I’m at Starbucks near the harbor—close enough to mention, far enough to park for free—and I’m supposed to be writing about a past, flawed relationship. But facing my own naivety doesn’t seem near as fun as people watching, so I choose the latter.

Small groups of people are scattered around the patio, swapping life’s disappointments or the promise of the upcoming weekend, and I sit alone at a table for two.

An older, red Honda pulls into the parking space in front with the unmistakable crunch of bumper hitting concrete. There’s a collective gasp and the chatter momentarily stops. Mouths hang ajar as they watch the car reverse slowly, producing a scrape rather than a crunch this time.

When the older gentleman (maybe 60) steps out of the car, he smirks at the onlookers and I turn away. I’m embarrassed for him, although he seems relatively unaffected. The patio crowd continues to point at the car and talk about the event, even after he walks inside. They’re acting as though he rolled over a box of kittens, their blood giving his car its audacious color. He crunched his bumper. It happens.

I think of myself as a humble person. That’s why I have my own blog. (Actually, it’s two blogs and an online portfolio.) But modest as I am, I must confess that in the past I was somewhat of a legend. A grammar legend. My friends and family would never admit it because, well, they were probably jealous, but it’s true.

I knew the rules, the exceptions, and when to pause for effect. Like here. Not only did I know how to diagram a sentence; I could do it in less than a minute. I was even part of human sentences that were then verbally diagrammed  by our eighth grade class. I was always the comma. (Thanks Mrs. Gilbert; that was a good week.)

These days I’m feeling less confident and certainly less cocky (about grammar). I remember the terms, and I remember the rules…but I cannot remember which terms go with which rules and don’t even get me started on those exceptions! And pauses? I fear that I pause too much: it’s disruptive. I need a refresher course in grammar.

For months, I have tried to write a successful first blog.  I first tried to write witty pieces, but their second and third drafts produced material that can only be described as lacking.  In other versions I confessed that I had no idea what I was doing, but begged my reader to trust me anyway because, ignorant or not, I intended to blog well.  (That draft was promptly discarded.  After all, who ever heard of being honest with your audience?  Laughable.)  Desperate drafts recounted stories like the time I watched a grandmother eat her grandson’s chili in silence at theBarnes and Noble Starbucks café while he played with her iPhone.  Still, others tried to incorporate all these elements, failing as miserably as if it hadn’t incorporated any at all.  As a compulsive perfectionist (a possibly hypochondriacal condition), these failed attempts and continued lack of blog, troubled me greatly.

Then, one night, as I gazed up at an overcast sky that was anything but inspiring, a solution came to me: change the rules.  Ignoring the basic principles of syntax, I decided to create my second blog first.  This would take all the pressure off the first, perfect blog, while simultaneously making any reader a returning reader.  That’s right; I’ve instantly created michellejunot.com blog groupies.  Welcome.