“Story of my life.” This phrase is uttered quite often by those of my generation. Urban Dictionary describes it as a phrase used “when one, usually a negative, thing happens to you often.” People might say, “Man! I got no sleep the other night! Story of my life!” or “My professor assigned us a paper and a test on the same day—story of my life!”
Seeing as I can be a bit dramatic, it is a phrase I tend to overuse. Then one day last week, three events occurred within an hour that made me really want to say, “See! Story of my life!”
It started with the other dancers and I going to try on denim skirts at Wal-Mart. In Ballet Folklórico, we were learning a dance for the Baja California region of Mexico and part of the costume was a denim skirt. When we got there, I grabbed a size 10, my normal size, though I suspected it wouldn’t be fitting since I’d gained some weight. It did fit, though a bit snug, so I was told to try on the next size up. I come out of the dressing room with the size 12 skirt on, which fit better, but the problem is that the skirt couldn’t go straight down in the back because of the size of my ass. So I proceeded to announce to the whole store,
“Okay, the size of my ass is not going to change so the skirt’s not going to go straight down…” Then one of the alum girls pointed out--
“We just want all the skirts to look uniform, you know what I mean? So try on the next size up and we can always take it in at the waist.” I sighed and tried on a size 14 skirt (two sizes bigger than my normal size) and finally the skirt went down a little straighter in the back. To be uniform like the rest of the girls, I have to wear a skirt two sizes bigger than normal because of the size of my ass. Story of my life.
A variation on the phrase “story of my life,” meaning much the same thing, is the newly popular catchphrase “F my life,” or “FML” of fmylife.com fame. Fmylife.com is a site with moderated user-generated content with short anecdotes that describe negative events and occurrences that happen to people in their day. Each anecdote begins with “Today” and ends with “FML.” The site has become very popular in its hilarious, embarrassing, sometimes horrible tales of what happened to someone and ruined their day. The phrase “FML” has even started to turn up in everyday use, commonly replacing “story of my life.”
The second event occurred about twenty minutes later on the phone with my mother. Because of the frustration and also hilarity of the previous situation, I thought I’d tell her the funny story. My parents aren’t super conservative but something they always took issue with when I was growing up was cursing. Every once in a while, something slips, especially a word like “ass” which I don’t consider to be that offensive. So midway through the story, my mother cut me off and said,
“Naomi! Use the word ‘butt’ when you’re talking to your mother!” My mother is crazy (though everyone’s mother is crazy). Story of my life.
Rounding off the hour of the story of my life, the third completely unrelated event involved a bowl of soup and my bed. You can probably imagine what happened. I heated up my soup in the microwave and set it on my bed for a minute while I was sitting down. Trying not to jostle the soup bowl, I sat down slowly, but that didn’t really work. The soup bowl turned over and half of it dumped out before I could catch it. There was soup all over my sheets and my legs. I burned myself and made a huge mess and only ended up with a half bowl of soup for the trouble. I am incredibly clumsy: story of my life.
Three separate events within an hour. All could be summarized with the phrase, “story of my life.” Though the phrase “story of my life” tends to have negative connotations, it doesn’t have to. I could just as easily interpret these events with different summaries. I could say “I have a nice curvy ass: story of my life” or “I have wonderful parents that want me to be a good person: story of my life” or… I’m not sure I can find the upside of spilling soup in my bed. That one will just have to remain in the FML category—Today, I spilled hot soup all over my bed, burning myself and making a huge mess in the process. FML.