In my world, the one where people spontaneously burst into Michael Jackson song and dance routines and secret handshakes are an acceptable form of currency, people would come with warning labels. We could wear them printed on our tshirts or tattooed on our arms or project them like holograms in front of us whenever we catch someone giving us the eye. They’d be personal, but unfailingly honest, and you’d be able to see past the nervousness and the awkwardness and the lousy communication skills and straight to the point of a person. They’d go something like this:

Dear Potential Suitor:

This is Karyn. She’s aware of her height. She does not play basketball, or volleyball, or model. If you feel the need to discuss any of these topics in great detail or demand an explanation as to her reasons, she is probably not the girl for you. Kindly move along.

This girl is a relentless bundle of enthusiasm. She will drag you out into the night on crazy adventures and behave like a five year old in the presence of rides or costumed characters. She will narrate for your pets and coerce you into participating in cheesy holiday activities. Though you will certainly be allotted grace if you have a hard day, a mood, or an occasional issue, generally, in most parts of life, you will be expected to play along. She has the utmost respect for people who play along.

She will gladly suffer fools, but cannot stomach a snob. Your being too cool to watchthatshow/eatatthatrestaurant/dothatsillydance/hangoutwiththosepeople simply will not be accepted here. However, if you can look like an idiot without flinching, you will win her heart in moments. She loves a man who can laugh at himself.

She seems silly, this girl, a lot of the time, but she’s serious in her core, and the things that matter to her are non-negotiable. She thinks about things entirely too much, and she’ll want to tell you about them. You would do well to be the sort who will engage in truly unimportant debates without a hint of condescension. She isn’t always very good at loving her God, but the trying to is central to her being. You will have to lead her sometimes, but she will come and find you if you need her to. You will always be the second highest priority in her life, and you will be asked to help her remember to keep it that way.

There are four loves for which she will not apologize: musical theater, Disneyland, knitting, and cheesy love songs. You do not have to understand, applaud, or admire these things, but you do have to respect them, and love the part of her that loves them. If you can find it in your heart to humor her from time to time and let her show you why she loves them, she’ll return the favor.

She is not always easy to love, this girl.

There are scars in her that are difficult to look at and harder to erase. She won’t want to show them to you. She can be reckless with hearts, including yours and her own. She has a stubborn streak that will catch you off guard, and she’s sometimes prideful and often insecure. She’ll gladly address thousands of people, but be scared to death to meet your mom. She’ll hold you to a difficult standard, and at times you’ll resent her for it. She’ll defend people who anger you and it will annoy you like you wouldn’t believe. You will get very, very tired of the sound of her voice. She lacks direction, she doesn’t cook well, she hates folding laundry. She’s moody sometimes for no reason at all, and she’ll just want you to leave her alone.

This girl, though, she’ll be a lot of fun. She’ll be game for just about anything, and she’ll do everything she can to support you in whatever you choose to pursue. She’ll show up, this one, she won’t cling too hard and she’ll want you to be who you are. She’ll move mountains to make you laugh. If you can win her respect, she’ll try to make sure you always, always know you have it. She’ll let you go on and on for hours about the things you care about – she’ll try to learn about them and ask thoughtful questions. She’ll love you for your eccentricities…the parts you think are the most unlovable will likely be her favorites. She’s weirdly wired like that.

She’s a little gun shy sometimes, and a little reckless others. She’ll spook if you move to quickly and get bored if you take too long. She can’t promise she’s worth it, but she might be.

Check yes or no.

What does your warning label say?


  • Tom Serface November 6, 2009 at 8:58 am

    >I choose yes.

  • karyn November 6, 2009 at 9:24 am

    >I like you best.

  • Diane Davis November 7, 2009 at 10:45 am

    >hmmm… reading this doesn't make me a suitor, but i sure wished you lived here and we could be close friends. i really like you.

  • Leisha November 12, 2009 at 7:49 am

    >Get excited, dear friend. My warning label is coming, although there are long parts of yours (minus the Disneyland stuff) that I could pretty much copy and paste. I love you.

  • Giancarlo November 20, 2009 at 10:25 am

    >"Has trouble reading lengthy blog posts but appreciates good grammar"

  • Giancarlo November 20, 2009 at 10:25 am

    >I might also add "always allows his computer to display insecure items"

  • Josh November 20, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    >i have printed this out and posted it around portland.

  • Joy November 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    >I had a girlfriend tell me about this entry…and I must say, it was fantastic…I too get very excited about rides and characters. It can make people uncomfortable. Which would you prefer? a) An amusement park with lines.b) An amusement park where you get to skip all the lines, but its because both of your legs are in casts. You can still get on the rides though…

  • thatoneguy November 21, 2009 at 11:57 am

    >Check yes or no? Seems a little forward for a warning label 🙂

  • karyn November 21, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    >Diane- I would love that. I like you quite a bit too.Leisha- I got yours and love it… longer response soon.Mike- insecure items = LOL exclamation pointJosh- Thank you, I think.Joy- We should def. find some rides to ride. 🙂 If we're at Disneyland, I'm actually pretty good at avoiding lines without being injured, but just in general, I'd rather wait in line than be all broken. Or just team up with someone else who happens to be injured. Thanks for blog visiting!Aaron- I've stuck with that strategy since second grade. No sense abandoning it now. 🙂

  • Laura Thurston July 11, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Oh, were you nervous about meeting ME? I knew you were the one for Noel when I first met you. (at my house). You two seemed so comfortable around each other.