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.

Image result for frustrated gif

(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.

Image result for frustrated gif

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.

Image result for blamo gif

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.

Image result for parks and rec crying and running away gif

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.

Image result for teachers butt in face

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!!"

Image result for startled gif

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:


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Captain Commando

I'm going to paint a scenario for you:

An hour before your flight takes off.
Pouring rain.
8 minute drive to airport made longer because of the sheets of rain coming.
Rental car gas tank on empty.
You're wearing shorts and a short sleeved T shirt.

This, my friends, is the situation I found myself in a couple months ago when I went to upstate New York for a weekend.

I stood in the rain coming down pretty steadily while gripping the gas pump, waiting for it to be full so that my frozen, little hands could be dry and warm again.

Now the stupid thing about New York is that the gas pumps don't have a little kick stand. So like, when you hold up the little lever to let the gas in, you can't put down this little kick stand to have it stay there so you can move about your business.

Oh, no. You're left standing there holding it and being exposed to the elements while you do so.

And then, out of nowhere, it began to pour heavy, heavy rain. The wind blew the rain ferociously on my back, soaking my whole body as I stood there hopelessly, holding the stupid little gas pump that couldn't do its own job.

Although I've never been hit with a fire hose or a sheet of glass, I'd imagine that the feeling of that rain  was similar to those two feelings.

My friend ran out of the car and stood by me.

 "I FEEL OBLIGATED TO STAND OUT HERE WITH YOU BECAUSE I FEEL BAD!" she yelled.

"IT'S OKAY!" I yelled back to her over the rain, "CAN YOU DRIVE THE REST OF THE WAY? I DON'T FEEL COMFORTABLE IN THIS WEATHER!"

"YEAH, THAT'S FINE!"

"THANKS!"

I don't know how much time passed, but whatever it was it was it felt like hours.

I climbed back in the passengers side.

"Oh, Carmen. You're soaked." said my friend.

"It's not that bad-" I stopped and looked down. My shirt, pants, and hair were a full shade darker. The straightness of my hair was gone and replaced with the weird waves that I always have after a shower . . . or a rain storm.

 

*Note: Those pictures are not in New York. That is New Zealand. But the effect is the same.

". . . well, it doesn't feel that bad."

We took off driving, and my stress level continued to rise. Forty five minutes until our plane took off. Eight minute drive to the airport, and we still had to return the rental car, go through security, and print off our tickets.

I was an anxious wreck.



My friend had no issue driving in the weather, as she grew up driving through buckets of rain during monsoon season. Little Carmen from dry-land Utah, however, found herself chewing her nails and wondering how in the world we were suddenly driving through the Amazon; nothing but trees blurred by the heavy rain.

I mean, I've never been to the Amazon . . . but it's like that, right?

Eight minutes later, we were circling the rental parking lot desperately looking for a spot close by. Naturally, the only open spot was in the back of the parking lot.

"Okay. You ready?"

"Let's do this." I said, maneuvering the backpack onto my back, and opening the door.

I had taken no more than three steps away from the car when I remembered I had left stuff in the back seat.

"Crap!"

I trotted back, open the door, grabbed the papers and my jacket sitting in the back seat, shoved them under my wet shirt in a vain attempt to keep them dry, and ran towards the airport.

Now, I really do wish you could get a good idea of how this felt. To do so, I would recommend hooking up a treadmill outside while having your friend spray you with a hose at full blast. Now run with a backpack on your back and stuff shoved under your shirt so that it looks like you're nine months pregnant with an oddly shaped baby.

While you're doing this, you'll notice that you can't see your feet, and water is dripping down your face to make you blink constantly. And if you're like me, you're probably not an every-day runner so your legs and arms are kind of strangely flailing around during this.

My friend and I splashed our way into the airport and over to the car rental return. Anxiously I handed over my keys to the manager, and he typed slowly on the computer and helping out the other worker.

Now I was trying to be all understanding and what not, but my nerves were speaking louder than my patience. I'm pretty sure I unintentionally rolled my eyes a couple times.

"Which flight you girls on?"

"Theonetodetriotandthentosaltlake." I sputtered off quickly.

Thirty minutes.

"Ah. That plane hasn't even landed yet," he said, continuing to type onto the computer.

"Really?" I said, and felt some relief.

"Yup. Still not here yet."

I was relieved. That made it seem like a good possibility that it'd get delayed, meaning my friend and I would for sure make it onto our flight.

The man finished typing, handed us our receipt, and we took of running to security.

Now, this airport is small. So, with no line in security it would've been probably a 3 minute walk total from the rental return place to our gate. Naturally, there was a line, and I could clearly see through the other side our gate. My nerves began to calm as I saw we still had enough time to get through security. I got even more calm when the people in front of us in line were also on the same flight as us.

Security consisted of those body-scanner things. My friend went through first, and the screen showed that basically every part of her body was lit up and in danger of hiding something potentially hazardous to everyone's safety.

"Oh, it's probably just the rain. This has been happening to everyone today because they're so wet," said the TSA agent, pulling my friend to the side so she could be patted down.

My turn came, and the same thing happened. According to the screen by the body scanner, I was a walking weapon.

I stood a few feet away from my friend and we both got patted down by TSA agents. After being cleared, we then had to get our hands wiped and scanned for bomb residue.

. . . and my friend's . . . came back positive for bomb residue.

The agent who was patting down my friend grabbed her and took her to a private room in the back, while the TSA agent who was working on me grabbed my friends luggage and also went in the back room.



The door shut, and two beefy-looking police officers with sun glasses on stood outside the doors, guarding them.

I estimated we had about 10 minutes till boarding.




It was at this moment when I was grateful for white privilege. Like seriously. If they were getting this intense with two white females, how would they have been with any other ethnicity? #TheWorldIsAMessedUpPlaceMyFriends

Not being allowed to leave, I leaned against the table behind me and watched the security line slowly get backed up and longer and longer, as there were no other TSA agents available.

Looking back now, I think the whole instance took about 5-8 minutes tops. But when you're stressed, time warps and either goes by too slow or too fast. In this instance, it was speeding by.

As the security line began to back up, they called in two more TSA agents. An old lady came up to me and used a different scanner for my hands, which came in clear for bomb residue.

I nervously fumbled to get my shoes back on as I waited for my friend to come out. A minutes later, the security guards stepped to the side of the room, the door opened, and my friend came out following the two TSA agents.

"What'd they do?!" I asked - now just out of plain curiosity.

"Checked all my stuff, scanned it, and patted me down. It was fine," she replied.

Five minutes later, we were boarding the plane while I carried my Tina Fey shirt,



a clean pare of underwear, and basketball shorts in my hands to change into. As soon as we sat our stuff down, I went to the bathroom and changed into my dry clothes.

It was oddly comforting to be back into dry clothes. I snuggled into my seat, wrapped my friends blanket around me, and enjoyed a peaceful flight to Detroit.

We found our gate pretty quickly, and had about two hours until our flight took off. After getting sushi, we were both still a little hungry so split ways to go buy food.

Not in the mood for anything sugary or greasy, I picked up a big bowl of cut water melon. Twenty minutes before our flight took off, I began eating it.

Boarding time came, and as I stood up to get everything organized, I dropped my watermelon bowl and watermelon juice spilled ..... down my pants ..... which, because of the fabric, didn't absorb water very well.

To get the full affect of this, I want you to take some ice cubes, put them in a glass of water, dye the water pink, and pour it down your pants.

It was painful. At this moment, I was so grateful I am not a man, because I found myself saying through pain, "Ohmygoshthat'scoldthat'scoldthat'scoldthat'sreallyreallyreallycold" while being too shocked to even move.

"Go change!" my friend said.

I only had two other pairs of pants - and one was covered in dirty lake water and dirt from the Susquehanna River, and the other was still wet from that morning.

"I think I'll be fine once I stand up!" I said, cringing.

I stood up and gasped again as the water just stayed pooled in my shorts and underwear.

"OOOOOHTHAT'SREALLYCOLDTHAT'SREALLYCOLDTHAT'SREALLYCOLD!"

"Here," said my friend, handing me a pare of swim shorts. "Change into these!"

"Okayokayokay. Holdmystuffplease."

And I scattered off holding her shorts and my backpack.

What I didn't know is, as I was running away, my friend was mumbling to herself, "There's no way those are going to fit her."

I got into the bathroom, and yanked everything out of my backpack desperately looking for a clean underwear, even though I was pretty sure all my underwear was already dirty.

I couldn't even find any underwear in general during my chaotic dig through my clothing.

And so I did something a number of my friends have done numerous times that I had never done:

I went commando.

See, not only had I gone commando, I also discovered her swim shorts were WAY too big for me, and there was virtually no way I could tighten them. After trying vainly to tighten them, I gave up and let go to see if they would stay on their own.

Nope. They fell right off.

So, I swung my backpack over my back, pulled my pants back up, and ran back to the boarding line, holding my pants up like a weirdy as I did so.

Guys, I highly recommend running a short distance while wearing a backpack and pants too big so you have to hold them while running. You look ridiculous.

"Yeah I knew there'd be no way those would fit you right," my friend said.

"It's chill," I said as a spontaneous idea came to mind.

I grabbed a bunch of extra fabric from my pants and balled it together in my hand so that my pants fit well, and tied a hair tie around the ball so that they'd stay in place.

I gave my friends a thumbs up.

"You. Look. Lovely." she said, and we both laughed.

It was late at night now, I was absolutely exhausted, and my appearance showed it. What started out as denim shorts, a cute blue t shirt, and new sneakers ended up being bright blue swim shorts, a baggy, Tina Fey shirt, and flip flops.

And we just wont talk about my hair.

I truly had never looked better.

HOWEVER. Let me show you another terrible outfit I had to wear:



Basically what this boils down to was we spontaneously got kicked out of our apartment when I was wearing a red and tan outfit, so I grabbed another outfit for the next day - the black and blue one - and realized that I only had one pair of shoes and jacket and it was too cold NOT to wear horrible tights.

And although I was humiliated, I also pretended like I had no idea how terrible it was and owned it.

Anyway, whenever you're self conscious about what you're wearing, (question: are guys self conscious of what they wear or is that mostly a female thing?) just reflect on these experiences . . . and you'll feel better about life.

Have an awkward day everyone!

Update

Hey guys!

I just wanted to give you all a little life update:

I am working on getting 50 Shades of Awkward published into a book. It will feature these blog posts PLUS some I haven't posted.

Because of this and the start of the semester, I have been unable to keep this blog updated, which I sincerely apologize for because I LOVE sharing my stories and appreciate every reader!

Please keep checking in, as I hope to continue posting blogs and soon should be back up and running. However, if weeks go on in between postings, you'll know why.

Thanks, and feel free to comment below with any questions and concerns. Or love letter. I like feeling loved.

Carmen.

Monday, August 8, 2016

International Interactions with Men

So I remember there was this week a few months ago when I kept having uncomfortable experiences with men one right after the other. Like, they just kept coming. Thankfully I was out of the country for these experiences, so my chances of encountering them again in my life are slim.

It all started with a sunburn.

Like anyone with pale skin, and/or a sun allergy (or the scientific name for my condition: Solar urticaria *flips hair for dramatic effect
),
I burn easily. And that burn does NOT turn into a tan. It just hurts, and then mocks me with the same whiteness it held before the burn. The bright side of not tanning? No farmers tan. My arms are the same shade as my stomach . . . You know . . . just in case anyone was wondering what shade of white my stomach was . . .
The other bright side of burning? The skin peeling.

Yes, I'm one of those weirdos who likes to peel off the skin from a sun burn. I think it's because peeling skin is a novelty for me because I'm overly cautious with the sun, so bad burns don't happen very often. I treasure such an event.

This one particular instance, I burned BAD. Like, really really bad. The day was cloudy so I thought, "HOORAY! NO SUN SCREEN OR LONG SLEEVES OR HAT FOR ME! FREEDOM!"
Funny thing about New Zealand cloud coverage . . . it doesn't cover you from the sun as well as, say, it does in the United States. #NoOzone

 

At this moment in time, I was hating my life. I quarantined myself inside and was sun-sick (meaning my skin was so hot I basically had a fever, complete with a headache, fatigue, muscle soreness, nauseated, all that fun jazz. ), my cheeks were swollen like I had just had my wisdom teeth pulled, my lips hurt, my eyes were almost swollen shut because I had BURNED MY EYELIDS (I didn't know that was possible. Learn something new everyday!), and my little legs and chest were coated in hives. It was . . . painful . . . to say the least.

Despite all this, I was mesmerized by the amount of skin that was flaking off of me. And things got REAL funky when my eyebrows and eye lids started to flake off skin.

This one time I was at church and everyone was socializing and eating refreshments in the gym after the meeting. I stepped out into the lobby area to take a phone call. Once I was finished, I noticed how much I was scratching my shoulder. Setting my phone down, I pulled the sleeve of my dress down and looked at my peeling shoulder. And boy, was it PEELING. It was every skin-peelers dream: the mother load of skin. So, I gave a little piece of skin a tug . . . and kept pulling, and pulling, and pulling. It was a never-ending train of skin.

Not gonna lie, I was a little frightened by how long this piece was getting. I was envisioning a potentially horrid scene involving blood. *shutters*

And then, it came to an end.

I stared at it in complete awe and wonder at the length of this piece of skin. I held it up high so that the light was shining on it and I could get a proper look at the masterpiece I had just made. Even Buffalo Bill would be amazed by this piece of skin.

"Woah," I said.

And as I did so, a highly attractive man walked out of the gym to see me holding my piece of pale glory high in the air.

I made eye contact with him, realized that the sleeve of my dress was still hanging way below my shoulder, felt like a Mormon prostitute, balled the skin up, and tossed it on the ground. I was trying to act casual, and I KNOW my eyes held an emotion that read: "Nope I'm totally guilty and yes, you DID see what you thought you saw."



The man looked at me a second longer, then walked off. I pulled my sleeve back over my shoulder, ran to the crowded gymnasium and began to hide myself, being determined that I would NOT be seen by him again . . . even if I was one of nine white people in the crowded room and the only redhead there.


So, this next instance ALSO happened the same day at church.

Now, this was a bad day for me. Church was over, and I was just overwhelmed, frustrated, and finished with the crap taking place that day. Grumpily, I plopped down on a chair in the main lobby area while I waited till we were supposed to go, trying to entertain myself until then.

That's when good ol' chipper Wesley sat by me.

(We're calling him Wesley because I can't remember his name. And, well, this gif of Liz's brief boyfriend Wesley describes this guy perfectly:

)


So Wesley plops himself down all fancy and comfy and I'm like, ".....Hey?"

"HEY!" and he went on into thee LONGEST slew of words in this history of words. To be frank, I can't remember anything he said, only that it was bizarre and I couldn't even understand half of them because the dude had a New Zealand accent and throughout the trip my ability to decipher their accents was pretty . . . iffy I guess you could say.

Now I probably wouldn't give this guy the time of day, except that he looked like Kylo Ren . . . who I am strangely (and somewhat shamefully) attracted to.

Who's Kylo Ren, you may ask? He's this guy from the latest Star Wars:


"...Wait, Carmen, you're attracted to him?!"

I know, I know. Again, strangely (and shamefully).

As I mentioned earlier, I'm disappointed to tell you that I don't remember anything he said to me, only that he told me meaningless jokes I didn't understand and gave sympathetic laughs to, and that he talked a million miles per hour about himself.

I'm not entirely sure if he even asked my name, actually.

Finally, at the end of the conversation, he handed me his business card and said, "Do you have a New Zealand number?"

"Yeah," I said. This was one of maybe five words spoken in our 10 to 15 minute conversation.

"Great. Give me a call or a text sometime," he said. "Do you need a ride?"

"Yea—n—Wait . . . to . . . where?" I asked.

"Home."

"Oh — uh — no. I'm good. I'll just . . . um . . . wait for my group. Yes. Thank you. Yup."

He walked off (still talking to me) and I continued to give him sympathetic laughs, willing him to leave.



I plopped back down in my chair and began texting some of my friends who were in choir practice about what had just happened. Soon after practice, a small group of my friends asked me which one he was.

I looked at the business card to remember his name and said, "Uh . . . Wesley?"

"I HATE THAT GUY!" said two of my friends almost in unison, and my other two friends nodded in agreement.

"He's SO mean! He insulted EVERYTHING I liked after I told him I liked it, and basically said I was stupid!"

"He didn't do that with me," I justified, and then remembered that I didn't really SPEAK.

"He's a weird guy," said another friend. "Like, I think he means well. He just struggles socially, I think."

"Well, that makes two of us," I said, giving a big ol' cheesy smile.




"So, I shouldn't call him?" I asked.

"Well, I mean it might be fine if you just wanna kiss someone while being in New Zealand."

"Hey, that's true!" I said.



. . . . or maybe not.

I never did call him. Probably broke his heart so much, he had to block me out of his memory, and that's why he didn't even recognize me the next Sunday.

Sorry, little guy.


The last story took place later in the week.

I was walking down the street to go grab some grub (dinner. I'm tryin to be hip with the lingo). It was in the heart of Auckland, so it was always pretty busy, and this evening was no exception.

Here. Enjoy this screen shot from google maps to visualize it. #ILoveTechnology



So I'm struttin' my stuff down the street in my big, floppy hat, massive sunglasses, sun gloves, long maxi skirt, and a layer of sunscreen making my skin all shiny and reflective when I hear, "Carmen!"

I ignore it. There's no way someone would recognize me in this city, and I probably misheard it anyway.

"Carmen!"

. . . Wait what?

I turn around.

. . . was someone really calling my name? NOBODY shares my name.

I walked slowly and kept hearing the calls as I went. I saw a car at a stop light with two guys hanging out the window yelling and waving.

I looked around me, and didn't SEE anyone else reacting . . . and I could be missing someone. I didn't recognize these guys in the slightest in the slightest.



Were they from the church congregation? How did these guys know me?

I pointed at myself and said, "Me?" even though I could barely hear myself say it. There was no way they heard it, too.

They kept yelling undecipherable things.

I stood there and stared at them, and finally said, " . . . What?!"

"Aaarghghghghghghargaha!"

". . . Sorry — what?!"

"AAARHAUIGHGHALULDGHW!"

I ran up to the car and said, "Uh . . . hey guys!! How are you? I didn't recognize you!"

I still didn't.

They stared at me.

"What'd you say?" I asked them.

They pointed in a general direction and said words I couldn't understand at all.

"You . . . want me to go over there?"

More pointing and blabbering. I was pretty confident at this point that they weren't speaking English.

"Uh . . . got it. I'll meet you guys there! Yeah? Okay!"

And I scurried back to where I thought they were pointing. I stood there for probably 45 seconds, pretending to be busy on my phone and came to the following conclusions:

I'm now pretty confident they were NOT yelling Carmen. The pointing thing? I think they pointing at someone else and trying to tell me they were talking to them. Maybe.

The other possible solution is that they were cat calling me and I was unaware of it, and then when I approached them, my beauty stunned them so much that they forgot how to speak English.

Yup. That's it.

And so I put my phone away, took off my large hat, and ducked into the crowd, once again determined to blend right back into the crowd so that those guys couldn't find me on the slight chance they recognized me.

I guess this can be a lesson to us all:

We cannot run away from our problems - we only run into different problems.

The same applies with awkward moments.

We cannot run away from awkward moments - we only run into different awkward moments.

If I had a beard, you can bet I'd be stroking it right now.










Good awkward to you, my friend.