Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Jessica's Attempt to Win Someone's Heart: A Short Story

I used to love this one boy. I mean, really love him. So much that I was willing to push aside my natural tendency to treat all boys like "buddies," especially boys that I Like. (It's a defense mechanism because I'm lame.) I was determined to win this boy's heart, so after establishing a friendship, I began to take measures some might classify as a little desperate to try and get him to date me.

I wrote him a love poem. One of the lines in the poem stated that he had "the cutest derriere." (For those of you who don't know what that is, it's his butt. He didn't know what it meant either, which made what should have been a cute moment really awkward.) The poem won his laughter, but not his heart.

I invited him over to my empty apartment to watch a show we mutually enjoyed. I turned the lights down and wore my best lip gloss and glanced at him flirtatiously all throughout the show. I think he thought I had a fever or something.

I asked him on a date. I did so by writing my invite on a very long, VERY thin piece of paper, then wrapping that paper around the wheel of a dental-floss container that I had dissected. He read my message by pulling it out of the floss slot. He came on the date, and it was fun, but still no sparks.

I enlisted the help of my boy-crazy and bold roommate, Emily, to help me capture his attention. We all went out one night, and Emily succeeded in getting the boy to sit in the front seat of the car with me and she even planted the idea of he and I dating in the conversation in almost a subtle way. Just when I started to feel those wonderful butterflies that often signal MUTUAL attraction exists, my dear roommate asked the boy if lesbians turned him on and why. It killed the mood and the butterflies.

After all this, I probably should have just gotten the hint that He Just Wasn't That Into Me. But I really, really loved him, enough to sacrifice my pride over and over again. I was lamenting to a good friend named Megan one evening about how this boy wasn't coming around, and she convinced me to make one last grand gesture. She reminded me that the way to many boys' hearts is through their stomachs. With her help, I concocted a plan. We would wake up at the crack of dawn to make homemade cinnamon rolls. (Those of you who know my aversion to early mornings will recognize what a sacrifice this took on my part.) We would take the still-hot-from-the-oven pastries to his apartment, wake him from his slumber and then let the mixture of their deliciousness and my awesomeness finally open his eyes to his undeniable love for me and then he and I would live Happily Ever After.

The plan started off ok. I didn't wake up quite in time, so Megan (because she was so wonderful) started the cinnamon rolls without me. She accompanied me to the apartment complex where the boy lived and sent me to his door after bolstering my confidence that this plan was SURE to work! I excitedly marched up to his door, balanced the plate of cinnamon rolls on one arm, and rang his doorbell. Then I waited in giddy anticipation. A (long) minute passed...and nothing. I let out the breath I had been holding and rang the doorbell again, this time accompanied by a knock. ... still nothing. One last try, then I waited with my heart pounding and the steam from the cinnamon rolls wafting around me. Still nothing.

All that planning, and he wasn't even there to answer the door! I sadly tried to decide what to do. Should I come back that afternoon and give him the cold, but still delicious cinnamon rolls? Should I leave them on his doorstep with a note?

I probably should have done either one of those. Instead, I took the cinnamon rolls with me back to Megan's car and we took them to a friend's apartment and I ate most of them myself. (This type of reaction is why I'm chubby AND why I'm still single.)

My quest for the boy's heart ended that day. I drowned all my sorrows in a pan of cinnamon rolls and a tall glass of cold milk and then moved on. I guess an ending in which my grand gesture prompted exactly the reaction I wanted would have been nice, but it sure wouldn't have been as entertaining!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I've had writer's block or something the last few weeks, but hopefully it will end and I can keep writing these stories. Because while I am hopeful that you readers out there are entertained by them, honestly I think I benefit the most because dang it, my life is kind of hilarious and I love remembering and recording all this stuff!

Anyway, just now I was re-reading my stories and I realized I made a false claim at the end of my "Love is in the Air (Sort Of)" post. I stated that getting accidently hit in the boob was the most action I've ever had and that (sadly) isn't true. Why is that sad? you may ask. Well, here's the tale so you will know the answer...

I have this friend, I'll call him Foster. Because that's his name. We've known each other since 7th grade, and we've been friends since high school. Foster is the loudest and most un-filtered human being I've ever known. He says things that would normally be considered socially innapropriate and he says them very loudly. To be fair, he's actually calmed down a lot since he got married a few years ago, but even now he's crazy and loud.

My friendship with Foster is built on a strange foundation. Instead of becoming close through lots of soul-bearing conversations (as is the case with most of my other dear friends), we became close through a shared love of innapropriate humor and teasing each other. I used to call Foster names and punch him in the arm and laugh at him a lot, and in return he would make fun of me and smack me and shove me to the ground in public a lot. Sounds fun, right? (In a totally twisted way, it really was.)

So, the first summer after freshman year at college, all of us home-town friends were back home in Vancouver. We were so happy to be reunited again and spent almost every night and/or day together when work and other obligations didn't get in the way. Our friends tended to go through silly phases, like mooning phases, or capture the flag phases, or T.P'ing phases, etc. One week, the boys went through a phase called the "molesting each other for fun" phase which involved thwacking each other really hard in the nuts and then laughing hysterically while exclaiming, "Just checking for balls!" It was up there with such awesome pranks like "what's the capitol of Bangladesh" (Bangcok). Us girls would watch them do this to each other and roll our eyes at their immature senses of humor, but we knew boys would be boys and mostly just ignored their behavior.

The Portland area used to have church dances every Friday and our little gang attended every single dance. I always knew I needed to be on guard at these dances because for some reason Foster would get extra hyper and I was twice as likely as usual to end up with a bruise on my arm from a friendly punch or to be shoved to the ground in a make-believe mosh pit. One night, we were at a dance and I had watched the boys get more and more silly, but so far they had just been bugging each other and had left us girls out of it. At one point, my girl friends had all left me to go to the bathroom or something and I was left standing alone in the church gym. I was watching everyone gyrate on the dance floor when someone caught my eye. That someone was Foster. He was standing 20 or 30 feet away from me and when we made eye contact, he got an evil little grin on his face. He suddenly SPRINTED towards me and all I had time to do was brace myself for his impact (I was sure I was about to get thrown to the floor.) At the last second, Foster veered to my right and reached out with his hand and SLAPPED ME ON MY CROTCH.

He circled around me laughing hysterically while I picked my jaw up off the ground. I was shocked for 2 seconds and then I was PISSED. "Foster!!! What the HELL do you think you're doing?????" I screamed. "Oh, you know...Just Checking For Balls!" He yelled and then ran away obviously proud of himself.

I went out to the foyer to calm myself down and met my friend Ryan (yes, the same guy from the infamous Master story) who was out there avoiding girl drama or something. I let him vent for a minute and then thought it was my turn to vent and receive a little pity and TLC in return. When I told him what had happened, I fully expected him to be outraged at Foster and maybe even go defend my honor or something. Instead, Ryan started laughing. He laughed for a really long time. "Seriously?!" I asked him. "If that had happened to any other girl, you would totally go all Valiant Protector on her and be upset on her behalf." "But Jessica, it's FOSTER. And he did it to YOU. So c'mon, that makes it funny!"

Oh brother. Well, relatively soon I did calm down and while I do not excuse Foster's behavior that night even now, I do recognize that something that bizarre would only happen to me and that it makes for a pretty crazy story. It also happens to be the most action I've ever gotten from a boy.

See? I told you it was sad. (and also a little hilarious.)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Falling Down Cont'd

3. My public speaking class at BYU had let out 10 minutes early, and as I was leaving the building I saw my cousin Jason at the bottom of the stairs. I called his name and walked down to the second-to-last step to meet him and talk. We spoke of life and love and religion all in the span of 10 minutes (ok, maybe the conversation wasn't that deep, but whatever, I was glad to have run into him.) As classes let out, the building was swarmed with hundreds of BYU Co-eds. Jason and I made plans to meet up and hang out another day and then I started to say goodbye. Simultaneously, I stepped down the last two steps and then started to walk towards the doors to leave. However, I had miscalculated and was actually on the FOURTH-to-last step while I was talking to Jason, so when I thought I was on the ground, I actually still had 2 steps to go. I fell down those steps. Really hard. So hard, that I couldn't move for a minute because I couldn't really breathe. I groaned after a few seconds and several cute boys bent down to ask if I was ok and help me to my feet. Jason, being the nice cousin he is, couldn't offer to help me because he was laughing too hard to talk. I glanced around and saw maybe 300 people staring at me with expressions ranging from pity to amusement. I raced out of the building red-faced and with a slight limp. After a self-exam, I found no bruises except to my poor little ego. I've since tried really hard to look in front of me and nowhere else until I reach the bottoms of staircases in tact. So, if you ever see me and want to talk, but I'm walking up or down stairs, could you do me a solid and just wait until I have even ground beneath me? My ego thanks you.

4. My best friend (Mel) is married to a boy (Nick) whose family lives nearby. He has two sisters who are young single adults. They befriended a group of boys I called the "Pest Boys" this last summer. There were 4 of them ranging in age from 18 to 23 and they lived here to sell Pest Control to the not-so-receptive residents of Vancouver and Portland. I met them at a church activity and found them to be friendly, engaging, and just overall cute boys.

Nick's parent's decided to throw a barbeque in July and invited all their children + spouses + boyfriends + regular friends + me and the Pest Boys. There were about 20 people in attendance altogether. We were gathered in the backyard enjoying the sun, games, good food and good company. I had a pleasant time talking to everyone, and especially getting to know those cute (although too young for me) boys better.

Mel and I finished our food and stood to take our plates inside. My plate was overflowing with barbeque waste...the sauce-covered chicken bones, uneaten baked beans, etc. As I followed Mel towards the back door, I glanced to my left and got distracted by Nick's cute baby neice who was sitting on someones lap.

We learned in my last post that I don't do well with "glancing and walking" at the same time, and this was no exception. Before I go on, I've drawn up a crude sketch of the scene so you can really have a good mental picture of this:

The x's roughly represent where everyone was located in the backyard, and the red x in the middle is me.

As I walked forward, I didn't see the small, concrete step in front of me thanks to my distraction. Then suddenly my mind went all slow-motion-y on me. I slammed to my knees and desperately tried to hang on to my dirty plate, but concentrating on that instead of on catching myself turned out to be a mistake. My upper body then flew forward and I face-planted it. Luckily, my face was protected from the concrete by my plate of dirty food that I had hung on so tightly to.

I layed in stunned silence for a few seconds while time sped back up to normal, and then started to pick myself up. I studiously avoided eye contact with all the people there who were asking me if I was alright, instead focusing very hard on gathering all my scattered chicken bones. Mel, bless her little heart, was NOT offering help or acting concerned, but instead running inside to try and hide her loud and uncontrollable fit of laughter. I reassured everyone I was "fine, just fine", and hurried inside after Mel, wiping BBQ sauce and baked beans off of my face the whole way.

Once inside, I started laughing along with Mel about what an idiot I had just made of myself. As we verbally replayed my latest moment of grace and glory, Mel told me that she was so glad I had cried out or she would have completely missed it.

"What?" I asked. "What are you talking about?"

"You know, when you yelled. I had my back turned to you and wouldn't have looked back to see you fall on your face if you hadn't yelled."

I did not know what she was talking about and asked for clarification. Apparently as I was falling to my knees, I yelled out very loudly, "OH NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!" This, combined with my prime spot smack-dab in the middle of the patio where EVERYONE in the backyard had an unobstructed view, ensured that not one person, including all 4 of the cute Pest Boys, missed out on my little accident.

Of course.

Of course it was the loud chubby girl who fell and not one of the cute, dainty girls in attendance. Of course she was right in the middle of the yard. Of course she was holding a plate full of messy food that got all over her shirt and face when she fell. Of course her best friend did nothing to help her and instead laughed long and loud at her predicament. And OF COURSE, the girl who fell couldn't do it quietly, but unconsciously yelled out "OH NO" so that her humiliation would be utterly complete.

My fall was so spectacular that Nick's dad still mentions it every single time I go to their house, and it's been 4 months.

When I was younger, I dreamt of being famous one day. I'm learning now that I may have to settle for infamy instead.

(I wanted to show you just how hard I fell, so I'm including a picture of how my knee looked about a week after the barbeque)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Middle Name... NOT Graceful. I fall down kind-of a lot. And it's usually kind-of in a public place. And it's often in front of kind-of hot boys. And I should kind-of be ashamed to talk about it, but I'm not. Not even kind-of. Here are the hall-of-famers:

1. I was a junior in high school and I was at my first formal dance with a really good friend (who I may or may not have had a teeny-beeny crush on). I had spent all day primping and priming for my date. My dress was shiny and my hair was elegant. My shoes were high-heeled and they were getting very broken in, since my date and I were dancing machines!

The night was going perfectly and I was feeling footloose and fancy-free, when Ice Ice Baby began to blare through the speakers. Here was the PERFECT opportunity to show off all my awesome "look how Black I can dance even though I'm a nerdy white girl from Vancouver" moves I had learned recently. (Probably at church dances, which just proves how "Black" the moves actually were.) With my friends rooting me on, I got more and more into the dancing when suddenly, I accidently stepped on the side of my right foot and down I butt all the way to the floor. I sat there for a minute assessing the damage, with my skirt billowed out gracefully around me. Then I looked up to see my date staring down at me with a perplexed look on his face. He had wandered away to greet some old friends and missed my little display of grace on the dancefloor.

"What the heck are you doing??" he asked.

"Oh, you know, I just got tired and decided it would be a good idea to sit on the dirty floor surrounded by people who may trample me in my beautiful dress just for fun," I snarkily replied in my head.

But what came out of my mouth was nothing - I just shrugged and held out my hand for him to help me up. I took a quick trip around the dance floor to walk off the pain and felt ok enough to finish out the night.

After the dance, my date was hosting a dessert party for our group of friends so I had to go with him to the store to buy ice-cream. By the time we reached the register, I had a noticeable limp but insisted that I was all right. We went to his house and had dessert, and while I had fun, it was slightly marred by the throbbing pain in my ankle that was growing steadily more pronounced.

I had dreamed of the doorstep scene since I received my invite to the dance. At the very least I expected him to enthusiastically tell me that I was the best date he'd ever been on and that he would be asking me out again for sure. I had NOT pictured him helping me out of his mini-van and then awkwardly supporting my weight while I shuffle-hopped to my door. He quickly thanked me and then practically ran back to his van.

The next day was a Sunday and I went to church on crutches, as my ankle had swollen to twice its size. So my embarrassment was re-lived and multiplied while I explained to members of my congregation (including my date's parents) that no, my date was not in any way at fault for my bum ankle and in fact I had injured myself by dancing too aggressively to a Vanilla Ice song.

My first real dance/date...the stuff dreams are made of. (Nevermind that the dreams are the kind where you go to school naked on accident.)


2. The entrance hall of my high school was the gathering place for all the cliques before and after school each day. For some reason, the students congregated in their small groups along the edges of the "space" and left the center clear. One day, during my math class, which was the last period of the day, I got into a small water fight with a friend of mine named Matt. He splashed me right before the bell rang and so he left class with an air of triumph as I brushed water out of my eyes, unable to retaliate. When I left the classroom a few minutes later, I saw my friend standing with his usual group of friends (many of whom were... you guessed it! Hot Boys).

"Hooray! Matt THINKS he won, but here's my chance to show him," I thought gleefully. I strolled nonchalantly up to the group of 10 or so boys and shoved Matt from behind and then casually walked away. As I reached the center of "no-man's land," I peeked over my shoulder to see Matt's reaction.

I should make it clear that there were several groups of my peers surrounding the center of the hall. In groups of 5-15, they totalled maybe 100 sets of eyeballs.

While I can walk and chew gum at the same time, I learned on that day that I can NOT walk and look over my shoulder at the same time. Just as I made eye contact with Matt, I lost my footing and BIFFED it. I'm talking all-four-major-limbs-sprawled across-the-tile-floor biffed it. I scrambled to my feet and then started laughing hysterically. Like literally, I was feeling a little hysterical. I was recovering from a cold so my throat was raw and my laugh came out as a loud honking noise that echoed around the great hallway. Which was great, since it drew the attention of the few people who did not see me fall and allowed my shame to be complete.

So before I fell on my face and then ran away honking like a goose, there were a few glorious seconds in which I thought I had won the last battle and therefore the war with Matt. But as is usual, I managed to accidently sabatouge my own efforts by ruining a perfectly respectable attack with my nerdiness. Through no effort on his part, Matt was the winner that day after all.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Love is In the Air (Sort Of)

I’ve noticed this last year that every time a season changes, my thoughts turn to True Love. Summer nights leave me wishing for someone to lie next to in a grassy field, star-gazing and talking the night away together. Spring mornings get me fantasizing about walking hand-in-hand with some fabulous guy, down a path lined with beautiful flowering trees and bushes, just soaking in the perfumed air. Who doesn’t love the idea of snuggling in front of a delightful fire while the weather outside is frightful, and kissing good night and holding someone tight before heading back into the storm? (That’s right, go ahead and Let it Snow -- as long as I’ve got a man to keep me warm!)

Fall is the most recent season to descend, and its arrival was accompanied by heavy rain showers over the weekend. The rain smells so good here and it feels nice too, since the temperature hasn’t plummeted quite yet. I’ve found myself outside this week, tasting the rain and imagining my future Prince Charming spinning me in circles and then planting a big one on my lips while the rain pours down on us.

Naturally, I can’t think of future love without reviewing past loves. Well, “likes” anyway. My experience with relationships is limited, but (of course) bizarre and sometimes hilarious. From pining over someone else only to be rejected, to being the object of someone else’s affections, I have stories galore. And so here’s one of many.

It was my freshman year at BYU, sometime between getting a pen stuck in my hair and wetting my pants in the lobby of my dorm. There was A Boy. He was tall, with brown hair and beautiful gray-blue eyes that reminded me of hematite:

This boy was really goofy, but fun to talk to and I found myself drawn to him. Unfortunately, he found himself drawn to my roommate. And so I sat back and watched as they hung out together night after night, putting on a brave face for my roommate’s sake, but secretly screaming into my pillow in jealous fits after she’d leave.

One night, I went with a large group of friends to a school dance. I noticed as we walked home afterwards that The Boy was holding my roommate’s hand. The whole group discussed going out for ice cream, but after we reached the dorms everyone scattered except for The Boy, The Roommate, and me. I should have gracefully bowed out at this point, but I really did want ice cream and also I think some part of me was a glutton for punishment and refused to leave just because it was an awkward situation. Little did I know how much more awkward it was about to get…

My roommate went up to our room to get her purse, which left The Boy and I alone together for a few minutes. As soon as she was out of sight, he, without preamble, made a request from me. Apparently after I spotted the two of them holding hands, my roommate had yanked her hand away and furiously whispered for him not to make any moves on her, especially in front of me. He liked her a lot and demanded an explanation for why he couldn’t demonstrate his affection.

To my horror, The Boy informed me that my roommate had revealed my burning lust for him and declared that out of loyalty to me, there would be no more hold-handing or anything else in the near future. After explaining her position to me, he proceeded to beg me to “release my hold” and give him permission to kiss her. I was speechless (and mortified). I finally stuttered that I didn’t care what they did and that he should go ahead and have his way with her if he wanted, and to take me out of the equation.

For obvious reasons, I no longer had any desire to go out to ice cream, but when I tried to excuse myself, the boy started to have a conniption fit. If I didn’t go, then my roommate would know he had tattled on her in order to get my permission to make his move on her, and then she would be very angry, and then he would get rejected when he went in for the kill. He begged me to go with them for ice cream and to pretend our conversation had never taken place. I still don’t know why (except for the whole “I’m a glutton for punishment” thing), but I agreed to go along and attempted to act normal and lighthearted for the rest of the evening. It was very awkward.

Well, his plan worked and after that night, The Boy got to hold hands with and kiss my roommate without any interference on my part. For various reasons, my roommate eventually decided she was no longer interested in him and during their dreaded DTR informed him that there was actually no relationship to define and there never would be.

I didn’t know the break-up had happened, and so I was confused when The Boy called our room the next day and asked specifically for me. He had me meet him in the parking lot outside of our dorm buildings, and then we somehow ended up sitting in his truck for over an hour while he lamented his failed relationship with my roommate. He asked for advice, grilled me to try and gain insight into my roommates’ head, and then there was a lot of rambling about how frustrating love and life could be in general. I mostly just listened while he carried on and cried like a baby. (Seriously, there were small sobs and a steady stream of tears falling down his cheeks.) The conversation was beneficial for both of us, as he got to vent to someone who knew the situation, and I got to see what a wiener the kid was so that I could finally end any lingering feelings of attraction to him. Win-win.

After the crying/venting session ended, we both got out of the truck and stood on the sidewalk facing each other. The conversation had been quite an ordeal, and apparently The Boy felt that a normal goodbye would not suffice. He thanked me for my time and attention, and then gave me a hug. He was not the hugging type, and there was an immediate air of awkwardness afterwards. In order to conquer the awkwardness, he reached out with his right hand to smack me on the shoulder, “buddy” style. Well, I thought our farewell was complete and so I had started to turn around so I could walk away when he reached to hit me. Because of this, his open palm smacked me square in the right boob. I quickly decided to ignore the botched move and turned the rest of the way around and began to walk away. I made it about 5 steps and then heard, “Uhh, Oliver?” (That’s what he had called me since the beginning of our friendship.) “Yeah?” I responded. “Um…I was aiming for your shoulder.” “Yeah, I figured. Have a good day.” And then I walked away laughing while he stood there red-faced.

Isn’t that just so typical? The most action I’ve ever gotten is from a crybaby boy who was in love with my roommate and who didn’t enjoy the boob-touching at all.

Someday, my prince will come. (And HE’LL make inappropriate moves on me on purpose, and we'll both enjoy it, dang it!)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Mel + Me = Awesome

I remember being really surprised when I first went to BYU by the amount of people who declared how much they hated their high school experiences. They all complained about pettiness and immaturity and boredom and torture they suffered through for four long years. I couldn’t believe it, because I absolutely ADORED high school. Oh sure, it wasn’t all great. I went through a lot of the normal “finding yourself” crap that 14-18 year olds do. And sometimes my classes were stressful, and sometimes I had to deal with people drama, but overall 1997-2001 were some of the best years of my life. I was in a perma-stage of ugly-duckliness and I tended to be loud and way nerdy. But I’ve never loved myself more or had more confidence than in my high school years. And I had amazing friends from all walks of life and from every school clique that existed.

I look back at my Senior year with particular fondness. I knew everyone, my friendships were firmly established, and my teachers all loved me so I could relax and really have fun with all my school projects. (Oh, who am I kidding? I always had fun with school projects. Maybe I’ll dedicate a post to that topic another day.) Anyways, my favorite teachers were Tad and Wag. They team-taught our English and CWP (contemporary world problems) block class. One of our major graded projects that year was to put together a music video to any song of our choice. I have no idea what we were supposed to learn from this project, but I threw myself into doing it wholeheartedly anyways.

Mel and I had that class together, and as usual we made sure we were on the same team and took over the entire project. We picked the song and came up with the concepts and then just bossed the rest of our group into doing what we wanted. We chose “What the World Needs Now” as our song, and our idea was to show random acts of love all over the school. We made our group members run up to random kids and give them hugs in the hallways. We secretly videotaped all of the “famous” couples in our grade. We filmed a shot of our two friends, Foster and Trent, awkwardly running towards each other in “slow motion” and finally meeting up in a totally homoerotic embrace. Then after compiling all that golden footage, the best idea of all came to Mel and I. I don’t really remember who came up with the original idea, but no matter because we both took it and ran with it.

Our school had a huge field outside between the parking lot and the middle school next door. The field was often muddy since we live in the good old Northwest, where it rains 8 ½ months per year. It had rained the whole day we were filming our music video, so the field was freshly muddy. We decided it was A GREAT IDEA to put on our gym clothes and film the two of us getting into a mud-wrestling match and then hugging and making up afterwards. The idea sounds good right? Funny and maybe even a little bit hot to watch? Um, yeah-- if you believe that’s how it turned out then you don’t know me at all AND you obviously haven’t read any of my previous posts on this blog.

Let me set up the scene completely for you. Mel and I did not have cute little shorts and cute tight t-shirts for P.E. Instead, we both wore oversized men’s t-shirts and gross baggy sweat pants. Mine were pukish yellow and also a teensy bit MC-Hammerpants’ shaped if I recall correctly. Also Mel and I, although very cute girls, were far from the “cheerleader” type girls in our grade. We were both pasty white and slightly plump. So instead of the fantasy-like scene you may envision when you hear “girls” and “mud wrestling,” we were just two crazy, badly dressed, fattish girls rolling and sliding around looking like idiots throwing mud at each other.

The kicker to all of this is that our school was built on what used to be farm land. A farm with a lot of cows apparently, if the smell that wafted up from the ground with each fresh rain was any indication. After the filming was completed, we had to trudge through the entire school to get back to the locker rooms and change. We tracked poop-mud everywhere, and you should have SEEN the looks and wrinkled noses aimed in our direction as we took our walk of shame. We hosed ourselves down, changed into our normal clothes and then went back to class feeling slightly embarrassed about the smell, but otherwise still confident in the genius of the whole mud wrestling concept.

The real shame didn’t come until later. Another girl in our group did the editing of the music video and we didn’t see the final project until it aired in front of the entire class. It all started off well and good with our peers laughing and oohing and aahing at all the hugging and famous-couple-secret-shots. We eagerly awaited the fun reactions that were sure to be evoked by our prize scene.

But instead of robust laughter and hoots and hollers, the most awkward silence I’ve ever had to endure settled over the classroom while everyone witnessed our poop-mud escapade. I glanced around and saw dropped jaws and looks that clearly said “those girls are retarded!” Mel and I were stooped as low as we could get in our chairs without falling onto the ground by the end of the video. After it was over, we rushed to take it out of the VCR and prayed that no one would ever speak of it again.

Well, as far as I know, no one did except us. Typically, it didn’t take us very long to see the huge amounts of humor in the situation. But despite the tears of laughter we experience each time we relive the tale, we can’t help but to also cringe a little and maybe wish that we had, just that once, let the rest of our group come up with the ideas.

Oh, there’s also a small epilogue to this story. (You’ll appreciate that, Robbie). Mel never took her poop-mud clothes out of her gym locker that day. A week later she was summoned by our nazi gym teacher to the locker room office. The teacher asked if Mel’s locker was the one from which the horrible stench was emanating. Mel confirmed that it was indeed and had to endure a long, long lecture full of yelling and threats of detention while all the girls in the locker room looked on. She walked back to her locker, shoulders hunched and head down, took the horrible clothes out and then made a final walk of shame out to the school dumpster where she unceremoniously dumped them. The clothes are long gone, but our inner scars from the entire incident will remain indefinitely. Poetic, isn’t it?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Peeing Epic, the Conclusion (for now)

After the incident in the dorms my freshman year, peeing my pants really did start to occur with less frequency. I thought it was a sign I was becoming a real live adult. Oh, there were a few minor incidents here and there, but no full-on, wet pants in a public place. It’s been seven years since then, and compared to my earlier years, I’ve mostly managed to keep my bladder under control. Then this last May, the streak ended (or started up again, depending how you look at it.) I guess I became overconfident.

It was a Thursday, and at about 6:00 p.m., my bladder gently let me know that it needed some relief. The call for a toilet was mild, and I needed to get some stuff done so I ignored the warning. Over the course of the evening, my bladder would intermittently remind me it needed some attention, but I'd get distracted or there wouldn't be a bathroom nearby so I kept putting off the peeing. On Thursday nights, I occasionally drive 30 minutes south of my house to attend institute with a good friend. It lasts an hour and a half. That night after institute, my friend invited me to come to Wendy’s for a late dinner. I accepted the invitation, and after we ate and parted ways, I walked out to my car and remembered my need to pee again for like the fifth time. I was already outside of the restaurant and decided I'd just go at home (because it was way too inconvenient to walk 27 steps back to the Wendy’s bathroom!)

Well, on the way home I decided that I wanted go to my tanning salon really fast before it closed. By this time it was 9:30 and the salon closed at 10. I sped there as fast as I could and ran through the doors at 9:50 -- just in the nick of time. I knew that I should go pee but the owners were obviously ready to close up shop, and I felt bad delaying them anymore than I already was just by getting there so late. I decided to suck it up and hold my bladder for 15 more minutes. (Because what's 15 minutes when you've already been waiting 4 hours?) So I went into the little room with my favorite tanning bed, and one of the owners started the countdown timer which meant I had 3 minutes to undress, slather myself with lotion and get my i-pod ready before the cancer rays turned on.

While I was putting on the special tanning lotion, I realized that the need to pee was now urgent, but that stupid timer had started and I couldn’t waste precious tanning time just to get a little physical relief. Just 10 more minutes... So then I took my jeans off to apply more lotion. Well, the act of pulling my jeans down signaled to my bladder and brain that it was time to Open the Floodgates! They stupidly assumed I was standing next to a toilet.

Well I wasn't.

I was in a little locked room mostly naked, and a timer was ominously ticking down while the two owners wandered around outside making sure the rest of the salon was ready to close. My mind raced desperately for about 30 seconds while I held my knees clenched tightly together hoping to stop what had begun. But there was no stopping it. I quickly scanned the little room to see what my options were. The ones I identified were:

1. Pee all over the floor
2. Pee all over the tanning bed
3. Squat down and pee inside the little miniature garbage can next to the tanning bed
4. Pee into the miniature white towel provided by the tanning salon (obviously NOT provided for that purpose) or
5. Pick my undershirt/tank top up off the floor, shove it between my thighs, pee into it, roll it up, stuff it in my purse, proceed with the tan and then get dressed again sans undershirt and walk out of the room and the salon nonchalantly as though I did not just lose control of my bladder like a 3 or 103 year old.

I chose option 5.

I know, I know…completely gross huh? And while I immediately acknowledged the depravity of what I had just done, it didn’t stop me from laughing hysterically the entire way home. Maybe one day I’ll learn my lesson and either find bathrooms more frequently, whether I feel like I need to pee or not, or go on and buy some of those nice adult diapers I’ve seen calling my name at Wal-Mart.