Love in the High Country: In Which Two of the World’s Most Awkward People Stumbled Their Way Into an Epic Romance

Dear Readership,

This is a saga — I’ll apologize in advance for the length. I have shortened it in every way I can, but like any story worth telling, our lives and love were formed in the details. Our story is one of repeated near misses, bad timing, and conveniently crossed paths that could give any decent Rom-Com a run for its money. So buckle up and enjoy!

Bryce and I first met when we were little Freshman babies at Appalachian State University back in the fall of 2014. He started talking to this girl who lived on my dorm floor, and once they began officially dating, he became a regular “lobby kid” (which is what those of us who bummed in the public space on the 5th floor of Coltrane unofficially called ourselves). I very vividly remember the day Bryce asked my floormate out because I bumped into him in the elevator just before he did it. He had bought her a box of gourmet cookies and written an adorable pun in the lid of the box. My friend and I wished him good luck and went on our way. Once Bryce was out of earshot I told her, “Man, if someone asked me out with a pun like that I would say yes in a heartbeat!” 

This, of course, was some pretty crazy cosmic foreshadowing.

Fast forward a little and Bryce and I happened to join the same campus ministry (he joined because a friend from high school was already a part of CCF and had spoken highly of it. I joined about a semester later because this girl who lived on my floor — and would later become my roommate, one of my best friends, and eventually a bridesmaid — kept nagging me about trying it and I wanted her to leave me alone).

Through the mutual space of our campus ministry, he and I kept in touch and began to become friends. When Bryce returned Sophomore year freshly single, my interest was officially piqued. I didn’t realize it though until he started talking to someone else and I became outrageously jealous. Not being much of a seductress, I settled into the comfortable distance of casual friendship and continued to admire the man of character that he is from afar.

Then, in the spring of Sophomore year, fate threw me a bone by sending me Hannah (Bryce’s sister) who transferred from ECU. When Bryce first told us his sister was transferring to App, I decided I wasn’t going to like her on principle (aren’t I evil? I had grown up with a dear friend who got regularly befriended by girls who were crushing on her older brothers. I knew how much it hurt her to be a tactical vantage point instead of a person with friends, and since I am nothing if not a woman of delusions and extremes, I decided to spare Hannah that fate by simply not liking her at all).

This, of course, went very poorly. I think I managed to dislike Hannah for roughly 2 hours? Maybe less… Her vivacious personality and raw endearing humor quickly flagged her as a kindred spirit and someone who I was incapable of avoiding. As our friendship blossomed, I remained determined to never ask about Bryce or bring him into our friendship. And yet, there he was. She would mention an endearing detail about him from their childhood, or would invite me over to his apartment where she was hanging out with him (since I lived across town and she still lived in a dorm with a somewhat weird and unnerving roommate, his place was the easiest meeting point). I found out from her that he was once again single and I tried to not get excited about it. But the more time I spent with her, the more time I seemed to end up spending with him, and the harder I fell.

I started to send out flirtatious probes (yes, probes. What an un-sexy word… once again, seduction is not my strong suit). I pulled out all the stops that my sheltered self could think of: the occasional brushed arm or bumped knee, regular texting, teasing, deliberate eye contact… I even tried the age old eye contact bounce between his eyes and lips when he spoke. Nothing. I couldn’t tell if he was picking up on any of it.

Then, at the end of Sophomore year, I drove him back to his apartment on the last day before the summer. It was just the two of us in the car and I thought maybe this would be the moment something finally happened. All my hopes were dashed in one cruel moment, however, when he reached out and gave me a goodbye fist-bump (not even an awkward in-the-car side hug). It was then that I was sure he didn’t like me.

Momma didn’t raise no quitter though, so I gave it another try over the summer when I texted him to see how he was doing. Despite my best efforts to keep it alive, the conversation quickly died. It was the final nail in my fragile ego’s coffin. Now I was sure that not only did he not like me, but maybe he didn’t even want to be my friend. I was Hannah’s friend who was around sometimes. That was all.

So I started dating someone else.

Little did I know, Hannah had been name dropping for me over the summer (even though Bryce had never picked up on my interest in him, she certainly did). She even went so far as to ask him if he would consider me as someone viable to date. That off-handed question managed to plant a seed in his head that all of my best attempts at flirting had never been able to do: Bryce started to notice me, to think about me, and to consider me as an option. As the summer wound to a close and we headed back to Boone for Junior year, Bryce began, for the first time, to really like me.

Just a few days into the fall semester, Bryce and I both volunteered to work the CCF table for the club expo (where new students could learn about/join clubs) and we found out that we had been assigned to work the same shift at our ministry’s table — just the two of us. He was elated when he found out. This would be the perfect chance to spend some time one-on-one with me. I, on the other hand, was devastated — I hadn’t stopped liking Bryce, I had just given up on being liked back. I couldn’t spend time with him like that. It would be awkward, not to mention unfair to my new boyfriend.

I told myself to put on my big girl panties and do it — we were in the same small ministry. It’s not like I could avoid him. Besides, we were there to do a job. I went in planning to be cordial but distant and instead ended up having a wonderful time. Our table had been placed in a back corner that didn’t get a ton of foot traffic so we spent most of the time talking, and Bryce proved to be a wonderful conversationalist.

He went home and told Hannah (his now roommate) that he was going to ask me on a date — and she told him that I had a boyfriend. Crushed, he resigned himself to our sudden role reversal and decided to continue to be my friend and like me from afar as I had done the year prior. With these intentions, he and Hannah invited me over a few nights later to see their new apartment and watch a movie. Once again I had a lovely time so naturally I decided by the end of the night that I would need to avoid Bryce in order to remain emotionally faithful to the guy that I was dating.

Despite my best efforts, he and I kept getting thrown in together — we joined the same support group, ended up at the same table for our campus ministry’s Thanksgiving (it was the first and only year they enforced assigned seating for the meal and I bet you can just guess who I got seated next to), and we often times ended up in our friend group’s hangout spots on campus at the same time. Even with all of our elbow bumping, we spent very little meaningful time together that semester and he was far removed from my mind when I ended my relationship during finals week that fall.

In fact, I really didn’t give Bryce a ton of thought at all until I returned to school for my spring semester Junior year and we started chatting at our campus ministry’s kick-off meeting. The conversation spilled over into text and we began to banter flirtatiously. All of my feelings from the last several years came rushing back out of the deep dark corner that I had hidden them in, and for the first time in a long time, I started to have hope that maybe he liked me. It all came to a screeching halt (again) when I jokingly threatened to hold him to a promise that he was making and he responded with, 

“10-4, good buddy.”

I died on the inside. Absolutely died. Good buddy?? The stinging shame of being blatantly friend zoned burned so hot in my chest that I couldn’t stand to bear it alone. I took a screenshot of it, blacked out his name, and sent the picture to several of my nearest and dearest friends (one of whom was obviously Hannah). I captioned the image with something along the lines of, “When you’re trying to flirt and you get friend-zoned so hard you get whiplash.”

In a matter of minutes she responded with, “who friend-zoned you?”

This was a question I wasn’t ready for (because I’m an idiot) so I said the most incriminating thing possible — “Don’t worry about it.”

She then did the most low-down dirty thing that I will forever be grateful for: she screenshotted my message and asked Bryce, “Did you recently tell Sierra ’10-4, good buddy’?” He admitted that he had and she showed him the message in which I confessed to feeling friend-zoned. He insisted that that wasn’t his intention, that he had been joking.

Sometimes I wonder how long Bryce and I would have been trapped in our cycle of missed opportunities and bad communication if Hannah had never intervened. Because even though I didn’t know at the time that she had shown my text to him, it changed Bryce’s intentions. He had confirmation that I did, in fact, like him. That I had been flirting with him. It gave him the final push he needed to make his first move — he invited me over to watch Futurama. After a few episodes we switched to Stranger Things (because I had said that I was too afraid to watch it by myself and he kindly offered to watch it with me and protect me from the scary bits). This, of course, led to some low-key cuddling which led to another planned date to finish the show later that week, and this time some unashamed high-key cuddling.

Then, on February 13th, 2017 I asked him if he would like to join me at the library where I was writing a paper. To my surprise, he said yes! It was already pretty late and Bryce didn’t tend to prefer the library as a study space, but he said he had a test to study for and could use somewhere quiet to work on it. Unbeknownst to me, at the time of my invitation, he was furiously drawing a Stranger Things themed Valentine’s Day card to give me. On the front was a drawing of Eleven holding a box of Eggo waffles along with the pun, “Leggo out?” written above it. Inside the card were several more ST-themed puns asking me to be his girlfriend. He brought it with him to the library and as the clock struck midnight he slid it across the table and whispered, “Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Naturally, finally, inevitably, I said yes! Or rather, I nodded yes to being his girlfriend. I had, unfortunately, not known I was going to be asked out that night and had set up to study on the “no talking” floor in the library (my favorite place to get work done). So, having lots of things to say to one another in a space where we weren’t allowed to talk (and me still having a paper due in 6 hours), we continued to work in silence. However, I could barely stop smiling and I can say with confidence that that was probably the worst paper I have ever turned in.

As it got late, Bryce finally stood up to go. It had been my intention to stay later than him to finish, so I figured I would walk out to the car with him so I could finally say something and kiss him goodnight. Much to my surprise, he hugged me goodbye and before I could think to say anything, he walked away. I stood there torn for almost 30 seconds before frantically texting him not to leave yet because he had forgotten something and then raced down the stairs after him. I caught him in the lobby and (before I could have time to think through how much I hate PDA) I reached up and planted a big, breathless kiss on his mouth right there in front of God and the library staff and every procrastinating student on the first floor. “There” I said, “You forgot to kiss me.”

And from there, things were always pretty simple. Our relationship style has always been quirky and a little out of sync, but I have learned to love us that way.

The first time we said “I love you” I sat in silence for a long time trying to build up the courage to get the words out. Finally, feeling like I would burst, I managed to force out the question, “Guess what?” as an awkward transition from silence to professing my undying love for him. Instead of responding with your conventional “What?” my precious man didn’t miss a beat before replying “Chicken butt!” I spluttered for a minute, my brain unsure how to proceed before sheepishly saying, “Noooo… I love you.” Shocked, he hugged me fiercely and whispered in my ear, “OH! I love you too!”

Our off-beat style continued through the ups and downs of dating and almost a year after our first “I love you” we began to discuss marriage in earnest. We had talked about a lot of different timelines to get engaged, but never set something in stone. Unfortunately, I’m not a terribly patient person, so when each of the mile markers I had suggested came and went without a ring, I bought an engagement ring of my own. It was a simple wooden ring (because Bryce has such a deep love for all things rustic and wood grain) and I began to lay plans to ask him to marry me. He and I planned a picnic for the weekend after I got home from my study abroad and I figured that would be the perfect time to ask him. I’ll never forget telling my brother my plans and him cutting me off, “Wait, did you plan the picnic or did he?” he demanded.

I thought for a second, “Well, he did” I finally said.

“You stupid idiot!” he shouted, “He’s planning to propose to you that day!

“Not if I beat him to it” I said.

But as the picnic drew nearer, I decided to give Bryce the chance to ask first — it was his picnic after all. Then, if by the end of the day, he didn’t ask me, I would give him my ring instead. 

On the day of the picnic we drove up to Boone and headed for Howard’s Knob — an overlook of the mountains that also gives a stunning view of App’s campus. We set up our blanket on a nearby rock and enjoyed a delicious lunch (unsubtle plug — it was from Kindly Kitchen on King Street. It is one of my all-time favorite restaurants and everyone should go eat there). The day was gorgeous so there were a lot of people around us, also enjoying the view. Bryce kept commenting how he wished everyone would go away. Finally, they did.

“Everyone’s finally gone,” he said, “Let’s go look at the view from closer up while it’s just us.”

“Okay” I said, pretty sure I knew what was going to follow, but giddy nonetheless. We walked over to the edge and surveyed the little kingdom that had contained the entire length of our love story so far.

“Look,” he said, “You can see Coltrane from here. I can’t believe we met there four years ago. It’s so cool how we’ve come full circle becau–” he cut himself short. Just behind us a hiker had come over the ridge and was making his way down to the edge of the overlook where we were standing. Bryce let out a nervous and exasperated sigh. He turned back to me and reached into his pocket, “Before that guy gets over here” he said, pulling out the ring box, “Will you marry me?”

“YES!” I gushed as he put the most beautiful ring I have ever seen on my finger. “As it happens” I chuckled, reaching into my own pocket and producing the ring, “I have a ring for you too.”

He agreed to marry me back.

“I hope it’s okay that I didn’t kneel” he said, as we stood admiring our new bling and all the promises they held, “I wanted to ask you to marry me while I was standing beside you. You know, to ask you as my equal.”

This, of course, earned him a kiss. If I hadn’t been sure that I wanted to marry him before that statement, I was now. And I continue to be. Every day since then — good, bad, and ugly (and there have been some very ugly days) I have become more and more certain that despite our rocky start, Bryce is my perfect match. I continue to realize that I could never have asked for or even imagined a better happily ever after than the one I’m living with him. And in 144 days, I get to become his wife.

Until next time,

Adieu

TBT: Moving… Oof!

Dear Readership,

Tonight I was going back through old drafts of blogs I had started and never finished and there were some real wacky ones in there. Unfortunately, most of them are doomed to stay in the draft file collecting cyber dust because I can’t for the life of me remember where I was going with them. But, lucky you, I found this one fully finished and unpublished for reasons I don’t remember. So here you go! Enjoy this little throwback to August and possibly the worst move of my life! Cheers!

****

Have you ever caught a total stranger off guard in their pajamas by walking out of the back room of their house completely uninvited and unannounced? No? I have. Twice. It was as awkward as you would imagine it to be.

Let me back up.

I don’t know about you, but I hate moving. Truly. Deeply. With a hatred so pure and poisonous that if it were to ever be condensed into a liquid form it would kill on contact. If you don’t count periods of transition — of which I have had many — I completed my 9th move this past week and it was a pretty heinous affair (I say “completed” as though the majority of my furniture isn’t still in my sister’s basement in Winston).

What made this particular move so bad? Well, let me tell you. It started with a series of paperwork in the days and weeks leading up to the move. For one reason or another, my apartment complex changed my lease on 4 separate occasions, the final switch being only a matter of days before I moved. It was a hassle, but it was finally sorted. On the day of the move, I attended a doctor’s appointment with my sister that lasted FAR longer than it should have. As a result, we had to pack my bags into our cars in a mad frenzy and race towards Raleigh in the hopes that we would arrive before my apartment’s leasing office closed.

According to the GPS, we would get there with 20 minutes to spare. According to the universe, we would most certainly not. We hit accident traffic not once but TWICE that made everything come to an absolute standstill. I watched our ETA climb steadily, and in a panic, called the leasing office to beg them to stay open just a few minutes past 5 so that I could pick up my key.

Begrudgingly, they agreed.

I’m sure the feeling of helplessness that slowly squeezed the life out of me for the duration of that drive is one that just about everyone can relate to — the feeling of having a hard deadline that you are powerless to meet as you slowly inch forward in traffic. But for the sake of everyone’s sanity — mine especially — let’s fast forward through the grizzly details of one of the longest hours of my life, to the moment when we finally pulled into the parking lot (going roughly 75 mph) and ran up to the office at 5:03pm.

The door was locked.

I knocked… I knocked louder… I all but pounded down the door.

An old man grumpily poked his head out, “WE’RE CLOSED.”

“Sir, I know, but I called ahead. I just need my key.”

“I said we’re closed.”

“Listen, I’ll be two minutes. Please, just give me my key. I have all of my stuff with me and nowhere to put it if you don’t let me into my apartment.”

He gave me the stink eye and slowly opened the door.

I ran into the office of the lady who had been helping me since I first contacted the complex about living there.

“Hi, here’s my rent check. I just need my key” I said.

“Yes, did you change your renters insurance?”

me: *dies on the inside* “What?”

“You changed units, remember? You have to change the address on the renters insurance.”

Right on cue the old man wandered by and grumbled. Angry at my continued presence in the office and the fact that I was not just picking up my key after all.

As quickly as possible I called the insurance company and changed the necessary information on my policy. Finally, it was sorted and she gave me my key. She walked me to the unit (to make sure the key actually worked) while I showered her with apologies and thank yous for helping me. As we were turning the key in the lock on the front door it occurred to me to ask, “Did you tell the people living her that I’m moving in today?”

“No” she said absentmindedly, “I normally do, but I didn’t have time to let them know.”

Immediately a giant rock slammed into my stomach. I prayed that they would both be in the living room when the door opened so the leasing office employee could explain that I was moving in. They weren’t. In fact, there was very little in the apartment to indicate that anyone actively lived there at all. Ten assorted and unmatched chairs lined two walls, a glass table without chairs sat against another. Two large box TVs sat unplugged and unused in different spots in the room. One random piece of ugly duct tape art hung lonesomely on an otherwise empty wall. An abandoned copy of the Al Anon handbook sat in a thick layer of dust on the floor in the corner

Did people really live here or was it a storage unit?

The woman helping me looked around at the scuffed and dingy walls, “It needs painted in here. Put in a work order for that and have a nice weekend.”

She left.

My sister and I looked around, and after whispering uncomfortably about what we should do, we began to unload my stuff. It was at this point (walking from my room back to my car for the next armful) that I startled my first roommate. She was in her pajamas and beginning a load of laundry.

I explained my presence in her house and introduced myself. She said her name.

I didn’t catch it.

I asked her to repeat it.

I still didn’t catch it.

To this day (one entire week of living together later) I’m still not sure what her name is. I’ve actually only seen her twice in passing since that initial meeting.

**EDIT** It would be two more weeks before I learned her name. She’s lovely and we get along quite nicely now when our paths cross. 

Fast forward about forty-five minutes and I sprang myself on my other roommate (also in her pajamas) and repeat the same uncomfortable encounter — except I did catch her name. Aside from briefly introducing her to my fianc√© and his mom later that night, I have not seen her again since then.

**EDIT** we now talk nearly nightly and she’s walked with me through the ups and downs of all of my radical life choices since arriving in Raleigh. She is also lovely.

Honestly, the only evidence that I even have roommates is that sometimes dishes are sitting in a different place in the kitchen than they were the last time I was in there. Oh, and one of them set off the fire alarm at about 6 this morning and then apologized to the other one when she came out of her room to see what was going on which I could hear perfectly from my bed thanks to paper thin walls.

But back to my move. Fast forward through the next couple of hours in which I went and picked up a bed/set it up/made it/said goodbye to the people who came to help me/ and suddenly found myself standing alone in the middle of my unpacked room. It was at this point that I realized I didn’t have any wifi (I figured that either the apartment would offer it as a part of utilities or that my roommates would already have a router and I could chip in on the bill… neither proved to be true). I knew that I had a conference at the University first thing the next day, but I didn’t know when or where or how to get there.

Tired but resolved, I drove around Raleigh until I got to I-40. I drove down 40 until I got to an exit that had a food sign for McDonalds (aka free wifi). I exited and drove until I got to the McDonalds — it was closed and under construction. I kept driving until I found a Harris Teeter. I wandered through the store looking for the bathroom when some guy called after me, “Hey man, sick hair!”

“Thanks!” I said, feeling a little bolstered by the compliment.

“….ma’am” he quickly corrected upon hearing my voice.

Aaaaaand I deflated again. I thought man had been a colloquialism.

Eventually I found the bathroom where I sat for an hour, looking up details for the conference and trying to get my phone to let me add data to my plan so I could use it for maps to get home (it would be 2 more hours at a Starbucks the next day before I conquered the data problem). Finally I gave up and went “home” to the weirdly empty apartment with ghost roommates and no furniture and cried about how much I hate moving.

One week later, things are mostly better. I’ve unpacked a bit and I spend most of my time on campus anyway (let’s be honest, the library will always be my home–the apartment is just where I sleep). After three absurdly long orientations, I am ready to start my job and excited to delve into my program.

**EDIT** Spoiler, it didn’t work out. 

As I get to know the city, Raleigh is slowly worming its way into my heart despite all of my meltdowns along the way.

If this were an adventure novel I am fairly confident that I would be the main character’s whiney (but endearing) sidekick. I’m not sure if it’s considered acceptable to be the sidekick in your own life story, but it’s a role with which I am quite comfortable. ūüėČ

***

Oh how three months can change everything! My living room is furnished, my roommates are not strangers (and I even gained a 3rd), my room is unpacked (but messy as ever), the university library is no longer my home, I am marvelously content with where I’m at, and as I’ve learned to take ownership of how my story unfolds, I am slowly becoming the main character. How’s that for a happy new beginning? (because it is certainly not my ending)

Until next time,

Adieu

Cleverness Gone Awry

Dear Readership,

Ever had days where you thought you were in charge and then reality curb-stomped you back into your rightful place in the fetal position on the floor praying for sweet oblivion? Because that was my day today. Every time I did something to “beat the system” it would come back to bite me. Let me tell you about it…

It all started when I decided not to wear a bra this morning. And I know what you’re thinking — or, rather, one of two things you could be thinking. Either you are IMMEDIATELY uncomfortable with this post and are thinking about maybe not finishing it because you don’t think it is appropriate to discuss bosoms on the internet (is that an okay word to use? Bosoms? It is literally my LEAST favorite word for breasts, but it feels like something a Sunday school teacher would say so it’s probably okay), OR you, like me, stopped for a sec to chant “Free the tatas!” before continuing reading. Now, if you’re in the former category, you have a couple of choices:

1) leave. That’s fine. You don’t have to read this if it makes you uncomfortable.

2)¬† Embrace boobies! (Poor wording? Probably. But I mean it metaphorically and you know it). They’re just a body part — like elbows — and not inherently sexual. We don’t have to sexualize them. So don’t.

Either way, I decided not the wear a bra this morning. It was cold, I was cold, and I wasn’t about that mess. So I tossed on a cami and a chunky sweater and applauded myself for my cleverness. Who would ever know? (Um, try everyone. The girls hang a solid four or five inches lower when unrestrained and bounce FREELY. But you know what? That’s where God put my boobs, so who am I to say that that’s not where they belong). Now, the thing about going bra-less is sometimes things get a little crazy down there. Running is a no-go. Period. And when you have big ol’ floppy breasticles, underboob sweat is REAL (still think boobs are sexy?) especially when the sun comes out. Suddenly that chunky sweater was a mistake that I was going to deeply regret for my whole day. I couldn’t get cool no matter what I did, and I did a lot. But we’ll get to that.

So I was being slowly strangled to death by my sweater, but I was trying to make the most of it and decided to get lunch on campus with some friends. Now, to say that campus food is nasty and expensive would be an understatement, so I’ve gotten my meal order down to a science. The cafeteria in the student union offers a beans and rice special for $2 and some change which is a pretty sweet deal, but you pay for toppings by weight (and if you’re not careful with the guac, that sucker can get up to $8 sometimes. That’s where they getcha). I have figured out which toppings I consider necessary to enjoy my beans and rice, and of those, which are the lightest. Now, somewhere along the way I realized there is a free condiment pump station (ketchup, mustard, mayo, hot sauce) and instead of paying for the very heavy sour cream and salsa, I could just get a few free pumps of mayo and hot sauce and be on my merry way a few dollars richer. So basically, I’m a genius, right?

It was rush hour meal time and I was hangry, but I wasn’t trying to spend a lot of money so I stood in a 10 minute line for beans (of which they gave me a particularly small serving) and then made my way to where we were meeting — carrying my container of beans and my toppings bowl (lettuce, cheese, olives, tomatoes, and a generous pump of mayo on top). I set my lunch on the edge of the table to take off my backpack and¬†immediately bumped into my food and sent the toppings bowl FLYING. Most of the expensive part of my meal hit the floor, but I did manage to catch some of it… mayonnaise first… with my keys and highly textured wallet. Some very sweet friends helped me salvage what I could (and got napkins to wipe my precious money… I mean, toppings, off the floor) and I still had a pretty decent lunch. I mean, as decent of a lunch as one can have when one spends 20 minutes scraping mayonnaise out of the tiny nooks of their wallet with a mechanical pencil and reeks of America’s favorite condiment for the rest of the day. So, yeah, maybe a pump of mayo on top wasn’t my best loophole after all. Day dampened, but not ruined.

Fast forward a few hours and I am at a meeting to discuss the creative elements of our Tuesday night service for my campus ministry. I had hustled there from a class and was sweating profusely and feeling pretty miserable. We were chatting before the meeting started and I was absentmindedly fanning myself by flapping the bottom edge of my sweater. Unfortunately, with the skin-tight tank top on, my stomach wasn’t getting any air. So I grabbed the lip of my undershirt too and keep on fanning and chatting until I noticed the look of HORROR that the women’s minister was giving me from across the table. You see, I was slouched in my chair and leaned pretty far back so every time I pulled my shirt away from my body, I was pulling it UP and away and providing her with a direct visual to my bare breasts.

Now, I’m not sure if you’ve ever had the displeasure of flashing your titties to a Christian leader in a church related meeting before, but there’s just not a good way to recover from that… Especially when your campus minister is sitting two seats over (thankfully on his laptop so he didn’t see anything and is graciously pretending he doesn’t hear what’s going on). But just imagine it. There is no recovery. You just pray that you’ll sink through the floor or that sweet death will take you as you curse yourself for not putting on a bra that morning, you dirty hippy.

So, yeah, that was my day. I have been firmly put back in my place by life today. Lesson learned. All I can do now is try to sleep it off and (by sharing it) laugh it off as well.

Until next time,

Adieu

Mistakes Have Been Made

Dear Readership,

Today — in a moment of total weakness — I bought a Boston Cream doughnut at the gas station by my house for the low, low price of $1.49 and a piece of my very soul. It all started because I have gotten into the rather bad habit of driving with the gas light on for as long as possible before I refill. After two days of that sucker shining, I was starting to get antsy. I had been cramming for a Spanish test all afternoon and decided to run out for gas. When I pulled into the station, the first thing I noticed was that the air smelled like cigarette smoke — someone must of just finished their smoke break, right? No biggie. I walked inside — the air in there smelled very pungently of cigarettes too, but my nose quickly adjusted. I stalked up and down the isles, clutching my $20 to my chest, looking for a quick snack that wouldn’t take up too much of my fuel fund. Then I spotted it — the doughnut case.

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a sucker for pastries. I mean, anything made 90% of sugar and covered in frosting belongs in my belly. But I’ve been trying to eat healthy recently so its been a hot minute since I’ve had one. I usually set my sites on tasty sweets of a higher caliber (if every bite is going to add a pound of cellulite directly to my thighs, then it needs to be a pretty damn good pastry). But tonight I was especially busy, they were right in front of me, I was rather hungry, and I caved. I picked out a particularly enticing looking Boston Cream doughnut, paid for it (and my gas) and left. When I got to the car, I excitedly chomped down into my snack and instead of being delighted, I pulled away with a mouthful of disappointment.

Now, if you’ve never found yourself unfortunate enough to¬†taste¬†disappointment, allow me to explain to you what it’s like…. The first blow was the fact that the doughy part of my treat (that should have tasted like a fluffy cloud of sugary goodness) tasted instead like the butt of a cigarette. “HOW COULD I HAVE BEEN SO STUPID?!” I wondered.¬† Of¬†course¬†the cigarette smoke would have leaked into the doughnut case and infected the unsealed treats. I was disgusted.¬† But mamma didn’t raise no quitter. I was determined to get to the cream in the center in the hopes that it would redeem my doughnut, so I soldiered on through my chocolate-covered ashtray. I can not begin to describe how crushed I was when I reached the sweetened condensed milk flavored gelatinous mass in the center of my doughnut. It was overpoweringly sweet in a soupy, artificial, and ever-so-slightly tin can flavored kind of way. I ended up squeezing most of it into a bag before nibbling the chocolate off the top of the doughnut (you know, because I don’t know when to give up and because it wasn’t¬†that¬†bad) and then I tearfully threw the rest away.

After chugging nearly a half-gallon of water mixed with my own tears, I swore off gas station pastries for life. Then, burrying my grief so deep down inside of myself it will probably take counseling to uncover it, I got back to cramming. I foolishly assumed that the doughnut would be nothing more than a bad memory, but alas, I was not to be so lucky. The nightmare for me was only just beginning. Some 20 odd minutes after consumption my stomach began to really roil and my whole body complained of feeling queasy and unwell. A burp welled up and to my extreme dismay IT TASTED LIKE ASHTRAY. “Dear god, what did I eat??”¬†I began to wonder… it wasn’t until I had to drop what I was doing and make a mad dash for the nearest bathroom that I knew: I had eaten a doughnut straight from the pits of hell itself. I partook of the chocolate-covered temptation and now I was paying with my very life. I have never felt more empathy or understanding for Eve than I do right now.

Pray for this sinner, y’all, it’s going to be a long night.

Until next time,

Adieu

 

[Insert Adage About Raining and Pouring]

Dear Readership,

You know those days that just aren’t that great and no matter what you do you can’t seem to make them better?

I have a lot of those.

Wednesday was not one of those days.

Wednesday was the kind of day that was so jam-packed with irritatingly bad nuances that it should be expunged from the annals of history (not to mention my life) so I can avoid intense trauma therapy.

It all started with a final presentation (doesn’t it always?) that I had to give right on the heels of a 24 hour throw-up virus. I had been up until about 2am the night before frantically cutting it down because we had a hard and fast 9 minute deadline (speaking of, who the heck makes a presentation deadline 9 minutes? That’s the most maddeningly odd number. Would 10 have killed ya?) and mine was a solid 14 minutes long. I spent the wee hours of the morning cutting out slides willy-nilly before deciding to take the L if it wasn’t good enough and passing out.

Wednesday dawned and I had had about 5 and 1/2 hours of sleep which I¬†know¬†is not that little, but I’m a strict 8 hours kind of gal. Anything less and I turn into a gremlin-like she-monster — malicious and more than a little ugly. I begrudgingly rolled out of bed and began to make myself presentable. It didn’t require a lot of mental energy (thank goodness) because I have exactly one presentation worthy outfit (a gray knit dress, purple tights, and some¬†killer¬†cute heels). Unfortunately, my dress was hanging next to the DampRid in my closet (because, you know, everything I own gets covered in mildew if I don’t hang that water-sucking, chemical-laden bag in there too) and it now pungently reeked of fake floral cleaner. I didn’t have time to scrounge together another semi-professional outfit so I spritzed myself with some extra body spray (as if that would help) and ran out the door. It had been in the 50s for a few days, so I felt like I was wearing a reasonably weather-appropriate outfit; however, when I stepped outside I was dismayed to discover that it was below freezing and not likely to warm up much past that all day.¬† So I hobbled — half-frozen — to the bus in my completely impractical outfit, and then proceeded to have one of the longest, busiest days on my feet that I’ve had this entire semester. Parts of it were really cool (like attending the raising of the¬†Eastern Band of the Cherokee flag ceremony in the student union), but they were overshadowed a little by the fact that my feet were swollen from marching around a mountain in heels for nine hours, by having hives on my hands and face from the unexpected cold, and by the rash developing on my belly from my DampRid-soaked dress.

All days must end, however, and my incredibly looong day finally did too. I put on my comfiest slippers to appease my poor feet and decided to reward myself by buying a McDonald’s ice cream cone on the way to study at my boyfriend’s house. I pulled into the drive thru, rolled down my window, and *THUNK* it broke. The pane had detached from whatever mechanism roles the window up and down and fallen down inside the door. What was the worst part about all of this?

It was really hard to enjoy my ice cream cone while being pounded by the cold night air.

But broken windows are just a part of the adventure of driving a clunker, right? I could get through this. All I had to do was bundle up and blast the heat whenever I drove until I could figure out a good way to rig a cover. I convinced myself that all would be well and was determined to be an optimist about it.

Little did I know a mini-blizzard was on its way the next day to dump nine inches of snow on Boone town and my lil ol’ windowless car…

If your Wednesday (or any day) was worse, please, do share.

Until next time,

Adieu