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What is a superfan? [so͞opərfan} NOUN- “A person who has an extreme or obsessive admiration for a particular person or thing.”

Something you may not know about me – I have superfans. That’s right. Three of them. Don’t laugh. Yes. I can count them on one hand, but they are mine damn it. I may not be a Hollywood celebrity, an award-winning author or totes famous…yet, but I have three kick ass ladies who love the stuffing out of me, and I couldn’t be more honored. Shout out to Shawnette, Elaine, and Jenna. You ladies rock my world with your love and support aimed at a squirt of a guy sitting in a cold hotel lobby making friends with the odd-colored dust bunnies. Do you want to know a super-duper secret? I’ve had a love affair with them for two years and they’ve never failed to entertain me.

As I hear the screams from around the corner, “Emergency! We have places to be and celebrities to attack.” The drama starts like a scene from an 80s movie. Picture a group of ladies swarming the mall record store, fighting to get the next big album to hit the Sam Goody new release rack, and you can imagine what I’m describing. My mission is simple, do my job. Do it good and hard and do it right until the job is done. I’m a man beast with the right sized tool and the stamina to not stop. I pulled and poked at every nook and cranny until I found just the right fit to their many holes. They brought the batteries, spray lube and extra attachments and I brought the skill set. It seemed like an eternity to perform. I gave it a couple good screws, lots of grunting, one long push and we received the climax of a fairy tale ending. What did I get for all my hard work? I got a five-star review, high fives and two cigarettes to calm my nerves. Hell yes! Now get your mind out of the gutter. It’s not that type of hotel. We were putting batteries in a stubborn toy dart gun.

It was pure magic, but the magic didn’t end there. This year my superfans came back again for Wizard World New Orleans and the unthinkable happened. They introduced me to my one and only Hollywood pass, my dream lover, my second husband, my bromance, and just an all around sweet as hell guy; Matt Ryan. My boyfriend is aware of the arrangement I have with the cosmos when it comes to sexy Matt Ryan. Yes. THE Matt Ryan from film and TV. The devil himself was in my house and I was delightfully addicted to his charm.

Now most people may not believe I met Mr. Hotty-Totty Matt Ryan but it’s all true, and my superfans will back me up. My superfans and I are now connected through the Rensverse and with one yell we stand. Out of the darkness we pull the light. Out of the light we spark the beginning of creation itself. I’m the storyteller with no limits and they are the inventors of our domination. They create fantastic T-shirts, chap sticks, clicky pens, life-sized cardboard cut-outs, sticky notes that don’t stick, those weird little buttons that prick you but never work, and every other amazing contraption of super awesomeness - all with Matt Ryan’s face splashed across them. Feel our power! Matt knows the superfans on sight and he knows me as his friendly New Orleans super concierge. Hell, maybe he’ll play me in a Netflix original series one day. Dreams can happen, but until then, I’d be happy just throwing back a few over good conversations.

The thing I’m getting at is this, having superfans is definitely all that and a bag of peanuts. I'm lucky enough to get three new friends that only want the best for me. I get advice, hugs, laughter, happy tears, yummy chocolate, and so much more. I get to not be that ignored concierge sitting in a cold lobby smiling awkwardly at the wall. For one brief moment in my short life, they allowed me to feel like a superhero. Matt Ryan may be the delicious lickable whipped topping but my new superfans are the cherry on top. For all the kind smiles they give, it is given back ten-fold. One could say, I’m their biggest superfan.

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Life brings you joy and sadness in the most unexpected of ways. How we handle love and loss is different for everyone. The game will play out and the pieces will move across the board whether you want them to or not. This is the story of love, loss and critters. The story begins with Joxer the Mighty, a very stubborn chihuahua, and ends with a very sad guest appearance.

Joxer was my little buddy, my ankle biter and my ride or die travel pal. He didn’t give a shit about what anybody thought about his life and less about their opinions. He would spread his cheeks and lick his butthole in the middle of a crowded room like a rock star porn king or violently hump his plush elephant in a voyeuristic nature just to give you a penny peek show. The only thing he asked for was a standing ovation. Joxer was a pudgy little fella, brown with white spots and a bright red tongue. We all face challenges in life and his was only having one lung. My older brother accidentally crushed him when he was a puppy. He never allowed his lack of a lung to slow him down. Joxer was a stubborn bastard. I miss him every day.

As we age, our gas tanks run low and his was almost on empty. I was mentally prepared for when his engine would stop. It happened one weekend while visiting my parents. I looked away for only a moment and he snuck away like a silent ninja. He could barely walk, yet he found enough strength to run away. My best guess was that he dashed into the woods, used the Jedi force to disappear and left only his dog collar behind. He chose when he wanted to die and didn’t want anyone to see him do it. I searched for an entire day, but I knew in my heart that he was gone. I was not upset. I was happy that he went out on his own terms. I will always cherish our adventures together. We lived in the mountains of Birmingham, Alabama and hiked to a waterfall. We lived in Saint Cloud, Minnesota where he bravely leapt into a snow drift head-first without knowing what snow was. There were dozens of moments like these, all were more amazing than the next. He was fearless. He walked into the woods for his last adventure and I wasn’t invited. He had lived a full life and I understood that. Why did I not cry my eyes out when he left this world? I honestly don’t know. Maybe because I knew he was happy, at peace, and adored by all who remember him.

To this day, I often wonder why I didn’t cry. Was I broken? Was I heartless? No. I get sad when I accidently cut a lizard in half with my weed eater so that’s not it. The human heart doesn’t allow you to choose your emotions, it chooses them for you. Recently, a young cat died in my arms. I found her lying in my yard and struggling to breath. I picked her up, she purred, and then Baby Kitty reached up to me with her small white paw. I teared up. She smiled big before her soul left for kitty heaven. Was she waiting for a kind face before passing on? There was no time to save her. All I could do was provide comfort, a smile and lightly stroke her fur. She was a stray kitty with no name, no family and no one there but me. I was sad and cried often for days. This little kitty was scared and dying, but not alone at the end. Baby Kitty was at peace and took her last breath in my hands. I buried her with a handful of wildflowers and a prayer. I was heartbroken for this little creature that I had seen around the house twice, no relationship with, no years of memories and no grand adventures. Why can I not stop crying? Seriously, what the fart! Am I broken?

I wonder, is it better to go out like a baller, like Joxer, or sink gently into the abyss with a stranger holding your paw, like Baby Kitty? I want both. Can I have both? I’d rather be prepared for death than have death thrust upon me. I want someone there to hold my hand, hug me and then wave goodbye as I walk into the woods. I’m Joxer. I’m Baby Kitty. I have many years behind me, and many left ahead of me. I have lived a full life. I have been in this world a very short time. I will leave with an annoyed sigh and my paw high in the air.

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Updated: Jan 16, 2020

The little things in life are what I obsess over. The entire planet could be burning down around me and I wouldn’t have a care in the world. However, move my little spiral notebook on the corner of my desk by an inch, and my head will explode. I will spear you with a rusty nail in the eyeball if you move my shit out of place. You’ve been warned. I will hunt you to the ends of the world if you turn the cans in my cupboard the wrong way and I make no reservations about my utter hate for this. Touch my food on my plate and I will devour your soul. Does that food look delicious? Let’s see how delicious it is when I drive a fork through your hand and give it a couple good hard deep twists. And don’t get me started on serving me runny eggs. I will vomit from the kitchen to your bed while simultaneously cursing you out in ten languages. It will be a horror story that your grandchildren will pass on to their children.

A name is a simple little thing, right? It’s small but has huge power. It has weight and a certain brevity. It lives on long after the physical body is gone. Do you think people calling me Ms. Ren bothers me? Not in the least. How does this one little thing not bother me, when I wish to rain down death on my enemies for every other small injustice? Because Ms. Ren was born the day I was, and I’ve learned to accept my inner woman. She is a sexy, sultry, Hispanic woman who can convince a priest to sin. “Oh Pappi, nooosss, but I chot other options to wet chour lips” (giggle giggle). She is my alter ego, a strong sassy elderly black woman. She will get everything she desires over the phone with a quick “You need Jesus” or a pointed church going, bible thumping, “God bless you, baby”. I call her Ms. Ena when asked, but my real friends know it’s Ms. Ren. She is a loving, thick as stew accented Southern cowbell, who says “Yonder” and “Over there a tick”. She will have a rodeo stud begging for forgiveness for speaking the wrong way to such a classy, diamonds only lady.

My voice has been soft and light all my life. I was often mistaken for a woman over the phone, through a fast food speaker or even an email. I guess most people think Ren is a girl’s only name. It’s not. Here is your bit of schoolin’ for the day. Wren is used for girls and Ren is used for boys. Thank you Kylo Ren for making my name otherworldly awesome. I have a kick ass name, and I own it. I use it like a superpower, and I make no excuses for bending it to my will. You want me to be a lady? I’ll be a lady, if it helps you to be nicer to me on the phone or stops you from being an asshole to the next person I transfer you to.

The little things in life can be aggravating, stressful and bring you down. Don’t let them. Smile, laugh, and move forward. Be the best version of yourself every day. If I had known this little secret as a kid maybe I wouldn’t be so obsessive compulsive now as an adult. The little things in life are important and they matter. I’m not discounting them but I’m looking at them in a new light. I’m getting a little better at not freaking out when my keys are not in my wooden giraffe bowl, or my shoes are not next to each other, or my T-shirts are folded instead of rolled, or when the dogs fart, or when Josh uses wire hangers for my dress slacks. No wire hangers! Calm down Ren. Breath. If you, the reader, look closer at the little things in your life, maybe you’ll find a little piece of Ms. Ren in yourself. Listen to her. Learn from her. Love her. You will be a better person for it. That’s what I call… Renning.

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