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Three Hundred Sixty Six.

I know what you’re thinking.

Nope. I still don’t have any answers. And I still don’t feel like a grown up. Maybe slightly closer, but I still don’t even want to have to take care of a houseplant.

SIDENOTE: Somehow I manage to keep my dogs alive and happy. I don’t know how that works. Life Math is weird.

…Maybe I’m just not a green thumb.

Anyway.

My BFF Jo texted me yesterday and said, “It’s your last day as a 26 year old.”

At first I kind of panicked. Holy shitballs. 26. It’s over. I feel like it just started. I know it sounds like a super cliche, but in some ways, it really was like the blink of an eye.

I started this blog a year ago as a challenge to myself as a writer. Early in 2012, I kind of lost faith in myself. I hit a major rough patch and thought wow, maybe I’m actually a terrible writer. Maybe I have no idea what I’m doing. Maybe I don’t want to ever write again. Of course, I eventually came around and realized that writing is the thing I love the most. And in the same vein, I knew that if I wanted to be a writer, I’d have to write.

But I was kind of scared.

So I promised myself I would write something every day.

I wasn’t really expecting that forcing myself to write a blog post every day – a story that somehow led to me learning a life lesson, no matter how small – would help me be happy. I saw it as much more of an exercise than anything else. And an opportunity to maybe be funny. But I have to say, writing this blog has given me a completely different outlook on my entire life. It’s helped me understand how my past has made me who I am. It’s helped me work through a lot of difficult times and put a positive spin on things I would have never otherwise laughed at. It’s helped me approach life in a much more open, accepting way.

Like, happen to me, life: I’m ready to learn from you.

That was a disaster. Oh well, next time will be better!

I can’t believe that just happened. I am mortified. Also, that was hilarious. I can’t wait to tell people.

I did it! Someone pat me on the fucking back!

I hate everything right now. Surely someone will understand.

I am hurting. I need to know it’s going to be okay.

This is weird. Does everyone feel this way?

Did that just happen? SRSLY?!

At the same time, I had come to a bit of a crossroads with myself. I had hit a self-love low. I was feeling depressed, defeated, discouraged, you name it. I decided enough was enough: it was time to make the active decision to be happy.

I also discovered that Jayne Mansfield had stretchmarks. And my world was turned upside down. In a good way.

To quote myself (is that totally pretentious? I’m trying to recap, shut up.):

Jayne Mansfield, the American actress, singer, Playboy playmate, and all around drop-dead gorgeous bombshell, was flawed in a way that has been the root of much of my self-consciousness for all of my teenage and adult life.

So…all of that got me here.

SIDENOTE: It’s really hard writing the last post of a 365-day blog.

It’s going to be difficult to let this blog go. I know I’m going to wake up tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that and my first thought is going to be, “What can I write about today?” or, “Oh shit! I still have to blog today!”

But I’m looking forward to channelling my creative energy into a number of other projects that I’ve already either started or am about to. So I guess what I’m saying is I’m not going anywhere. Maybe there will be another blog. Maybe not. But I promise there will be something.

I was trying to think of a fun way to commemorate the end of this blog.

Here’s what I came up with.

Jayne Mansfield had stretchmarks.

jayne

And so do I.

Image2

xA

P.S. It’s hilariously ironic that in the majority of the pin-up photos I took, my stretchmarks aren’t that visible. Because they’re everywhere.

But I guess there’s a life lesson in that, isn’t there?

I’m probably the only one who really notices them.

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P.P.S. Things I meant to write but forgot: Happy Birthday to me! Also, here’s to 27! I’m crazy excited for it!

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Three Hundred Sixty Five.

I know this is a 365-day blog, but this is technically the penultimate post, because it’s a birthday to birthday thing. And tomorrow’s my birthday!

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SIDENOTE: Have you bought me a birthday present yet? We can’t be friends if you didn’t because all I care about is material possessions.

Anyway, I thought what better way to spend the second-last day of my crazy year-long blog than looking back on some of its best moments?

SIDENOTE: Maybe that should say best/”best”…

Think of this, if you will, as a flashback episode of your favourite TV sitcom. With the help of a couple friends, I’ve compiled some categories I think you’ll enjoy.

Without further ado…

Top 5 Stupid Kid Moments

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Oh boy. Where to even start with this one?! Well, okay…

1. Pressing buttons was (OKAY, STILL IS) a thing I loved doing. See examples A and B.

2. Of course, there was the time I electrocuted myself

3. The day I put scissors through my finger

4. Setting fire to things is never a good idea.

5. Neither is writing a hate letter to your childhood friend.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

I have to give honourable mention to the day I learned that “bastard” is a bad word. Oh, and also to the combination of shaving off my eyebrows and getting hair extensions.

And guess what?! It’s your lucky day. I found a photo of teenage Andrea with hair extensions and no eyebrows. And apparently I have no shame because I’m gonna post it on the Internet.

Extensions

Boy oh boy oh boy.

Moving on!

Top 5 Most Awkward Moments

If you haven’t deduced by now, I am the QUEEN OF AWKWARD. This is quite the random assortment, but I feel it encompasses who I am pretty well…

1. The day a goat ate my t-shirt. (Enough said.) (Stupid goats.) (Seriously, why would she do that to me?!) (Ugh.) (I fucking loved that t-shirt.) (SOB.)

2. The day I learned about orgasms in sex ed. (Is anyone else craving cake?!)

3. Barrel-chested. That is all.

4. The day the National Poet of Scotland called me stupid. Which I really should add to my resume.

5. My elementary school “boobies” moment.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

There are so, so many, but I feel like my Pilates FAIL and my Zumba BARF moments were pretty grand.

Top 5 “SRSLY?!” Moments

You know those moments. The ones that make you go, “what the fucking?!”

1. People and my tattoos. Why are people so weird about my tattoos?

2. That time a guy threw a book at my face. No big deal.

3. NO I DON’T WANT TO TAN.

4. Nothing says “what the fuck?” like getting pepper sprayed!

5. Also charming: when people tell you how to pronounce your own name

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

I have to give myself a shout out for fucking up my neck by making fun of someone on a Zumba DVD. Because who the fuck does that? This girl, right here.

But the greatest honourable mention in this category goes to Glasgow, Scotland, where I experienced so many WTF things, including…

Finding a tooth in an ATM.

Finding a used tampon on a bus.

And buses in general.

Among so many others. I fucking love you, Glasgow. I really do.

Top 5 Workplace Blunders

It’s a wonder I still have my job. It really is. It’s also a wonder I still have any self-confidence after all of the stupid humbling things that have happened to me at work…

1. My friends still bring up the day I parked on the sidewalk.

2. Also charming: locking yourself in a stairwell on your first day of work.

3. Or, you know, getting caught dancing in the bathroom.

4. Similarly, walking in on your coworkers in the bathroom.

5. Or traumatizing them with your hair colour.

BONUS PHOTO:

Getting caught taking a selfie at work.

Work selfie

At least I know my office mate loves me and doesn’t judge me.

Top 5 Relationship/Sex Fails

Look. I’d prefer we don’t dwell on how much I suck at relationships, okay? OKAY?!

1. I have been known to throw myself at guys I like.

2. I’ve learned the hard way that spin the bottle will only break your heart.

3. So will going after guys who don’t care that you exist. (But you can keep trying to shout “LOVE ME! LOOOOOVE MEEEE!” at them. Trust me. Guys SUPER love that.)

4. I’m good at ending up in awkward sex situations.

5. And awkward kissing situations, sometimes.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS AND A BONUS PHOTO:

Okay, well, first of all, heartbreak, right?

I think I also screwed it up with this guy, because he was clearly paying me a compliment.

Let’s not forget all of my failed marriages. Sigh.

And the time a MONSTER RASH ruined my potential Scottish boyfriend.

And hey, since I’ve already shown you how great I looked with hair extensions as an eyebrowless wonder, here’s a photo of me in the midst of the MONSTER RASH attack. This was after I managed to get my eyes open, because they were swollen shut.

Photo 130

Good lord…

Top 5 Accomplishments

I didn’t screw up everything, though. I’ve done some stuff. Yeah. I do things! I TCB every once in a while!

1. I’ve gotten over a lot of fear to become a Zumba instructor.

2. Then I stuck with it for a year and changed my life.

3. I grew back my eyebrows, guys. I fucking did it!

4. I got over some serious “I can’t!” bullshit and also tried wall climbing.

5. Oh, hey, I also learned how to embrace myself sometimes. I think that’s pretty huge.

HONOURABLE MENTION:

I BLOGGED EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR 365 FUCKING DAYS.

A year, guys. A YEAR.

I’m excited to celebrate my birthday with you all tomorrow.

xA

P.S. I know what you’re thinking. There totally should have been some sort of crazy travel category. But I just couldn’t narrow that shit down. So you’ll just have to re-read my entire blog to enjoy.

Three Hundred Sixty Two.

Well, it took over a year as a fitness instructor, but it finally happened.

I had to throw away my shoes because they STANK.

SIDENOTE: They also exploded – like, almost ripped in half – but still, they stank.

It technically only took about six months, because prior to that, I wore all sorts of unsupportive shoes and switched them up every day. But then I crashed hard and was forced to cave and buy expensive – but oh so comfortable – real sneakers for real activity.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, because I wear my workout shoes at least seven times a week, if not more on days I have more than one workout.

But still, yuck.

I know that everyone probably has an aversion to stinky shoes, but I feel like my aversion is also a paranoia.

You see, when I was in junior high and my brother was in high school, he had a girlfriend and she had the smelliest feet ever.

You’re probably thinking, “They couldn’t have been that bad.” But you’re so wrong.

If you’re all sitting around in the living room and you can smell someone’s feet from across the room, that’s too much.

If you flop onto the couch hours later and bury your face into a pillow only to recoil instantly from the horrendous, lingering stench and you recoil with such ferocity that you fall off the couch, that’s way too much.

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If as soon as someone leaves your house, you need to Febreeze the shit out of everything including your face because you feel like all you can smell is feet, that’s ridiculously too much. It’s so too much that it becomes nothing at all again.

SIDENOTE: That doesn’t make sense. I’m okay with that.

I feel bad saying all of this, because it was probably this girl’s awkward teenage “thing,” and I certainly dealt with lots of things myself, but still, it was kind of the worst.

What have I learned?

When you’re teaching Zumba and you can smell your own shoes, it’s time for new shoes.

(Thank goodness it’s just a one-pair-of-shoes issue.)

xA

P.S. I’m sorry for sounding like a judgemental twat about my brother’s high school girlfriend’s feet. It’s actually pretty hilarious when you think about it. Plus I was a kid. Plus it’s gross. And funny. And gross.

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P.P.S. I love American Horror Story. And I LOVE JESSICA LANGE.

Three Hundred Sixty.

All right.

So about a week ago, I put a poll into my blog asking you guys if I should “do something that may drive me a little crazy just for the experience to blog about” and you jerks said yes.

SIDENOTE: A couple of you said no, which I think is really sweet. Thanks for trying to protect me, you two people. Too bad everyone else I know is a horrible person.

SIDENOTE TO THE SIDENOTE: < / sarcasm >

ANOTHER SIDENOTE: Like I’m ever going to be done with sarcasm.

Anyway, so I did it.

I put on fake nails.

“Girl Nails,” I sometimes call them.

SIDENOTE: Yes, I’m aware that’s a gender stereotype, because look at me.

I’ve always kept my nails short. Like, super short. Sometimes my friends say their nails are short and I look at them and I see talons.

Maybe it’s because I played violin as a kid and guitar and bass as a teen, but longer nails have always driven me crazy. I hate how they feel. I get weird about them when they get dirty. (Okay, fine, I’m a straight up germophobe.) They’re just a nuisance. But I’ve always thought they look really nice.

I think I’ve had long nails twice in my life. Once I grew mine out naturally, and I think I kept them about a week before I lost my mind and chopped them down.

SIDENOTE: My “long” natural nails were equal to when the friends above tell me theirs are “short.”

Then there was a day maybe five years ago when I decided to put on fake nails for a New Year’s Eve event I was working at the theatre. I think I lasted about a day and a half before freaking out and taking them off.

So I thought it was about time to try again. After all, I’m older, I’m more mature, I’m much cooler and calmer about life now.

SIDENOTE: Genuine LOL.

Okay, so really, I assumed they would drive me batshit crazy. But I thought it might make a good story.

Funny how that worked out!

I applied the nails at approximately 10pm last night. It was a bit of a trying process. Here are the life lessons I learned just from the application process, which will make next time (ha! next time) easier:

(A) Start with the “trickier” hand.

(B) Start with the smaller nails.

(C) Super glue is VERY sticky.

I have to say, the end result was actually pretty nice.

photo3

I was like, “Well, HEY. Maybe I can be a girl with pretty fake nails!”

photo1…For approximately five minutes.

Then I tried to get on with my life.

“HOW DO YOU LIVE LIKE THIS?!” I texted my BFF Jolene, who rocks gorgeous gel nails all the time.

Oh, and it took me about 10 minutes to even text her because NAILS ON MY HANDS.

I sort of got the hang of using my iPhone, so I managed to calm down for a little while. I watched some American Horror Story: Asylum (OH MY GOD YOU GUYS I LOVE THIS SHOW WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG TO WATCH IT!?) and chilled, stopping to look at my nails every 32 seconds because (A) I was freaked out by them and (B) they looked so pretty!

I never really stopped to consider my bedtime routine…

Not that bedtime routine, you pervs.*

I got to my room and looked in the mirror.

Oh, right, I thought to myself, I wear contacts.

Oh, shit.

It took me approx. 15 minutes to get my contacts out of my eyes, and I scratched the shit out of one of them. It’s still sore.

Then I went to get changed for bed and OH MY FUCKING GOD OUCH scratched a huge cut down my side/bum when I took my pants off.

I limped to my bed and got under the covers, feeling scared and defeated and losing a lot of blood.

SIDENOTE: Okay, fine. There was no blood.

Once I was asleep, I was safe.

I didn’t have any nightmares about the Talons of Death. Not that I remember, anyway. Maybe they’re surface 10 years down the line and I’ll be traumatized all over again.

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I woke up this morning feeling pretty well rested. It went a little something like this:

ANDREA opens her eyes slowly, soaking in the morning sunshine coming through her bedroom window. She takes a deep breath in, exhaling with a happy sigh. That was a good sleep.

Then the dreaded memory hits her. Her face drops.

OH RIGHT I’M WEARING FAKE NAILS. I HATE MY LIFE.

Guys, I couldn’t do it.

I sacrificed a morning of productivity to soak my hands in a bowl of acetone nail polish remover to get the nails the hell off my hands.

photo4

IT TOOK FUCKING FOREVER.

But I honestly felt trapped. I had to teach a Zumba class this morning. How was I going to get dressed? How was I going to put my contacts back in? How would I brush my teeth? Later, how would I shower? HOW? HOW? HOW?

So, let’s recap:

Time wearing nails: ~ 12 hours (6 of which I was asleep for)

Injuries sustained: a scratched eye, a scratched bum, and two bloody fingers/nails (from the removal process)

SEE ALSO: wounded pride

Sanity: wavering, but slowly returning since removal of nails

Lesson learned: I’m a short-short nails girl. I’m going to just have to admire my friends’ nails for the rest of my life.

xA

P.S. Next time I say I want to try fake nails again, SLAP ME. Or remind me that I wear contacts.

*Wouldn’t ever consider trying that on day 1 with fake nails. Ouch.

Three Hundred Fifty Nine.

If you read my blog often (bless your heart), you may remember me mentioning that I’ve had a really bad cold. Two weeks and one day after it hit me, I am finally starting to feel maybe partially normal again. Thank goodness.

As you know, colds come with lots of congestion, which is a huge drag. After about five days of not being able to breathe, I decided to try taking a bath with some eucalyptus oil infused in it, to clear up my sinuses.

Oh my god, you guys, it was amazing.

It was soothing and calming and yes, after I got out of the tub, I felt like I could take a deep breath. I mean sure, it only lasted about 15 minutes, but they were glorious minutes and that’s all that mattered.

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(Sigh while you can!)

Last week, when I realized the snot in my face was going nowhere (charming, I know), I decided it was time to relive the beauty of the eucalyptus bath. I ran the water, poured in some eucalyptus oil, and let the fragrant steam fill the room.

Deep breath in; deep breath out.

Wonderful.

I peeled off my clothes and sunk into the deliciously hot water.

Deep breath in; deep breath out.

Wonderful.

I lay back, closed my eyes, and soaked in the moment.

Deep breath in; deep breath out.

Wonderful.

Then I realized, hey, you know what? I should shave my legs.

Yeah, I’ll get all smooth and silky. That’ll make me feel better about the day and all the snot.

Perfect.

So I grabbed my and started doing my thing.

Deep breath in; deep breath out.

“OH MY FUCKING GOD.”

I guess shaving opened up all the pores in my legs. Because the eucalyptus oil started to fill them. And while the initial sensation was cool and refreshing, the 45-seconds-into-in sensation was FREEZER BURN.

“Ohmygodohmygodohmygodfuckshitohmygodfuckingcoldhell…

…fuckshitohmyfuckinggodgottagetoutfuckfuckohmygod…

…whatthefuckiswrongwithmeOFCOURSEANDREAwhatthefuckwereyouthinking…

…fuckingcoldohmygodwhatishappeningI’mdyingthisisthefucking…

…worstohmygodohmygodohmygod.”

So that was fun.

And then I shivered for the rest of the day.

Lesson learned: Don’t shave your legs in a bath with mint and/or eucalyptus oil.*

xA

*Good thing that’s all I decided to groom…

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P.S. Those of you asking, no, I didn’t forget about how I polled you on whether I should do something that will drive me crazy just to blog about it, and that blog post is coming soon (because you’re all jerks and you voted I should do it). Sometime in the next WEEK, since that’s all that’s left! WHAT!

 

 

Three Hundred Fifty.

Speaking of crazy shit that happens while you’re in a vehicle and there’s someone crazy outside of it, let’s talk more about the buses in Glasgow.

first-bus-glasgow

SIDENOTE: That’s the bus I used to take almost every day! The good ‘ol 62. Partick represent!

SIDENOTE TO THE SIDENOTE: God, I’m a nerd.

What, you don’t remember my Glasgow bus adventures?

Like, the day I walked across Glasgow?

Or the day a woman on the Glasgow bus followed me off  the Glasgow bus and then tried to kiss me?

Or maybe that day I found a – OMG WTF. Yeah, that.

So one day, I was on the bus in Glasgow heading back to the west end from city centre. It was the middle of the afternoon, when you don’t really expect weird things to happen. (Well, I guess I sort of do at this point. Especially after living in Glasgow. But also this.) The bus stopped at…well, at a stop, and no one got on. But a few seconds after it stopped, a guy ran up to the bus and took a jumping karate kick at it. He slammed into the side of  the bus, and despite the intense impact, he seemed unshaken.

The bus driver, on the other hand, was not impressed.

“What the – get tae fuck!” he started yelling out his open window.

But the guy outside of the bus – just a regular looking 20-something – did it again. He jump-kicked the bus.

What followed was a yelling conversation that had a lot of “FUCK” in it, and then the bus started to drive away.

And then the 20-something proceeded to chase after the bus, all the while running, jumping, and slamming into it.

Eventually the bus picked up enough speed that he gave up.

So that was interesting.

On another night, I was actually on the same bus – well, the same bus route – but this time, it was late at night because I was leaving a play I had just been to see. Once again, the bus stopped.

Wait a second.

It was actually at the same stop.

Maybe there’s something wrong with that stop in particular…

Anyway, we were at the stop, and there was also a red light, so we had nowhere to go. And then a guy walked up to the side of the bus, and he started making out with it.

“He whaaaaaaaat!?”

YES THAT’S RIGHT.

He smushed his face into one of the bus’ windows, and he started straight up French kissing it.

I feel like maybe he had just said goodbye to his girlfriend, who had gotten onto the bus, and so he was actually kissing “her” goodbye through the window? But also, I may have made that up to explain the sheer fucked up-ed-ness of the situation.

I think my BFF Mags was with me. Perhaps she can confirm or deny the above statement. But I promise you the makeout happened and I promise you it was as slimy, disturbing, and gruesome and it sounds.

For the rest of the ride home, I couldn’t stop staring at the wet patch left behind.

Of course, there were numerous times that I was on the bus and people would spit on it, but I don’t have any good enough specific stories about that.

Then there was the day I was on the bus in Glasgow going through city centre and we drove past Robert Carlyle standing on a street corner waiting to cross the street.

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ROBERT CARLYLE!

That was crazy in a good way.

No, I didn’t wave. But I really wanted to.

Lesson learned: There are a lot of crazy people out there. Specifically riding and/or waiting for the Glasgow transit system.

And also, never lick the side of a bus. You have no idea where it’s been.

xA

 

Three Hundred Forty Seven.

A couple weeks ago, I went out to the movies with a friend of mine and then we grabbed a bite to eat.

Oh, actually, now that I think of it, it was this night, AKA the night I ATE ALL THE FOOD.

Anyway, when I got home at the end of the night, I went to wash my face and noticed I had a bunch of black pepper in my teeth. My first thought was, “Why the fuck didn’t he say something?!”

SIDENOTE: It’s possible he didn’t notice. I would have had to smile pretty darn big for it to be visible. But still.

You see, I’m a person who will ALWAYS tell you if you’ve got “something” going on – if you have food in your teeth, if you have a strand of hair sticking out the wrong way, if your hanger strap or clothing tag is hanging out. I’m your girl. It’s not because I’m critical or anything. I’m not. I’m like, the least judgemental person. It’s because I would want to know if any of that were going on with me.

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But as I was thinking about that, I was reminded of one of many hilarious moments I had as a teen.

In case you’ve forgotten, I was a goth when I was a teenager. A Marilyn Manson-obsessed, eyeliner-loving, eyebrow-shaving goth. So I wore a lot of makeup. I didn’t do anything too crazy – I didn’t like, wear black eyeliner tears dripping down my face or anything (no offense or judgement to anyone who did/does – you do your thing). But I was…creative?

There was one day that I was going out to run some errands with my mom and I was sporting some particularly interesting mascara and eyeliner. I had applied both as usual, but then I decided that I wanted like, eyeliner dots coming out from the corner of my eye toward the side of my face.

I really wish I had a photo to illustrate this. But I don’t. But imagine some cat eye eyeliner:

cat+eye

Only imagine it much messier and comprised of dots.

SIDENOTE: I don’t know what I was thinking. I was 13. Who cares? I was “finding myself.”*

So anyway, I was out with my mom and I remember specifically that we were at Future Shop and we couldn’t find what we were looking for, so we found a sales associate to ask for help.

We had been chatting with him about our needs for a few minutes when a natural silence fell upon the conversation. It was at that point that the sales associate turned to me, and very quietly said, “Uh…I think you have a little something…” and pointed to his eye/eyebrow region.

Being the super self-conscious, nerdy kid that I was, I tried to laugh it off.

“Ha ha!” I giggled nervously, “No, it’s supposed to be there.”

“Oh, okay.” The sales guy cleared his throat anxiously.

And then we all felt awkward.

People wear a lot of crazy shit these days. Like, how many times a day are you walking behind a girl in leggings or yoga pants when you realize you can clearly see her bum/underwear/thong?

SIDENOTE: I work both on campus and as a fitness instructor, so maybe my percentages are higher. Okay, they definitely are. But like, a MILLION TIMES A DAY it happens.

Hell, just last night I was out and saw a dude wearing gold spandex pants and it was like, junk-central. He might as well have been pantsless. It was all out there.

SIDNEOTE: Pretty sure it’s the look he was going for, because shortly after I spotted him, he started doing lunges, so good on him.

Um. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I understand why some people would hesitate to point out if “something” is going on, but:

(A) If the person is your friend, POINT IT OUT ANYWAY. Be tactful. But just in case. Do it.

(B) If it’s something in someone’s teeth, no exceptions. TELL THEM.**

xA

*I’m nearly 27 and I feel like only NOW am I actually finding myself.

**Unless you hate the person. Then I guess do whatever.

Three Hundred Thirty Eight.

In the sixth grade, we had a class pet.

He was the only class pet I’ve ever had. I guess class pets weren’t a very big thing at my school.

Our class pet was a small white snake named Elmo.

He looked sort of like this:

00096bb163c3096ee5bc05

Why he was named Elmo is beyond me. I don’t remember who named him, but I think whoever it was needed to be reminded that we were in the SIXTH GRADE and therefore all very big, mature kids who would definitely not watch Sesame Street.

SIDENOTE: Meanwhile, at almost 27, I was totally quoting Sesame Street at a friend yesterday. And the friend was not a toddler.

I love snakes and reptiles and amphibians. I think they’re beautiful and interesting. Growing up, I had pet newts (can’t believe I haven’t mentioned that until now!) and I adored them all. So I definitely wasn’t afraid of Elmo himself, but I definitely was afraid of feeding him.

Elmo ate pinkies.

AKA baby mice.

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Have I mentioned that I love mice, too? I think they’re the cutest. (Look at them! They’re like little adorable aliens! Then they get hair and they’re even CUTER.) Also, they’re living things, and I’m not big on eating those.

At first, Elmo ate frozen pinkies.

SIDENOTE: I feel queasy just writing about this.

They were like little mouse ice cubes. My sixth grade teacher – who was, by the way, a vegetarian (she loved chocolate cake) – was adamant that I take part in the feeding process, even though I didn’t want to watch Elmo eat.

“It’s the food chain, Andrea. It’s the cycle of life.”

So I would stand by and watch Elmo eat the micecubes.*

It wasn’t horrible. It was neat watching him unhinge his jaw. The mouse didn’t like, try to run away or anything. I could cope.

Fine.

I think my teacher felt like she had “gotten through to me” or whatever.

But one day, they were out of frozen pinkies.

CUT TO: Grown-up Andrea shouting, “Oh hell no!”

I sat at my desk during feeding time, but once again, my teacher insisted I get involved.

“It’s the food chain, Andrea. It’s the cycle of life.”

Despite my protesting, she shoved me to the front of the class to watch Elmo eat the live pinkie.

It couldn’t really run away from him. I mean, it hadn’t even opened its eyes yet. But that didn’t stop it from crying and squeaking and squirming all the way down. It was still moving around when it reached Elmo’s…abdomen? (I dunno, snakes are one long body, what do you want me to say?)

So that was basically one of the worst moments ever.

It was the day I learned:

(A) I will never have a pet snake.

(B) I will always be a vegetarian.

(C) My sixth grade teacher was kind of a jerk.

(D) I’m cool with not being exposed to the food chain.

(E) I love mice, even when they look like aliens.

Among many other things.

xA

P.S. Also the reason I never got a gecko. No live crickets for this girl.

P.P.S. Elmo eventually escaped his tank. He wasn’t found until like, a year later, when the janitor found him dead in the gymnasium’s storage room, wrapped up in the parachute. Yay.

*”Micecubes” TM Andrea Beça.

Three Hundred Thirty Seven.

Speaking of all of the super cool crafts I made when I was a kid, here’s a good story we can all learn from…

I wish I could remember just what it was that I was attempting to create, but I can assure you it was awesome. I was always up to something as a kid, whether it was running a private library or ringing doorbells.

I think it was some sort of hanging ornament, because the task that really tripped me up was punching a hole into the bottom dish from a box of chocolates. You know the ones – they have a number of small cups in them, one for each Pot of Gold chocolate or whatever. Yeah, that. I was trying to make a hole in the bottom of one of the small cups to that I could put a string through it. The plastic was really thick, though, so using a pen wasn’t working. I decided that scissors were the way to go.

But I wasn’t using Crayola scissors, folks. I had the real deal.

scissors

Uh oh.

So, um, not only did the scissors go through the chocolate dish like a hot knife slicing through butter…they also went into my finger – well into my finger – which was holding the plastic tight and got in the way.

I could see the sharp metal threatening to come through the other side of my finger. So I did what any kid (or just me) would do: ripped the scissors out of my finger and started screaming.

My memory after that is a little sketchy, but when I think of this instance in my life, I always flash back to the white dish towel my mom held to my hand, which was completely soaked in blood.

I probably should have gotten stitches, but I didn’t. (In fact, I wouldn’t get stitches for the first time until like, 20 years later…) My mom managed to stop the bleeding, bandaged me up really well, and eventually it healed. I had the scar for a really long time, but now it’s mostly faded, so maybe I actually just made that whole story up. (I didn’t.)

Lesson learned: They make those shitty plastic scissors for kids for a reason. Don’t put scissors through your finger. It fucking sucks.

xA

P.S. What was your biggest childhood crafting disaster? (Preferably a disaster in the sense that you injured yourself. I could talk messy disasters for years without running out of stories!)

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