Editorial: Borat

An Editorial by Amy Bitner

Greetings readers!

I know you’re all thinking “where’s Melanie and who the crap is this chick?” No worries, Melanie will be back with something worth reading next week. Until then, here is my accidentally tragic tale of my time in the friend circle.

It all started on move in day of my sophomore year. The entire dorm was downstairs getting the classic “don’t put nails in your wall and make sure you always lock your door” speech. The briefing was over and there he was, a Resident Assistant for another floor- tall, dark, and handsome. And there it was. The introduction. He walked directly towards me, smiled a big cheesy grin, and introduced himself. Naturally, I fumbled over my words, started sweating profusely, and almost forgot my name. “See you around, Amy!” He said. Oh yes, you will.

The next few weeks were full of awkward run-ins as we were walking in and out of the building. One night at one of those dorm events where they give you mocktails and tell you not to drink, I was sitting in the corner with a couple of friends I drug along. The second I made eye contact with him, he made a beeline for me. I couldn’t escape if I wanted to. Why was he coming to talk to me again? He must think I’m cute, right?! Of course my friends were egging it on, giving him the friendly nickname of Borat.

It all went down late one November night. I walked into my dorm, chocolate milk and doughnut in hand, and there he was sitting at the RA desk. I couldn’t make it to the elevator without Borat yelling my name and beckoning me over.

“What have you been studying for?”
“Oh, just Business Law” I said.
Turns out, he was in the same class at a different time!
“Let’s get a study group together sometime!” He said excitedly.
“Maybe we’ll have some classes together next semester.” He sounded hopeful.
He had to like me, right?!
After a few minutes, the conversation shifted to food.
“Do you like Stick Boy?! We should go sometime!”
Was he asking me out? What do I do?

And that’s when it happened. He wrote his number down on a piece of paper and handed it to me, telling me to let him know and we could go sometime. Never mind the fact that my phone was very obviously in my hand and easily accessible; he gave me his phone number on a piece of paper. If that wasn’t the start of a courtship, I don’t know what is.

I waited a little bit before sending the “Hey, it’s Amy haha.” text, anxious about the conversation that would ensue. We planned a time for our Stick Boy date a few days later. And then it came. The text that shattered all of my hopes and dreams.

“Is it okay if I invite my girlfriend?”

Invite your girlfriend? What girlfriend? On a date with the girl you just asked out?

“Sure haha” was all I could say.

Here I was, thinking I was going on date, only to find out that I was third wheeling with an RA and his girlfriend. Why was my life so tragic?

The day came and we met in the lobby. No girlfriend in sight. Maybe she was meeting us there? After an awkward walk down the street , we finally arrived. Still no girlfriend and not even a mention. Where was she? Was she even real? Did he say that because he was afraid of the feelings he had for me?

The “date” continued as we made our separate orders and walked back to the dorm to sit by the fireplace downstairs. Conversation centered around school, hobbies, and our hometowns. Not once did he mention his girlfriend. Was this a date or not? Why were we sitting by a fireplace drinking hot chocolate and talking about life? And then I found out.

“You know, Amy, it’s great to have you in my friend circle.”

FRIEND CIRCLE?! No one has ever been more blatantly friend zoned. How do I respond to that?

“You too!” as I put on my best fake smile.

But the story doesn’t even end there. At the end of the interaction, I found myself agreeing to have lunch with Borat the following week. We met in the dining hall between classes and talked about our days. He told me about how he went to the Humane Society and even said “we should go together!” Sounds like a date to me. What was he doing? Was I in the friend circle or not? I was still holding onto hope and my friends were still supporting Borat and Amy. Instead, the story ends with me escaping the friend circle and falling off the radar with Borat.

Thanks for sticking with me if you made it this far! Shoutout to Melanie for giving me a place to share my story without judgement and allowing me to shed light on the tragedy that is the friend circle. If you’re in the friend circle, remember that there is hope and that you too can live a full and happy life.

This is Amy Bitner…

Until next time, y’all!

borat alone ugh

What could have been.

Thank you, Amy, for contributing a beautiful story to the world of Accidentally Tragic.  Amy now resides in Boone alone, doing training for her Fall internship.  But seriously, since then she has found a boo thang who has stayed by her side for many months, and they are in l-u-v-e!  Hooray for a happy ending!

If you have a story you want to share, by name or anonymously, let me know.  Join us on a path of laughter, pain, and low exposure every Thursday.  Kudos again to Amy for tonight’s post!

Most sincerely,




Editorial: “An Adventure Fit for Hobbits: A Trip to Boone with Melanie Lech”

An Editorial by Amber Mangione

Being friends with Melanie Lech is interesting to say the least. Don’t get me wrong- she’s a great friend and a joy to spend time with (when she’s actually on time for something). She can make you laugh just by her mere attitude, has jokes for days, and is an amazing singer. She is also the biggest procrastinator that I know (but is getting better), difficult to make plans with at times (by now I’m used to it), and after three years, still has a meltdown before moving back to Boone for the school year. Yes, life being friends with Melanie is interesting, but also an adventure. Like Bilbo’s journey to wherever they were going I can’t remember; unexpected and life-changing.

This adventure begins at ASU where my sister, Nicole, and I went to visit Melanie in October of 2013 for homecoming weekend. We arrived at her residence hall with pillows and blankets in tow, looking like two new students moving in because of all the stuff we had for the weekend. Melanie had planned to show us around campus and go to the homecoming game later while we were there. After taking a tour of her room and piling our belongings onto the futon, we began the usual “So what should we do?” escapade before finally settling on getting food. We headed to the beloved Cookout down the street and got the usual tray with a milkshake. We commemorated this moment of glorious food with a classy picture outside the Cookout and devoured our delicious trays.

pic for editorial 5

Then, Melanie and Nicole said, “Let’s go on a hike,” to which I looked down at my outfit and cringed. I’m all for a good hike in the mountains, but not when my attire consists of a sweatshirt, jeans, and Keds. Sure, I would have worn something different if someone had told me that we were going on a hike, but as usual, both Nicole and Melanie failed to tell me. Despite my slight panic and protest because it was wet outside and Keds have zero traction, we headed to the parkway. After finding a trail and a spot to park, Melanie wanted to get pictures of all of us at an overlook. Well, not exactly an overlook; more like the side of the road. After getting a good handful of pictures, we set off for the trail. All was well in the beginning until we began the uphill battle with giant, slippery rocks. After asking “How long is this trail, exactly?” and getting the hesitant response of “Not that long… I think,” I knew it was going to be an interesting walk. On our way up, we found a large rock and got a group of people to take a picture of the three of us. This was one of many pictures taken over the course of our hike; it’s always a photoshoot when Melanie has her camera. We continued farther up the trail and repeatedly heard, “We’re almost to the top!” and I almost slipped multiple times climbing on the rocks.

When we finally made it to the view, I will say that it was worth it. Melanie did pick a good trail after all, I thought to myself while snapping pictures on my phone. We headed up a bit farther to the rocks jutting out from the trail and ran into the group of people that took our picture earlier. They were an elderly bunch of people, probably in their 60s or 70s, who were alumni at ASU. They had hiked all the way up with picnic baskets full of glasses and wine and had started reminiscing about their time in college. They asked Melanie about her experience at ASU so far and proceeded to take a picture of the three of us on the rock. When we looked at them later, we realized that they looked like the stereotypical awkward family photos that you dread taking every year.

pic for editorial 3

To this day, my dad still thinks the photos are photoshopped because we are up so high on the rock. See, my dad has some experience with Photoshop like this. When Nicole and I were little, he would insert our faces into things like the moon and sun. He even went so far as to take a picture of me standing with my blanket and put me on a rock on the Niagra Falls (a picture to which my great-grandmother thought was real and yelled at my parents for not dressing me up in warmer clothing).

The homecoming game had already started, but we decided to head back down to try and catch some of it. After once again almost falling and Nicole constantly commenting on how she wanted to be like those people drinking on the mountain when she gets older, we finally made it back down and headed for the game. We made it back to Melanie’s residence hall, dressed in some ASU gear, and walked to the stadium, which again, was farther away than Melanie led on. As we got closer to the stadium, we noticed that herds of people were coming back from that direction. “It looks like everyone is leaving, they must be losing. Should we just head back?” Nicole and I asked in fear of this being a huge waste of time. “Let’s keep going! I want you guys to go to a game and the food is really good inside,” she said. We were all hungry again at this point, so we all wanted some sort of nourishment, and for Melanie that was pizza from the stadium. When we finally got to the stadium and saw the scoreboard, ASU was at a huge defeat and there was barely any time left. So like we predicted, this was a huge waste of time. But Melanie wanted to go inside for the food, so Nicole and I stood outside for about 15 minutes waiting for her until she came back empty-handed because they did not accept money from her meal plan.

By this point, we were all pretty hungry and just had food on our mind. Melanie suggested going to a hibachi restaurant and said that we could just take one of the buses down there. We headed down to the station and waited in line for our bus, double checking with Melanie that we were getting on the right one. After assuring us multiple times that we were getting on the right one, we headed to the back and made conversation with the people near us. As the number of people on the bus started dwindling down and we started getting farther away from our desired destination, I noticed that Melanie looked a little worried. There’s no way she had put us on the wrong bus, I thought; she seemed so certain that we got on the right one. We headed up a winding hill up to some apartments that the last group of people got off at. As we headed back down, Melanie got up to ask the driver if he was going near the stop at the restaurant. She headed back to us with an apologetic look on her face. “Guys, we’re on the wrong bus.”

“The driver is going to drop us off as close as he can and we’ll walk to the restaurant,” she said. This is when the panic started to set in; walking on the sidewalks on a busy road at night did not seem like the safest thing to do. The bus stopped and we got off, heading towards the dimly lit sidewalk. “Melanie, please, PLEASE tell me that this place is not that far away,” I asked multiple times, being very cautious about our current endeavors. “I don’t think it’s that far, really” she tried assuring us. After walking about a mile, Nicole and I were pretty done with this whole situation. Melanie apologized time and time again, saying that we were fine, nothing was going to happen to us, and that we were almost there. At this point I wanted to kill her (not really) for making us do another hike, but I had to keep reminding myself that we really had no other choice.

Finally, we made it to the plaza that the restaurant was in. Nestled in the strip of stores and bars was the illuminated sign for Hokkaido’s. After walking for a couple of miles in the dark with nothing but the sounds of passing cars and our rumbling stomachs, we were finally there. After half an hour waiting for our table, we got to sit down and devour our delicious food. I had to hand it to Melanie once again, she picked a good place. Would a restaurant by her dorm have been just as fine? Probably. But once Melanie had it in her head that we had to go to Hokkaido’s, there was no changing her mind. For instance, on Melanie’s 21st birthday, she had the idea of doing a bonfire on the parkway. Once we got to the spot she thought had pits to do so, it came to our attention that they were not bonfire pits, but charcoal grills instead. It was very damp outside so nothing would catch on fire, so intoxicated Melanie rode with her roommate all the way to Wal-Mart for lighter fluid while Nicole and I waited in a car with her friends (whom we had just met half an hour earlier at dinner) for over an hour on the parkway at 12:30 at night. The lighter fluid still failed to make the logs catch on fire, so Melanie left defeated and upset because she had the plan in her mind to do a bonfire Kumbaya style.

When we finished eating, our next plan of attack was figuring out how to get back to her dorm. The buses were still running and she was certain that we could get on a bus that could drop us off there. We waited at the bus stop situated between the Wal-Mart and Golden Corral for about 45 minutes before the bus arrived. Waiting here was probably sketchier than the walk over, but we couldn’t bring ourselves to hike again. We asked the driver more than once if we were heading back in the right direction and he confirmed that we were. It seemed as though every activity we tried had some sort of obstacle (except for Cookout. No problems there). But finally, something was going right on this trip.

By the time we got back, we were all ridiculously exhausted. It had been a long day, to say the least. Now we had to figure out where we were all going to sleep. We decided to push the futon down and move it up against her bed and have the three of us sleep side-by-side. I thought this was a genius idea until I got stuck in the middle with Nicole snoring in my ear and Melanie’s face next to mine on the other side.

pic for editorial 4

Even though I felt like I was about to drop dead from this tumultuous day, I barely slept. The next morning, Nicole and I got up and prepared to go back home to Charlotte.

Needless to say, this trip was not what I expected it to be; this was definitely one of the most interesting, mishap-filled experiences with Melanie and Nicole that I have ever had. Despite some of our setbacks, I still had an awesome time in Boone and I would do it all over again with the two of them. Although everything didn’t go according to plan, we still had a memorable trip and did things that we can laugh about now. Like I said, being friends with Melanie Lech can be interesting, but I know she means well and cares deeply about all of her friends. We can always count on her to make a boring day more exciting.

My name is Amber Mangione and this is the first editorial I have done for Melanie’s blog. Thanks for reading!

pic for editoiral 1

pic for editorial 2

Hey ya’ll, so it’s Melanie again!  I hope you enjoyed Ambear’s editorial.  Know that even if you are judging me, I am judging myself more.  (A moment of thanks to Amber for including such touching, heartfelt, completely unprompted kinds words at the end so you all know (think) I’m not actually the worst.)  So as you’ve seen, I decided to do something a little bit different this week by having one of my friends submit an editorial.  This is something I’d like to do more of!  On the third or fourth week every month, I’m going to post someone else’s disastrous life story or embarrassing tale, because I want this blog to be about more than just me; I want it to be about stupidity in general, and how it brings us all together.  And while today’s editorial was about a trip I was involved with, in the future, the stories featured might have nothing to do with me.  I’ve got a few people in mind I’d like to ask to write something, but the door’s really wide open.  So, readers, if you’ve got a good tale and want to share it with an audience of 100 that dwindles lower and lower each week, email me!  Let’s build a community.

See you next Thursday (God willing),