My professor randomly announced today that he was canceling the midterm exam on Wednesday. He also decided he was canceling class on Friday. This sounded swell to me, because I was already planning on a) studying very little and b) not attending Friday’s class, because I have tickets to a concert. However, I’m concerned. I don’t know if this is the universe’s way of saying, “Excellent! Bask in this good fortune! You deserve it! Life is a technicolor musical, and YOU know every song and dance step,” which would be grand… or if it’s the universe’s way of saying, “Yep. That’s it, slack off. Enjoy it while it lasts. Here comes the reckoning.”
After nearly three years of living in this city, I’ve finally found my ideal grocery store. It’s close, it’s cheap, and the cashiers want you to leave just about as much as you want you to leave. I swear the woman who bagged my groceries practically chucked them at me. Didn’t ask me if I found everything okay. I think I might love her. Is it too soon?
Yesterday I was studying in one of the many study areas on campus. It’s not like the library where people will burn you in effigy for breathing too loudly, but it’s also not too noisy. It’s just casual. Even by those standards, there was this one guy who was talking OBNOXIOUSLY loudly. He wasn’t even there using one of the computers, he was just standing there next to his increasingly uncomfortable friend who was using a computer. And the guy was just going off about his girlfriend. I was trying to read over in the corner, but it was difficult, because phrases like “that fucking bitch” and “goddamn whore” kept puncturing the bubble of casual quiet. People were glancing sideways at him. People were making incredulous eye contact with each other. One guy lightly banged his head against his desk.
And finally, finally, after he started off on another “and you’ll never guess what THIS bitch did…” anecdote, a girl a few computers away, like, slammed her fist down on her desk and called over to him, “ALEX! CALM DOWN! EVERYONE HERE HATES YOU!” And the guy sitting next to me started applauding, and another guy joined in. And Alex finally quieted the hell down. It was amazing. It was like a scene out of a movie.
50 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS, EVERYBODY.
There are three things I really, really love about this time of year:
- Chocolate oranges. I’ve learned over the years to just buy them for myself, wrap them, and then put them under the tree, because my family drops the ball sometimes, and then Christmas is ruined.
- Chocolate crinkle cookies. There’s a Mennonite community near where I live that makes the absolute best chocolate crinkle cookies. If I could harness their abilities and make my own, I would do it. But alas.
- THOSE PILLSBURY SUGAR COOKIES. I AM ALREADY DROOLING.
So basically, everything I love about the impending holiday season revolves around food.
My Friday night was shaping up to be quite lovely. It was drizzling outside, and I was staying in. I had my pajamas on. I was planning on doing some online shopping, re-reading Harry Potter, and listening to my little brother Alex’s football game on the radio, as I wasn’t able to be there in person. My roommate had made scones. It was practically ideal. And then… well, then I got a text.
Mom: We left The Hat in the trunk of your car
Mom: You need to wear it tonight
Mom: You know what’s at stake. You must wear the hat.
Me: Oh, God.
The Hat is a very special hat that was knitted by one of the parents on my brother’s team back in 2008. It must be worn at every game by a football parent or otherwise affiliated person. When The Hat is not worn, we lose. Always. And the one time, the ONE TIME The Hat just HAD TO BE tragically misplaced (in the trunk of my car) was the one game that would make or break our season. If we didn’t win, we would be out of the playoffs. We were hanging on by a thread as it was. And the magical Hat was some 300 miles away, in my possession.
So I had to wear The Hat.
I sent a picture to Tara and explained the situation.
Tara: You were born to wear that hat.
Me: That look in my eyes is a cry for help.
Tara: You look like you’re being held hostage and your captors are forcing you to wear it.
At one point, my mother Facetimed me to make sure I was wearing the hat. Then she made me prove it to everyone in the immediate vicinity, so I waved awkwardly to all the people in the bleachers, and they cheered at me like I was the chosen one. BUT THE HAT WORKED. We won the game, and our playoff dreams are still alive, and I’ll be returning The Hat to its rightful place soon enough.
My roommate and I are already at that point in the school year where we’re leaving to go to class at the last possible second. Three weeks ago, we were leaving half an hour early, ear buds in, bags fully packed with folders, writing utensils, and the assigned reading. Nowadays, however, you’re more likely to see one of us sprinting out the door when we should’ve left five minutes before, holding crumpled papers and a piece of toast and screaming, “I’M LATE, BYE.” No ear buds; there’s no time to untangle that shitstorm. We frequently don’t grab the right books and have to run back, screwing ourselves over even further. And when I use the royal “we,” of course, I really just mean me. I say we to make myself feel better. I think I saw her sprinting out the door, like, once. And even then she was wearing this really cute dress. I usually wear whatever’s on my floor because it’s within reach. I’m a perpetual life mess.
When I say my roommate can cook, what I actually mean is she LOVES to cook. She’s constantly making cookies, muffins, super complicated dinners, and what have you. I try to get in there and make my own crappy meal before she does, because hers is a whole production and she’ll be in there for hours. I cannot impress upon you the degree to which I can’t make food. I live off sandwiches and macaroni. I don’t even know how I’m alive.
She’s also extremely creative. Right now she’s making a grilled cheese with tomatoes using BAGELS because her bread expired today. To put this in perspective, MY bread expired four days ago and I’m going to keep making my basic turkey sandwiches until I see green mold. This should give you the idea that, in addition to having no creative aptitude for food, I also don’t have any sense of self-preservation.
The most creative thing I do is toast the bread before I stick it in my eight-dollar toaster from Sears and then throw on the ham and cheese, so I can trick myself into thinking it’s like a croque-monsieur. I’m livin’ large, people. (It’s not even remotely like a croque-monsieur.)
Right at this very second I’m eating a coconut banana muffin that she made. I hate both bananas and the flavor of coconut. But this is good. This is really good.
I receive e-mails from the University whenever a student gets robbed or mugged or what have you. Recently one came up that said somebody had gotten robbed a few blocks away from where I live. The guys demanded his wallet, he gave it up, and that was that. All I could think was that if someone robbed me, this is what I’d have to fork over:
I would hope we’d all get a few laughs out of the absurdity of the situation, and then they’d give it back out of a sense of newfound camaraderie and we’d go on our merry way. More likely they’d take a look at the two bucks and fifty cents (plus like 50 movie stubs going all the way back to 2004) I have in there and give it back, disgusted.