Being several cups of coffee ahead of your date
You were making great conversation. He said some witty things, you said some witty things and didn’t overthink/underthink too much of the exchange. Not bad. He’s nursing a blend of milk and sweeteners and you’ve downed his weight in black Colombian. You don’t bat an eyelash.
He’s noticed (if not, will notice) how rapid your speech has grown as you voice your enthusiasm for the tiny packets of jelly that sit in those little wire baskets in every booth. You’ll begin to contemplate making a potion using these as well as the sugars, marmalade and leftover contents of your complimentary water. You’ll show a little restraint (maybe). In your effort to remain civil, you’ll spend an excessive amount of energy to focus on your date. You’re too caffeinated to do much else but stare uncomfortably straight into the poor sap’s eyes and not blink.
One-sided staring contests seldom get you laid.
That bowl of tortilla chips before bed
You only ate them because you walked by the kitchen en route from the toilet. You don’t even like them that much, anyway (unless you’re making those magical microwave nachos using the taco cheese your sister buys in bulk). But you thought you could use something spicy and you still had half a can of Diet Coke next to your bed. Waste not, want not.
First bite: Too salty, way too salty. Force down with swig of diet coke.
Second bite: Not small enough. Sharp corner of chip stabs your inner cheek and your tongue before jabbing the back of your throat once on the way down. Unfortunately, it does not hurt so good, as you may have anticipated.
Your first choice college in your junior year of high school
Maybe you’re content with your high ranking public education at one of the north’s best liberal arts colleges, but your sights were set on something bigger and horrifyingly wrong for you.
You still played JV basketball and had some delusions of athletic grandeur propelling you down south to the land of t-shirt guns, bibles and thick accented coaches. Your grandmother was the last of a long line that went to the big blue and your pamphlets arrived rather early, courtesy of the rather nice legacy.
All this aside, you had a thing for that lacrosse playing senior boy who sat in front of you in calculus—the one sparse of words, sparkly of eyes and floppy of hair. You denied your reasoning for obsessing over becoming a Blue Devil and made up lies about studying lemurs or getting in touch with your family down there.
That boy went on to impregnate someone below the Mason Dixon Line and you went on to live near Woodstock and attend poetry slams.
Your first, second and fourth hate hook ups
If you thought, even for a minute, that he’d bother to acknowledge you in the dining hall three weeks later, you would’ve never touched him. He had the nerve to argue with you about Mill and Descartes when you were drunk and pissed off. You called him some names you weren’t proud of and left his room in a flash of hormones, disheveled, sans clothing items and anger, several hours later.
Next time, ignore the self-satisfied smirk and find someone from out of town (or, better yet, someone you can actually stand).
Watching My Sister’s Keeper
You may have told yourself you needed a good cry. Or maybe, I don’t know, your goldfish died. Maybe you browsed the On-Demand section or your Netflix and saw Abigail Breslin and figured you adored that delightful little scamp enough to watch. But, you’ll watch Cameron Diaz go insane under the burden of motherhood and you’ll nod along as tears roll down your cheeks because the strength of a mother’s love is strong enough to be insane. Then you’ll watch the older daughter from Medium waste away before your eyes.
Next thing you know, that scene with the middle brother crying over his dyslexia (and being sent off to a special school to deal with it) will leave you gripping your dog’s fur, sobbing into the tacky blanket on your parent’s couch and flipping through your cell-phone contacts to send an “I love you” text to anyone you fear you may have mistreated in your life.
As the credits roll, you’ll silently stalk through your house, hugging anyone you can get your shaking limbs around. You’ll whisper sweet things into your family members’ ears and it will be creepy and uncomfortable for nearly every party involved—I promise you nothing, if not that.