“Instagram, why would you take me back to the top!? I literally exited for seconds to read a message. Why would you do this? Do you know how invested I was in my scrolling? I don’t know where my place is anymore. My experience is ruined. So. Rude!” I shouted in my empty apartment as my dog stared, wondering what the hell was going on.
I recently started working at the front desk for a department on my campus. All of it has been amazing, it’s the type of place you think only exists in movies and on TV shows. Everyone is incredibly friendly and welcoming, and that’s really what’s made my first few days so enjoyable.
I was given the world’s simplest task. In fact, I wasn’t even given this task, it was just something I needed to do as part of a larger task. I needed to staple together two pieces of paper. Simple. Sooo simple.
I surveyed my desk and found the obvious weapon of choice: three staplers. The question was, which stapler would do the job. I looked at the first one, and I’m not gonna lie… I didn’t think I was ready to handle it. It had a button that said “auto,” and that was enough to make me go with one of the simpler staplers. So I made my choice, and immediately regretted it as my handy-dandy stapler had a staple stuck in it and was entirely useless. I messed with that for a few minutes and upon realizing that all my effort was to no avail, I moved on to the second simple stapler. As my luck would have it, that one also had a staple stuck that would not come out for anything in this forsaken world.
(At this point, I’d like for all of us to pretend that my above creation is a work of art and not something that looks like the work of a talented child)
Eventually I had to give up my old-fashioned ways and try my luck with the fancy stapler with buttons. The first button I pushed made an obnoxiously loud sound and the little section that holds staples popped out towards my face. Wrong button. The second one, however, worked! I have no idea how I did it and if asked to do it again I’d probably struggle. But it was a beautiful moment. I had conquered my task, and it had only taken five whole minutes.
Luckily, this is not a quiet work environment, so I hope not too many people witnessed my ridiculous struggle against general office supplies.
(Image created here)
Today I was having a riveting conversation with my dear mother about what I’m planning to make for dinner tomorrow night (I know, we’re incredibly exciting people). I was explaining to her that I wanted to make the chiles rellenos she makes, which are really one of the few things she makes that I could even begin to replicate with my total lack of cooking skills. As we’re discussing ingredients, I explain that I have already bought the peppers, and with my hands I begin to demonstrate to my mother how big the peppers are.
Totally normal, right?
Sure. If we had been talking face-to-face. Which we were not.
I realized my mistake as I glanced around me and noticed the confused expressions of a couple people that happened to be nearby, likely wondering why I was gesticulating to a person I was having a conversation with on the phone.
It hit me then that my mother could not see what I was doing with my hands, and as my great mistake became clear, I slowly lowered my hand and walked away from the strangers, who are likely judging me right now from the comfort of their own home. Or maybe not. Probably not.
- Try to take a drink of tea, then proceed to cough for a minute straight because I swallowed wrong.
- While trying to say “Six Word Memoirs” said something that sounded a lot more like “Sex Word Memoirs.” Whoops.
- Fumbled loudly through my bag as I tried to find the right notebook, dropping other things in the process.
Today didn’t go so smoothly. Here’s to hoping no one remembers and next week is better!
It has happened. The beginning of another semester is upon us.
For those of us who are returning to school, the awkwardness of the first day back may be all too familiar. Do I know this person well enough to say hello? Do I ask them about that somewhat unimportant detail of their life they mentioned last semester? How much about my break does anyone actually care to hear?
Today I was walking with someone from a class. It was time for me to grab lunch before my next class, but there was a problem. I wanted a hot dog. And this person was in the middle of a sentence as we passed the hot dog stand. So I continued to walk, thinking I would come back after the conversation.
Except, the conversation continued, and we got further and further from the delicious hot dogs.
Eventually we ended up at the food court. The healthy food court. The healthy food court with no hot dogs. The healthy food court where instead of hot dogs they sell vegetables wrapped in more vegetables.
It was much too late to go back by that point. It was done. I was forced to eat mushrooms wrapped in spinach (not that I’m really complaining, it was actually really delicious), all because I don’t know how to politely interrupt someone to say, “I’m actually headed this way, see you next classs!”
So glad to be back!
I realize this statue is depicting a very sorrowful man realizing he’s done something horrendous, but believe me when I say, this is also how I feel when I think of all the embarrassing situations I somehow put myself in.
My brain seems to have this switch that I like to call the “Instead of Falling Asleep Let’s Think Back on all the Dumb Things You’ve Ever Done Until You Pass Out From Crying or the Sun Rises and It’s Too Late to Get Any Sleep” switch. It turns on every so often, and it’s always a lovely time. When the switch is on there’s nothing to do but embrace the stories and hope with time they seem a little less devastating (which is sometimes the case).
Last night as I turned off all technological devices, settled my frizzy head on my less-than-comfortable pillow, and pulled all the blankets around me to near-suffocation… the switch flipped.
Fine. I had nothing going on early next morning, BRING IT BRAIN.
My brain brought it, I was not prepared.
Right when I thought I was miraculously slipping into sleep, I remembered ninth grade me listening to a teacher talk about her hometown, Cleveland. Having no filter, I shouted out, “There’s a rap song about Cleveland, you should listen to it!” and I went on to explain the name of the song, the artist, etc. What I failed to realize in my own head was that this teacher was very conservative, and that I didn’t know her well enough to be sharing this kind of information about my musical preferences. When I got home I was listening to the song again, and sure enough it said something about a “bad b***h.” Not the impression I wanted to make as the quarter started…
I don’t know if she actually listened to the song or not. But the switch was on, so my mind was convinced that she must have, that she hates me for it, and that I was a horrible student.
I should really take up exercising, I hear it makes it easier to fall asleep.
I’ve been thinking about the way people of all ages communicate lately, and I noticed something really interesting of my own experiences.
I think growing up has had quite the impact on my communication skills. The effects are both positive and negative for sure, but here’s a few things I noticed over the past couple weeks about how kids communicate:
- Kids will say ANYTHING that pops into their little minds.
- Kids will hit you with the truth.
- Kids (more than anyone else probably) love praise for saying something funny/witty/smart etc.
- Kids want to be friends with everyone
- Kids will pick up on the tiniest similarities and build an entire friendship out of it.
- Kids will spend hours doing mundane things with other kids for the simple fact that they can (My 8 year old brother spent an hour playing with our two cousins (8 and 11)). The game literally consisted of throwing guayabas at each other to see who could hit the hardest.
Obviously these are generalizations I’m making, all kids have personalities and some are not as outspoken as others. But as I spent the last two weeks of my life surrounded by my extended family, I realized how much harder it is to talk to them now than when I was younger.
Nothing much has changed except our ages, and maybe some interests here and there. Yet as a kid it was so easy to walk up and say, “wanna play a game?” or “let’s go buy candy” or even “hey I’m bored let’s do something.” Now it seems like a miracle if any of us can think of something to talk about that isn’t “how’s school?” or “how old are you now?”
I miss the days of that instant connection; I’d leave for months and come back to my friends, not acquaintances.
It’d be nice to revert back to childhood in that sense, to that ease of language and friendship. Maybe it’s something to work on that’s achievable based on my own effort.
This is the lovely little playground I had many adventures on as a wee second grader 🙂