I Don’t Know What Color My Eyes Are: A Tragedy

Do you ever stop to think, “At what point in my life did I become aware of this?” Like, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t born knowing who Britney Spears is, but I can’t for the life of me pinpoint the time and place where I actually acquired that knowledge.

I do, however, know exactly when I learned about eye color–not only what mine was, but that eyes even had the capacity to be colorful. I was in preschool. The teacher was dismissing everyone for recess. To stagger the release of twenty-five hyper four-year-olds who’d been hitting the Mango Capri Sun pretty hard, she would usually say something like, “If you have blond hair, you can go outside,” and then, “If you have red hair, you can go outside,” and she’d make her way through the line. I guess it was inevitable that she’d eventually go for eye color.

And it’s not like I was shocked by this development. I didn’t think to myself, “Wait… eyes? Have color? What?” I simply accepted this, reached into the recesses of my four-year-old mind in search of that information for myself, and discovered it wasn’t there. I had no idea what to do. Everyone else knew theirs. I was the lone wolf. The logical thing would’ve been to pretend I knew and leave with a group at random, then check my eyes in the bathroom mirror. That’s what I should’ve done. What I did instead was hide under a table and cry so much they had to call my mom.

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The Supermoon (and how we failed at it)

Tara: Hey, sorry I was gone for so long… my mom and my brother were both like “IT’S THE SUPER MOON TONIGHT YOU SHOULD COME SEE IT WITH US” and they implied it would only take like ten minutes so I was like sure whatever but then it was an hour long trip…
Elodie: Wow
Elodie: That sounds like a trek
Tara: It was, I was really unhappy
Elodie: Alex and I wanted to see it
Elodie: But we couldn’t find it
Elodie: We couldn’t find the moon
Tara: We found it but I guess we missed its really cool moment, so it wasn’t all that impressive
Elodie: I didn’t realize it had a cool moment
Elodie: I was really unprepared for this
Tara: I was expecting the moon from Majora’s Mask so maybe my expectations were really unreasonable.

This is a rough approximation of how I would fare if you were to drop me in the middle of nowhere and expect me to find my way home

My dad’s job involves making commercials for local businesses. So when he asked my brother Alex and I if we would mind being in one, because they were running low on extras, we reluctantly agreed. We were told it would be a quick shot of us kayaking down the river… you know, just a little something they could put into the musical montage for this resort. I figured since it was a “quick shot,” somebody could just stick me in a kayak and then push me towards the camera, and I could pretend to know what I was doing in a suitably competent manner for all of 20 seconds. (Ha. Should we laugh together? Let us laugh.)

The first warning sign was when I was trying to help the resort owner carry a canoe, and I had to relinquish my half to the cute employee named Steven because I have the upper arm strength of a really wimpy child. And did I mention Cute Guy Steven? Attractive males don’t usually show up right before I’m about to do something awesome. They usually show up when I’m about to do something awkward and horrible.

Anyway, the people in the commercial included myself, Alex, Cute Guy Steven, two girls I didn’t know (but who I would find out really knew their way around a canoe), and this guy Felix who is our neighbor. (Remember this post? He was the guy that stole the baseball from me.)

The man in charge, Felix’s dad, said, “Now don’t any of you tell me this is about to be your first time in a kayak.”

Alex, the only person present who knew that this was the first time I had ever even been this close to a kayak, smirked. Actually, no, that’s not true. Once when I was at summer camp ten years ago, I kayaked. It wasn’t a success. I ran us aground, and there was a mutiny.

So the whole thing went about as well as could be expected. Cute Guy Steven helped me into the kayak, whereupon I was immediately launched downriver even though I was supposed to wait for the rest of the group. The next take we did I fell ass-backwards into the kayak. Then I ran into Felix’s canoe. And while we were all waiting around for the next take, I freely admitted to these people, who were big on nature and doing activities, that I was all about air conditioning and and TV. It was all very, very bad.

The list of things I suck at seems to be getting longer

My brother Alex is a football kicker, and yesterday I took him to practice punting. Here’s a fun fact I bet none of you saw coming: I suck at tossing.

“So what do I have to do?” I asked while Alex laced up his shoes. Alex has been playing for years, but he’s a kicker, not a punter, and he had only recently taken up punting, so I had never done this bit before. “Also, when you do this with Mom and Dad, have either of them ever gotten hit?”

“No they haven’t, ye of little faith,” he said. “All I need you to do is toss me the ball. I catch it, you duck out of the way, and I punt. Simple.”

“Like this?” I said, tossing one at him with barely enough gusto to merit calling it a toss.

“More like this,” he said, tossing it back. “Like more vertical. And more spiral. And straighter.”

“So basically the opposite of everything I just did,” I said.

“Well, yeah.”

While he stretched, I practiced tossing. I literally just threw a football around on the field by myself while people on the nearby tennis courts watched bemused. And I didn’t get any better. I literally could not fathom how to make it happen. At one point he said, “You have somehow turned one of the simplest things into the world into something excruciating.” The moral of the story here is that I’ve decided to cross “football-tossing” off my list of potential secret talents.

Once I failed a math test and almost lost my hand, all in the same day

When I was in high school, our sociology class did this thing called “Handicap Day” wherein kids would adopt physical handicaps to learn to empathize with the day-to-day challenges of actually being handicapped. So once a semester, about forty or so kids would roll into school using wheelchairs, or wearing blindfolds, or with noise-cancelling headphones to simulate deafness. Well, when it was my turn, I opted to lose the use of my dominant hand, so I went to school with a nub for an arm and came perilously close to having that be my new reality. (I wore a mitten and wrapped it tightly in duct tape. By the end of the day my hand was going dangerously numb and I had to have some of the other kids pry the device off.)

Anyway, we all learned our lessons a little too well. My friend Claire spent the whole day inadvertently banging into things with her wheelchair, and I had to help a “blind” girl go to the bathroom, which took our relationship to a level I wasn’t entirely prepared for. And then there was the matter of my math test.

My sociology teacher made allowances for special cases, like a certain math test that would be a deciding factor in my final grade, and said I could take the nub off for that class only. My math teacher, on the other hand (no pun intended), said, “A real handicapped person doesn’t have that option,” gave me the test, and forced me to make illegible scribblings with my left hand. Sure, I saw his point, but I’d been preparing for this test for weeks. When I handed it in, he chuckled at my efforts in front of the whole class and promptly failed me.

The lesson here is that the world is a cruel place… which is why I LIED. In my last post, ALL OF THEM WERE TRUTHS. ALL! Ha! See that, Math Teacher? Do you see what you’ve done to my compassion and humanity? *sob*

did get stuck in a Target dressing room and had to awkwardly army-crawl under the door. And I did use electricity for evil instead of good. (Most of my town had lost power during the MOTHER of all blizzards. I was fortunate enough to have power, and I used it to play Mario Kart. I was Bowser. Thus, evil.) And I did learn that one of my distant relatives was a murderer, but my grandma randomly threw that into casual conversation. So it was like, “Did I ever tell you my great-grandfather was a killer? WAIT! Was that Dancing with the Stars? Change the channel! GO BACK! WHAT ARE YOU DOING? WHY DID YOU STOP?”

Not only am I forgetful, I’m also slow

Ten minutes ago I locked myself out of the building for the second time in the last month. My general strategy is to sit on a nearby bench and act like I’m waiting for somebody, then when I see someone enter the building I bolt for the door and try to grab it before it closes. So I was heading back to my building to do just that… when I noticed this guy going the same way. Perfect. Now, I recognized him, but I didn’t know him, so I followed him for about a 1/2 mile back to the dorm. In the dark. Like a truly creepy human being.

The only thing was, he was about 6’4″ with legs like skyscrapers. I swear he was the fastest man in he world. And so we both awkwardly sprinted back to the dorm.

If you’re going to tell me this wasn’t the best story you’ve heard all day, YOU’RE LYING.

When microwaves are aflame, we figure out what I truly value in life.

Last night some of my hall mates accidentally set their microwave on fire. I could tell it was them because I heard variations of the phrase “OH MY GOD, WHAT HAVE WE DONE” right before the alarm started blaring and a disembodied voice instructed us to evacuate immediately.

I would not be the right person for any sort of disaster. I was looking around frantically, thinking, “ChapStick—Fig Newtons—retainer case,” instead of, I don’t know, “Sweatshirt—cell phone—purse containing money and other vital necessities.” I at least had the presence of mind to grab my room key, but my most pressing worry (which I shouted at anyone who would listen as we congregated out in the street) was “I WAS WATCHING THE BIG BANG THEORY AND I LEFT MEGAVIDEO RUNNING AND NOW I’M GONNA HIT THE 72-MINUTE LIMIT, OH DEAR GOD NO!”

I put two dollars in the No Christmas Carols Before Thanksgiving Jar, because a) I watched this really catchy Kohl’s Christmas advertisement online, and it was so catchy I played it again, and b) I listened to Justin Bieber’s “Mistletoe,” which I don’t really consider a Christmas carol per se, but I had to penalize myself for enjoying it.

Twenty-one days until December!