16% or something… I’d make a great lawyer if I cared about school now) and were staring, slack jawed, and the odd spectacle this gangly kid was making with his damned silver ropes – even that couldn’t measure up to how I felt knowing that I had done Momma proud.

THAT feeling is the same feeling I get whenever…. Well… if anyone’s a Doctor Who fan out there…

“You and me, time and space… you watch us run!”


I’m Justin Plasket and that’s a story of this one time I smiled.

See ya, Space Cowboy.


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