Thursday, June 22, 2017

Mary the bus driver

Let me tell me tell you guys the story of my bus driver named Mary.

I lived within a 15 minute walking distance to my elementary and middle school so I never took the bus, except for 6th grade. I transferred to a high-class charter school with school uniforms and fancy things like that. So, I took the bus because it was farther away.

My best friend Katelyn and I got on and off at the same stop so we always rode the bus together. Our morning bus driver was SO COOL. He'd speed over speed bumps purposely so we could jump when he went over them and we'd go flying and stuff.

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It was so cool and so much fun and definitely dangerous and probably illegal! I loved it!


And then there was Mary.

(Sounds like the title to a horror film: "And then there was Mary." by Alfred Hitchcock.)

Mary was our afternoon bus driver.

And she was a nightmare.

Mary had all sorts of ridiculous rules. First of all, she wouldn't let us roll down the windows . . . IN A HOT BUS. IT WAS LIKE AN OVEN IN THERE. Not to mention we probably all smelt horrible cause we were little kids or pubescent teenagers.

But nope. She didn't allow it. One cracked open window would lead to a long lecture.

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So one day, Katelyn, my friend Melissa and I became rebels (or, if we're going with Harry Potter metaphors, we became Dumbledore's Army). We got so hot we rolled down the windows.


And immediately the rooster crowed.

"ROLL YOUR WINDOWS BACK UP." she screamed in those microphone things each bus driver has.

"We can't understand you!" yelled Katelyn.

*insert giggling from the three of us here*

So then we took it a step further. We started waving to people and yelling hi.

Well that just made that lil bird even more angry.

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"YOU PUT THAT WINDOW UP RIGHT NOW AND STOP."

 And we ignored her.

(I'd like to think this was the beginning of the days when I started treating "superiors" as equals. It's a major gift and curse I have. Like when you're in a swimming class and your teacher makes you swim an extra lap and you just look at him and say, "I. Hate. You." Then it's a curse.)

Then we took it a step FURTHER.

We stuck our heads and arms out the window. We raised our voices louder like little warriors as we yelled, "Hi!" to people. We waved our arms and tiny hands with pride, as if we were raising swords to battle. We would not be stopped over the battle of the window.

Even after Melissa (or Katelyn? One of them) got her head hit by a tree branch, that didn't stop us.

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We were invincible little 11-year-old's.

(Looking back now, I bet Mary purposely drove close to that tree to teach us a lesson. What a devil.)

We grabbed leaves from trees and threw them. We yelled hello and cars and people. And through all this, Mary was LIVID.

She kept screaming over the microphone for us to stop, but it was turned up so loud, the microphone kept cutting off, and her voice was so screechy that all it sound like was, "BGALKSDHASLKDFH."

And so we continued. And nothing happened except a verbal warning. 

And we knew we had won this battle.

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Now we repeated this process this the next day, except nobody got hit by a tree branch. We rolled down the windows and stuck our heads and hands out to tell the world we were there.

Well, Mary wasn't gonna put up with our crap again.

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She sent the suck-up student who sat in the front and tattled on EVERYONE to go get our names.

"Hey, I need your guys' names," she said seriously.

".....Katelyn...." said Katelyn.

"..........Cami........" I said, being sure not to use my full name so I could get away with the crime, but also use a nickname that only my family called me so I could say I wasn't technically lying.

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Well Melissa's head was still out the window, so we nudged her.

"What's your name?" asked the suck up again.

"Melissa Prater," she said, and went back to waving at people.

We pulled Melissa back in and pointed to the suck up as she went back to Mary and reported our names.

"WHY DID I TELL HER MY FULL NAME?!" said Melissa.

Now, see, nothing ever came from that, which I don't know why. But Mary DID start to be a LITTLE lenient on the window rule (not sticking our heads out of it - just rolling them down).

What she wasn't chill with? Talking loudly, screaming, standing, turning around, smelly lotions, food, garbage, or kids not having there parents there to pick them up.

Whenever there was a scrap of garbage on the ground, she'd yell at us to pick it up and it was ALWAYS accompanied by, "I'M NOT YOUR MOTHER AND I'M NOT YOUR MAID."

She was so bad, that Katelyn and I began keeping down a list of of her ridiculous rules rude things she said on a sticky note that I hid in my backpack. I was planning on talking to the administration about her, and never did.

But I'm proud of little sixth grade Camilla for trying to seek justice since age 11.

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So here are three short blips about Mary:

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We were sitting there, enjoying life as most 6 graders do when-

"WHO PUT LOTION ON?!"

Immediate silence.

Maybe some did it out of fear. But not Katelyn, Melissa and I. We didn't really respect her either. No, we just were quiet cause we knew that this was the fastest way to get her to move on.

"WHO PUT IT ON? WHO PUT IT ON?! WHO PUT IT ON!?" the crow screeched.

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By now she had pulled over and said, "I COULD SIT HERE ALL DAY. I GOT MY JAMBA JUICE, I GOT MY MAGAZINE, I COULD SIT HERE ALL DAY UNTIL ONE OF YOU CONFESSES."

......"I put on hand sanitizer?" peeped up this lil girl in the front.

"....Not lotion?" Mary asked.

"No."

"Oh. WELL GET SOME THAT DOESN'T SMELL."

And she took off driving.

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Next story:

We get to the bus stop right before mine when this kid says, "My mom isn't home."

So, naturally, Mary had some charity FOR ONCE and was like, "Oh honey that's not good - I'll circle the block a bunch of times until your mom gets home!"

Well I turn to Katelyn and we're both like UH UH. NO, NO. NOPE.

So I said just that, only in a polite way.

I wish I could say I was speaking up to Mary because of bravery, but it was totally motivated out of anxiety of the possibility of being stuck on this bus for who knows how long, knowing that it would send our parents into anxiety over not knowing where we were.

"I'll just get off here!" I yelled.

"Yeah, me too!" yelled Katelyn.

"Why?" said Mary.

"We're the next stop. We don't mind walking." I said.

"Yeah, we're totally fine." said Katelyn.

"I don't mind walking," I said.

"It's not that far." Katelyn replied.

"Oh no, if you're just the next stop, I'll drop you girls off then circle around to this stop again."

So she dropped us off.

Our parents were waiting and when we told them what happened, they were both like, "Wow that's ridiculous."

The next day, our moms were at the bus stop in the morning. Katelyn's mom says to my mom, "You'll never believe what happened."

Turns out, Katelyn's mom had called another parent whose kid rides the same bus as us and found out that Mary circled the neighborhood for TWO HOURS waiting for the kid's mom to get home. TWO HOURS.

And then?

"Turns out she was home the entire time!" Katelyn's mom said. "Don't know what the kid was thinking. Anyway, a bunch of other kids didn't get home until five thirty or six."

So the ONE TIME Mary is nice, it completely back fires.

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Aaaand last story:

We're driving, as is common on a school bus.

Katelyn is helping me figure out how to open  my window that got jammed halfway down.

Suddenly, we hear the blood curling scream from within the bus.

Immediately, Katelyn and I sit our butts down RIGHT as Mary SLAMS on the break....

IN THE MIDDLE OF TRAFFIC!

THE MIDDLE. OF TRAFFIC.

I don't know how familiar you guys are with the Draper/Sandy area, but this was on 123rd south. It is a BUSY street. Actually, let me just show you a google maps picture of that intersection, because I remember the EXACT location:



.....Okay that doesn't do it justice. But there's three lanes, okay? And it was busy. And she just STOPS.

So after she slams on the breaks, she dramatically puts the car into park and screams (probably as loud as the kid who screamed in the first place) into the dumb microphone thing she has, "WHO SCREAMED?! WHO SCREAMED?!"

Naturally and understandably so, no one confesses. I mean, I wouldn't want to confess to that.

 "I CAN DO THIS ALL DAY!" she screamed.

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You ain't no super hero, Mary.

Katelyn turns to me and says in a mocking tone, "I've got my Jamba Juice and my magazine..."

"I'VE GOT MY JAMBA JUICE AND MY MAGAZINE," Mary crows.

Katelyn and I immediately burst out laughing.

"WHO'S LAUGHING?!"

Katelyn and I raised our hands.

"DID YOU SCREAM?!"

"No!" Katelyn and I both said in unison.

By now, cars are honking and honking at us and moving around the bus.

"SO WHO DID?! WHO SCREAMED?! I CAN SIT HERE ALL DAY! I GOT MY JAMBA JUICE AND MY MAGAZINE!" she repeated.

I remember vividly imagining Mary actually sitting in the middle of this intersection all day. As car horns continued to be blared as they whizzed past us, I came to the conclusion that the cops would be involved and lil ol' Mary would eventually have to move.

I think a part of me wished that would happen, because maybe she'd stop doing this.

Then, from the front of the bus, "It was me."

I remember a tiny first grader who peeped up. This girl drove me insane. One time, on the morning bus, I found a penny on the bus floor and she yelled at me and cried claiming it was her lucky penny. I knew that was crap, so I refused to give it up. She tattled to the nice bus driver, and since he was the nice bus driver, he said he was sorry and he was sure she'd find another lucky penny.

Wonder what I did with that penny . . .

Anyway. Mary's response to this was extremely anticlimactic with all the fuss she put up for it:

 "OKAY. DON'T DO IT AGAIN," she screamed.

She put the bus back into drive, put her magazine down, and took off driving.

Perhaps she realized she couldn't discipline while she was blocking traffic. Who knows. But honestly, having Mary yell at you is punishment enough. 

And THAT is the story of my dear friend Mary.

I just wonder what happened to her. Is she a mother? Is she a maid? Is she still terrorizing school children on buses, or has she moved onto public transportation and is terrorizing on city buses? Who knows.

That was the only year I ever road the bus. I'm grateful for that experience. I feel like you haven't experienced school in the U.S. until you have to take a school bus. What a . . . socially awkward experience that was.

And I'm glad it happened.

Go terrorize a bus driver today!

Happy awkwardness. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Middle School Science Class

Ah, middle school: the bane of everyone's existence. Filled with pimples, bad mustaches, armpit hair, bad haircuts, growth spurts so your pants never fit and kids discovering that B.O. is a real thing (but are in denial that they have it).

I have this one moment from middle school that I try to repress, but it creeps up ALL the time - especially when I'm wearing the same outfit as somebody else.



Why?

Because one day I matched outfits with Peter the Pervert.

Ah yes. That's another thing middle school is full of: degrading nicknames that are hilarious but you know you shouldn't laugh at them.

(Disclaimer: I changed Peter's name. I don't think anybody deserves to know the names people gave them in middle school.)

If you're wondering why Peter was dubbed "the pervert," it's because he said . . . things . . . that made people feel uncomfortable. Like one time (when I had the privilege of sitting in front of him in English class) he and this kid got in an argument over this stray pencil and whose it was and then, out of nowhere, he said, "You wanna whip out penises' and measure our size to see who the real man is?"
And I remember a clear, audible, "Aaaaaaagh, seriously Peter?!" coming from the surrounding students (myself included).

I had a class with Peter every year, and eighth grade I was blessed to have three classes with him. So I heard many of his perverted comments (mostly about his penis).
And that's how he received that nickname.

So anyway, I was blessed to sit next to Peter the Pervert every day for three years. I DON'T KNOW WHY BECAUSE OUR LAST NAMES WEREN'T EVEN CLOSE IN THE ALPHABET SO IT MUST'VE BEEN A JOKE FROM GOD.

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(Caps lock to emphasis irony.)

Anyway, 8th grade was particularly a horrible year for me. I had a haircut I hated, pimples right between my eyes that people felt the need to point out (because you know. I wasn't already painfully aware of them), clothes that girls made fun of me for wearing, clothes that didn't match and last but not least I didn't realize I needed to shave my armpits until I raised my hand to answer a question and saw hair growing there that was WAY too long.

Put Your Hand Down GIF - DenzelWashington Put Your GIFs

Anyway. My favorite outfit was the following: a brown polo shirt from Old Navy with a small pink deer logo to the side of the buttons, and a small, pink stripe lining the collar. I usually accompanied this was some sort of jeans that were baggy around my butt (for some reason I have a curse of ALL jeans sagging around my butt. No matter how tight they may be around the other parts of my legs, the butt is always baggy #whitegirlproblems).

I sat down at the long, brown desk that seated three people. I sat on the end, Peter the Pervert sat in the middle between me and one of the popular guys.

Peter the Pervert took off his coat and jacket, sat down . . . and that's when I saw he was wearing the exact same shirt as me. THE EXACT SAME SHIRT. Small, pink dear and small, pink stripe around the collar and everything.

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What a cruel thing it is to merely exist in middle school.

I almost cried. But instead I slipped my jacket on, left it on the rest of the day and vowed to never wear it again. Which I didn't. I did NOT want to risk matching Peter the Pervert again. That would be social suicide to the social life I already didn't have.

So the other day I ran into my cousin and we were matching outfits. Naturally I laughed, and thought about this story. As I did so, I was reminded of other painful and hilarious moments I experienced in middle school and I realized . . . they all took place in science class.

So that was in eighth grade. Let's take a moment to talk about seventh grade.

I really liked my science teacher this year, and I was confident with my hair and clothes and didn't have to worry about armpit hair yet so my life was pretty good.

My teacher was from Wisconsin and had a thick Midwest accent. I thought I had a step ahead of the other students because my relatives are from Wisconsin and share the same accent. So I'd totally be able to interpret him, right?

Eh. Sorta. But mostly no.

One particular instance I remember is when we were talking about "solid, liquid, and gas." Because of his accent, our teacher pronounced it "salad" instead of "solid."

Well any dummy could figure out that by saying "salad, liquid, and gas," he really means SOLID, liquid, and gas. It's really not hard to figure out.

But we're in middle school.  And possibly the most powerful (and possibly only powerful) tool middle schoolers have is, their self consciousness is so powerful, they can make themselves feel better by somehow KNOWING everyone's biggest insecurity and bringing them down by pointing it out. Nobody is immune to this power. Not even me (I still get squeamish and self conscious whenever I walk into a middle school). Not even adults. Not even leaders. Not even my science teacher.

Naturally the whole class started giggling at his pronunciation of 'solid.' Some said they didn't know what he meant. I don't believe them but, whatever; the stupidity of humans continues to impress me every day.

He seem confused. I don't remember if someone pointed out what he was doing, but I do remember him having to pause and put great focus on saying, "Saw-led. Saw-led."

Back to eighth grade.

This was humiliating.

We were playing a game in class. It involved throwing an eraser into a trash can like a basketball.

Now here's a hidden talent I have: I am VERY good at shooting baskets. Any other part of playing basketball I'm mediocre at best, but shooting baskets? BAM. I rock.

In seventh grade gym class, my team would have me hover near the basket at all times. Then they'd toss it to me and I'd shoot and make a basket.

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I'm basically an amateur Michael Jordan.

Anyway. We're playing this game.

As I said above, we had to shoot an eraser into a trash can like a basketball.

I hadn't missed a shot yet.

And then the two teams were tied.

The final point came to me.

People were yelling, "DON'T MISS!" and "DON'T SCREW THIS UP!"

Thanks for your confidence in me, guys.

I tossed it.

And missed it.

The bell rang to leave class.

Our team had lost.

They lost because of me.

I burst out in tears.

And ran.

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To this day, I still cringe at that moment.

(Good news guys. I've smiled a lot since then.)

Now I saved a happy memory for last.

Ninth grade.

At basically any other school, ninth grade was in high school. But in my area, ninth grade was technically high school, but we just had all our classes in a school labeled "middle school" with all the seventh and eighth graders. I actually enjoyed this year. I liked my haircut and clothes, cared less about what people thought, and had a good group of friends that I loved.

Our middle school had a recycle system where ninth graders would sign up and volunteer to go collect recycling from all the classrooms in one giant box then, well, throw it in the giant recycling bin outside.

One day, my two best friends signed up for recycling at the same time. I, however, couldn't sign up at that time because there weren't any more openings then.

"It's okay," they said. "You have science then, right?"

"Ugh. Yes. With Mrs. Glass. She's the worst."

"Cool, we'll come get you out of class then," they said.

I had the greatest friends ever.

Let's take a moment to talk about Mrs. Glass. She was one of the worst teachers I've had, simply because she didn't teach. I remember a few times she tried, but she was distracted very easily, which we took great advantage of.

Picture an old, heavy, grouchy lady with thinning hair pulled up in a pony tail that sat on the top of her head, glasses that had been out of style since the 80's, while wearing a white polo shirt with white pants and pink underwear.

Yes. She wore white pants and pink underwear once. My table discovered this after she did that thing all teachers seem to do - talk to the kid next to you by bending over so you get their butt right in your face.

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Hello, white pants and pink underwear.

Now, picture this woman going to the whiteboard and writing "Mrs. Glass" on the board, only to have a student erase the G and the L every time. Every. Time.

Now picture her turning around and starting to teach when a student raises their hand and says, "Tell us about your butterfly collection!"

50 minutes later, the bell rings and the only thing we have learned is an extensive overview of Mrs. Glass' butterfly collection.

Repeat this process the next day. Mrs. Glass writes name on board. Student erases the G and the L. She turns around to teach and -

"Mrs. Glass! Tell us about your bug collection!"

50 minutes later, I'm heading to my next class with a great knowledge of the other bugs that Mrs. Glass collected and which ones are her favorites.

Fun fact: I no longer remember what her favorite bugs were.

Repeat this process again. Mrs. Glass. G and L erased by student (why didn't she stop this? Why did she keep writing her name on the board?!), and then a student yells before she can get started on her lecture:

"Mrs. Glass! Tell us about how dinosaurs aren't real and they're just a government conspiracy!"

She got really heated with this topic. And it confused me because I thought, generally, scientists believed in dinosaurs? Well, clearly I'm wrong, because Mrs. Glass didn't.

So you could see why I wasn't too torn up about my friends getting me out of class that day.

The day came, and my friends walked in. I don't know what we were doing in class, but I do  know that I was listening to my iPod (I miss those being a thing), and reading the sixth Harry Potter book.

This particular day, Mrs. Glass was wearing a headset so that she wouldn't have to yell for us to hear her. Unfortunately, she was so in the habit of yelling she kept doing it even after the headset was on. And she'd always turn it up all the way. I saw multiple staff members come into her classroom and tell her to turn it down because they could hear her.

I also was a secretary for the main desk that year, and got to witness one occasion where a teacher walked through the main room and say, "Mrs. Glass' headset is up all the way again." before going into the principals office and closing the door behind her.

(I also saw a few students get arrested! Whaaat!)

To be frank, I'm not sure she ever turned it down. Ever.

She probably thought they were part of a conspiracy. Ha ha . . . . ha ha . . .

Anyway, I'm sitting there having my own bit of fun, when I hear her yell through the microphone so loud that it's especially exaggerated:

"CARMEN!!"

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I turned and saw my two friends standing uncomfortably by Mrs. Glass, holding a small recycling bin.

"RECYCLING!" she screamed again.

I nodded, closed my book, and scampered away with my friends.

When we got out to the hallway, they explained that they had to repeat "We're getting Carmen for recycling" three times before she understood them, and that her yelling had startled them as much as it did me.

We started making our rounds for recycling, and it soon became clear that - because recycling had also been done yesterday - there wasn't anything to be collected for today.

We still had 20 minutes left of recycling time, so we were rebellious and headed to our favorite teacher's office - Ms. Laymock. She had lunch the same time as my two friends did, so her classroom was empty.

"You girls doing recycling?" she asked us as we we walked into her classroom and took a seat.

"We were, but there's no recycling to do," my friend said.

"Are you kids missing class?" she said.

"We have lunch," my two friends said, and a guilty smile spread across my face.

"Carmen!" she scolded me.

"Come on, it's Mrs. Glass' class," I moaned.

"Oh. Well. You can stay then," she said, turning back to her computer. "You'll learn more about osmosis from just sitting in my classroom than you would in hers."

And we all definitely burst out laughing.

I'm still in touch with Ms. Laymock, and when it was teachers appreciation week(? Day? Month?) I texted her a thank you and specifically about this experience.

First of all, her response was, "I actually said that?!"

She then told me that Mrs. Glass had always terrified her. I don't know why this surprised me so much - I keep forgetting that teachers are human and sometimes they don't like the same teachers students don't like. Weird.

Anyway, I hope that you can tell from these stories that I love not being in middle school anymore - particularly eighth grade. I now know how to do makeup and hair (for the most part), am confident in myself, and am through puberty. What a relief.

But I do miss having lockers.
Except the only thing I used mine for was to store a jacket for when I got cold and forgot to pack one.
But still. I miss it.

K guys. Please take this time to message me on social media or comment below on your horrible middle school experiences. Everyone's had them, and I want to hear yours!

Okay my friends. Go thank a teacher and your parents for putting up with you during your crappy middle school years. And enjoy your day. Embrace awkwardness.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Carmen and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad first day of school

I have horrendous luck with first and last days of school. Even counting back to the eighth and tenth grade, I remember being incredibly self conscious of my bad haircut, uncomfortably tight shirt that showed off my lack of boobs, and getting lost in school.

A year and a half ago was my first semester at BYU in which I spilled my yogurt, books, water bottle, and other various objects multiple times, got a parking ticket, and sweat off all my makeup.

And this semester was no different. And I was still a surprised by the events that took place.

I didn't sleep well that night, which is normal for me on the night before the first day of school. This time, however, I wasn't anxious or nervous at all. I was actually pretty optimistic, so it was weird to me that I couldn't sleep.

I fell asleep at 11:45 and woke up at 4:25. By the time 6:30 rolled around, I got up and ate breakfast. At 7, I fell back asleep and woke up to my alarm at 8:45.
And pressed snooze.
And pressed snooze.
And pressed snooze.

At 9:15 (15 minutes before I had to leave. On a day I don't wear makeup it takes me 20 minutes to get everything ready and organized), I finally got up and threw my outfit on.

"Ugh, I don't feel well," I said to my roommates as all of us scrambled to get ready for school.

I was moving sluggish and tripped at least twice over my own feet while holding my backpack.

"I'm sorry! You gonna make it to class?" one of my roommates asked.

"Oh yeah, definitely," I said as I opened up the cupboards to throw together my lunch and gagged at the general sight of food.

My two roommates left and I continued to get ready in a stumbling and uncoordinated matter.

I was out the door with enough time to get there before class if I sped walk.

And my stomach hurt the whole way. It felt like there was a bunch of tiny knives and throwing stars in between each of my ribs and my abdomen. It dawned on me that it was probably just gas, and I grumbled to myself that I hadn't thought of that before I left my apartment and so now I didn't have the medication to take care of it faster. And now I'd just have to suffer the whole day until it worked itself through.

As I grumbled up the hill and to my building, my body began to heat up quickly and I began to sweat excessively.

Well at least I didn't put on makeup just to sweat it off like last year.

I got to class to see that it was one of my least favorite classroom set ups; rows of chairs. These rows gave you about as much leg room as an airplane does, except you don't have an empty space to put your backpack under so you just have to straddle it with your legs.



The best part of this situation?

Everyone had taken the end seats, which meant the only empty seats were the one in the center. This meant that I'd have to crawl over people to even get to an empty chair.

"Are you kidding me?" I said loudly. "Ugh, I hate this classroom."

I was obviously off to an optimistic start.

I shuffled past three guys without bending my knees to do so (cause I literally couldn't) and plopped down in my chair, still shaking, sweating, and feeling really hot. I began organizing my things as best I could, when a little fella sat next to me.

"Hi, I'm Spencer," he said while sticking out a hand.

And my jaw almost dropped.

No. Wedding. Ring.

You have to understand - this is a rarity for my political science classes. The vast majority of male students are married and I've given up ever meeting a husband in my journalism classes because they're all females.

So the fact that this guy is single and he chose to sit by me and then introduced himself to me?

Was the apocalypse happening?! Did Jesus come?! Surly, this was a sign of the second coming of Christ!

Nope, it was just a miracle.



I shook his hand, smiled, tried not to think about the fact that my stomach was churning and full of knives, or the fact that I wasn't wearing any makeup and said, "Nice to meet you. I'm Carmen."

"Carmen?"

"Yup."

"Nice to meet you too."

Class started, and everyone quieted down.

And I wasn't focusing at all on the lecture. I was focusing on finding a position I could sit in that wasn't completely painful for my stomach.

. . . and 15 minutes later I stood up to run to the bathroom.

But of course I had to squeeze past three guys to get there, one of which was asleep.

Alright at least I'm not the only one having a rough first day of school

At first I tapped him gently gently on the arm and said, "Excuse me I need to get out."

A single second passed. It was just a one simple second, but it felt like an eternity to my body. He did nothing.



I grabbed his leg and shook it aggressively while saying, "EXCUSE ME. I. NEED. TO. GET. OUT." In a sort of whisper-yell.

                                 

He woke up, and sluggishly began to pull his backpack onto his lap and squeeze into his chair as much as he could so I could slide by.

In all reality, I think he did so pretty quickly. And to my stomach? Well he might as well just have taken an eternity.

I shoved past him and the other kid sitting in the isle, tried to gracefully speed walk to the door as I sweat profusely, then took off running in the hallway to the bathroom.


Where I promptly threw up.



After about 10 minutes of laying on the ground, toilet seat, and dodging water when the automatic toilet decided it needed to flush, I stood up and walked to the sink to wash my hands and splash my face with water.

And I was horrified by the sight I saw: pale, sheet white skin. I had loss of what little pigment I had in my skin. To top this off, my eyes had puffy, bulging, red bags under my eyes and a single tear was leaking from each eye.

I looked horrifying.

After washing my face and hands all while avoiding the mirror, I headed back to class.

Once again squeezing past multiple people, I plopped down in the class where Spencer said something to me. I gave a hearty chuckle and tried to say something clever in return, and then was incredibly self conscious of the smell of my breath. I couldn't smell it, and I knew it had to be bad.

Wanting to avoid talking to this fella to save myself from embarrassment and him from . . . well the potentially awful smell of my breath, I decided the best way to end conversation would be to sit in fetal position on and off for the remainder of the class.


. . . it totally didn't have anything to do with my physical state.

Totally.

When the bell rang, I sat there pathetically having to wait for people to leave the isle before I could get through, and not wanting to move anyway in fear that I would puke again.

Spencer left without a word, and then I sped walked home



where I proceeded to throw up once an hour until the late afternoon.


I was able to return to school and work two days later, though the sight of food still made me nauseated.

Now here's the thing. Remember how I said most first days of schools are bad? Well the first day of fall semester wasn't so bad.

The last day though?

Disaster. Struck.

And don't worry. That's next weeks story.





Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Carmen and the case of the weird PDA

I, like most people, have pet peeves. Some of which are:
-Leaving wet towels/ washcloths in a heap (I have this secret paranoia that it'll start molding. Either way it WILL start smelling)
-People talking to me when I'm writing
-People leaving the lights on when they leave the apartment (who are you leaving them on for? Or are you just doing charity work for the city by raising a ridiculously high power bill?)

-People clipping their nails in public (seriously people?! IN PUBLIC?!) and/or not cleaning them up off of the ground (have y'all ever stepped on a nail that isn't yours? It's disgusting. Don't be that person),
-One uppers (sorry my life isn't as good as yours)
-People doing that mucusy way of clearing their throat/nose
and
-People touching their eyes *shutters.*

However, all these pet peeves of mine are pretty livable. Yeah they're annoying and, aside from the clipping nails one, I'm able to easily shrug it off and move on with life after I complain to someone or roll my eyes (which no one is allowed to touch anytime ever under any circumstances ever).

That is, except for one. And you probably guessed it from my title.

Public displays of affection (PDA).

PDA makes me uncomfortable. I never know where to look, and I feel this emotion somewhere between annoyance and anger. Yet, like a bad car accident, I can't look away.

I didn't discover this pet peeve of mine (or perhaps I didn't develop it) until I came to BYU; the Holy Land of PDA.

BYU is peppered with an abnormal amount of couples; engaged, married, dating steadily, flings, and so on. So, while not every couple is PDA-ee, seeing couples fondling over each other is inevitable on BYU campus. And I'm not talking hand holding, cuddling, kissing - you know, the normal PDA. I'm talking about extreme PDA.

Let me clarify something for a second: I guess it's more when I'm STUCK with PDA. Sure, passing the average kissing couple or snuggling couple makes me sad and envious, and sitting behind the couple who is cuddling in church is distracting . . . and it's when I'm stuck by the couple who is doing weird PDA that it gets awful.

And it can get really, really weird.

And this, my friends, is the main plot of this blog post:

My encounters with weird PDA couples on campus.

The Nicholas Spark Couple

This encounter took place in the middle of the library on campus. I saw them as soon as I sat down and, in an effort to avoid one of my pet peeves, I immediately began looking for another computer I could sit at that would be out of view from them.

They're probably leaving soon. It looks like they're saying goodbye, I thought.

So I was correct on the assumption that they were saying goodbye. I was very wrong with the assumption that they'd be leaving soon.

The couple was right in front of me, so that whenever I stared at my computer I got a full view of their love and affection too.

They held each other's waists and stared sentimentally at each other. I saw the guy do puppy-dog eyes while doing a comical frown at the girl. She'd stroke his face with both hands like he was a cat and she was smoothing out his fur.

He cradled her head.
She cradled his too.

Long kiss.

At this point I'm like:




I felt so uncomfortable with the love fest taking place in front of me. And again, like a bad car accident, I couldn't look away.

The kiss ended.

Long hug. Their eyes were shut as they rocked back and forth ever so slightly.

I saw their left hands.

THIS COUPLE IS MARRIED?!?! THEY LITERALLY CAN DO THIS IN PRIVATE ANYTIME THEY WANT. WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS IN A PUBLIC LIBRARY?

The hug ended. They stared at each other again, their eyes huge. They stroked each others cheeks again.

Let me reemphasize this.

They were both stroking each others cheeks with both hands at the same time. 


Finally, he walked away. They held hands as the girl stayed, and when they were finally out of arms reach from each other, their hands lingered in the air.

They continued to stare at each other as they walked away. The girl was looking over her shoulder at him, the guy was walking backwards.

Meanwhile I'm all like:

Well I mean I guess I can focus on my homework now. 

Then, the girl took off in a speed walk, and the guy was running towards her. They threw themselves into a romantic embrace.

Of course. 
Is this some kind of social experiment?

I put my head back to:

Focus on homework focus on homework focus on homework. 

The girl now had her hands on his chest. The guy had his arms hands on her elbows. He was back to doing the fake, weird, pathetic, possibly trying to be humorous frown. This might've been okay if it weren't for everything else I had just witnessed. 

Back to stroking each others faces. 



Suddenly I got a text from my friend saying, "Not to be a creeper, but I like your shirt." 

I perked up.

I looked up over my computer, past the couple having a Nicholas Sparks moment, and saw my friend peering over her computer across from me. 

Oh, thank goodness.
I trotted over to her and knelt down by her saying, "Have you seen this couple?" 

"YES! They're too much!"

We began talking again when she said, "They're doing the staring at each other thing again."

"Oh dear goodness."


"I can't believe this couple. And they're married!" I said.

"I saw that! It's like, relax you'll see each other in a couple hours!"

"This is a public library - he's not getting drafted to war!"

(I texted two friends about the situation and that was both of their responses)

I stared at them as they smiled and stroked each others faces again.

"This is disgusting. This is disgusting."

He began to walk away again, and they stared at each other as they did so . . . and ran back into each others arms.

"I can't. I just can't . . . well you know, this is good for when I'm in a relationship. I'll know what not to do."

"Right? I remind myself that too. I know what my husband and I shouldn't do in public."

In total, they stared, ran, and embraced each other three times before the guy finally left for good. And when he did, the girl whispered "goodbye" and they stared at each other while he walked away.

In which time I wasted 25 minutes staring at this couple.

I blame them for not getting all the homework done that I wanted to.


The couple who knew no one else

This is a short story. I could probably make it a poem but I'm too lazy.

I walked into a building to see BOOM a couple kissing and whispering to each other RIGHT in the doorway.



I squeezed past them, went to class, and spent the rest of the lecture replaying the scenario in my head in which I said to them, "Look - I'm happy you're in love and all, but you're in the way so can you take this love scene somewhere less out of the way?"

The bubbless couple 

This also took place in the library. I would say "maybe I should stop going there" but everywhere at BYU is a trap for PDA.

I legitimately witnessed a girl come to a guy who was sitting at his computer, sit on his lap, stroke his hair/sides of face, and start making out.

And again. They were right in my line of vision.




The Honeymooners

I was in class once and, like the majority of my classes at BYU, my professor asked if anyone had any good news. This translates to, "Anyone got married or engaged or had a baby or got pregnant within the last forty eight hours?"

The couple right in front of me raised their hands and announced that they just got back from their honeymoon.

Oh no.

This meant two things:
1) They have already gotten all the physical contact crap out of the system and have regained their politeness and self awareness.
or
2) They're like every other average newly wed and are still too in love with each other to care about common courtesy.


Put that awkward fellow behind the couple....

AND THAT WAS ME THE WHOLE. ENTIRE. CLASS.

And then we get the different kind of PDA:

The Breaking Up Couples 

Seeing couples break up on campus is also pretty common on campus, though less noticeable. I have, however, had the privilege of stumbling upon a few break ups.

One time this couple walked out of the building I was walking into, and the girl was in HYSTERICS while the guy had her arm wrapped around her while she yelled, "IJUSTFEELSOHURTANDIDON'TGETWHYYOU'REBREAKINGUPWITHME"
Insert random hiccups in between letters.

I definitely did a double take.

Later that day, I was walking through a big open area on campus on my way to class when I spied a couple hugging . . . and hugging . . . and hugging.

I passed them, turned around, and saw that they were still hugging.

. . . and I slowly moonwalked back to them


"Are you okay?" asked the guy.

I heard a muffled sniffle.

"Yeah." said the girl.

"I'm sorry."

"I know."

More sniffles.

Aaaaanad I walked away. When I reached my building (which was a fair distance off), they were still caught up in their embrace. In like, the exact same poisition.

Weird, and different PDA.

I have 3 semesters left at BYU, so I'm sure I'll run into more PDA in the future.

I mean every university has it flaws, and if the main one is the bizarre, annoying, and disturbing PDA? I guess I can live with it.

I.......guess.......

Have an awkward thanksgiving dinner everyone.



Thursday, November 3, 2016

Fall 2016 Dates -- A guide for men on what not to do on a date.

I'm currently taking a "psychology of positive living" class, in which we discuss the science behind happiness.

In one of our classes, we were discussing "maximizers." (Overachievers who set too high of goals and are more likely to be disappointed. They also have a tendency to largely overthink every option before actually making a decision - if they make a decision at all. He brought up that some just sit there and wait for God to make the decision for them.)
The others are "satisfiers;" people who reach a level or set a level of expectancy that is "good enough" for them.

I am a definite satisfier. The majority of the class (and I guess population) are maximizers.

Our teacher asked the maximizers in the class what they tend to overthink and get stuck in. One girl talked about her major, and how she often thinks if she chooses the wrong major, she'll be stuck in a horrible life and be unhappy for most of it.

Then we got on the most common subject at BYU:

Dating and marriage.

Here we go, I thought.



"I overthink dating ALL the time," one girl said. "I think about his career, what our kids will look like, what our kids will be like, where we'll live, how he'll like my family, everything. Nobody seems perfect enough, and then he ends up not even choosing to date me anyway and I have to start back over."

"That's pretty common among," my professor said. "They look for the perfect person and are disappointed when they realize everyone is a normal human being. Now, are they any satisfiers that don't maximize a choice like dating?"

I raised my hand.

"You don't? That's pretty uncommon - even among satisfiers," he said.

Keeping the same pose as the above picture I said, "Honestly at this point I'm just so desperate. All I want is a guy who is socially competent, normal, my age, and preferably taller than me, which I know is a lot to ask for. I'm willing to sacrifice the taller-than-me thing."

After all, Tina Fey did. And she's one of my inspirations.



But what led to such despair and lack of preferences and hope in my life of men?

This semester.

I've had a lot of ups and downs (mostly downs) with dating this semester. As frustrating as it is, I'm also grateful for the stories they make. I mean for one thing, they make great blog posts and for another thing, my children will be busting up about them someday.

There are three dates in particular that stood out to me this semester, and I'm gonna give you the low down of them. These involved Wesley, Chester, and Wallace.

Fake names, naturally.

Wesley:
The story between me and this kids is at least 5 chapters long. Maybe when it's been a few years and I no longer have contact with him, I will write out the entire story. For now, I will spare you and just post a run down of three of the chapters.

Chapter 2:
I was avoiding him for ages cause I knew he was gonna ask me out. But the inevitable happened. He sat down by me while I was writing.
"You hold your pencil wrong," he said to me.
He's kind of right. I hold my pencil differently than everyone else. Is it wrong? I don't think so. Like, it gets the job done. But I don't know the etiquette of holding a pencil. Or if there is any.
"Yes, I know," I said.
"Here, let me show you," he said while reaching for my pencil WHILE I WAS STILL WRITING.
"No!"
"No - just let me show you how to do it right."
He reached for it again, and I swatted his hand with the pencil.
"Yeah, well you know what? It's been working really well for me the past 20 years, alright?"


"Okay, but you're holding it wrong-." and he reached for my pencil AGAIN.
I swatted his hand once again with my hand AND pencil and said, "STOP. I'm not even done writing."
"Okay, but after?"

"Fine."
I finished writing, then handed him my pencil.
He maneuvered it in his hand and said, "You hold it like this."
And then he just held his hand there so I could stare at it and observe it.

"Cool."
And I grabbed my pencil again.

Let's fast forward a couple days to Chapter 3

-I saw Wesley in the distance, and I quickly sped walked in the opposite direction
Oh, please no, please no, please no. I prayed quickly in my head.
"HEY CARMEN!" he said yelled



(I kind of aspire to be just like Olivia Benson)


"Hey, Wesley."
"I was wondering if you would like to hang out this weekend."

Dear all men: Buck up and just ask the lady on a date. Don't ask to "hang out" or "get together." Somewhere in there, say the word "date." 

"I'm actually busy this weekend," I said. And that was  NOT a lie.
"Oh - what are you doing?"
I can't remember what I was doing Saturday now, but Friday was the one that came up in the conversation:
"I'm going to a wedding reception," I responded.
"Oh - whose is it?"
"A friend from my mission...."
"How about I go with you?"
. . . did he just invite himself to a wedding reception?

Dear all men: don't do that.

"Well I'm carpooling with two of my friends there."
"Oh, I can meet you there. Where is it?"
"Provo - and honestly I think it'd be awkward because . . . well, I'm going to be hanging out with my friends, and you don't know them."
"But at the wedding reception, people wont ask you why you're not married yet if I come!"
". . . . they already don't ask me that," I said.
And I don't want them asking if WE'RE dating. . . 
"They do at the ones I go to. Anyway - do you want to carpool, or want me to meet you there?" he persisted.
Alright, I'm all for persistence and what not, but this was too much.
"Honestly, I think it would be uncomfortable for  me if you came."
"That's fine - I can meet you there."
Oh dear goodness. 
"No," I reiterated. "I'd feel uncomfortable if you came."
"What?" he asked.
I wasn't sure if he didn't actually hear me, of if he just didn't understand.
". . .It would be uncomfortable if you came. I feel uncomfortable . . . with you."
"Oh, really?"
"Yes."
"Oh, okay. That's fine."
Guilty Carmen came in and I sputtered, "But we can hang out after if you want!"
Dang it. 
Thankfully, he declined.

I thought it was over. Done. The End. Boom. He got my point.
Oh, no.

Chapter 4

A few weeks later, he asked me on a date. Like he actually said the word date!
And the word "yes" popped out of my mouth..
I think I was just in shock cause he said "date" instead of "hang out" or "get together." And he had a specific day in mind. So that was a bonus.
So, I agreed. And knew that - if nothing else - this would be a good story.
And it was, mostly cause of one reason:

His art of one-upping.

I hadn't noticed it before this date, but he was totally one upping me. Anything I had done in life, or anything I tried to relate to him with? Oh no, he'd done better.
This is one of my pet peeve, and usually I just shrug it off and let them win.
This time? Oh, no. Because  I could actually BEAT what this guy was saying.

Me: I was pretty tired after my flight home from New York so-
Wesley: Wait - how long was your flight?
Me: 3 hours.
Wesley: HA! Try a 17 hour flight. I had to do that!



Me: . . . I had a 23 hour flight coming back from Singapore.

Me: I hate winter.
Wesley: You hate winter? HA! Try going to the southern hemisphere in January for vacation and having to come back to Utah when it's cold!
Me: . . . I literally did that! With New Zealand. And Australia. And Singapore!

Wesley: I had to paint a house today.
Me: Oh man, that's the worst. When I did that, I -
Wesley: Try doing it in 100 degree weather.
Me: I did that. WITH. HUMIDITY.

Wesley: Anyone who says they don't like Chinese food hasn't had real, authentic Chinese food.
Me: I don't like Chinese food.
Wesley: It's because yo-
Me: I HAD AUTHENTIC CHINESE FOOD IN SINGAPORE.

Seriously how many times do I have to bring that up?

Most of this took place on the door step scene after he said that women aren't good at science, and have too many insecurities.
But he reassured me that he's a feminist.

I had to excuse myself five times before I finally got into my house, closed the door, and vowed never to go on a date with him again.



Chester and Wallace:

Chester and Wallace came literally two days after my roommates and I decided that all men ages 22-27 were dead or married, which is essentially one in the same.
Chester is 20.
Wallace is 31.

Point proven.

Chester:

This little fella asked me to "go get food" with him sometime.

This is a step up. But seriously guys, just say the word "date."

Then he suggested we hang out and watch movies at his house.

...Netflix and chill?

Okay now this is something I don't think men think of a lot, or really have to worry about.

I am not going to invite myself to sit in dark, close, personal quarters with a man I do not know because of SAFETY ISSUES.

It's a dangerous world to be a woman in, my friends. And I am one of those overly cautious women out there.

But it's okay cause so is Olivia Benson. Kind of. I guess.

So when he suggested that?


We were swapping stories on the date, and here's how most of his ended.

"So yeah, then we were making out. . ."

"And I guess then this girl and I were making out . . ."

Pause: What do you mean by 'I guess?' Like whoops, how did that happen?

"So we made out and . . . "

Oh buddy, I hope you know that's not going to happen with us. 

He also didn't  pay for me, so I didn't think it was a date, but then he said it was a date and I was like oh. Why didn't either of us pay for the other? Preferably you, but...

Guess I'm old fashioned like that.

This have a less exciting ending with this one. I just slowly disappeared and he forgot about me. I've seen him a few times on campus, and he hasn't noticed me as I sped walked past, looked down, or hid behind another person.

And it's usually early in the morning anyway when everyone's eyes are half shut so...

Wallace

Wallace was good. He was chill. The date was good.

Only issue is he looked like one of the teachers I had.

Too weird.


I tried. I really, really tried to be interested. But I couldn't get past the whole "you look way too much like my teacher" thing.

I disappeared with him too, but that wasn't too hard cause he texted me / responded to me once every three weeks or so.

Oh, bonus story:

Oliver

He was a blind date and it was 45 minutes long and I couldn't eat anything at the restaurant and he didn't talk and when he did I couldn't hear him.

The end.

Other boys came and went throughout this semester; first dates, boring dates, blind dates, long dates, short dates, large heart breaks, rejection, no soul mates, all that jazz. And as my adventure of a single college student continues, I can't help but think of one of my favorite lines from Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: