Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Caught in the Act

So, we all do things in our life that we really hope other people don't witness. But because there must be embarrassing situations to enjoy the non-embarrassing situations, we all get caught in those moments.

And I had the pleasure of that happening to me multiple times this week.

The Garbage Can

One such experience happened the day of cleaning checks. After a fun night out with friends, I got home around midnight and remembered that cleaning checks were the next morning.

Knowing very well that I would NOT get out of bed at a reasonable hour to do my chores before the managers came to check my apartment, I knew it was best if I stayed up a little late to do them.

I scrubbed the toilet and shower down, swept the floor, de-junked my desk, and in the process, filled the garbage can to the brim with paper towels, dirt, hair, and papers. These were in the small garbage cans - the kind that a grocery sack can fill. It was time to take it out.

I took out the bathroom and my personal garbage bags and tied the top, threw on some shoes and headed out into the night to the dumpster.

Let me paint in your head exactly what I looked like at this moment: make-up smeared under my eyes from the days activities, wearing basketball shorts that showed off my pastey-white, harry legs, a bright blue t-shirt that read: NEW YORK, greasy hair because I had yet to shower, and topping it off with the very first pair of shoes I managed to find: black high-heels.

I looked like pretty stellar if I do say so myself.

I left my apartment and ran downstairs to the main courtyard and realized . . . I had just moved in a couple weeks ago . . . and had NO idea where the dumpster was.
And I sure as heck did NOT want to tromp around my apartment complex looking like THIS in the middle of the night.

I began towards the pool, which still had a few kids lingering by it. I saw a small, public garbage can sitting by the gate that entered the pool, and thought, "Meh. Good enough."

Now this was one of those garbage cans that had a square top and a flap on it. I went up to it, put my first garbage bag up against the flap and went to push it in . . .
and discovered that my trash was a little TOO full.

Well, like I said, I was NOT about to go hike around my complex looking for the dumpster when it was midnight. I was DETERMINED to make this grocery bag full of trash fit.
So, I put the second grocery bag down, pushed with all my might against the first grocery bag, until it finally slid right on into the trash can. Success. Now, I had to do this once more.

I repeated this process. I pressed the grocery bag against the flap, leaned onto it and. . . nothing. I shoved it a couple more times. Still nothing. It was jammed. I sighed, threw my fist back, and began punching the crap out of this poor little trash bag. Inch-by-inch it slid into the trash can, until finally, I threw one last punch, and it slid right inside, and the flap closed.

I dusted off my hands, and turned around to walk back to my apartments . . . to see two girls and a guy staring questionably at me.

I nodded once at them, shoved my hands in my pockets, and walked away with my head down and heels clicking back to my apartment, hoping they wouldn't notice where I lived.

The Jacket

This one, oddly enough, involved a trash can as well.

As part of my job, I report on a few events that happen on campus.

On this particular day, it was raining, and I had to report on an event. So, I threw on my black jacket, threw the hood over my hair, and started my walk to campus.

Within seconds my feet were sopping wet, as well as my jacket. I half walked/half jogged to campus until I finally reached the building where the event was taking place

And it. Was. PACKED. People filled the main parts of every floor as they took part in the activities provided and talked to one another.

Instantly I stripped off my jacket and tied it around my purse, and got to work interviewing people.

As I squeezed through the crowd, the weight of my bag was exaggerated from my jacket, and I found that it kept swinging and hitting people at twice the speed and weight as it normally would. I found myself constantly apologizing to people as my bag hit their butt, back and thigh at a fast speed.

Not only that, but it was INCREDIBLY hot in that building. Almost as soon as I stripped off my jacket did I begin to sweat. I tried holding my jacket a few times, but it was too clumsy and warmed my arms and hands up too much when I cradled it.

The jacket was getting in the way far too much. I had to do a tricky balancing act as I would hold out my recorder while interviewing people, hold my jacket, wipe sweat away from my brow, AND take notes on the interview all at once.

The jacket had to go. But where? I could just see myself hiding it under the staircase, only for some good citizen to turn it into the lost-and-found, and me not being able to rediscover my jacket.

I thought about hanging it up in the bathroom but no, I could see someone taking it or turning it into the lost-and-found there, too.

I trotted downstairs which was the least-crowded floor, although it still had a good amount of people. I wandered the hallways until I found an empty one. In the corner of that hallway sat a garbage can. I began to concoct my plan right then: I would simply move the garbage can, ball up my jacket, and hide it behind the trash can. Brilliant.

Quickly, I went over to the garbage can and wrapped my hands around the sides. I was surprised by how heavy it was. I tugged and pulled, but it only managed to move a few inches at a time. So, I knelt down, wrapped both my arms around the body of the trash can, and did this really weird looking backwards-hobble-while-squatting-while-holding-a-trash-can move.

I really wonder if anyone else had ever done a move like that before.

As you probably predicted, I hadn't moved it that much before I toppled over on my butt and had to let go of the trash can. But I had moved it enough to hide my jacket between the trash can and the wall. Quickly, I balled up my jacket, placed it in the corner, and shoved my whole weight into the trash can. It moved just enough to hide my jacket.

The whole event had made me sweat even more. I wiped my hands off on my pants, pushed my now-sweaty and soaked-with-rain hair back, and as I wondered why I bothered to shower at all, I turned around . . . and made eye contact with a mom holding her two-year-old, as she looked at me with a very confused look.

I gave a small smile, nodded once, shoved my hands in my pockets, and raced away in the other direction, hoping that I wouldn't run into her again.


The Hang Nail

The last even happens to me far too often, but it doesn't get any less embarrassing.

I was sitting in class and you see, I sit behind a really cute boy. I've only talked to him once. Partly because we don't get much of a chance to talk in that class, and partly because I already got all the small talk questions out of the way and now have nothing to say to him.

But I get the pleasure of staring at the back of his head and examining his neatly trimmed hair.

But anyway. Enough about my weird infatuation. All you really need to know is I think he's attractive.

Now, as I mentioned in a couple previous posts, I have an unfortunate habit of chewing my hang nails that I just have not been able to kick. It's an issue.

Because of my peeling cuticles, I have taken a break from painting my nails, so my habit has gotten even worse.

Now this particular day, the boy was sitting kitty-corner in front of me. It was a discussion based class this day, and we could pipe in with a comment whenever we wanted. At one point, the girl sitting next to me raised her hand to comment. As the teacher called on her, the attractive man sitting kitty-corner in front of me turned around to see who was talking.

We made eye contact.
. . . right as my thumb was up to my mouth as I knawed the life away at a piece of dead skin.

I froze.

He looked at me.

Slowly, I lowered my thumb to my lap, but the damage was done.  He had already seen my disgusting habit in the act. He knew my shameful addiction.

He turned around. And I shamefully went back to chewing the crap off that stupid piece of dead skin.

I KNOW, GUYS! IT'S A PROBLEM!

I still haven't talked to that kid. I think I basically convinced myself that he found me disgusting after he saw me chewing my hangnail.

Either that, or he thinks I suck my thumb.

Both those are terrible habits, and I wish he didn't think I did either of those, but alas. I was caught in the act.


Happy Awkward Tuesday, everyone.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Word Clumsiness

Do you ever just say things that come out wrong? Or you just say whatever pops into your mind? I have a CURSE of doing that. I just have a natural talent of sticking my foot in my mouth. Figuratively. Not literally. I've never tired actually sticking my food in my mouth.

It's not like I mean to offend anybody, I just say what's in my mind, and after I say it, I realize how offensive that could be taken, and I'm left standing there, blushing, and trying to fix the damage that's already done.

I call this "Word Clumsiness."
Word Clumsiness: Unintentionally saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.
Example: This blog post

Take this last Friday, for example.

I get to my job, sit down at my computer, and (because I live in Provo) we got on the subject of dating and marriage.
"You guys don't even know," one of my coworkers said to us, "I had to live through the missionary age change! After the announcement was made, there was 123 guys in my congregation, and only 27 girls! It was like a blood bath! It was like the Hunger Games! And the worst part was, half of those 27 girls were taken!"
"Yeah, and were the other half single for a reason?" I asked.
He stared at me, pointed a finger at me and said, "That . . . is a very rude question . . . . but yes. Yes, they were."
"Called it!" I said.
Offensive? I guess so. Did I mean it that way? Not in the slightest.
Strike one.

Lunch time came. We all decided to go out to eat. As we walked there, we passed various apartment complexes. I pointed to one, falling apart, brick building and said, "Ugh. That place. Every time I've gone there I have met the WEIRDEST people. Pretty sure everyone who lives there is weird as crap."
"I lived there before I was married." said the same coworker as the above conversation.
". . . .Oh."
Offensive? YES. Did I mean it that way? WELL NOT TOWARDS HIM! He's normal.
Strike two.

Later.

I pulled my earbuds out of my ears and rubbed them. I had been wearing them for about three hours straight now, and the insides of my ear were almost soar from them being constantly in.
"Ugh," I groaned, "I think those big, cushioned, headphones look ridicules, but I may have to purchase them. My ears hurt so bad."
"They're not ridiculous! I wear them all the time!" said the kid who I conversed with in the previous two conversations.
". . .Oh."
I was really getting off to a good start with this kid.
Strike three.

Later.

It was nearing the end of the day. By now, my earbuds rested to the side of my computer, and I was left to the noise of the office. One of my coworkers sat behind me, playing various music on his computer. They were trying to find something to go along with a video they were in the process of producing. In the midst of the music, some terrible band with an according came on.
"Oh my gosh," I said through fits of giggles, "What on EARTH are you listening to?"
"It's my band," responded my coworker who sat at the computer behind me.
". . . oh . . ."
"It's okay. That was like . . . 16 years ago. Look - I'm shirtless with an according with this video!"
I glanced over his shoulder to see his pale, awkward, 16-year-old self.
". . .Nice."
Still didn't stop me from feeling a little bit guilty.

I guess we can learn from the above conversations that, well, the truth hurts.

But my clumsiness doesn't stop with words. I also have a terrible habit of laughing at inappropriate times.

Since we're on the subject with work, we'll start with the inappropriate laughter that took place then:
We were having a team meeting, and our tech manager was giving us instructions on simple computer care.
"Make sure to turn your computer off at night, especially on the weekends! Otherwise the computers keep running and it overheats. The person who previously used my computer wouldn't turn it off, and it started to smoke."
I couldn't hold it in.
"HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA---."
Nobody else was laughing, but almost everyone was staring. I proceeded to blush, and stick my knuckles in my mouth to muffle my laughter.

Another time, we were sitting at our computers, working. It was pretty quiet, when one of my coworkers piped up and said, "You know, I'm the coworker who is preventing this office from being taking up straight to heaven! Which is good, because we have work to do!"
Oh no.
I could feel it bubbling within me. I tried to stop. Nobody else was laughing! I can't do this!
But, it happened.
"Haha . . .haha. . . hahahahahahahaHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"
"Well. At least she think's I'm funny." said my coworker as everyone else began to snicker at the fact that I was laughing.

Now you're probably thinking, "Carmen, that's just laughing at slightly funny things."
Well it goes farther than that.

I was once sitting at a dinner of one of my families friends. One of them was talking about how his parents recently returned home from serving a senior couple mission.
"I didn't know it, but they got a new phone number. The day they came home, I kept calling and calling but nobody would pick up! I thought they had died or something!"
"Hahaha!" I laughed.
"Don't laugh," he responded sternly, "It was actually quite horrific."
"HAHAHAHAHAHA."

I could go on. I really, really could. But I think you all have seen enough examples of how clumsiness goes far beyond just tripping and falling; it extends to words, too.

Happy Awkward Tuesday, everyone.
I know I will one day regret posting these awkward pictures of myself.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

An 11 Dollar Lecture

"Woah, Carmen . . . you're back. What happened?"
"School and life happened, my friend. School and life happened."
"What does this mean for the blog?"
"It means I'll post as much as I can! Hopefully I can get back in the swing of weekly posts. But I refuse to make any promises at this point."

Yes, my dear friends, I am back for the time being. This past semester I was working towards getting my associates, which meant cramming in my last required classes. These classes included biology, statistics, technology, philosophy and film studies.

I thought I was going to die.

But, with some tears, a lot of laughter, a lot of naps and a lot of homework, I managed to survive and get my associates degree in communications! I am excited, but at the same time, I still have at least two more years ahead of me, and am currently working full time and taking a couple classes.

And thus, the insanity of my life continues.

In the midst of this complete chaos and excitement of my life, I made a trip out to Houston to see my lovely, lovely sister, with my other wonderful, wonderful sister. The three of us hadn't been together in quite a few months, so we were all excited for this vacation.

We made a lot of plans for the three of us to do together. We wanted to go to the NASA space center, get manicures, go shopping, go to the LDS Temple and just hang out together.

And so that's what we did. Day one, after walking the dog together and watching General Conference, the three of us dashed off to get our nails done.

I had never gotten my nails done professionally before. In fact, up until probably four months earlier, I hadn't painted my nails in general in at least 4 to 6 years. However, since I was little, I've had a terrible habit of chewing my hang nails. At age 21, I had had enough of this terrible habit, and decided that it was time to quit! So to accomplish this, I began painting my nails in an attempt to stop me from picking my nails.

It helped, kind of. But as you probably gathered from above, I was quite stressed this last semester, and although my habit had dwindled, it was still there. And the week that I went to Houston? Well, it fell the week before finals, and the week after I had gone through a lot of social-life stress. So, they were especially chewed up.

We walked into the nail salon, and a few minutes later, my sisters were seated for a pedicure, and I was shown to the nail polish options to choose what color I wanted.

I had no idea. When I decided to stop chewing my nails, I went a little crazy and bought a lot of different colored polish. So, I had at least one shade of every color in the rainbow.
Well, except for green.

Green is Slytherin's color,  I thought to myself, And it's something different and fun. Guess I'll go with that. Might as well get my money's worth and do something kind of crazy.

So I picked up a deep green color and waited to be seated.

Now, I will be straight up with you. This nail salon was a very stereotypical nail salon. Everyone who worked there was Asian. Everyone. Not a single white, black or Hispanic person worked there. There was one man, and the rest were woman.

The Asian man showed me to my seat. I sat down, and he sat across from me, taking my hand delicately in his as he stared at my nails.

And what were the first words out of his mouth?

"You chew your hangnails! Terrible habit! Terrible!"

Well, I could have predicted that was coming.

"I know, I'm trying to quit," I said kindly, though I was clenching my teeth with embarrassment and annoyance, "That's why I paint my nails. It's to help motivate me not to chew. It kind of  helps. . ."

Though every single one of my fingers was evidence that it was NOT indeed helping.

"You should get FAKE nail. That help," he said as he began to clip, file, and soak my nails, "Many people get fake nail, and they stop. It's terrible habit. Terrible. At least you don't chew nail, but still terrible habit."

"Yeah, I know. Fake nails are just hard to type, write and play the flute with . . . as far as I know . . . "

Awkward silence

I began looking around the room, watching Wheel of Fortune on the television set, and making faces at my sisters who were getting their pedicures done. I wasn't really sure if I should make conversation with this guy, when suddenly. . .

"AYA." he snapped, putting the nail file down.

"What is it?" I asked, alarmed.

"Your nail! What's this? What happen?"

He pointed to my finger nails, and I could feel myself blushing again. I have ZERO idea what the cause was, but starting about two weeks earlier, my nails began to split. Like, the top layer of the nail began to peel off at the tip. It was disgusting, and I really had no idea why that occurred or how to stop it.

"I know," I said, "I don't know what happened. Maybe because I've been painting my nails so much?"

He then mumbled, "Terrible habit." and something in Chinese.

I bit my lip and began avoiding eye contact once again.

Soon, it was time to actually start the process of painting my nails. We began a very serious routine: He would paint one hand.
I would put that hand under the mini fan he set up while he painted my other hand.
I would then switch hands while the previous hand got a second coat.
Repeat.

All was going fine and dandy. He was moving past my 'terrible habit' and accepting me for who I was. Most of the comments had stopped, aside from the occasional complaint that his, "hands will be all green after working with you."

And then, it was time for the third coat.

I switched hands, and my eyes widened as I saw a HUGE glob missing right in the center of my middle fingernail. I knew this wouldn't be good.

"WHAT HAPPEN?!" he yelled.

"I--I---."

"Did you put it too close to the fan?!"

"I---I---" as I stammered for words, I glanced at his own hands. He wore a large, bulky, gold ring on his own middle finger.
And hanging from that golden ring, was a huge, dangling, drying, dark green blob.
My nail polish.

In a split second, my brain processed the two ways this could go:
A) I could pull the naive card (as I often do), take the blame, and have him go on with his green-handed life thinking that I was a fool
or
B) I could point out his ring, have him potentially curse me, blame me for this problem, and continue to cause public  humiliation to me as he complained, pointed out and wouldn't let go of the fact that I ruined his ring.
Of course this was a gamble, but I knew what I had to do.

"Yes." I said, pulling option A, "I put it too close to the fan. My bad. I will be sure not to do that again."

"You don't do that!" he scolded me, while he frantically repainted the nail.

"I will be careful next time." I said, my voice void of any sincerity at all.

He said something else in Chinese, and we went on with finishing my nails.

Nail painting = finished. I moved to the front room where he put my hands under another fan. And I literally literally put. He moved my hands to exactly the right position so that they weren't too close to the fan, made sure I didn't move them, and went back to his station to clean.

Paying time. The total came to eleven dollars. Not too bad! I had seen some other nail salons that cost close to 30 or 40 dollars. My sisters were kind enough to grab my money out of my wallet and give it to the guy so that I didn't mess up my nails.

We thanked them, and went out to the car to go to our next adventure; shopping!

As we drove, I retold the story of the ongoing lecture he gave me. We all had a good laugh about it. As we pulled up to the store, I went to take a picture of my nails. . .
Only to see that the nail polish on my right pointer finger was now wrinkly and chipped.
"Are you kidding me?!"
"What is it?" asked my sisters.
"Look at this nail! It's demolished already. Ugh. Oh well. The rest still look good."

But I spoke too soon.
Within that hour, each finger nail got damaged in some for or another. Some wrinkled, some chipped, and the nail that had the blob missing? Well that blob suspiciously went missing again.
At the end of our shopping trip, I stood in line and stared at my nails, shaking my head.

"I payed eleven dollars for a lecture," I sighed.

Needless to say, the next time I will be getting my nails done will be when I quit this habit of chewing my nails. So, if my nails still get damaged within the hour, I would have avoided a lecture.



I snapped this picture after my first nail got damaged in hopes to document the polish before it got anymore damaged.

Have an awkward day, everyone.


The Daily Awkward

Hey, guys.

So this post really isn't in story form. I've just had a lot of awkward moments that I can't really make into a long story, cause they're just some of those daily awkward moments that happen. So, what better way to do it than to combine all of them into one post?

- I had a conversation with a kid who just got back from his mission three days ago. I asked him if he was 18 or 19 when he left on his mission.
"I'm 27." he said.
"Of course you are." I thought.
"Oh. . . well you don't look 27!" I said.
"I know." he said.
Man I have a way with words.
He has since dropped that class and I'm taking it a little personal.

- Smiled at a cute boy on campus. My mouth was full of a half-eaten cookie. And I had just put lip gloss on, so my lips were coated in cookie crumbs.
I bet it was the most attractive thing he had seen all day.

- I was in the laundromat and talking to a kid while I loaded my whites in the washer . . . and he CLEARLY saw me lift my bra out of the laundry basket, hook it together, and put it in the washer.

- I show up to the bus stop.
"Hey, Alex."
Kid doesn't respond.
". . . .you're not Alex, are you?"
Kid looks at me and says, "What?"
"Oh. You just look like someone in my church. What's your name?"
"Peter."
"Nice to meet you!"
"Yeah . . . OH good there's the bus!"
He hurriedly got on the bus.
"All I wanted was a friend!" I thought.

- "Hi, Carmen!"
"Hey, Dave!"
*Dave keeps walking while holding hands with a girl.
"Wait, is that your wife?" I ask.
*Dave doesn't hear me and keeps walking.
"Dave?...um...Okay you didn't hear me! I'm going to walk away now and stop yelling at no one! This is awkward, Dave! THIS IS GOING ON MY BLOG!"

-"Hi, Sister Hawkins!....I mean Dr. Haw-- PROFESSOR Hawkins! Ugh!"

- One time, on my mission, we were teaching an old lady about the restoration of the gospel.
I said, "If we read this scripture in Amos..."
"My brother's name was Amos!" said the old lady.
"That's cool!"
"Yes...he got run over by a tractor."
"....oh...."
How does one respond to that?

- I went to a random doctor. Not completely positive, but I think I'm the only patient above age 10 that my doctor saw that day.

-That bra thing happened again. Only it was two guys this time. I gotta find a better way to get my bras from my hamper, untangled from my clothes and into the wash without people noticing.

- "When did you get back from your mission?" I asked a girl I was talking to.
"A month ago."
"Did you know a sister so-and-so?" I asked her.
"Yeah!" She replied
"Cool!....she didn't like me!"
Why did I just say that?
"Oh...haha!" the girl laughed. 
Conversation killer.

-*I knock on a door*
*Man Answers.*
Me: "...wrong door."
And I walked away without further ado.

-Sent an email to the aforementioned Professor Hawkins, and signed it, "Sister Stimpson." I realized that after I had sent it.

-Gave a gift to my friend. Signed it "Sister Stimpson." Stared at it for a good number of seconds, then decided to leave it.

-*knock on door late at night, when I was falling asleep while doing homework*
I answered the door, to see two men standing there.
"Um. Hi?" I said, trying to wake myself up, and figure out if I knew them.
"Hi!" they replied .
"....so....what's up?" I asked, very confused as to why they were standing on my doorstep right then.
"Do you have any trash?" they asked.
"What?"
"Trash."
"Yeah."
.............
"We go around and pick up everyone's trash once a week!" they explained after a long silence of me looking at them VERY confused.
"Oh." I responded.
..............we continued to stand there and stare at each other........
"OH! Yeah, um, come in." I said, letting them come in.
I showed them where the trash can was, and began to take the trash bag out of the garbage can, when they grabbed it from me and said, "Woah! That's OUR job!"
"Oh. Yeah. Sorry." I said, and took a step back, only to accidentally back up into a plate of cookies, which clattered and cookies scattered everywhere on the counter.
"Oh! Did someone from the church congregation drop those off to you?" asked one of the guys, as the other replaced the garbage bag.
"What?" I asked.
"The cookies? Did someone drop those off to you?" he repeated.
"Oh. Yeah. Wait, I mean no. No. My roommate made them. Yeah."
They grabbed the garbage bag, we exchanged goodbyes, and they left.
I closed the door, thought about how socially awkward I just was, and decided that it was time for bed.

-For you to fully appreciate this moment, allow me to briefly describe the mailing system of the mission I served in:
Mail would get delivered to Utica.
The mail would then get forwarded to wherever the missionary was located.
Thus, it was important to put the missionaries full name on the letter, else they wouldn't know who to forward it too.
One day, I was in Utica for a missionary meeting. I went to the pile of letters that hadn't been forwarded yet, and found one addressed to me. I opened it up, and was surprised to see another envelope inside of it.
I could see that the envelope had been returned, because it was addressed to "The Girl With Hot-Girl Problems." I burst out laughing, and ran up to the missionary who was in charge of the mail.
"Do you remember getting this letter?" I asked.
She looked at it, smiled and said, "Well, yes I do!"
"That was to me!"  I said, still laughing, "It's an inside joke of ours."
The woman smiled and said, "Yes, well I had to laugh. I do get a lot of letters like that. Some of them, however, are inappropriate."
I then had to stifle my laughter as she continued talking. She then began to talk about how she doesn't think it's right for missionaries friends to address letters with them in such an inappropriate way, and how they should be addressed professionally.
"Um. . . yes, I'll be sure to convey that message to my friend." I said, nodding. Then I walked away quickly and laughed in the other room.

- I walked into my class, and saw my friend Anna sitting down. I plop down next to her and go, "PHEW! Man, is that a HIKE up those stares!I thought I was going to be late! But I made it! Hmm. . . are these desks pushed up farther than usual?" I shake the desk violently "They seem farther up than usual. Or is it just me?"
At this point, I make eye contact with Anna.
"Um, the desks look normal to me." she said.
And then I wasn't completely sure if she was Anna. . .
She had the same hair color, her face looked like it COULD'VE been Anna's, but holy crap! Anna didn't wear that strong of perfume before! Still, though. I could just be mistaken. . . but wait . . . did Anna have freckles like that? Oh no, I can't tell if I know this girl or not!
Anna popped her gum, played with her hair, and turned away from me, staring at her phone, purposely ignoring me.
Dear goodness, I hope this isn't Anna. I thought to myself.
I look around my the classroom, looking for Anna. I couldn't see her anywhere else in the classroom. Anna usually sits in this seat! Okay, so . . . is this Anna? Or some girl that looks like Anna?
The teacher passed the roll around. I signed my name, than slid it over to Anna, and watched creepily over her shoulder as she signed it.
Rachel Grill.
Yup. Not Anna.

- I boarded the bus to see that at least one person was sitting in every row. That means, I'd have to sit by a random stranger.
I sat down next to a fellow redhead, and was pulling my iPod out of my backpack, when the bus pulled over at the next bus stop.
The majority of the bus got off . . . aside from my fellow redheaded seat buddy. However, rows and rows ahead of me were now empty.
Ah, crap, I thought to myself, Everyone knows it's a social no-no to sit by someone you don't know on a nearly empty bus!
I then had to make a very important decision: Do I stand up and move to an empty row? Or do I keep sitting.
If I stand up and move, that could just look flat out rude. She could take it personally! The girl's self esteem could plummet! All because of me!
But, if  I stay sitting, I could look like a total creep. I mean, we're on an empty bus! And I'm sitting next to this girl I don't know!
I decided to move. I grabbed my backpack, preparing to move. I leaned forward, preparing to move, my butt hovering slightly above my seat.
This is stupid. 
I sat back down, and shuffled my stuff around. I'll stay seating. 
The redheaded girl sitting next to me began to put her stuff away, into her backpack.
Oh, she must be leaving soon. I'll move.
I grab my backpack, crouched above my chair slightly, only to see her grab something different out of her backpack.
I sat back down.
Okay now I just look like a creep. 
Then, she pulled the signal requesting the bus driver stop at the next bus stop.
Are you for real?
She stood up, and so did I. I moved seats, and she easily got out of the seat, and left.
Well, I think it's easy to say I over thought that. 

-I plugged my earphones into my computer, and put them in my ears. I turn on a song.
Little did I know my volume was on full blast.
Thus, I ripped the headphones out of my ear, throwing them across the table while saying, "BAH!"

Happy Tuesday, everyone.

Men, Missionaries, Tampons, and a lot of Blushing

This story. Oh buddy.
This story is I think thee number one awkward experience from my mission.

IT. WAS. SO. BAD.

I think it is possibly thee number one awkward moment in my life thus far.

I'm a little sad that I'm handing it over to you all so quickly, but really. It's worth the read.

Now, as I mentioned in my previous post, I served a religious mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

I was assigned to serve in the New York Utica mission.

A mission lasts 18 months for females, and 2 years for males.

During this 18 months, I did NOT spend my whole mission in just Utica. In fact, I never really spent any time in Utica. Utica is just the headquarters for all the missionaries in that area. The Utica Mission covers most of the upstate New York. You are assigned an area to serve in for at least six weeks. You are assigned a companion who will serve with you, who you will live with and be with 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

These details will be important not only to this story, but also to future stories.

Now, every six weeks, you get a call from one of your missionary leaders, telling you if you are leaving the area that you are assigned to be in, or if you are staying. You then have 3 days to pack up your life and go to your new area.

Once upon a time, I got a call telling me that I was leaving the area I was currently serving in, and moving to an area that was right next door to the city I was currently serving in.

I then had to pack up my entire life in two suitcases and one carrying bag (which turned into two suitcases, three backpacks, and two garbage bags) and move to my new area.

But I forgot one very important thing.

Feminine Hygiene Products.


And now you see, two days after I had moved to my new area, I woke up and well. . . I needed them.
And I didn't have them.

But, hey! I have a brilliant idea!
Today was Friday, and on Saturday and Sunday, there was a big meeting that all the missionaries would be at! I will just call the missionaries in the previous area I was serving in to get my feminine hygiene products! They can bring them to the missionary meeting!
There's only one slight problem to this.
The only other missionaries in my previous areas were male.

Oh, buddy.

And thus inserted some of the top awkward moments I have ever had with a man.

That Friday, the Elders (male missionaries) in my previous area called to ask me and my companion a couple of questions.
At the end of the conversation, Elder Jacobson (name has been changed. More for his sake than mine.) asked, "Well, anything we can do for your sisters?"

"Um.....yes.....well I may need you to pick something up for me from our old apartment. But I'll let you know about it tomorrow, before the meeting."
"You can just tell me now, it's fine."
"Um.....are you sure you want to know?"
"Yeah, it's fine!" he said.
"Okay. So I'll need feminine hygiene products---."
"NO, NO, NO, NO, NO."
I pulled the phone away from my ear as he yelled.
"LOOK. If you feel TOO uncomfortable, just ask a member in the local congregation who is a FEMALE, and unlock the door for her, and SHE can run in and get them!" I said.
"No, I can DO it, I just don't want to hear about this until it's necessary, okay?"
"Understandable. Thanks, Elder."

The next day came, and I had to explain to him where to get the feminine hygiene products.
"They're under the bathroom sink, to the right." I said.
"Bathroom sink. Got it."
".......so......do you know what pads and tampons looks like?"
".....I don't even know what those are." he replied.
"Oh no." I thought.
"Oh, dear goodness. Okay, so....there's going to be some big, green squares. They'll be in a green bag. Get those. Then there's going to be a few little colorful squares. Those will be in a plastic bag. Then there's going to be some orange and white.....tubes. They'll be in a plastic bag. You'll need those, too."
"Big green squares, colorful little squares, and.....orange and white.......got it."
"Okay, um, thanks."
.....awkward silence......
"Elder, do you feel as awkward as I do right now?" I asked.
"..............I just never thought I'd be getting a call like this on my mission." he said.
"Yeah, I'm just preparing you for marriage.....BUT NOT OUR MARRIAGE! Oh my gosh. Can I just hang up now?"
"Yeah that's fine."
"Okaythanksbye."

Saturday comes. I'm on my last feminine hygiene product. We arrive at the missionary meeting and, desperately, I ran up to Elder Jacobson and said, "Did you bring them?"
".....shoot....."
I couldn't help by shake my head.
"I'll bring them tomorrow, I swear!" he said.
"Okay that'll work." I said, remembering that tomorrow, thankfully, we had another meeting that all the missionaries would be at. "So....sorry this is so awkward."
"No, it's fine." he insisted.
"Really? Cause your face says otherwise." I said, though I didn't have room to talk. My face was beat red.
"No, I only panic in the moment. So, tomorrow, I'll get there and probably panic."
I didn't really know how to respond to that. So I smiled uncomfortably, nodded, and walked away.

I then began to frantically ask various woman at the meeting if they had any feminine hygiene products.
"No."
"No."
"Honey I don't need to use those anymore."
"Sorry, I don't."
"No."
"Yes! Here! No, wait, we'll go to the bathroom and I'll give it to you." said one of the sisters.
A member gave me a few more products, and I was set for that night.

Sunday morning came. My companion and I showed up to the  meeting. Before it started, I scouted out the crowed until I found Elder Jacobson. Quickly, I trotted up to him. He was already sitting in his seat, and his companion was turned around talking to someone behind him.

"I forgot." Elder Jacobson said before I said anything.
I rolled my eyes, and sat down next to him and said, "Elder Jacobson. I'm going to give you some life advice. In the future, when your wife asks you for these things, you need to give them to her within the hour."
He breaks eye contact and looks straight ahead and says, "I'm just kidding. So....I got there... and panicked, and forgot what I was supposed to be looking for, so I just shoved everything in a bag. I think I got everything, but I think I forgot just ONE thing. But everything else is there. It's in the car."
By now both of us are just sitting all stiff next to each other, and not making eye contact, and my face is as red as my hair.
"Okay, thanks, Elder."
"Yup."
"Here's some candy as a thank you." I said, handing him a kit-kat and M&M's.
.......silence.....
"Let's never have a conversation like this again, okay?" I said.
"Deal." he agreed.

Later, my companion and I then went out with Elder Jacobson and his companion to their van. He gave me the bag, and sure enough, he got it all. And actually didn't forget any. In fact, he grabbed some stuff that wasn't even mine.
I turned to his companion, "Did you help him at all?"
"He wouldn't even tell me what's going on!" he said.
"Oh! He saved you! That's nice. Elder Jacobson, I was going to make you share your candy with him, but you can just keep it for yourself." I said.
"I already gave the candy away." said Elder Jacobson.
"Oh my. That's the last time I give you chocolate."

We shook hands, and walked away.

And I think it can be easily said that Elder Jacobson and I never really talked to, or associated with each other, anytime after that.

Now, to finish, please enjoy this awkward picture of me:

Never Ask Your Awkward Friend to be Sneaky

Hello my dear friends!

It is good to be back. After taking a wonderful year-and-a-half break from writing, blogging, surfing the internet, and doing a lot of other time wasting activities and preaching the good word of God instead, I am back and excited to post many awkward moments once again.

As I'm sure most of you know, I just returned from serving a religious mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, otherwise known as "Mormons." (Carmen, what on earth do you mean "a religious mission"?)

You are going to hear a lot about my mission on this blog. Why? Well, it was a huge part of my life. An amazing part of my life.
And an incredibly awkward moment of my life.
So. Incredibly. Awkward.

But, that's for the next few posts.

Today's post is takes place during. . .

High School.

Ah, the infamous high school. I loved it. I really did!
But I sure don't ever want to do that again.

Middle School and High School are just infamously awful and awkward years. Full of bad haircuts, braces, embarrassing romances, acne, cliques, and terrible clothes that you think are "in style" that you later look back on and wonder why you wore that.
. . .yes, I may have experienced most of those. . .
Many people hate it in the moment, or hate looking back at it.
I find myself leaning back in my chair, putting my hands behind my head and thinking, "Aaah I was a stupid teenager, wasn't I?"

So let's jump right to this event, shall we?

I was a Junior in High School. This year, I Had hair down to my butt that I was scared to cut after getting a TERRIBLE hair cut in the eighth grade, and bangs that were FAR too long, so they just drooped awkwardly around my face. I also believed that wearing brightly colored socks with flat shoes, and worn out jeans that I had had for way too many years and were obviously worn out somehow looked good on me.

It didn't.

Despite my incredibly cringe-worth appearance which no doubt played a part in me having close to zero dating experiences in high school, I always had a good group of friends in high school that I could turn to. This year, there were three girls who I was really close to. We did everything together, told each other everything, and were best friends.

Unfortunately, I didn't share lunch with these three girls my junior year. Two of them had science class together, and the other one also had class during this time. These days I don't remember WHO I sat by (though I do know my senior year I ate lunch with my history teacher. No joke.) but I always managed to somehow keep myself busy and not lonely during our 45-minute lunch.

This particular day, I received a text message from one of these friends in the science class.

"We need you to do a huge favor." she said, "Are you at lunch?"
"Yeah. What's up?" I responded.
"We have a group PowerPoint presentation today. We were supposed to print off a hard copy of the PowerPoint for our teacher, but we completely forgot that it was due today. I emailed the PowerPoint to myself. Can you go to the computer lab and print off a copy?"
"Yeah, sure! How do I get it to you guys?"
"The classroom door is open," she explained, "just drop it right by the door, and we'll pretend to throw something in the trash, and pick it up."

She sent me the log-in info for her email, and with that, I headed to the computer lab.

Thankfully, there was one open computer. There was about fifteen minutes left of lunch, and I quickly scrambled to pull open her email and print off the PowerPoint.

Success! The PowerPoint was printed. I got up, made sure all the slides had printed, logged off of the computer, and was on my way to their classroom.

When I arrived, sure enough, the classroom door was open. The lights were off as other groups stood to give their presentation, their PowerPoint projected for all to see at the front of the classroom. . .
right by the door.

I walked by once very slowly, and not so discreetly. I made eye contact with my two friends who sat in the front two seats by the door. They saw me.
I walked a little past the classroom, then turned around, and walked passed the classroom a second time. I also not-so-subtly dropped the hard copy of the PowerPoint on the floor in the middle of the hallway.
I smiled triumphantly at my friends, expecting their approval, only to see their eyes wide while they quickly shook their heads "no."

"What is it?" I loudly whispered.

"Move it closer to the door!" they mouthed back.

". . .What?!"

"Move it closer to the door!" they said in a whisper.

I scooted a little closer to the door and mouthed, "What?!"

"Move. It. Closer. To. The. Door!" they whispered desperately.

"OOOOH!"

Quickly, I trotted back to the middle of the hall and picked up the PowerPoint. I turned around and walked towards the door, PowerPoint in hand. . .
Right as the science teacher walked up to close the door.

Now, I would always walk these two friends to this class and talk to them until this teacher would kick me out. So he knew me well.

I smiled uncomfortably as he stared at me.

"You okay?" he asked, annoyed.

"Yeah I'm, um, I'm good." I said, nervously playing with the PowerPoint in my hands.

Without another word, he closed the door, and I watched as my two friends stared, their eyes huge and horrified.

Quickly, I trotted back to the middle of the hall and picked up the PowerPoint. I turned around and walked towards the door, PowerPoint in hand. . .
Right as the science teacher walked up to close the door.

Now, I would always walk these two friends to this class and talk to them until this teacher would kick me out. So he knew me well.

I smiled uncomfortably as he stared at me.

"You okay?" he asked, annoyed.

"Yeah I'm, um, I'm good." I said, nervously playing with the PowerPoint in my hands.

Without another word, he closed the door, and I watched as my two friends stared, their eyes huge and horrified.

I got down on my knees and checked the bottom of the door. There wasn't a way I could slide it under to them. And even if I could, I wouldn't be able to do it without the teacher noticing.

I stood back up and looked through the window in the door. Once again, I made eye contact with my friends, and emphasized that I was dropping the PowerPoint on the ground. I sat it next to the door, and quickly ran off.
What was I running from? I'm not entirely sure.
Maybe I had an adrenaline rush.

Just after I had taken off, one of my friends in the science class came up with a brilliant way to retrieve the PowerPoint. She grabbed her pencil, and stood up and went towards the pencil sharpener, which sat next to the door. She sharpened her pencil, then cracked open the classroom door, bent down, swiped the PowerPoint off the floor, shut the door, and walked back to her seat, pencil and PowerPoint in hand.

This story has a happy ending. They gave their PowerPoint presentation, successfully gave the hard copy of the PowerPoint to their teacher, passed the class, and moved onto college where they are both now working towards science-related degrees.

And all because I gave them the hard copy of their PowerPoint.

Looking back, we've thought of a lot of "alternate endings" to this story.
They could've asked to use the bathroom, and they could've met me and gotten the PowerPoint from me.
I could've slid the PowerPoint across the floor to them.
Or I could've completely chucked it at them, which also could've made an equally hilarious story.

But what's done is done and cannot be undone. And it's small moments like these where I find myself leaning back in my chair, putting my hands behind my head and thinking, "Aaah I was a stupid teenager, wasn't I?"

A Third Graders Revenge


Honestly, I didn’t think I’d get around to posting anymore awkward stories before I headed off on my mission for a year and a half, which is a real shame, because I have a couple stories in storage. Well, guess I can post them when I get back?

But then I remembered this gem of a story.
This beautiful, beautiful gem.

It takes place in the third grade.

Now, most of my elementary school career is kind of a blur. I remember memories here and there, I remember how I felt in certain situations, but one thing I CAN’T forget is how I felt about certain people.

And . . . well there was this certain bully I dealt with on occasion in third grade. But I gained spunk in third grade, so I actually started talking back to the bullies, though usually they were REALLY lame comebacks.

But anyway.

There was this certain bully who we’ll call Marlee. I don’t know what it was about her, but she just really liked to yell at me and ridicule me and just be a downright bratty third grader.

I don’t remember what my stupid comebacks to her were, but I’m sure they were fantastic.
I also don’t know why this gem of a memory came back to me so vividly, but oh boy. I am SO glad it did.

It was recess. In third grade, my classroom was in the outside portable, right next to the tetherball court and swing sets. Generally during recess, I would hang out in the shade because I’m an epic nerd who has a sun allergy. But this day was different. It was cloudy, windy, and somewhat cold. Most people hate this kind of weather. I, however, thrive in it.

So, taking advantage of the beautiful weather for me, I started hanging around the tetherball courts with my elementary school best friend, Katharine. Suddenly, Marlee’s EXTREMELY obnoxious voice which still haunts me TO THIS DAY yells something at me.

I don’t remember what she said, but I turned around from the tetherball courts. She was sitting on the steps of the portable.

I walked right up to the bottom step, and she stood up. 

I'm pretty sure we looked something like this:


Now, Marlee was ridiculously short. She’s still ridiculously short. So as she stood on the top step of the portable and faced me, who was at the foot of the steps, I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that this was one of the few times in life where she could actually see OVER someone’s head.

Not that there’s anything wrong with short people, I’m just insulting her cause she bullied me.

I still don’t remember what she said, but I STILL remember her OBNOXIOUSLY squeaky voice just ridiculing and yelling at me! Ugh.

I stood there and gave her the best glare my third-grade-self could muster and just stared her down, with my fists clenched.

And then, it happened.

Out of both nostrils, snot started streaming out all over her face.
It poured.
And poured.
And poured.

I remember her screeching as she cupped the snot in her hand. And it didn’t stop. That waterfall of snot just kept coming.

I’m pretty sure I had the most Satanic smile on my face as I watched this play out.

Then she looked at me and screamed, “GET ME A TISSUE!”
And being the good Samaritan I was, I did.

Kind of.
I walked away like this:



I turned around slowly, and walked towards the school. Very, very slowly. I could still hear her squawking loudly, sounding similar to those mice on Cinderella. I remember turning and looking over my shoulder to start seeing kids congregate around her. And the snot continued to stream.

I took a nice little stroll to the school, gave the hall monitor my name, walked nicely to the yellow tiled, florescent lighted bathroom, grabbed a single paper towel and left the bathroom.

By the time I got back to her, a large group of kids were around her, watching her.
Which I’m sure she loved cause Marlee loves attention.

. . . I’m only a little bitter, okay?!

I walked up to steps of the portable calmly and there was a small window between the kids where I could see Marlee. Now the stream had stopped, but she was still covered it wet goo.
And I tossed the paper towel at her and watched it land at her feet, then walked away.

Oh third-grader-self. I wish I could go back in time and hug you.

Now, before I go, I just want to take a moment and thank EVERYONE who read this blog! I will really, really, really miss writing these stories, and just writing in general. I am amazed by the response I got from this blog; I've now received 11,000 views, and I am SO grateful and so touched by everyone who has taken the time to read this!

Please continue sharing these stories with those you know. I write to be read and want people to continue reading. 

I hope to pick this back up once I return from my mission! Although I will miss this, I am VERY excited for this amazing and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be able to dedicate all my time to the Lord. I wouldn't trade this opportunity for anything.

Stay awkward. 
Especially on Tuesdays. 

The Little Things in Life - My Experience with the Boston Bombings

As a few of you might have noticed - I failed yet again to post an awkward story yesterday.

You see, I usually type my stories up on Monday. But in the light of yesterday's event, very few things seemed important to me yesterday except my family.

I had completely spaced my dad was running the Boston marathon until I called him the Friday before. 

"Hey, dad. I'm coming home for the day to visit some friends if you want to do something together." I said.
"Okay, well, we're leaving for Boston today so we won't be there."
"Without me? Looser!"

Charming, Carmen.

I was incredibly excited for my dad, nonetheless. It was his 30th marathon and his 5th time running the Boston Marathon. I had no doubt he would rock it once again!

Monday. 

I had been receiving texts periodically throughout the day from the marathon updating me on my dad's pace. He had done the 10k while I was studying math. He had reached the halfway point during my geology class. And during lunch, as I cracked open my chocolate milk, he had finished! It took him 3 hours and 33 minutes. I was so excited for him, though I felt a little on the fat side seeing as I was drinking chocolate milk and my dad had just finished a marathon!

2:40 p.m.
It was in mission prep when I received the text from my mom saying:

You're going to see some things about an explosion at the marathon. Don't worry - we're safe back at the hotel.

"It was probably just a gas leak or something," I said to myself. But I couldn't stop my heart from pounding. 
I couldn't sit still. 

Stop being stupid, Carmen. They said they were fine.I told myself. 

1:47 p.m.
I got a text from my older sister who was still in town, saying how horrified she was. 

This isn't just a gas leak.

1:55 p.m.
My class got let out late. My thoughts were rushing. What on earth had happened? I had texted my sister asking her, but no response. I left my friend who usually walks to the parking lot with me and ran to the computer lab. 

I remember my heart was beating inside my chest. I had to know what was going on. 

"They're fine, Carmen. They're fine." I kept telling myself. 

I physically began to shake as I read the headlines. I could hear my heartbeat rush in my ears. It felt as if someone had just kicked me in the chest, and was now squeezing my neck. I couldn't breath. 

I read of lost limbs and bloody streets. I watched clips of the fiery explosion and people running, desperately crying for their loved ones. My eyes began to water and I willed the tears to go away.

They're fine, Carmen. They're fine.

 I saw an interview of a man whose dad had been seriously injured in the explosion. He stared at the ground as they interviewed him, a blank look on his face. 
"My dad couldn't walk. They had to put him in a wheel chair." 

My dad couldn't walk . . . my dad couldn't walk. . . my dad couldn't walk . . .

I felt completely numb. 

2:30 p.m.

I walked almost in a daze as countless friends texted me to make sure my dad was okay. I answered a phone call and said hi to people and did my best to smile and seem calm. My family was fine. So I should be fine.

But the feeling of my heart being squeezed wouldn't go away. 

They're fine, Carmen. They're fine.

I drove to my sisters work, and tried to get my mind off of things, and in the end I ended up thinking of nothing at all. 

3:15 p.m.

I parked in the lot of my sisters work, and climbed out of the car. 
Before I knew it, I was flat out sprinting. 

I remember bumping into a girl who was holding hands with her boyfriend. 

How can they be so calm when something so terrible is going on? 

I threw the doors open and ran up the stairs to my sisters work, skipping steps. When I got there, I collapsed in a chair in the front lobby. 

They're fine, Carmen. They're fine.

But I could feel my calmness breaking and my emotions started to take over as I attempted to make small talk with her coworkers. I waited for my sister.

They're fine, Carmen. They're fine.

My sister's coworker walked out and I heard her say the words, "Another one just went off." 
"What?" 
"A third one, at the library."

. . .How many more are there? Are they still okay? How much longer is this going to go on?

With shaking hands I picked up my cellphone and struggled to call my mom.
Straight to voice mail. 

I put in my dad's number. 
Voice mail. 

The same with my sister who was there, and her husband. 
Voice mail. 

My sister came out to the front, and her coworker said those same words. 
"There was a third one at the library."
My sister covered her mouth and put her head down. I ran past her boss and her coworkers and hugged her as hard as I could. 

And all my composure was lost and I felt my face, my body and my emotions completely crumble. 

5:30 p.m.

By now I had found out that the third bomb was actually an unrelated fire, and that they had cut off all cell phone service to prevent more possible explosions, but this hadn't helped me at all. I went back to that numb feeling. 

My dad was in Boston.
My mom was there. 
My sister was there, and so was her husband. 
That left only me and my other sister together on safe soil. 
I hoped my niece and nephew were okay.

Everything that had seemed stressful the night before seemed stupid now. Why do finals matter? Why does it matter that I'm lonely? Who cares what the weather is? The excitement and anticipation I had felt for my mission was gone in that moment.
I wanted nothing more than to be in Boston with my family, and to know exactly what was going on. 

I had driven to fill up my car with gas. As I returned and walked back into my apartment, I couldn't help by stair at the T.V. 

All I had to go off of now was the media. 

What if there really was a third one by now?

I did probably the dumbest thing possible, and turned on CNN. 

I saw clips of the explosion. People fell. Blood splattered the ground. 

I stood in that exact spot two years ago. 
The people I care most about are there.

Over and over again I saw the explosion go off, and runners fall over, or look over their shoulder and go from running at a calm speed, to running for their lives. 

I recognized one of the buildings they showed police surrounding and people crying in front of. It was the hotel my family had stayed at two years earlier for the marathon.

That could've been my family.

And that's when I completely, totally, 100 percent lost any self control I had left. I clutched my stomach, so sure that I was going to throw up. Tears drenched my face as my roommate walked in. Seeing as I don't own water proof mascara, I'm pretty sure I looked awful. 

"What are you, stupid?!" she yelled, "TURN THAT OFF!"
No better words could have been said to me. 
I flipped it to the Disney Channel. 
Yeah, not sure if that was really a better option.
But she held me until I calmed down, which I was so grateful for. 

I still feel like I was overreacting, and some of you might think I was as well. My family was fine. 
But when you only get one  message before your main, and really only, mode of communication was cut off, you hear about a third bomb, nearly all your family is in a terror zone, you're a natural when it comes to worrying and you only have the media to keep you updated as to what is going on . . . well crying seemed completely justified to me. Regardless as to whether or not your family is fine. 

I spent the rest of the evening at my sisters house, where we ate crazy bread, french fries, chicken nuggest, twix's, and switched between watching CNN and Legally Blonde. I have often been grateful that we live so close to each other, but not as much as I did at that moment. 

Tuesday. 

1:00 p.m.

I felt numb again. I know I keep saying that, but I just kind of felt . . . emotionless inside. I wasn't upset anymore. I knew they were okay. But I wasn't happy either. I didn't want to talk to anyone, but I knew I had to. Shutting myself out would only make the situation worse. So I smiled. And I really did feel fine.

My family had reached the Detroit airport by now and I called my dad. I had been kicking myself for the past two days for calling him a looser in the last conversation we had had. But that's what favorite daughters do, right?

Hearing my dad's side of the story made the whole situation seem even more real. I'm rewriting this as best as I can remember him telling me. 

Sunday, before the marathon.

My parents meet around the same general area each year at the Boston marathon. This location isn't far from where the explosion happened. My parents were coming up with the plan for the next day, when my mom made a suggestion to move the usual location to a place farther away but more convenient.  They decided to go for it. 

Monday, about 4 hours before the explosion.

Every year at the Boston Marathon, my dad carry's a camera with him and pauses or stops to take pictures along the trail. This year, he found himself battling with whether or not to take the camera with him. 
He turned in his bag that he would pick up at the end of the race, and still had his camera with him. 
You take pictures every year. And besides, there's only 40% battery life left. My dad told himself. 
He asked for his bag back, and put the camera back inside. 

About 20-30 minutes before the explosion.

The finish line was in sight. My dad was making great time, although I don't think he realized how good he was doing yet. 
Maybe I'll swing by to the left side and give everyone a high-five. My dad thought to himself.
No.
My dad says he didn't know why, and perhaps doesn't still know exactly why, but he felt so strongly that he should not go to the left side (the side where the explosion would occur just about 15-30 minutes later) to greet those people. He described it as a very dark feeling. And so he kept running.

My dad crossed the finish line.
I don't know if this was my dad's fastest Boston marathon, but I know it was one of them. He had finished quickly, and had even managed to qualify for next years Boston Marathon

Next, my dad had paused to get his picture taken with the finish line in the background. We would realize the next day that the photographer, who was also a friend of ours, was standing very close to where the explosion took place. Personally I consider them both very lucky.

The explosion.

My parents were walking back to their hotel, just about a half mile away/fifteen minute walk, from the finish line, when they heard and felt the rumbling. Assuming it was a celebration for Patriots day, they weren't worried, until they got to their hotel and realized what had just happened at the place where they were 10 minutes earlier.  

I can't help but think of What If's. 
What if my dad had taken the camera and paused to take pictures? Would that slow him down enough to be part of the explosion?
What if my dad hadn't gotten as good of a qualifying time the year before and had to start the race later?
What if he had gone and greeted people on the left side?
What if my parents had kept their original meeting place?
What if he hadn't run as fast?
What if they had gone later to get that picture taken?
What if they were injured?
Where would I be?
Where would my sister and I be?
What if my sister and her husband had been hurt?
Where would their kids be?
Why would someone do this?

My parents talked about the heightened security. Their hotel would check their key cards before the entered. The streets were empty except for the police and the few stragglers like my parents who had to venture out to get food. 

Tuesday.

My dad said it was a melancholy feeling at the airport the next day. Runners usually asked each other how they did.
This time they would ask if they even got to finish. 
Sometimes they would just nod at each other. 
My dad said he talked to a woman who was in between the two explosions. She didn't run for the finish but ran for her life instead. 
Part of me wonders if she was one of the people I saw on the news. 

I don't know who all will read this, or if anyone even will. Frankly I'm not even sure why I'm writing this. Maybe I just need to get it out there.
I also really don't know how your feelings or opinions towards God are, and nor do I really care because I'm going to state mine anyway.

I'm sure all of you know how much I love and believe in our Heavenly Father. The events that took place leading up to my dad and families safety only strengthened my belief in Heavenly Father, because I have no doubt he played a huge role in their safety. I also have no doubt that he is mindful and watchful of all the victims of this event and that he is comforting them as we speak. 

Part of me is grateful that I was impacted personally by this. It opened my eyes to 9-11, the Sandy Hook elementary shootings, and far too many other disasters that thousands of people were killed in. I often think of the people killed, or even the killers themselves, but not until now did I think this much of the families of the victims. 

This event, although it was horrible, could've been so much worse. I'm so grateful it wasn't. It opened my eyes to the little things in life, and made me grateful for so many blessings that I have. My family was definitely watched over. I love my family so much and am so grateful for their safety, and so grateful for those who checked up on me and put up with my melt downs during this whole fiasco.

This opened my eyes to how loving our world can be.

But at the same time, I never before have felt so disgusted with the world.

*these are from the 2011 Boston Marathon. 













The Greatest Fail that Ever Occurred in One Evening

This weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity to get out of the library and attend a local party, which I was pretty grateful for, considering finals are here and my social life consists of my math and communications homework.

And my boyfriend is this blog.

Now, what was at this party, you ask? Dancing, ice skating, and flirting.

Three things I am exceedingly bad at.

First of all, I want to know who came up with ice skating in the first place. Who the crap thought that attaching sharp blades to the bottom of a shoe and sliding along on ice seems like a safe and fun idea? Part of me thinks that whoever invented ice skating did it out of pure enjoyment of watching people make complete idiots of themselves.

Well I hope you’re happy now, Inventor of Ice Skating, cause that’s exactly what I did.

I. Hope. You’re. Happy. Now.

We arrived at the skating rink, and while I was standing in line to get my skates, I was trying to work through a dilemma I was facing. What size of shoes should I get? I’m 8 ½ wide. . . I didn’t wear long socks so I don’t want my ankles to get sore from the skates, so I don’t want it to be too tight . . . should I get a size or a half-a-size bigger? Or is it just bowling shoes you do that with?

“What size?” asked the worker.
Just shut up and choose one, Carmen!
“9 ½!”

And right as I laced up the first shoe, I could tell I should’ve just gone with a nine. You could’ve fit a small hamster in the toe of my shoe.
I stood up, and even though my toes were kind of slipping, I was still fairly stable on the solid ground, which was more than I could say for the people around me who couldn’t seem to walk in their skates. 

Watching the tall, buff, I-played-football-in-high-school-so-therefore-the-world-worships-me guys fall around me? Yeah I felt kind of great.

I waltzed smoothly in my skates over to the ice rink without stumbling or falling.

Okay, Carmen. If you can walk on solid ground, you can slide on ice. It’s not going to be bad.

One of the girls I came with, who had never skated before, stood on the other side of me. She smiled at me, stepped onto the ice, and after a somewhat slippery start, took off skating.

See? You’ve done this before, and she hasn’t. You totally got this, Carmen, you totally got—AH.

I stepped on the ice and automatically started to slip and lose control of my feet. Quickly, I gripped the wall and tried to get used to the ice. It was then, as I tried to regain balance and control of my feet, that I decided the wall was probably going to be my best friend for the night.


Seriously, this scene from Cool Runnings describes PERFECTLY how I looked:

Halfway around the rink, I met a girl who was also holding onto dear life on the wall. I stumbled next to her and said, “You like skating too, huh?”
“Something like that,” she laughed, “no, I guess I have kind of a fear of ice skating. My friend went ice skating once, and she fell, and someone skated over her fingers. The tips got cut off.”

I’m a journalism major.
I write nonstop.
I like blogging.
I play the freaken flute.
. . .Why? WHY on earth would you tell me that?

“Oh.” I managed to say, “That’s disgusting.”
“Yeah, it was bad.”

Whether or not this was true, I don’t know. But either way, I was getting a little paranoid now. I wobbled past her and began to do my propelling-off-the-wall trick, when I got stopped by a guy, who was running in place while holding the wall, trying to kick up the ice.

Why? I don’t know.

Either way, his friend skated behind him, and the guy managed to kick the guy in the shin, to which his friend replied saying, “Ouch, man I think you cut me!”

And that’s when I decided that this was where I was going to face my death. Right here, on this ice rink.

I gripped the wall again, and began to survey my surroundings, plotting on how I could get from the far end of the ice rink, through the crowd, and to the exit without meeting my death and without having my fingers chopped off when I hear someone say, “So what are you doing over here for?”

I turned to see a giant of a guy.
“. . .I’m bad at ice skating,”
“You can’t be that bad.” He said.
“No, no. I’m pretty bad.”
“Well, do you want some help?” he asked, holding out his hand.

. . . are you kidding me? Is this guy hitting on me? All while I’m trying to plot my escape?

I look longingly at the exit.

Just agree, Carmen. This kind of stuff never happens to you.

“Okay.”

So he grabs my hand, and we start going. We’re a few feet off when he says, “See, you’ve got this! You’re not bad at all.”

He jinxed me. My legs became similar to wet noodles, and I’m pretty sure I was gripping his hand so hard, I broke a few of the bones in his hand.

Better than getting them chopped off, I suppose.

“So, are you a student right now?” he asked me.
“Yeah, I’m a sophomore! You?”
“Freshman. I just turned eighteen last week.”
. . .you have got to be kidding me.
 Try not to judge, Carmen . . .try not to judge.
And then guess what he started to talk about!

Sports.

If you haven’t read my post on October 23rd (when I ran into a tree), just know that I hate sports talk. I know nothing about sports, I’m not interested in sports, I hated playing sports in gym class . . . I just don’t like sports talk.

So this is how my end of the conversation went, “Mmm. . . cool . . . yeah . . . The Packers . . . mmmhmmm . . . don’t know . . . no . . . no. . .  never heard of him . . . no not him either . . . yeah.”

Thankfully, I stumbled and he managed to catch me, which gave me an opportunity to change the subject.

“So, what’s your major?” I asked him.
“Physics.” He told me.
“That’s cool! Do you know what you want to do with that?”
“Make money.”

*note: I hate that response.

“Yeah, I’m like the smartest kid in my classes,” he continued, “But seriously. I know so much more than any other of the kids in my classes, and I’m way better at the assignments, too.”

Aah. Bragging and arrogance. I love that in a man. . . or people in general. 

Heavy, heavy sarcasm.

And then suddenly someone grabbed my other hand. Weirded out, I turned to see a guy with a rats nest for hair holding it.

“Hello, love.” I said to him.
“Oh my gosh!” he exclaimed, dropping my hand automatically, “I’m so sorry! I thought you were someone else!”

And he skated away very, very fast.
I blinked, then decided to use the distracted silence to change the subject.

“Cool. So, where are you from?”
“Southern California,” he said, “it was hard there.”
“How so?”
“Well I took a lot of AP classes in high school,”
Uh oh. What have I started?
“I took like, twelve AP classes,” he restated, “and I got like, 5’s on 9 of them and 4’s on the rest.”
Please. . . Please make him shut up. . .
“It was hard, especially since I played football in high school, too,” he said.
Oh my . . . you’re one of the I-played-football-in-high-school-so-therefore-the-world-worships-me people, aren’t you? What have I done?
“But it was worth it,” he continued, “cause I think that’s why I’m so much smarter than the other kids in my classes.”
Exit . . . please come to me, exit.

And then, I totally biffed it, and I took Mr. I’m-Great-At-Everything down with me.

“I’m so sorry!” I exclaimed, and he helped me back up as I made sure all my fingers were still intact.
And it was all downhill from there. My knees wobbled horribly, and I stumbled every couple seconds. 

Not to mention my face turns as red as my hair at the slightest bit of exercise, so I looked like one giant tomato on skates.

Knowing I wasn’t going to be able to last skating, or being around Mr. I’m-Great-At-Everything, much longer, I finally said, “Well . . . I think I’m done. Should we head back?”
“Yeah, sounds good.”

He was kind enough to escort me to the exit, except he skated me right through the middle of the swarm of people. Who does that? Who does that? After bumping into countless number of people, and fearing for mine and my fingers lives, we finally reached the exit.

“Nice skating with you!” he said, and took off in an insanely fast speed walk away.
Oh come on, I wasn’t that bad. At least I wasn’t bragging about every detail of my life.

And then I took one step on solid ground, and fell once again.

Quickly, I took off my skates and returned them, and walked as far away from the ice rink as possible, trying to regain my honor. I was heading to the dance floor, when I ran into three of my friends.

“How was ice skating?” one asked me.
After telling them a short run down of the story, one of my friends asked, “Well, he was at least cute, right?”
“. . .he was barely eighteen,” I replied.
Ooh. . .that’s bad.” Said all three of my friends at once.
“Yeah, it was pretty bad,” I said, cringing at the memories.
“Well we’re going ice skating,” said my friend, “do you want to go again?”
“NO.”

I decided to head to the bleachers surrounding the skating rink and just watch them for a while until they finished. I entered the bleachers, and trotted down to the glass that surrounding the rink, and watched as my friends passed by.

I slammed by fist against the glass to get their attention.

“CATHARINE! CATHARINE!” I screamed.

They didn’t notice me, but the ice chaperone guy (who had the most boring job in the world – stand on the side of the ice and make sure no one did anything stupid) sure did. After he gave me a look that spoke a thousand weirded out words, I turned around to go sit in the bleachers . . . and that’s when I noticed everyone that was sitting on the bleachers were cuddling, or making out.

So I sat in front of them anyway and tried not to look at the guy who was chaperoning the ice. I knew the world was right again – I was the awkward odd wheel that wasn’t supposed to be there, which has happened to me countless number of times . . .


When I got bored and decided to head to the dance floor. Thankfully, as I left the bleachers, I met up with Catharine, who had finished ice skating too, and the two of us headed up to the dance floor, where I danced like this:



I don’t think further explanation is needed for how dreadful it was.

The last awkward event of the night occurred while I was dancing with Catharine. I felt someone grab my shoulder, and I turned around to see a tall, somewhat attractive man in a suit. . .
. . . wearing blue sparkly make up.
“Oh, sorry! I thought you were someone else! What’s your name?”

Okay, seriously, I need to find this girl who looks like me.

“Carmen! What’s yours?”
“Brian!”

Brian tarried away with his group, and I started dancing again. . .



When Brian passed me.
Ooh, I should grab his shoulder like he did to me! That’d be super funny!
So I do.
And then he asks me for my number.

What. The crap.Is happening to the world. This does not happen to me, like ever. 

And here I was, thinking he was gay.


Maybe it was the sparkly, blue make up he was wearing.