About Rebecca Kraybill

Rebecca Kraybill lives in DC in a big, creaky house with a lot of friends. She likes to fill her head with words, especially of the poetry and spoken word variety. Occasionally, those words return from her head and onto paper and she calls herself a writer. For more, visit rebeccakraybill.weebly.com.

Halloween in DC

Halloween is this week, and if you’re like many people in “this town,” you’ve got a lot on your plate to do before your Halloween party rolls around. Luckily, with these ideas, your last-minute costume can make sense to those inside the Beltway.

Courtesy of Halloween Images Quotes http://www.halloweenimagesquotes.com/halloween-washington-dc.html

Wear a tall hat and white robe and kiss the foreheads of a select few friends. You’re #PopeinDC.

Paint on a nose and whiskers, add a tail and ears, and offer cups of coffee to people. You’re the Crumbs & Whiskers cat café.

Don a blue vest with buttons, carry a clipboard, and tell everyone you meet about an obscure social cause you really care about. You’re a DC street canvasser.

Wear some thick round glasses, glue feathers to your head, and attack anyone who comes close to you with your nails. You’re the aggressive Bethesda owl.

March around with a picket sign demanding less smoke and less havoc. You’re the founder of the new WMATA Rider’s Union.

Wear a business suit and mention vague descriptions for a “fantastic new job opportunity.” You’re the hiring manager for the new Speaker of the House position.

Carry a tray of egg benedicts, bacon, and mimosas. Don’t wear pants. You’re a bottomless brunch.

Hand out flyers for civic association meetings. Tell everyone and anyone that they’re too loud, about crime that happened two blocks over last night, or that you have an Ikea coffee table you’re getting rid of. You’re a DC neighborhood listserv.

Wear a white beanie and a silver grille on your teeth. You’re the Capitol building under construction.

Dear Diary: Thoughts on “Mortified”

“You’re not the only one who had an awkward phrase,” boasts the tagline of Mortified Nation, a recent favorite Netflix musing of mine.

Courtesy of Mortified Nation

The documentary follows Mortified participants as they read their childhood diaries out loud to a live audience of strangers.

One by one, each performer steps up to a microphone, flips open their diary, and spills their narrative of growing up, hormones and all. My personal favorite is a performer who showcases the pictures she once drew of herself and the crush she desperately longed for. With visions of the two one day riding horseback together and starting a family, the pictures are unrealistic only in the way a prepubescent girl can dream up.

I loved the Netflix documentary and was lucky to see a Mortified reading here in DC this fall. But what I equally love is how the series has made me think about my childhood and my relationship with my own childhood diaries. Continue reading

The Church Giggle

The Church Giggle was an expert villain. It started quiet, tiptoeing tactfully in the shadows, then struck swiftly, leaving no survivors in its wake.

I sat next to my sister, Emily, in a wooden pew, our crisp skirts folded around our knees. We had shared our moments of brief giggles during church services in the past, but this morning we were determined to behave. We would be tranquil, attentive, and wholesome. We would prove to ourselves that we were mature 20-some-year-olds that didn’t laugh at childish things.

During the first half hour of the service, Emily snorted a nasally laugh out of the blue. I reprimanded her with large eyes and a slap on the knee. “Stay strong,” I whispered, and she pulled herself together. I sighed with relief, thinking we were in the clear. But little did we know that The Church Giggle had already targeted us as victims. Continue reading

My Mother Teaches Me the Alphabet

Audrey stands in the kitchen
balancing a stack of pans between
chest and arms.
Dinner, made and gone,
everything calm except
for the
grime splattered across the counter.

“Have I ever told you what
I used to do in elementary school?”
jabbers my mother,
kind, goofy, and
lover of story-telling.

“My friend and I would run around the field at
noon chasing the boys and
once close enough we’d smack them with our
purses,
queens of the playground!”

Roaring laughter follows at the imagined
sight of mother
thwacking
unsuspecting males with a
violent pocketbook.

What a future I have set for me, if my genes are
xeroxed from hers.
Yelping with girlfriends and hitting boys:
zealot of the purse.