embarrassing moments

Rock Bottom

Even though I’m now a fifth year senior and in a new relationship navigating mishaps and humiliation left and right, I’ve been neglecting proper blog documentation by watering down the amassing tragedies as being not quite tragic enough to write about yet.  And sorta because I forgot about this blog for about a year…  But mostly the watering down thing.  Mostly the watering down thing, that is, until this past weekend, when a tragedy so pathetic, so utterly lame, occurred, that I could no longer ignore my duty to the web.

If you read my last post, you already have a hint.  But, let’s be honest, you didn’t.  So buckle up.

I’ve spent a lot of time in college trying to evolve myself from a closet YouTuber to a Pro-fessional Videographer gal.  It’s taken some time for me to learn the jargon of my trade (or how to escape conversation fast enough before people find out I haven’t) and to develop my technical skills, but I’m getting there.  One of my latest duties-to-learn has been the glamorous world of location scouting, which actually sucks ass.

So, anyway.  My teammate, Alex (aka “Cobb”), and I had been in talks with a local musician for about two months to make her a music video.  Indoor locations were out because bureaucracy is the devil (hear, hear!), so we decided to find a spot in the mountains surrounding Boonetown.  The plan was to find someplace with a waterfall where we could film without any casualties.  Taking a few suggestions from Alex’s brother, we resolved first and foremost to scope out the “Bertha” of waterfalls: Trash Can Falls.  (Did that joke hit?  It’s supposed to be about having a crappy name.  Oh shoot, I should have gone for trashy!  Something like “Marguerite.”)

Starting the car to leave for the Marguerite of waterfalls went well enough, but not much else.  Due to causes entirely unrelated to our chronic irresponsibility and inadequacy as human beings, we were sort of in a rush because it was sort of the day before the shoot.  Partway there, it began to rain, plus Alex was driving like a blind animal, so we were lucky to even make it to the site alive to begin with.  After that, we got onto the trail and I was forced into keeping guard while he took a leak in the forest, also like a blind animal, which was pleasant.  Raindrops and pee were crashing down all around me, but I still felt hopeful that my dreams for the day wouldn’t.

It was a short path, but a wee bit treacherous.  The rainfall (and urine) did not help the cause, as the trail was already dominated by puddles and muck.  A little ways into the trek, Alex pointed down a steep semi-trail/semi-dropoff toward a huge rocky platform and said, “what about that?”  I looked at it for about two seconds before definitively knowing that it was not going to work.  But I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, so I tried to say it delicately.  “That is not going to happen, Alex.”  “But–” he began.  “No. We are not f***ing doing that,” I stated politely.

He laughed, probably, or got tensed up and sad (what’s the difference, am I right?!), and abandoned his post to finish the trail.  When we made it to the top, we saw a few collegiate hooligans in swimsuits, hanging around, drinking beers, and then jumping intoxicated off of a 15 foot rock face into murky construction-site-puddle-opaque waters.  For a second, I worried that I was going to have to jump off of it to impress Alex.  I had already gotten out of it the last time I visited by having mother nature pouring out of my uterus into a pad that would have exploded up with water like a giant turd in my pants if I had jumped in.  But this time, there was no such pad.  Every piece of me was saying, “I don’t want to do this,” but, if he was bold enough to do it, I had appearances and my own pride to keep up with, and I was going to have to do it.  He watched them and, to my surprise declared, “that is a horrible idea.”  This meant a) that I was off the hook, and b) that I would have to prove myself in some other way.

We spent a few minutes watching our intoxicated peers climb up the rock, say they didn’t want to do it, and then get peer pressured into doing it by their friends, and somehow not die.  (That’s the thing–at some of these waterfalls, people actually have died.  They really have.  And yet…here we all were.)  I decided I’d get my pride by jumping off of a diving board into a big pool or something later.  It felt great to know that I would never put myself in a situation like that, willingly jumping into a murky waterfall pool in the mountains.  In a lot of ways, I was superior to all of them for being so wise.

Turning back, Alex motioned toward the initial spot once again.  I still knew it was a terrible idea, but since our first scout had been an utter failure up to this point, and because I needed to redeem myself for being a total wiener for being too scared to jump off of Trash Can Falls, I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt and explore it.

Phone at the ready to snap some pictures of the spot, professionalism was coursing through my veins.  We climbed down some treacherous tree roots and rocks before we came to a clearing of sorts–a plain, gently sloped, gigantic rock face bordering the stream.  The hardest of the trail was behind us.  Eager to impress and show off my adventurousness, I took the lead and crossed down toward the –WHOOP.

Shit!  Damn it!  Arms flailing, I searched for something to hold on to.  There’s nothing to hold onto!  Ahh!!  I thought.  Then, for the 14th time or so in the past two years that I’ve wondered it, I wondered if I was about to die.  Am I about to die?  This is so embarrassing.  Aaaand yep, that’s the edge.  Wellp, guess this is the–

CLUNK-SPLASH.

And that’s when I hit it.  Rock bottom.  (…How’d that one land?  Eh, a literal rock bottom? Hey-oh!)  (No, but actually, I fell into a gorge.)

ravine

Photo used without permission from Thomas Fore. Edited by Alex Cobb.  [Circle: me, rectangle: phone.]

There were no alligators.  There were no deep river rapids.  I had landed in a shallow section of water less than a foot deep full of rocks, and at its most treacherous, litter and algae.  My bones were not broken, which kinda pissed me off.  I had literally just fallen into a ravine.  I deserved some battle wounds besides a bump on my shin and 5 scratches on my knee.  How else was I supposed to make people give me attention?  Boobs?  I’m too ashamed of my body!  But anyway, despite the intact bones, it actually did hurt and I was a little shaken.  But I still stood back up, much like a firefighter who rises from a pile of rubble after a building collapses around her, and gathered my bearings.  I looked up to Alex, expecting him to ask if I was okay.  “Where’s your phone?!” he yelled.  Dammit, Cobb.

There’s a saying about how what goes up must come down (haven’t heard of it? oh, I’m not surprised, oh ho ho *adjusts glasses pretentiously*), and the terrible truth of that is that if you say the phrase backwards you get to the point that I had fallen down and was going to have to climb back up.  And so, with reluctant nerves, I took off my $5 traction-less cheetah print shoes (a professional location scout staple), threw them back up to Alex, and began my return climb, amidst opposition.

I imagine that I looked something like Bear Grylls accomplishing another great feat of survival, but if I didn’t, I don’t want to know.

When I made it back out, I was feeling pretty happy about being alive.  But once that wore off I was able to go back to my normal hateful self and look at the world with eyes full of darkness because, of all of the things I thought would mess up the scout, slipping down a rock face into a river because I was wearing bad shoes while it was raining and I was on a mossy rock wasn’t one of them.  It was totally unexpected.

My iPhone was lost in the accident.  The location scout was a failure.  I was no longer superior to the trash can jumpers.  I had dirt in my butt.

But at least I had proved myself.

I felt a little better because when we got back to the car, Alex realized that he had forgotten to turn it off and left it running the whole time.  Again.  He laid out a cardboard slab for me to sit on, enjoying it all way too much, and we began our return journey.  I confided in him that the only thing that would make it better was making a funny Facebook status about it.

The status was an abysmal failure, bringing in less than a third of the likes of my post prior about shrimp with lobster sauce.

So here we are.  The blog.  Y’all thought you could get away with not caring.  I will not go without my honor, and a second chance at garnering sympathy and attention.  The writer in me is back, and she is ready to tell her story.  Even when you don’t want to hear it…

One day, I’ll return my cheetah print shoes to Target and use the $5 to boost my post, so that you HAVE to see it!  Then you’ll see!  Then you’ll all see!  And scroll by!  And I will be out of $5 and a nice pair of shoes!  Even though they’re hard to match to clothing anyway!  But, I digress.  The point is:  I’m back.  Stick around, sweet readers.

P.S.  Shoutout to Alex Cobb, for a temporary replacement phone, and to Mr. Darius Hillard, for always encouraging me to keep up the plight with this blog.

 

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Couples Skate with a 50 Year Old Man

Greetings once again friends!  It is time for our semi-annual clandestine gathering on the internet that is basically just me typing into a void and hoping for the best.  I haven’t written in a while because I have actually been busy, but as fate would have it, I finally got sick, and as I was lying here in bed with only my phlegm for company, thinking about how I really want a chicken biscuit but cannot obtain one, I thought, “I should tear down my self-esteem on the internet again.”

But really, life has been awesome lately, and I hope things are well with you all too.  I’ve been getting really involved at school, made some new friends, and rediscovered my passions.  But, as the rediscovering implies, it was not long ago that I was in one of those funks of non-passion and bleakness that we all slip into from time to time as the years go by.  It is always after I’ve climbed out of the rut and looked back that I realize how incredibly stupid the reasons I had fallen into it were, and find myself laughing.  Humanity, right?  Ahh, yes.  We’re all so dumb.  (Don’t argue.  I need the collective support.)  Anyway, one of my most recent funks has become approachable, so I’ve decided to share.

Some backstory–I love skating.  It’s my life, dude.  I just like to get on my board and shred down pipes while my friend films on a DSLR  for vimeo with a dope alternative song edited in and a sunset out of focus in the background.  I have 12 posters of Tony Hawk in my closet, and all of them are funnier than this bit.  (But actually, my skateboarding experience is generally limited to when I was rolling on one on my stomach in second grade.  I was sucking on a Blow Pop.  Then I flopped over sideways onto the driveway and scraped a subsequent circle of skin off my cheek.)  (2 days before picture day.)  But even though boarding is my life, I find that ice/roller skating is something I love even more.  It’s something I have always been inclined towards, and hey, pretty good at.  So if ever the chance comes up, I’m game to go.  But, in college, because of a lack of interest and financial stability, and personal hygiene on my part, it ain’t always easy to find people to skate with.  So, when my friend presented me with the opportunity to go roller skating with her youth group, even though I knew I’d have to keep an eye out for holy water so I didn’t burst into flames, I capitalized on it.  It was the perfect chance to try to sneak into a group picture I could later use to pretend I have a lot of friends.  (And to skate.)  Plus the theme was sk80s night, and I absolutely adore excuses to dress up and look insane.  AND it was a rare occasion to pretend I was Apolo Anton Ohno for like, 3 hours.  So, I went.

After paying $9, or half of my monthly paycheck, to get in, we went over to the skate counter to barter our shoes for skates with decades of history and dead foot cells in their soles to begin our adventure.  It was a nice rink–sort of like an abandoned warehouse that someone was storing old crap in with poor ventilation and no water fountains.  I felt…at home.  Safe.  Like I belonged.  After tying up our skates, we took to the rink, but something was wrong…it didn’t feel as easy as it used to be.  My foot was going places I never wanted it to go.  Had I lost my touch?  I couldn’t have.  After all of my big talk about being a natural?  No…it had to be the skates.  It couldn’t have been me…  And I know what you’re thinking, reader, “ha ha, it was her.  shouldn’t have eaten so many ho-hos.”  But you’re wrong, because I was right, because I am awesome at skating, and upon inspection, the right skate, like everything else in the building, looked like it had been chewed up by rats and was broken.  So I got it fixed and then took to the rink the way I should have from the start–like a graceful flying peacock, and it was awesome.  Things were still going my way.

Now, since we had gone with a youth group, there were a bunch of people there my age.  But I guess that it wasn’t enough, because the Cupid Shuffle still ended up being just me and 6 or 7 children.  I don’t know what it is about getting old that makes people stop loving roller dance numbers.  Perhaps the fear of judgement.  Perhaps the exhaustion.  Perhaps being honest with themselves about how the Cupid Shuffle starts out as a fun activity then turns into a horror show of sweat and pain and denial as you want to escape the repetition and the B.O. of your next-door neighbor but refuse to let yourself because you’re still clinging on to your childhood.  I don’t know.  Any of the options sound like fair game to me.  But even if they didn’t contribute to the dance portion of the night, the good thing about having people around who were my age, even if they were on the outskirts, was that there were plenty of cute fellas to pursue.

So while I was alone in loving the Cupid Shuffle, there was still a chance for flirtation and romance.  I was dressed to the nines in a sweatband and high-waisted shorts–the kind of shorts you see on a girl and think, “oh, she shouldn’t be wearing those shorts.”  It didn’t even matter at the end of the races, which were also pretty much just me and 6 or 7 children, that my 8 inch zipper on the side of the shorts had come completely down without my knowledge.  From the angles that didn’t allow that in view, I was lookin’ pretty fly.  It was only when the couples skates began that I started to feel a void in my soul and wanted to self-waterboard.    Feelings of forever alone and “no ones loves me” coursed through my veins.  But, as per usge, I reacted by making a joke of it.

The combination of flyness, doing something I love, and crippling loneliness meant that I wasn’t really worried about what anybody thought.  I needed a distraction from the dark cloud looming over my heart.  So, in keeping with my nature, I started being obnoxious.  There was a referee of sorts there who was skating around, manning the rink.  He had to have been about 50 years old.  He had a hooked nose, salt-and-pepper hair, and the frame of a thin farmer who could have been on Courage the Cowardly Dog as an innocent who gets eaten.  His job, from what I gathered, was just to keep kids in line so that they didn’t turn the family-fun activity into a coliseum of carnage, as children have a tendency to do.  He was doing a well enough job, it seemed.  Anyway, so when the couples skate came on, partially to entertain my friends, partially to entertain myself, I would wait until he had skated out of view and then hold my hand out longingly after him, allowing my brows to furrow with emotion and heartache.  I did this to others as well–anyone who looked like they didn’t fit the role of me wanting them, except for those under 18, because that would be too wrong even for me.  I was delighted with my game.  It was so blissfully stupid.  Until Mr. Referee skated up to me and held his hand back.

I wouldn’t call myself stunned, but I hadn’t anticipated this.  I knew I couldn’t just deny him.  After all of what I had done, I had brought it upon myself.  I initially went for move play it off, but he looked so nice and well-intentioned that I knew what I had to do.  So, I looked back to my friends, then to him, and then accepted his hand.

And friends, here is where the real problem comes in.  I was so dead inside at this point in my life that as I took his hand, I wondered if maybe there would be a spark.

I WONDERED IF MAYBE THERE WOULD BE A SPARK.

HE WAS 50.

WHYYYYUYUHDNSNSDNA

Do you understand why this is so traumatic?

I WAS 20.

HE WAS 50.

THAT’S OLDER THAN MY DAD.

THAT’S OLD ENOUGH TO BE A GRANDPA.

WHEN DID I BECOME THE WOMAN AKIN TO PARIS HILTON OR SOME OTHER POP CULTURE REFERENCE THAT IS MORE FITTING?

WHO AM I?!!!

Readers, this is a detail previously unreleased to everyone in my life.  I am trusting all 2 of you to appreciate that.  And, y’all, my parents read this blog, so I hope you understand the gravity of the situation when I say that at least one of you needs to think this is funny.  I am putting everything on the line here.

Anyway, normal paragraphs resumed, as I skated along with Mr. Referee, disgusted with myself and wondering if I needed medication, I realized that this was my first couples skate.  And then I remembered my first slow dance.  (See blog post #6.)  I wondered if maybe this was just how my story was supposed to go.  I had rejected so many guys in my life for so many stupid reasons.  Maybe my comeuppance was that no one was left, except for this 50 year old man.  And since, for the record, upon hand-to-hand contact, he could not stir my loins (I’m so sorry, family),  I would eternally be unsatisfied until he died in like 5 years.  I bet he’d hold his hand out to me the same way he did when he asked me to skate before he croaked.  (This is why I can’t be in youth groups.)  Anyway, as we circled around the rink, I knew I deserved it.  It’s what I got for making that holding my hand out joke, and all of these sacrilegious jokes, and for saying “shit” one time on the trampoline when I was eleven.  It was only fair, I concluded.  On the bright side though, every time we skated past her, my friend was dying.  (Edit: Wow, that sentence sounds awful.  For the record, I mean dying in terms of laughter, not literally.  I would never joke about death like that, especially not 6 sentences ago.)  The point is: the time Mr. Referee and I were spending together was really something.

But as with all things, it had to end.  When the couples skate finally came to an close, Mr. Referee thanked me and gave me a very sincere smile, and I realized how much it must have meant to him.  I felt like I was the ghost of a girl he once loved in the the 80s.  It made me feel a little better, and also also like taking ten showers.  When the next couples skate came on, he circled the rink watching me like an unintentionally creepy bird before he went in for the kill.  I declined without regret this time, and went about my evening festivities.

The last hour or so at the rink was a lot of fun, and I skated my heart out partially because it needed to be disposed of and partially because I didn’t want Mr. Referee to catch up with me again.  I was skatin’ away from my problems with a purpose.  And I do mean it.  When I woke up the next morning, I felt like I had the worst hangover of my life.  Or at least, I assume.  I’ve never actually been hungover, I think, but trust me, roller skating makes for as crazy a night as the bottle.  Probably.

But back to the story.  Avoidance techniques were in high gear, and I resolved to preoccupy myself more with the health and building code violations that wreaked the warehouse rather than with the incident of half an hour prior.  I skated with my homie and the other friend, and we held out until somewhere around ten.  When the night ended, we were all greasy, exhausted, and smelled like old socks, but it felt good.  So we returned our foot vessels, hit the road, and prepped to retire for the evening.  On the ride home we fell into silence, each wading through her own individual thoughts.  Mine naturally gravitated toward the couples skate, and the quiet gave me clarity.

Skating with Mr. Referee taught me that people are good.  Even if I was being a scrub about the whole thing, and if I was actually the pervert in the situation (by Jehovah…why), what he did was a nice gesture.  It also taught me that you don’t have to hold hands with someone if you don’t want to.  Just give them your time.

That’s something we all should do for each other more.  Give our time.

So, the moral of the story?  Wellp, it’s all in the last paragraph.  I’m just really used to including this phrase before I figure out what the moral is.  So I guess we can put some other general life advice here to keep the structure alive.  Hmmm.  How about…always look at a sandwich before you eat it.  You never know if it will be moldy, and even if the mold doesn’t make you physically ill, when you finally walk into the other room with some light and see it on the other half of the sandwich, it’s pretty unnerving.

Here’s hoping you never eat mold or an old man’s nether regions out of guilt.

Anyway, as always, thanks for reading my most heartless and risqué post yet.  I swear I’m nicer in real life.

Regardless.  Buenos noches, my loves.

Melanie

127

The Beginning of an Era

Hello dear reader, whomever you may be–whether you got here by accident, on purpose, or through some terrible fate like being a member of my family and having a sense of personal obligation to click on this: welcome.

It is 10:52 pm on a Thursday night and I sit on my living room sofa with a hair clip jabbing into the back of my skull and a gnat flying around my head.  The hair clip is small, centered against a part of the cranium closer to the neck that juts in, not too forceful–a mere nuisance.  The gnat, however, is much more than that.  It is a violent creature that will no doubt push me to the extant of my humanity as the night progresses on.  I do not know why she is here.  I only know that she is.  (I use the pronoun “she” because I sexed the gnat before beginning this blog post.  Determining the sex of small insects is one of my many rare talents.)  Perhaps we will forge a friendship.

Is this how I thought we would get here?  No.  I always imagined some sort of jazzy, pivotal event kickstarting the beginning of my blog.  Some current romantic encounter gone astray.  Or at least something with a household appliance catching on fire.  But instead, I have dedicated the first paragraph of my entrance into the blogosphere with a soliloquy to a gnat, and a misuse of the word soliloquy.  (The gnat has by now abandoned me.  Three hours of unwanted company and now that I need her she’s gone.  Typical gnat antics.  The truth is that she probably died.  They have a short life span which, as I grow older, I find myself envying.  No college…no post collegiate career…no IMPENDINGLY DOOMED MARRIAGE!  The gnat is back.)  Not the entrance I’d hoped, but an entrance nonetheless.

Accidentally Tragic has been on my to-do list for a number of years now.  I have a lot of stories that I’ve wanted to do something with, but hadn’t quite determined what yet.  But as I sat here to-night I decided it was time to determine.  So here we are.

I’d like to preface my tales with a few things.  First, I promise that the stories you find here will be true.  Any and all embellishment, I will own up to.  (In the earlier introduction, all is true except that I sexed the gnat.  Sadly, I do not know how to determine the sex of small insects.  I hope that we can move on now that this is out in the air.)  I know JK Rowling said that just because it’s in your head doesn’t mean it isn’t real or something, but I think that’s bullcrap.  I want my real stories to be real, so you’ll get real.

Next: I am a freak of nature, and a disaster.  But I also think I’m really awesome.  I’m writing a whole blog about myself, duh.  So the inevitably, horrendously, self-deprecating humor and odes to death: don’t mind those.  I am about to turn 21 and have big plans of turning to alcohol to deal with my crippling insecurity and emotional instability.  Ask anyone who isn’t close to me; I emulate responsibility.

And finally, I’ll get down to the realy-reals and give you my reason for doing this.  Other than wanting to capture and share some stuff that I think is pretty hilarious with people who hopefully will think it is kind of funny too, it’s because I think that embarrassment is exactly that thing which makes us human.  Yeah, yeah, there’s love and all that crap, but embarrassment is the key to it all.  Think about it–people who truly love you, it’s hard to get embarrassed around.  Unless they’re trying to embarrass you, which in itself is the ultimate sign of love.  Embarrassment keeps us humble and questioning.  There’s nothing good about being 100% certain 100% of the time.  And embarrassment–it happens to everyone.  Whether they disclose their experiences when it’s time to share or not: every single person in the free world has at some point or another been embarrassed.  It’s just genuinely a part of who we are.

And finally finally, I’m posting and sharing and celebrating these embarrassments because I’m a firm believer that being able to laugh at your failures makes you invincible.  Embarrassment teaches us to laugh at ourselves, and at each other, and to not take everything so seriously.  And in a world of so many messes, it’s just great not to take things seriously sometimes.

So, join me on what promises to be a probably too personal, somewhat interesting, and at least good-distraction-from-what-you’re-supposed-to-be-doing-y journey.  It’ll be sort of like reading into someone’s diary without them ever knowing that you did.  Disturbing, but twistedly satisfying.  Let me satisfy you.

Yours truly,

Melanie