The Faux First Day Anecdote

 

I like first days because of how much I dislike them. I feel so nervous that my whole body feels shaky, my heart pounds so quickly and I pee about ten times a minute. I spend so much time thinking over every situation I could possibly encounter and yet I’m always taken by surprise. I love it because I love things that make me feel alive, and first days do that.

 

Exposition.

 

Today I woke up early (from nerves) and put on the outfit I bought specifically for this momentous event (because it’s important to feel confident and cool). I scrambled and I rushed but took the time to make sure I felt ready for this course I’ve been waiting to start for months. I had to park further than I intended, so I ended up power walking, taking the quickest detour possible to use the bathroom (duh).

 

Finally I walked up to the big glass doors (that I vaguely remembered are usually open…) and pushed. And they didn’t budge. So I peered inside. And it was empty. So I looked around myself. And there was no one else there.

 

Plot complication.

 

A guy approached me and asked if I was also there for the course, and as it would turn out we were the only two who had shown up. As we eventually found out, the course doesn’t start for another few days, and we were given the wrong date.

 

Anticlimax.

 

If life were a rom-com the two of us would go grab a cup of coffee, flirt in sepia lighting and fall in love, and oh-isn’t-fate-funny?! But in actuality I said the first thing on my mind: “Just so you know I’m going to be wearing this outfit again next time.” I think he nodded, but I’m not really sure, it’s all a bit fuzzy now.

 

Chapter 2?

 

~~~

 

Ella

 

Song Quote:

 

If we’re strong enough to let it in we’re strong enough to let it go. –Let It All Go, Rhodes and Birdy

 

February 20th update:

Funnily enough, I did end up liking this guy. He was very sweet and friendly, but he smoked and that’s a deal breaker for me. I simply noted from afar whenever he did something thoughtful and made my peace with it, until I found out he doesn’t smoke after all! He simply loved being in the sun during our breaks and went out with the group that smoked. I promptly got my hopes up. Two seconds after I found out he doesn’t smoke, I also found out he’s engaged. So that’s that.

Advertisements

On Self Defense and Being Awkward

images-13

A* has intimidated my entire grade since we were in our early teens. He’s tall, broad, staring and deep-voiced. One might think his stutter could even out the playing field a bit, but it simply gives him an additional edge: it’s ominous.

When his legs were hurt this summer, my friend and I wanted to go visit him in the hospital to be nice and show we cared. But what do you bring with you to visit someone you don’t really know? I had no clue as to what to bring, say or do. So I went with what I know: writing. I wrote him a card. Damn that stupid card.

We got there and instantly felt out of place, because his friends were there and he didn’t really know us that well. And we were intimidated. We tried to stick as close to the wall as possible to leave room for the people he actually liked to be near him. We kind of wanted to leave, but we were dependent on busses to get home and we didn’t want to wait outside the hospital for forever. So we stood, awkwardly, praying we disappeared into the background.

Finally, an hour later, it was time to go catch our bus. But I was still holding the letter that I’d taken out of my bag as we’d entered, and had since clasped in my clammy claws of hands. Eventually I said, “Where can I put this?” and he said, “Here, you can give it to me.” I passed it to him, wanting to snatch it back and burn it.

Months later, I was sitting in the school lobby and looked up to see him standing next to me. Standing. I squeaked out “hi!” (Intimidated).

“Hey. How are you?”

“I’m fine, I’m fine. You’re walking!”

“Limping,” he corrected, and thus ended our interaction.

After that, they told us in class to bring our gym clothing for the next day, because A was going to teach us some self-defense. A few weeks before there had been an incident with a knife outside our school that ended, thankfully, with no injuries, but with an injured sense of security.

Knowing I wouldn’t be able to participate fully, I decided to at least dress the part. I might stand out because of everything else, but I refuse to stick out because of my clothing. So I come in my t-shirt, leggings and sneakers, and slowly take in that everyone else on the field is dressed normally. So much for that.

I also knew that I would have to let A and the other instructor know in advance that I wouldn’t be taking part in everything and I would be more of an observer. In theory, that part shouldn’t have been so bad.

Except that I miscalculated how far away they were from me. I started off at my normal walking pace, which I wouldn’t call slow but also can’t categorize as fast. If they hadn’t looked up I would have been fine. I would have had my time to collect my thoughts and call out to them in my own time. But they looked up, and saw me coming from a distance. They halted their conversation and focused on watching me approach them. Let me stress this: they were just standing there, watching me walk to them. Eye contact? Yeah, there was some of that. Awkward eye contact? Yeah, heaps of that. I kept walking and walking and walking and it felt like I might never reach them.

Then came the dilemma: do I speed up, now that they see me coming? I mean, these hulks of men might get impatient and why would I want to add fire to their wrath? But I decided to stick to my original pace, feeling that that might exude a sense of calm and normalcy about my gait. Once I was within earshot, one of them called out, “Hi.”

“Hi,” I said. Steady breaths. I didn’t feel as short as I thought I would, but that didn’t improve things much. “So here’s the thing I have health problems and I can’t participate in everything but it’s okay I came to watch and I’ll do what I can and it will all be fine so yeah thanks.” And breathe.

“Okay.”

Okay. So, I guess I leave now… right? I said what I came to say, but they’re still looking at me. Deciding once again that consistency is best, I turn around walk away from them at my steady pace, except I now feel their eyes on my back (or butt? *Nervously tugs down the hem of her T-shirt*).

Did he read my card? As the thought occurs to me during my time-consuming departure from them, I’m almost sure they can see my blush through the back of my head. He never said anything. I never said anything. Did he read it? Does he think I’m stupid? Am I stupid?

Uh oh, hell no, how do I stop these thoughts? Well, having to turn around and face them as they called us to attention was probably not the best way. Turns out that they were following me, about five paces behind me (of course).

The value of the self-defense that I learned most probably outweighs the discomfort I felt for a few hours, and will likely stick with me for much longer, so I’m going with positivity for this case.

Until the next time I cross paths with A….

Ella

Song Quote:

And the only solution was to stand and fight, and my body was bruised and I was set alight. -If Only For A Night, Florence and the Machine

*Want to guess what A is short for? Leave it in the comments, and get creative!

Supermarket Kind Of Feeling

 Stop-N-Shop-Photo-01A

I love the possibilities that supermarkets represent. You walk in through the sliding doors (I call them “vooshing doors”), smell the smell of groceries (there is such a thing), and you just have so many options. You can turn right, left, or continue straight. You can walk down the aisles, or skip, or run, or crawl. You can go by a grocery list, or you can trust your instincts. You can pick things up, then put them back, then hug them, and apologize for making them feel unwanted. You can buy whatever you want, be it milk, meat, bread, soap, flowers, towels, or a shopping cart. Well, not the latter, but you get the point.

There is something about supermarkets that makes me really happy. Today, I went into one with my mom, and it was a sight to be seen. We were standing by the cheese circle (or stand, but circle sounds cooler), and my mother turned to me, and asked me to get the milk.

So I happily skipped off, and picked up three drink yogurts, the milk, and a box of cereal. As you can imagine, though my arms are long, it was kind of hard to keep a hold on all of these. But hey, they were on the way. I was walking back to The Circle, and trying to navigate my way in between people. People who thought I was a maniac, because I was walking with my arms full of food, dodging shopping carts, with a maniac-like smile on my face. So I kind of get them. My hair was also full of chlorine, not that that has anything to do with anything. I just thought I would put it out there.

You see, when I think a situation is awkward, or weird, or funny, I find it amusing. It’s the part of me that sees the bigger picture, that views the scene as a spectator would, and simply finds it funny. There I am, looking loco, and power walking to my mom. She looks up, smiles, and says, “I think we’re going to need a cart”. The carts are stationed outside of the supermarket, so I tried to pass her my items, and we ended up piling them against the edge of The Circle. I found this amusing as well. Which made me almost topple our beloved pile over. As I passed my mother, heading to the entrance/exit, she said very quietly and humor-fully, “don’t embarrass me”. I found this very funny too, so my smile simply seized more ground on my face.

Now, I’m walking, walking, walking, and I just think this is really fun, and humorous. People are looking at me kind of oddly, or to be exact, like I’m odd, so I try to tone it down a bit. Once I get to the carts, and turn one around to head back in, I think to myself, what the heck? So I smile. Really widely. The guard, at the entrance to the supermarket, started looking at me kind of weirdly. If you haven’t gotten the gist yet, that made me smile even more. I stood up tall, gripped the pushy-bar really tight, and walked through the vooshing doors giggling. That turned into full-out laughing, and by the time I got to my mom, I was practically crying from joy.

We just put everything into the cart, and off I flew. I was really just laughing at this point. Laughing here, laughing there, laughing up the aisle, down the aisle, laughing by the cereal (yes, I bought two boxes), laughing by the hair accessories, by the cute guy buying junk food, by the old lady who moved her cart so I could pass without having to stop laughing. I swear I must have been high on the chlorine or something, because I just found all of it so darn merry. Or maybe I was just happy. Maybe I’m in love with supermarkets.

When we eventually made it to check out, I was striding tall, laughing openly. Everything I saw was uplifting. When the cashier asked if we have a membership card, and my mother pulled hers out, I said, “We’re so cool, we’re members”. That made my mom and the cashier laugh, which made me crack up again.

But really, everyone, to top all of that off, was the look the guard gave me as were leaving. He clearly recognized me as the wacko who pushed her cart like it was a brand-new baby or something, and he was giving me those wary eyes that people give you when they’re not quite sure what to make of you. Guess what I did? No really, guess.

I laughed. I looked him in the eyes, beamed, and laughed. I felt like I was on top of the world, because I had a mom, a shopping cart, and breakfast food. And I am, I am on the top of the world. It feels good, let me tell you that.

So try it some time, go to a supermarket, and grin every time you see something you like. You’ll get some weird looks, and that will make you laugh. Once you’re laughing, and people are staring, you’ll feel like you’ve got the power. You are now on top of the world.

It’s a supermarket kind of feeling.

Yours truly,

Ella

Song quote:

Been dreaming of this since a child, I’m on top of the world. -On Top Of The World, Imagine Dragons

(I got the power….)

(I got a feeling that I never, never, never had before….)