Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ballerina Swears

One of my best friends in the world is a ballerina. She is, hands down, the sweetest and most thoughtful person that I have ever met. Every conversation I have with her is sweet and fun, even though sometimes I have to censor my stories to her so that I don’t sound like a demon hellspawn by comparison. She doesn’t swear, get drunk, speak meanly of anyone, or boast about herself (even though she’s achieved quite a lot). Paragon of innocence, and lovely to boot!

One day, when we lived together in the honors house during our first year at the university, we were bantering. She had told me something that she was embarrassed about, which was silly, and I was teasing her about it. She was giggling and embarrassed, and then she said, “Oh be quiet, you fucker!”

Her face paled. Her hand shot to cover her mouth, and her eyes opened wide in shock.

“I meant to say ‘fun sucker’ but it came out too fast!” she said, horrified.

I burst out laughing, and we both laughed about it so much that we fell on the floor. She was more embarrassed about swearing than she had been about whatever I had been teasing her about in the first place. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Scary Love

I have been babysitting and nannying for one family since I was 12 years old, the age that the oldest child is now. When the girl was only three or four and I was a teenager, I was watching her at my house. I had a friend over, and we had spent all afternoon playing in the yard. We moved up to the porch as evening approached. My friend and I were having fine discussions about being teenagers, no doubt laced with hubris, when the little girl decided that she had had enough of the outdoors.

“I’m ready to go in now,” she said confidently.

“Well you can go inside,” I said, motioning to the door.

“Well who will babysit me?” she asked in a huff.

“Joseph is inside. He will watch you.”

“No! Not Joseph!”

“My mom is inside too,” I said, spying my mom through the kitchen window.

“No, it has to be you,” she responded.

“Why?” I asked.

Her face turned red and contorted in anger.


Doorbell Ditching

I have so many stories from playing nightgames during my childhood. All of the kids in the neighborhood would get together on Friday and Saturday nights to play ghost in the graveyard, Mary Bloody Mary, tag, and all the usual sorts of games. We’d also get into shenanigans and doorbell-ditch the houses on our street. The people that we thought we hoodwinked were mostly parents of kids playing and knowing neighbors. One old lady used to make us baked goods.

One day we decided to up our game. One of our neighbors, Pete, who was really dark and skinny, agreed to be duck-taped. We covered his mouth, bound his arms, and made it look as if we had bound his legs. Then we went up the street to an old couple’s house. We put Pete on the doorstep and we all hid around the yard.

An old man opened the door, and when he saw Pete bound up on his doorstep he exclaimed and went to fetch his wife. When the old man was out of sight, Pete stood up and ran off to hide in a field. When the man came back with his wife, Pete had seemingly vanished.

“What’re you talkin’ ‘bout!” the woman said to her husband, retreating back into the house.

The man, intent on proving that he wasn’t crazy, came outside and searched for us for quite awhile. It took some skill to maneuver behind the trashcans at the far end of his driveway, but he never found us. 

Chocolate Frosting

My parents had bought a large, chocolate Costco sheet cake for my sister’s last birthday. There was a party, but my uncle made a barbeque and most of the cake went uneaten. My sister brought it back to her apartment where I was subletting for the summer.

I was seeing a guy during the time, and I thought it might be fun to forgo a movie one night and eat cake. I asked him if I could spread the chocolate on him and eat it off. After some persuading he agreed, and as I was PMSing at the time, I spared no frosting. I covered his upper body in the chocolate. And then I went to kiss his neck, and the chocolate didn’t taste good.

“Ew. This is awful… You should probably go shower.” Poor guy. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Waking Up Joseph

My brother isn’t a morning person. Normally he’s a nice guy, but not in the mornings. He’s downright angry, not just a bit cranky, when someone wakes him from his slumber.

Once, I was staying at my sister’s apartment, and I was going to leave early the next day to visit my friend in Stanford. My brother and his friend had come to visit, and they were sleeping in the living room.

I got up and made some pancakes, and threw my stuff in my car to leave. I had some extra pancakes, so I decided to give them to Joseph before I left.

“Psst, Joseph—”  His eyes opened, and his face curved into a glare. It was dark in the apartment, but I could’ve sworn that his eyes were glowing red.

“Go to hell,” he said in a deep, throaty voice.

“Oh, uh, do you, do you want some breakfast?” I said, holding up the plate of pancakes. Suddenly, his demeanor changed. His forehead lost its creases, and he looked up at the plate of pancakes.

“I love you!” he said happily.

He sat up, ate all the pancakes, and then went right back to sleep.

I think I found a way to tame the monster. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Woman in the Park

I used to walk around Dublin on Sundays with a curious lad. We walked a few miles from the school halls into Dublin, across the Liffey, and back down Rathmines. When we were on the north side of the Liffey, we had had lunch at a Chinese restaurant where he had eaten loads of fried meat and mysteriously felt stomach pains. We were walking back through Dublin, and we strolled around a little park on the end of Grafton Street called St Stephen’s Green.

As we chatted and walked, a woman came up to us.

“Can I talk to the young lady for a moment?” she asked shyly in her Dublin accent. Perplexed, I followed her out of earshot and she alerted me to the fact that my dress was tucked into my tights. I had walked across downtown Dublin with my underwear (the old woman kind) in full view of everyone for an entire afternoon! I have no idea how the lad I was with hadn’t noticed. The horror.  


Every year my family goes to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, usually for Thanksgiving. My mom hates making Thanksgiving dinner, and we all prefer fish tacos anyway.

We have friends that go on holiday to Cabo too. The family has two kids that are roughly the same ages as my brother and me. Once, we children were playing pool volleyball and being quite rowdy. There are three massive pools that are emptied during Thanksgiving, yet one couple decided to sit down directly in front of us—the only other people in sight. Eventually the volleyball was hit too far in the air, and it crashed upon the couples’ table—to no one’s surprise but theirs. It spilled one of their drinks, and they looked livid.

“Oh! We’re so sorry!” I said. The woman glared at us with the rage of a thousand suns. “We will buy you another, if you want.”

“That would be nice,” the man said, ruffled. My brother and I raised eyebrows and looked at each other. There was a pause.

“We were just being nice,” my brother said. “You probably shouldn’t have sat there.”