by Kaitlyn Garrett / Lion Staff
“Extra” is a popular new adjective used to describe those that “do things that are completely unnecessary just for the sake of being dramatic,” according to one of my best friends.
And according to those closest to me, I’m one of those people.
To be honest, I don’t know if I need to throw my hands up in defense against this accusation or take it as a compliment and bow. But I took a stroll down Urban Dictionary lane and came out a bit flushed in the face and slightly concerned.
My two favorite definitions were as follows:
“When someone does something that is just unnecessary and OVER THE TOP....like just DON’T DO IT!”
“Someone who is over the top for completely unnecessary reasons. They will go out of their way to prove this.”
When I was brainstorming how I wanted to respond to my “extra” label, I didn’t know exactly what approach to use. Oh yes, I thought about writing a defense paper about why I’m actually not “extra.” However, I then decided it’d be much more entertaining for all of us if I just admitted that I am in fact “extra,” and wrote an “extra” article about why I’m supposedly “extra” just to add onto my irrevocable “extra” reputation.
How incredibly “extra!”
Well, my first job in evaluating just how “extra” I am is to get a baseline for some of the most over the top actions that our peers have seen people do.
A sophomore girl said that extra activities would include “switching colored pens for everything and starting over if you slightly mess up and using so many different pencils and pens” for notes.
Brett Hull (10) added onto this list with one of his personal experiences: “At a swim meet someone was using a water parachute that was strapped to them; it was supposed to make a drag.”
Well now it’s my turn to share my own experiences, and I’ll leave it to you to decide if I really am the “most extra person” you’ve ever met.
So there was this one time when I developed this teeny obsession the CW’s Riverdale.
I mean it started off as a normal fangirl obsession, but I guess it crossed a level when I watched season one so many times I could put on a one woman play. I had those super “extra” post notifications for the entire casts Instagrams, and I followed fashion accounts that could tell me exactly where Betty Cooper’s sweater from season 1 episode 13 was from.
I became Buckhead’s number one go-to source if you ever needed to know when Riverdale was premiering again and any creepy statistics on Cole Sprouse. Then, of course, I decided it was my destiny to share the beauty of Riverdale with Lovett. So being the extra girl I am, I decided to spend ALL of my money from my summer job to buy a 3x5 foot giant poster of the entire cast, just in case my club video wasn’t enough.
Remember that blonde girl who was obnoxiously dancing around with that giant poster like an underdog sign spinner? Yep, that was me. (Mr. Newman was just thrilled to have it on his windowsill for months.)
But can someone honestly be held accountable for being so obsessed with a TV Show that they also founded a secret mafia of Riverdale enthusiasts? I mean yes I’m an enthusiastic fan, but I mean I’m not “extra.”
I did notice that when my friends were obsessed with a show, they didn’t consider naming their new cars and pets (and future children) after the main characters. But I did tell myself that we all have different ways of expressing our interests, even if mine were a bit…. hardcore (and honestly stalker-ish).
So I bet some of you are thinking “yes that was embarrassingly extra but it was just a phase;” well I’m sorry to have to say it, but you’re very, very wrong.
Let’s take a trip back to the Underworld: Middle School.
I was already eyebrow-less, socially awkward, and a fail at makeup blending, but to top it off my “extra” personality was flourishing.
Like any seventh grader who has yet to have their dreams crushed, I was absolutely convinced that I could change the world. I mean what didn’t I have that Taylor Swift or Barack Obama did?
But I decided with an awful name like “Kaitlyn” the world would reject my absolutely incredibly charismatic nature without giving me a chance. So obviously, I decided to change my name to Abigail, my middle name.
I am truly so sorry to those who were affected by this “extra decision.”
Teachers, friends, and even family were confused about whether my name was Abigail, Abby, or Kaitlyn.
But you have to give me credit; I dedicated myself 100% to this name-change.
I changed my usernames to Abigail Garrett, I signed Legal documents under it, I changed my email signature to “it’s Abigail not Kaitlyn,” and I even ordered an engraved necklace as Abigail.
And of course, the only thing that changed for me when I chose to change my name was my number of friends and my parents’ assurance of my mental health. (Let’s just say they were pretty mad about that particular brand of extra.)
So I decided that the problem was I needed to add in a NEW name. So the next day, I signed my tests as Abigail Juliet Kaitlyn Garrett.
My my my, what a low point in my middle school career.
Okay, well, just to clarify, my name now is Kaitlyn, and my email signature is back to normal.
So those are just two examples of the “extra” choices I’ve made that have given me a bit of an “extra” reputation. But I’ll leave it to you to decide if I really am the “most extra person” you’ve ever met.
So where do I go from here, you might ask?
Well, the way I see it is that I have two different options: I can try and contain my extra-ness or I can accept that it’s a part of who I am. If I tried to lose my “extra” reputation, I’m convinced that I would have to rewire my entire personality.
See I’m the girl who will organize her bookshelf by author, who gets her eyebrows dyed monthly, who stashes every flavor of gum imaginable, who bobbie pins back every single hair strand from her ponytail, who wears red lipstick to match her red shoes, who puts on a special Riverdale phone case every Wednesday, who moves her desk to the other side of the room just because the lighting isn’t perfect on one day, who made a list of her top colleges when she was in sixth grade, who brings giant fuzzy blanket on road trips, who bought a southern ball gown for her sixth grade Halloween, and who feels naked without having nail polish on. Heck, it takes me hours to orchestrate creative pictures for all of my op-eds.
But guess what? I love it all.
But my “extra” personality is what makes me me.
And while I’m pretty sure writing an article about my reputation as “extra” just confirms how “extra” I really am, it’s not something I can apologize for anymore.