Thursday, December 23, 2010
Dear Friends and family,
I hope that the holiday season is treating you well and that you are surviving having your children home from school. I am so thrilled that my kids are past the age that they require all/ any of my attention.
Jamal and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary last spring and I am amazed that we have not killed each other yet. I had always thought that wedding vows were more of a formality and I never thought that we would wait till death do us part. I have been dating my hair dresser’s husband for the past 6 months and that seems to be doing wonders for my marriage.
Our youngest son, Simon (16 years old) lost his virginity last summer. Jamal and I never really thought that it would happen for him. We are both so pleased that he finally found a girl who is able to look past his severe acne and strong body odor to give him a chance. If he is anything like his father in the bedroom, I am sure that she will be back for more.
Our Oldest, Courtney ( 19 Years old) on the other hand has had no problem in the love making department and has just announced that she is pregnant with her second child out of wedlock. Tis the season to be slutty, I suppose. As a Grandmother, I am pleased that the father of baby number 2 is significantly more attractive than baby daddy numero uno. A Grandma can handle one grandchild that resembles an alien with a lemon stuck in its mouth, but no one wants all of their grandkids to be genetic duds. People would start to talk.
Lastly, I will mention our middle child, Lance ( 17 years old). The saying “ Saving the best for last” simply does not apply here. I just figured that if you read about Lance at the end of this note, you would have less time to forget his existence before you read next year’s holiday letter. He left for college last fall, but neither Jamal or I noticed he was gone until he came home for Thanksgiving. He may be the most boring child I have ever met and to be honest with you, I can not think of anything exciting he has done in the past year. In fact I can not think of anything worth mentioning about his entire life.
I look forward to screening your calls in 2031!
Friday, November 26, 2010
I am well aware that this post is a day late. Yesterday, I had strong intentions of writing a thoughtful post about all the wonderful things that I am thankful for in this beautiful world. Unfortunately and fortunately my mother loves me and allowed the white wine to sit next to me at dinner and said post is just now being birthed.
Whenever a movie or TV show films a Thanksgiving dinner, the turkey eaters always take turns listing the things that they are thankful for. They take turns listening to each other say that they are thankful for the food on the table and the cloths on their backs. Although my family has never done this TVland tradition, it does not mean that I am not thankful or that I shouldn't take the time to reflect.
As cliché as it may be; I am thankful for my health. I am thankful that I have ten toes and I am extra thankful that said toes are evenly distributed among my two healthy feet. I can imagine having 10-12 toes on a single foot would be both inconvenient and unattractive.
I am thankful for rest stops with clean bathrooms and for hotels with complementary breakfasts. I am thankful for supportive friends and supportive bras. Although I have a degree in English-Writing, I am thankful for spellchecker on days that my spelling is feeling extra creative. I am thankful for hugs and for kisses. In this time of economic doom, I am thankful to have a job and thankful that I work with such an awesome team of people. I am thankful for my 20 blog followers. Although I wasn't at the time, I am now thankful that my mother tortured me with multiplication table quizzes over my middle school summers. I am thankful for Ruth Wakefield who accidently invented the chocolate chip cookie in 1934 and I am thankful to be an American.
I am thankful for my sister and for my roommates who are always timely while paying the rent. I am thankful for warm socks. I am thankful for the heat in my car and in the hearts of my friends and family. I am thankful that you are reading this and keeping the eye rolls to a minimum. I am thankful for my freedom and for my privacy. I am thankful for IBprofin. I am thankful for both of my parents. I am thankful wine, red and white. I am thankful for every teacher I have ever had. I am thankful for caller I.D and clean water. I am thankful for my self-esteem and for the people who tolerate my sometimes silly behavior.
I am thankful for a lot more things, I am sure, but like earlier mentioned- the wine sat next to me at dinner last night.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Today is the one week anniversary of the day that I accidently kidnapped a Frenchman. Don't worry, I didn't lure anyone into a van with promises of free candy or use physical forces of any type. It truly was an accident and truly makes for a nice blog entry. Feel free to follow along.
I was an attendee of a small social gathering at a new friend's home and I was having a marvelous time. The party had been active for about an hour and I had already had an opportunity to discuss three of my top five favorite conversation topics: tall creepy men, baked ziti, and anything that will allow me to tell a ridiculous story about myself. The other favorite talking points include my vast knowledge of Ben and Jerry's Ice cream and other dairy products as well as the mating traditions of wild animals. Unfortunately those topics will need to be discussed at a later party.
As I was chatting with my new friends, I noticed a suffering stinkbug clinging to a window shade for dear life. Although I was devastated that I was going to have to put my conversation on hold, I was also in the mood to save a life. I always save bugs and allow them to continue their lively bug lives in the wild. I do this for a few reasons. 1.) If the roles were reversed, I would appreciate it if the stink bug would let me continue my life rather than mash me against his/her shoe. 2.) I like to consider myself a hero of sorts and 3.) although karma is sort of an asshole; I am not.
I separated my heart and soul from my wine glass scooped the stinker into my hand and carried him safely to the front door of the apartment. I swung the door open with my free hand and without hesitation, I threw the stinkbug into the air with intensions of allowing him to live a life of freedom. A life without the fear of falling into my wine glass.
If you get anything out of this post let be that you should always look ahead before sending stinkbugs into the air. As soon as the stinky bug left my finger tips, I realized that there was a tall man walking towards the door. Nothing could be done to prevent the stinker from hitting this man in the forehead.
As the bug bounced of the man's head, I tried to hold my giggles inside and offer him a sincere apology, but I couldn't keep it together. We both began to laugh and all seemed to be forgiven. Just as I was about to go back inside, Buggie man asked in a strong French accent if I knew where apt 717 was located. Ordinarily, I would have made up a set of convincing directions and sent him on his merry misguided way, but I had already thrown a bug at his head and I figured honesty might be a nice thing to try out for a change. Also, it is worth noting that there are few things that I love more in this beautiful world than bald men and cheese. Men who barely speak English happen to be one of those things. I couldn't have told him a lie if I wanted to.
I admitted that I didn't know the apartment complex well and therefore was not qualified to give directions and asked him where he was from.
" Me name eees Seeevan. I am from Fronce"
That was the moment I fell in love. I simply knew that I had to impress him with the 2 years on French that I took and barely passed in College.
"ummmmmmm. Je m'appelle Erin. Uuuh. J'adore le fromage" was the only thing that I could remember.
For those of you who are not as skilled in the French language and culture as I am, that translates into " My name is Erin. I love cheese."
There was a moment of awkward silence before I realized that I was granted a rare opportunity to act as an American ambassador of sorts. it was my patriotic duty to give Sevan a cultural experience to share with his Mere and Pere back in his homeland.. I took him by the hand and dragged him across the hall to introduce him to my friends, repeating the phrase " Welcome To America. The land of boxed wine."
Turns out, I was not the only lady in the room in love with his French accent and Sevan was automatically the the center of our 3 wined circus. Although he occationally mentioned that he had friends waiting for him in apt 717, he never actually left our group. He spent the evening discussing the difference between French and American women, and taught us essential phrases in the French language, such as " Your Mother smells like beef products".
I think that I will add "kidnapping forgieners" to my list of skills. It will join my other talents of blowing spit bubbles off my tongue and coloring inside the lines.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
"I'm not drunk. This is just the way I am" is a phrase I have been hearing myself say a lot lately.
It is no secret that I enjoy being awkward and that I take great pride in my ability to entertain my friends with my interactions with strangers. Although I always enjoy my ridiculous episodes, I often forget that I live in a small city and the chances of me running into the same person more than once is quite high. This is beginning to get me into trouble.
Last July, my friends and I hosted a bachelorette party for my roommate. The night started out mellow and low key but I never doubted that by the end party our innocent intensions would be misplaced with my left shoe, poise and "inside voice". Although I knew that things were bound to get rowdy, I never expected to end the night with seven single dirty socks and a priceless story to share with my future grandchildren.
After dinner and a few themed martini's at a local American Bistro, we decided that it was in everyone's best interest to go dancing at the club with the frog porn display. Please note: it is never in ANYONE's best interest to watch me dance for I am about as graceful as a blind giraffe on roller skates. But like I said, I had sampled a few martinis and had conveniently forgotten that my moves on the dance floor could be considered cruel and unusual punishment for my victimed viewers.
At Club Frog Porn things began to get interesting. We had a stack of Bachelorette Party dare cards that we designed solely to embarrass drunk girls at parties. Lucky for me, I rarely get embarrassed and therefore always dominate these games.
As we were taking turns pulling cards from the deck, I was beginning to grow bored. My friends were picking cards telling them to " dance with someone more than 20 years older than you" or " Ask the DJ to play Celine Deon and sing along". Yawn. I wasn't sure how this game was going to make the bachelorette party any different from any other Friday night of my freakshow life.
When it was my turn to pull a card, I wasn't even excited. I was strongly considering hiding the card from my friends and making up my own prank. I would make an imaginary " write your own dare" card. I was confident that I could think of a dare more entertaining than anything on these cards and considering my impressive experience in the fields of lying and bullshit- I knew that I could make it sound believable. . It would probably include a bald man, an elaborate fabricated story, and/or a fart. I am 24 years old and still firmly believe that farts make everything a little funnier. I pulled the card I was pleasantly surprised to see that I needed to " Ask a man for one of his socks…and keep it!". I knew I had hit the bachelorette dare jackpot.
I immediately turned to the first man with in grabbing distance. Without wasting any time with an introduction- asked for his left sock. He said no. I rolled my eyes and sighed as if he was refusing to tell me the time. This was going to be more challenging than I thought. Not wanting to give up hope on my socked prey, I politely asked again. I can be very persuading when put my mind to it and eventually I had his sweating sock in my hand.
Above all things, I am a competitor. Since the rest of the bachelorettes had grown bored with the game, the only competition was with myself. The card technically said that I only needed to collect one man's sock, but my strong work ethic would not be satisfied with a solo lonely tube of sweat and feet juice ( gross sorry). I decided that it was only logical to push myself to collect as many socks as possible before the night was through.
At first, I thought that I was a sock collecting failure. I asked at least a dozen men to donate 1 sock to the cause of Katie's blissful marriage and no one was willing. Although I was impressed that in my efforts, though I had not collected any socks, 2 men had asked for my number and 1 man had compared me to Chelsea Clinton. I ordinarily would not take this as a compliment of any kind, but if I had to look like any of the Clintons- I would pick Chels.
As the bar was closing, my luck turned. As I was on the dance floor, performing my drunk giraffe dance, almost all of the men who had refused their footwear to me earlier in the night were approaching me with socks in their hands! It was amazing. Within 6 minutes I was holding 7 single sweaty socks!
I left for the night with my head held high-proud to be labeled the sock collecting champion from game of which I was the only competitor. However, in all of my glory, I had forgotten that there were now 8 men in the city who think that I have some sort of foot fetish.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
After one case of lost luggage, two bald men, fourteen blog entries, several profanities, and numerous awkward encounters; I am pleased to announce that my travel season has come to an end. I am only 2 plane rides away from a somewhat settled life that will allow me to sleep in the same bed for multiple weeks in a row; a life that will allow me to go grocery shopping without the fear of spoiled eggs and milk. Its going to be great. Although I truly love the traveling aspect of my job, I am exhausted and more than ready to stop living out of my hot pink suit case with a fashionably broken zipper.
This blog was originally intended to keep my family and friends posted about my journeys and adventures as I traveled through the frozen lands of New England, but it has developed into a spit bucket for the creativity that I often feel I have nowhere to express. Travel season is over, but I think that I will try to keep up with this blog in order to a.) document the outrageous situations that seem to follow me b.) continue to entertain my friends families and new followers and c.) have a therapeutic venue for creativity.
Bring it on, Chapter two!
Thursday, October 28, 2010
A few weeks ago, I boldly committed to making a list of Life lessons every Monday. I then promptly erased this pledge from my memory and never did it again. I apologize if anyone has been lost without these words of wacky wisdom, but I hope that this new list is able to get your life back into order. I know that it isn't Monday but life lessons are always worth your time, despite the day of the week. Maybe once a month is more realistic anyways.
This is what I have learned in October:
- Although it is true that violence never really solves anything, If you ever encounter the man who invented automatic revolving doors, it is appropriate and encouraged to kick him in the shins.
- It is always good news to meet five new friends on a plane. It is typically bad news when these five new friends accidently get you drunk on said airplane of love.
- Every girl deserves a male friend who is willing to dress up like Richard Simmons for no reason other than for her amusement. She also deserves at least one chocolate chip cookie a day.
- College Admissions Counselors can not possibly be expected to keep a straight face when a student comes up to their table, higher than Steve Urkle's pants and says : "Yous got white girls at your school? Cause I hear doze white girls make GREAATTTTT sandwiches" ( I am secretly hoping that that kid comes to LC and rooms with the classy young gentleman who asked me last spring if the girls at LC were easy. Seems like a good match.)
- Enjoy every opportunity you have to sleep in a king sized bed. Sleep horizontally one night if you wish, just because you can. But be warned, when it is time to go back to your full sized bed of boredom and doom, it won't seem big enough and you will feel as though your creative sleeping visions are cramped.
- If when returning to your hotel room, you see that the cleaning staff is making your bed, check and make sure that they speak English before starting a full conversation. Also note that "Excuse me maim, I am sorry to bother you, I am in no rush, but do you know how much longer you will be in this room?" translates in Spanish as " Hand me ALLLL of your Shampoo NOW!!" I have a lot of baby shampoo bottles in my purse.
- Every once in a while, order your food in a British accent. Ask for the loo, just for good measure.
- If your drunk self ever thinks it's a good idea to pull pranks on your soberself, don't listen to her- she's drunk. Saturday night it may seem like a good idea to change all of the names in your phone, but come Sunday morning you will be very concerned about why you are receiving text messages from " Arvad the anteater" ," Purple power ranger" , and "god". Don't put yourself through the trouble of figuring out everyone's true identity, but I strongly encourage you to try this on a friend's phone.
- Someone needs to find a cure for writers' block.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
1. I am a ridiculous human being
2. There is a large possibility that I am a pathological liar
Before you judge and question why I would publicly admit such an unflattering flaw, please take note that I don’t lie about the things that “matter” and I that would never cheat on anything more important than monopoly. I generally consider myself to be a trustworthy person.
The trouble all began on Friday as I was waiting for my friend Molly to pick me up from the airport in NYC. It wasn’t terribly cold out, but there was a hasty wind. Although I have to admit that I mildly regretted not wearing a jacket that morning, I was at least wearing pants. Pants are always a good start in my book.
I was sitting on a bench, reading, and minding my own business when and older gentleman sat beside me.
“ Where is your jacket? You must be chilly, young lady.” The man judged.
Without even thinking about it, I instinctively answered
“ Oh I’m okay. I just flew in from Alaska”
If you held me at gunpoint, I couldn’t tell you why I said that. I have never even been to Alaska I wasn’t even trying to lie. I had no reason to. I could have just as easily replied with a polite “ yes, I am feeling quite chilled this afternoon” or I could have even explained that I grew up in northern Vermont . Instead though, this nonsense about Alaska just popped out of my mouth, like the gum that flew into my hair earlier this year. By the time I realized what I had said, I couldn’t come clean without making myself seem insane ( Which actually may be close to the truth). I just put my head back into my book and prayed to the Eskimo Gods that he would not ask any follow up questions.
Molly picked me up a few minutes later and I vowed to myself that I would save my fibs for times of crisis and emergency.
And then I had two margaritas.
As the tequila ran through my bloodstream, the lies ran out of my mouth. Except now they were significantly more extravagant and no longer shielded by a sober social sensor. Tequila always makes me more clever and awkward and it often inspires me to make up fun occupations and life experiences. My personal favorite was convincing a man in Vermont that I was a professional Polka instructor and offering him a free lesson in the middle of the bar. By the end of the night he had learned this fake polka dance so well that he was dancing solo and I was playing the air accordion next to him. Still makes me laugh.
I was in rare form in New York City. There are now people in Queens who were entertained by:
1. A recent graduate from the art program of University of Oklahoma- Now working as a tattoo artist in Manhattan.
2. A teacher for the blind in Wisconsin
3. A sales rep from Jersey. ( when asked what I sold, I froze and just said… “ um. Snakes.” And walked away)
This game kept me entertained all evening.
I could lie and tell you that my addiction to fibs is a recent development, but it would be exactly that. A lie. Although I cannot recall the first time I decided to dodge the truth, I do remember several fabrications I made up before the age of 10. Most of these lies were created solely for the purpose to get my little sister into trouble and to solidify my spot as the good daughter. I hardly think that those count as a lies, just good strong self-marketing.
As I grew older and Alicia grew smarter, I stopped trying to convince her that it was okay to stick her middle finger up at people of authority as long as she didn’t personally believe it was wrong. I stopped telling her that as a mature 4th grader, I was more than qualified to give her a haircut, and I moved on from conning her into writing the word “sex” in her diary and insisting that if she showed dad, he would be really proud of her 1st grade handwriting.
As I grew and matured, my lies and stories grew more extreme and elaborate. My senior year of college I started a rumor that our campus mascot statue of a fighting hornet was going to be removed because of some foreign exchange students from Lebanon were offended. I claimed that the hornet was sort of hate symbol in their country and that since LC is so great about respecting diversity and different cultures, they agreed to remove the statue until these make believe students graduated. Ultimately, the rumor got so big that our Dean of Students had to send out a campus wide email saying that it was false. I later admitted to making up the entire story at a talent competition later in the year and thanked the DOS for being such a good sport.
After reflecting on this topic, I think that the word “liar” may be a little harsh. I think that I am more of a storyteller. Libraries don’t have sections labeled “ Lies” and “ non-lies”. If I were to write these ridiculous stories, instead of speaking them to strangers; it would be labeled as fiction. Call me a drunken fiction teller.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
I flew out of Connecticut at 6am Friday morning and other than a small incident of being trapped with my luggage in the revolving door at the airport, everything was going fairly smoothly. That is, until my first layover in Pittsburgh.
When I awoke from my traditional airplane nap, my tongue had a dry leathery feel. I am not an expert in tongue saliva analysis but the way my dry tongue stuck to my lips lead me to believe that it had been dangling outside of my mouth for the last 2-60 minutes. The plane had just landed, so I checked my blouse for noticeable drool spots and collected my belongings from the overhead compartment.
As I was leaving the plane, the unthinkable happened. The man behind me stepped on the back of my sandal, and the strap that holds my foot in place snapped. I immediately found a seat at a nearby terminal and shuffled through my bag to see if I had anything that may save my shoe. I was hoping to open my purse and see a magical roll of duct tape that had materialized out of thin air, a Genie that would grant me 3 wishes, or at the very least, a stick of gum. No luck.
I decided that I was not going to let my bad luck ruin my spirits and instead take it as an opportunity to buy a new pair of shoes without the fear of buyer’s remorse taking over my conscience. The only problem was that I was of course still in the airport and my choices for shopping were limited.
I shuffled through the airport, failing with my attempt to walk normally with a broken shoe. I checked several stores hoping for a pair of loafer-like shoes and still holding out hope on finding a wish granting genie.
If I had found a Gene in the airport, I’m not sure exactly what I would have asked for. A pair of solid shoes, for sure since that was the only reason I was looking for said genie in the first place but I don’t know what I would use the other 2 wishes on. I think that I may ask for my household chores to take care of themselves and for my legs to always be smooth without my need to shave them. I also would consider wishing that endless amounts of chocolate chip cookies would fall from the sky- in which case I would also have to wish that I could eat endless amounts of said cookies without my waistline suffering the consequences.
Although genie hunting in the airport was not successful, I was able to find a solution to my shoe dilemma. I eventually found a store full of socks. If there was any hope of ending my awkward shuffle parade, I knew that it would be found in the Socks shop.
As I limped and wobbled my way into the store, and heaven’s lights shined down on me as I spotted a huge wall display of slippers. Naturally, I squealed with delight.
Now though, I had a whole new problem on my hands. They had black loafer slippers like I was originally hoping to find, but they looked so dull and boring next to the plethora of colorful slippers that filled the wall.
Although I have to admit that the decision was a difficult one, I ultimately decided that a pair of furry, pink/yellow/blue/green slippers best suited my needs.
I figured that this was the best choice because
a.) I generally like my airport slippers to make a statement. I would hate for anyone to see my new slippers and think to themselves that I have boring taste in bedroom footwear.
b.) Multicolored slippers would surely make for a more entertaining blog entry later.
c.) I would fulfill my childhood dream of becoming a Sesame Street puppet.
I proudly put my slippers on and pranced throughout the airport. I felt that I was experiencing everything for the very first time. The thin bottoms of the slippers allowed me to feel the different textures of the tiles and carpeting. I had made a few laps around the airport, before making the worst decision of my day.
As you know if you have read this blog from the beginning, I typically try to avoid the moving sidewalks at the airport. They rarely end well for me. With my new slippers however, I let my curiosity get the better of me and transformed into a sidewalk riding-daredevel. I decided that I could not leave the airport without experiencing the sensation of the escalator grids on my slippered feet. If you only take away one thing from this blog, please remember to never, under any circumstance, walk on the moving escalator with pink fluffy slippers.
As soon as I placed my full body weight onto the sidewalk, I knew that I had made a mistake. I could feel the grids pressing against my feet and instead of the massaging effect that I was hoping for, I thought that my feet were going to be sliced like slivers of cheese by the end of the trip. OUUUCH.
I had to get off the moving escalator as soon as possible and had to minimize the time each of my precious fluffy feet spent touching the moving grid of torture and hell. I ran to the end of the side walk , lifting my feet as high as I could with each step. I imagine it looked similar to burt or ernie walking on coals, or cutting through a field full of snakes. Naturally, by the end of my coal walk, I had formed an audience. I thought about taking a bow and wait for the round of applause, but opted to find my seat outside my terminal let my tongue hang out of my mouth and resume my traditional airport nap
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Last Friday, I found my seat on the airplane to Lynchburg with no intensions of making me seatmate uncomfortable. When a middle aged man with more salt than pepper in his hair joined me and offered a warm “hello” , I was delighted to have a chatty friend. I had been out of town for 2 weeks and had experienced entirely too much “Erin alone time”. Finally, Someone over the age of 18 for me to talk to, I thought to myself.
Saltn’ Pepper was visiting his daughter and family in Virginia. He majored in Music in college and enjoys reading poetry. As soon as he told me that he was a minister at a church in Ohio, I knew that our conversation would inevitably turn awkward/blog worthy.
When I told Salt’n Pepper that I was originally from Vermont, a look of concern and worry tormented his face.
“That’s a pretty um…. Liberal state isn’t it?” He said as he put the arm rest down between us. It was as if he thought that my political views were contagious and that skinny arm rest was his only hope of making it off the plane without being infected.
At this point I was tempted to tell him about how excited I was that my brother and his boyfriend were finally getting married, but I thought better of it. He had not yet said anything rude to me and fabricating a brother and future brother-in-law was not necessary.
After a moment of silence, Saltn’ Pepper pulled out his wallet, and handed me a homemade business card.
“ Part of my job is to counsel people in need. You seem like a really nice young lady and if you ever feel that you need someone to talk to. Please know that you can always call me.” He said.
I thanked him for this kindness and placed the handcut piece of construction paper into my purse.
Nothing could have prepared me for what happened next.
“ Are you Dutch?” He asked me.
“mmm…no..” I was polite, but very confused.
“ I alway’s say.. If you aint Dutch.. you Aint much” He laughed, clearly pretty proud of his own joke.
I laughed too. There are few things that I enjoy more than rhyming.
He then told me that he had a bumper sticker with the phrase on it and proceeded to tell me about the other funny bumper stickers that he had seen. This was turning into a very nice conversation after all.
“ I’m just glad that I’m not Polish” he said. “ I wouldn’t be smart enough to but a bumper sticker on my car properly”
I stared at him for a moment in utter disbelief. I really wasn’t offended, but I was shocked that a minister would say something of that nature, especially to a perfect stranger. I come from a strong polish heritage and I was tempted to tell him so, but I decided that it wasn’t worth the battle.
As our flight continued, I was amazed by the number of polish jokes this man knew, and how he was clearly not shy to share them with anyone who would listen. I could tell that he was joking and if I had known him better ( or at all for that matter) I would have probably found it funny. I sometimes make fun if children with lisps, I really cant judge.
I decided that although I was not going to tell him that I was Polish that it was the perfect time to end the conversation and read my cosmo magazine. As I opened my $4.50 of trash, I was sure to place myself at an angle that would allow saltn’ pepper to read “100 ways to make him hot in bed” over my shoulder if he so desired. I have always been good at sharing.
This is where the story gets interesting.
As the plane was landing, Saltn’ Pepper made a few more jokes, all at the expense of my ancestors. He stood next to me as we were waiting for our bagged luggage and the polish jokes continued until my bags arrived. As I gathered my belongings, he extended his hand toward me .
“By the way, I’m Alan Smithe” He said forgetting that his business card had his name printed on it.
All of a sudden, a rush of courage and sass filled my mouth.
“ It was nice talking to you, Alan. I’m Erin Giebutowski” I said, borrowing my mother’s maiden name.
I smiled and watched the color drain out of Alan’s face. Without another word, I walked to my car.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Learn with me:
1. There is no such thing as a problem that can not be fixed with a glass or three of wine and a chocolate chip cookie.
2. Everything is more fun when I am surrounded by friends and family who not only refrain from judging my sometimes eccentric personality, but are able to celebrate my oddities.
3. Justin Timberlake has a bit of a stutter. He does not have the same effect on my fluttering heart that he did when I was 13 years old with a face of acne and a mouth of metal.
4. I have no business drinking caffeine. This is actually not a new lesson, but a lesson that I relearned this week. 1 cup of coffee= Erin bouncing up and down in the rental car.
5. If you take a tour of Mark Twain’s house at 3:30 on a Tuesday afternoon, you will be the only person there without a cane and AARP card.
6. One should never pass up the opportunity to touch a bald man’s head. It is simply incredible.
Saturday evening started out like any other Saturday evening. I had been out of town for 2 weeks and after spending 14 days alone in hotel rooms, I was more than ready to misbehave in Lynchburg. My flock and I decided to swing by our favorite bar before spreading our wings and trying a new club downtown that is typically a waterhole for strange locals and serves as a great venue to catch up on some quality people watching. This particular club also often displays videos of mating frogs on the dance floor so it is difficult not to be entertained.
After a few hours of dancing and frog porn viewing, the flock collectively decided that it was time to migrate back to the nest for some sleep and a light snack. As I waited for the tender of the bar to retrieve me my bill, I caught a glimpse of a beautiful bald giant. If he had been of average height, I may have been able to simply gather my belongings and find my way to the exit. Unforunately, his extreme height acted as a magnet that attracted my recent obsession with touching hairless heads. I couldn’t help myself and before I knew it I was standing next to him and plotting my attack.
As I opened my mouth to initiate a conversation, the giant looks at me, smiles, and says “ I’m 6-11 and no.. I do not play basketball”. That was the moment that I fell in love. He was tall, bald, and apparently some sort of mind reader. Absolutely amazing.
Unfortunately, I fell out of love as quickly as I fell into it when he began to talk about his ex-wife and children. I must say that I was disappointed however by removing all romantic intensions from the situation, I was able to focus all of my energy towards my original quest to touch is bald head.
After what felt like hours of forced small talk, my brilliance leveled to the surface and I was ready to attack. I knew that the first order of business was to get the giant closer to my own height so I staged a graceless mishap and dropped my clutch at my feet. I quickly apologized for being so clumsy and pretended to be greatly concerned that my cloth bag had somehow damaged his feet with its great fall. I then acted as if I was making a valid effort to pick my bag up off the floor. After 2 fake attempts, I asked the giant if he would be willing to reach it for me, fabricating an excuse about my bad knees.
Was this a lie? Yes. Am I proud of it? Only a little. As the saying says though, desperate times call for desperate measures and I think that this situation definitely applies. Mr. Clean and his bald head had escaped my fingertips on the airplane and I couldn’t let this giant get away. I am no quitter.
As he so kindly bent down to hand me my bag, I made believe that my roommate, Ashley, had called my name behind us. I spun my body around with great dexterity and accidently graced my fingertips across his smooth and shiny head.
It was even greater than I had anticipated. Although I did not have the time allowance or confidence to get a good grip and make his skin wrinkle, the brief swipe was well worth the plotting and struggle.
Life. Is. Complete.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Future Einstein : Let me guess. This school is in New York.
Me: Actually we are in central Virginia
Future Einstein: Whatever… I was pretty close.
I really wish I wasn’t obligated to turn her interest card in.
Me: We are a small liberal arts college in Virginia
Student ( who may or may not have been preggers): Virginia? Where is that?
Me( as I point to the map of the east coast on my travel board and concentrate on not rolling my eyes or busting into giggles): Well.. you can see here that VA is north of North Carolina and East of West Virginia
Ms. Preggers: Huh. Never heard of it.
Awesome. Not only has she never head of Virginia..but in 3-4 months she will be spreading her wisdom to an infant. Maybe dad is truly brilliant.. but Im not counting on that.
Extra large female student in an extra small tshirt: I don’t want to go to college. I’m just going to be a lawyer
I am not even going to take the time to write out the dialog for the 5 minutes I spent trying to explain to a boy that Lacrosse was not a major.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I need to find a rabbit with 20 purple feet and carry him in my suitcase. Sitting with the same obnoxious man on two flights in a row was a bite of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting compared to the rest of my week. It scares me to death that it is only Wednesday. I think that a time stamped list of events will help express this week’s horror.
Monday 1:15 AM- Plane lands in Boston
Monday 1:30 am- I discover that my luggage has decided not to join me in Boston and instead vacation in Charlotte, NC with all of my work clothing, hairbrush, makeup, and day planner.
Monday 1:31am- Freak out and whisper every word that my father wouldn’t approve of. Every. Single. One.
Monday 1:41am- Calm down and realize that I tend to overreact from time to time. Everything in the bag is replaceable except for the damn day planner that has all of my contact numbers, addresses, appointment times etc.
Monday 1:42 am Fill out missing bag paper work. Still want to nap
Monday 2 am- get lost in Boston because my GPS has decided to seek revenge for all of the times I have referred to her as “bitch in a box” and pretend not to recognize any of the roads in the city. I have new names for her now. Again, Dad would not approve.
Monday 3:30 am- check into hotel
Monday 3:31 am- Thank myself for reviewing my planner before packing it and remember what High schools I am visiting for Monday. I can call the office to get the times for the rest of the week if my bag doesn’t show up.
Monday 6 am – go to walmart to find an ugly frumpy black skirt so that I don’t have to go to my first meeting in sweats. I had to set up for a morning fair at 8:45am and nothing else was open. Great.
Monday 8:45am – Show up to morning college fair. There are 10-12 other counselors walking into the building with me . When we get into the building that guidance director apologizes. They had been getting RSVPs all summer to a college fair at their HS that they knew nothing about. I obviously could not show them my invite because it was still enjoying the southern sunshine, but one of the other counselors had his on hand. The Invite had this high school’s name, address, and phone number, but school had no idea where it came from. Thank goodness the fair had not asked for a participation fee. Although I think that makes it even more weird. The guidance staff was very nice though and met with each of the Admissions counselors individually.
Monday 1pm: High school visit. Nothing worth reporting.
Monday 2 pm: Get a call from God at Boston Airport. They have my bag.
Monday 2:01PM- victory dance.
Monday 3PM: arrive at airport. Get bag. Zipper is jammed…open. Nothing has fallen out.. except for my day planner.
Monday 3:01 Freak out and fill out missing property paperwork. I felt stupid filling out that the financial value of the missing item(s) totaled to about $8. I was suuure that it would become their top priority.
Monday 3:30- decided to take matters into my own hands. I researched numbers for the Lynchburg airport and the Charlotte airport. I figured that if my daIy planner was ever going to be found, it would have already happened and been turned in. I called Charlotte airport first. Talked to a very friendly Man, Nathan.
Monday 3:31- Nathan checks the lost and found box and finds my day planner.
Monday 3:32- I confess my love to Nathan. Nathan laughs and fills out my contact information in the front of my planner, offers to send it to me in the mail, and read me aloud all of the visits that I had scheduled for the week.
Monday 8:30- Call parents to tell them that my day planner is being mailed to their house. Dad tells me that my beautiful sister was in a pretty bad car accident earlier that day. She is okay, but my heart strings get tied into knots
Tuesday 8:30 am – GPS charger breaks
Tuesday 10am- GPS dies and I get lost in East bum fuck, NY
Tuesaday 10:01 am- dad reads me directions out of EBF,NY to my high school and then to Best BUY
Tuesday 7pm- College fair in CT=0 interest cards.
I have decided that when this week is over, I am going to just pretend that it never happened. I may even rip this whole week out of my day planner, that is of course if I ever see my day planner again.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
As I walked through Lynchburg security, I was greeted by one of the most obnoxious men I have met in real life. He was just one of those people who just assumes that everyone around them wants to hear about their jobs, about their daughter’s report cards, and about the bad case of acne that they had when they were 13. Normally, I would have been delighted to hear his life story, but Sunday I was only able to force polite head nods in his general direction and count the minutes until I would be able to sit in the plane and escape his chatter. I should have known that I wouldn’t be that lucky.
When I got on the plane, I saw that I was assigned to sit next to Sir Chatterbox and was temped to turn around and start walking to Boston. After deciding that if I was too tired to hold a conversation with a stranger that I was also too tired to walk 500 miles, I sat down and prepared myself for the longest 50 minute plane ride known to mankind. I listen to him ramble about his cable bill, about his boss, about visit to the dentist the previous Wednesday. When the plane finally landed, I politely wished him safe travels to his final destination and darted out off the plane like I was an IBS patient in search for a bathroom. I needed to escape before sir chatter had the chance ask me if I wanted to continue our conversation over coffee.
I go straight to the terminal, playing and winning my sidewalk race. I throw my body into one of the sticky plastic chairs infront of my gate and sigh loudly with great relief and confidence that I escaped my predator, sir chatterbox. I imagine that my feelings closely resembled those of jerry the mouse every time he escaped Tom the cat. I send the next hour watching season four of Dexter, which is a blog for a later time. The USAIRWAYS woman comes on the intercom.
Flight Delayed again.
Finally, after what felt like eternity, I boarded my final plane of the evening to Boston . Nap time? I wish. As I find my seat, I realize that I had never asked Sir Chatterbox where he was traveling. I know now that he too was traveling to Boston…. in the seat directly across the aisle from me. He was so glad that we could continue our conversation right where we left off.
Tom the chatty cat:1
Jerry the sleep/cranky mouse:0
Friday, September 17, 2010
Sometimes I wonder if people are watching me to. I suppose its not a far fetched idea to think that a stranger may be telling her friends about something silly I have done in public. Maybe I am even in someone’s blog somewhere.
I have a game that I like to play in airports. I suppose that it is more of a race than a game but I often keep score, so I think that it counts.
I never use the moving sidewalks. Even if I am late. It never fails that I get stuck behind someone who either is standing completely still or walks slower than I would like and I felt like I could get to my terminal fast if I just walked at a brisk speed. I also had a bad experience involving a moving sidewalk last year and I am a little nervous about giving them another try.
How does this qualify as a game or a race? Allow me to tell you.
There are always people on the moving sidewalks. They are never completely empty. When people are stepping onto the sidewalk as I walk past the entrance, I use this area as the starting line. I make it a goal to walk fast enough, and dodge child and stroller obstacles so that I can beat my unknowing competitor to the end of the side walk. Sometimes when people are walking slowly and I feel like beating them to my finish line is no great accomplishment, I change the rules. Instead of racing one single stranger, I make a goal to pass as many people as possible on the moving sidewalk. Today for example I was able to pass 10 lazy strangers. Happy Birthday victory to me.
I will write more later about the friends that I made on the airplane today, but I am about to board the plane to Lynchburg!
Thursday, September 16, 2010
1. On Tuesday I thought I was going to have to shave my head. Madonna and I were singing in perfect harmony in the car when my gum grew wings and flew into my hair. Although I often joke about shaving my head to eliminate the need to remember to pack a hairbrush, I don’t know how well I could pull off the bald look. Mr. Clean had a very smooth and nicely shaped scalp and I am not convinced that I am that fortunate. What if I have a mole shaped as a toilet or a penis on the top of my head and I just never knew about it? That would be embarrassing to say the least. I decided that I needed to make a serious effort to remove myself from this sticky situation without the use of scissors or razor blade.
Unfortunately since I was in the car without the proper tools and since I was dangerously close to being late to my next visit, I had to put my one-woman crisis management efforts on hold. However, I also knew that I could not let the guidance counselors at my visit know that there was a wad of gum in my hair. Thankfully the flying gum landed in some of the under layers on my mane. I pull the gum wrapper out of the cup holder, and wrapped it lightly around the gum that was molesting my hair. The last thing I needed for the gum to infect other pieces of my head. I was able to hide the infected area for the duration of the visit and the gum was later removed with peanut butter and a little bit of olive oil. I wonder if this had ever happened to Madonna.
2. Sometimes I wonder if P. Diddy wakes up in the morning feeling like Erin Storrs. For his sake, I hope it happens at least once.
3. Until Wednesday I was a little concerned that strange things stopped happening to me as soon as I started to blog. I went almost 3 days with out anything bizarre happening and life was abnormally normal. Wednesday was my first college fair of the season and the high school students didn’t let down. My favorite encounter of the evening involved a lovely girl curious about out communications program. I think that direct quotes are necessary. Please read the following dialog.
Genius High School student: “ So…..you have a Communication Major”
Me: “ Yes we do! Communication is actually one of LC’s top five majors. Very strong program”
Long pause as a look of confusion took over the girls face.
Genius High school student: “So… does that have to do with like… communism?”
Congratulations. You just made it into my book of quotes
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
On Sunday evening, as I found my seat in the back of the airplane traveling to Charlotte, I had only one mission. I was going to finish reading a book that I have been nursing for over a year. When I approached seat 12 A, I sat down, fastened my seatbelt, and cracked open my novel. Little did I know that within a matter of minutes my hopes and dreams of finishing my book were going to be crushed by a bag of pretzels and a razor blade.
When the man directly in front of me settled into his seat, I took a moment to admire his bald head and smiled as I compared him to Mr. Clean. Just as I was about to lower my face back into my book, Mr. Clean slighty turns his bald head and I am able to see his scalp wrinkle. It was amazing. With every movement of his neck, I watched the exposed skin shift. When he chewed his complimentary pretzels, I watched the veins in the back of his head wiggle. I was completely mesmerized.
I found myself plotting ways to touch his baldness and making it look like an accident. I brainstormed through take off, through the safety announcements, and through the warm water that the flight attendant so kindly offered me. It just looked so smooth and the skin seemed so thin and I really just wanted to make it wrinkle with my fingertips.
I had finally decided that when the pilot turned off the fasten seatbelt sign, I was going to stand up as soon as possible and use the headrest of the seat in front of me for support. As I wrapped my fingers around the seat, I was going to accidently grace my fingertips across his head and then quickly apologize for invading his space so carelessly.
It was not until the attendant came on the radio to prepare the flight for landing that I realized that I had only read 5 pages of my book during the 50 minute flight. I should have been disappointed with myself for being so easily distracted but I was still too caught up with my plan of attack to care.
As the plane pulled up to the gate I hear Mr. Clean say to his neighbor, “ I actually just moved here from Vermont”. Naturally, I had no choice but to tell him with excess enthusiasm that I too hailed from the great green mountain state and now residing in central, VA. I was hoping that this connection would instantly bond us and that by the time we unloaded the plane, we would be established BFF and that I could just touch his head without judgment.
Fail. Mr. Clean was not at all impressed about our common link and made a few comments about how people living in the greater Burlington area don’t really count as true Vermonters. I was bummed because. A) the man that I wasted so much time watching turned out to be an asshole. B) I was certain that I was not going to be able to touch his bald head and C) I never finished that damn book.
Monday, September 13, 2010
As a College Admissions Counselor I spend a great deal of my time traveling throughout the country trying to make students and their families fall in love with the idea of going to LC. High School students are Petri dishes for awkwardness and when combined with my own oddities, the stories are always epic.
Travel season started this week and I have decided to create a be blog of my travels and adventures. Please be prepared to read about the friends I make on the airplane and on the street. Get ready to hear me vent about the mean man at the car rental center. Brace yourself for comma splices and spelling errors and be ready for what I hope turns into some very entertaining reading!