Age of Innocence

I stopped by my mom’s school today on my way home from a day full of meetings in which I decided to become a superhuman and overload on credits so I can finish my degree next May. After trying to convince her that I could handle this schedule without melting down or eating a baby, my mother (whom I loving refer to as Cinders, C-Doggy, or, more recently, Schwindy) then proceeded to tell me this tale.

The fifth grade teachers were running practice tests for the standardized testing that will take place when the kiddies return from spring break. Today was a writing prompt: “Tell us about a time when you were very excited about something happening”.

The teachers came into the office after school with one particular paper because they wanted to get the principal’s opinion. There was one word in the paper that they thought may require some sort of action or follow-up.

The paper had been written by a sweet, little ten-year-old girl. She wrote about her excitement for her family’s summer vacation in Cape May last year. She talked about counting down the days on her calendar, planning what to pack, and how the days seemed to drag by.

She concluded her paper with “I had so much fun on my trip and Cape May was an orgasmic experience.”

Orgasmic.

As in orgasm.

From a ten-year-old.

I didn’t know the word “orgasm” when I was ten, let alone what it meant. I didn’t even know what sex was. I thought people made babies by rubbing their belly buttons together.

The teachers, principal, vice principal, and secretaries spent almost an hour trying to figure out if she may have meant a different word. Perhaps organism? Origami? Honestly, the only word that fit the context was the one she had chosen. They decided to leave it and not take any action.

Schwind and her fellow secretary started making jokes about how Cape May could use this idea to pull in tourists.

Cape May: We’ll Make You Glad You Came

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Cousin lovin’

Don’t worry, I’m not writing this from West Virginia.

As I mentioned previously, I’ve started to watch Arrested Development for the first time.  Yeah, I’ve never seen it.  Not totally my fault, since I wasn’t even allowed to watch TRL in 2003.

I’m a huge Michael Cera fan and I secretly want to stalk him and make him fall in love with me since he is my ideal dorky boy.  So of course I love all of George-Michael’s storylines, particularly with Maeby (whose name I will admit may possibly have been added to my list of baby names… I mean… secret list of baby names).

I can totally relate to being in love with your cousin.  That’s  probably something I should be admitting to a mental health professional rather than the internets.

I have a lot of cousins.  Between my first cousins, their kids, and their kids’ kids, I have almost 50.  But one in particular stood out as I was growing up.

Stephen was a year older than me and a ginger.  Obviously the combination made me swoon.  Who cares if we shared DNA?  I was determined to find a way to make it work.

He was the middle child of three boys and my younger brother was the same age as his brother, so our families visited each other a lot.  Whenever we visited their house, I’d end up sleeping on the trundle bed in Steven’s room.  It’s like our parents were asking for our young love to blossom.

I remember mixing up huge glasses of strawberry milk (that stuff was amazing) and watching episodes of Are You Afraid of the Dark together.  He used to make fun of the fact that I hadn’t been kissed by a boy yet (at 5, I was a late bloomer, romantically speaking).

When I was 6, Stephen’s family came up to NJ and we went into the city to see Aladdin on Ice.  Our parents let us each buy a souvenir.  I chose a Princess Jasmine costume and the boys all got swords.  When we got home, we decided to play Aladdin.  Of course I was Jasmine and the boys all fought over who had to be Aladdin.  None of them wanted to have to get all lovey dovey with me since I was their sister/cousin.  Ehren announced he would be Jafar and the rest of the boys continued to argue over who had to be the hero.

Stephen finally stepped up to the plate.  This was my moment.  The boys reenacted the fight scene as I huddled helplessly in the corner with Raja (one of my Kitty Kitty Kittens which were also awesome).  After defeating Jafar and his minions, my Aladdin finally came to my rescue.  He ran over to me, gave me his hand, and pulled me up.  I was of course expecting a romantic kiss, or at the very least, a warm embrace.  But instead, he grabbed Raja, threw her across the room, and called me a stinkhead.

And that’s why you should find love interests outside of your genetic pool.

WebMD should be illegal

I have very mild OCD.  Not the kind where I need to lock the door 87 times or my family will die.  More of the kind that comes along with a Type A personality.  I like everything on my desk to be parallel or perpendicular, the tv volume has to be on an even number, a new day of notes has to start on a new page, and I need an even number of ice cubes in my glass.  Yes, I know I sound like a crazy person.

My obsessive-compulsive tendencies manifest themselves in some mild hyponchondria.  Not so bad that I live in a plastic bubble and bath in Germ-X every morning, but I get nervous when people around me are sick or if my dance injuries start to flare up.

The worst possible thing I can do in these instances is head over to Web MD symptom checker.  And yet I do it every time.  That pain in my lower back is probably just a mild back spasm from when I landed wrong out of a leap in high school and had to deal with a lumbar sprain, but I am now convinced I have Cauda Equina Syndrome or an Aortic Aneurysm.

It takes just one click to bring about disastrous results.  Deciding that my cold is “severe” instead of “moderate” puts me at risk for Nasal Polyps.

At IC, I lived with all athletic training majors, so I served as a practice dummy for ankle taping and massage techniques.  They’d try out a wrap for an Achilles’ tendon rupture and I would instantly be convinced that mine had just actually ruptured.

It’s easy to look at this now and realize how insane I sound, but in the heat of the moment, I am always in the middle of a near-death experience.

 

I am Christine and I am a Web MD addict.

 

Love is like an onion

I pretend I’m a busy girl, but really I spend the majority of my time watching 30 Rock reruns and eating pizza bagels.

Liz: “I just wish people would tell you immediately when you meet them, ‘Hi, I’m so-and-so, here’s all the weird stuff about me.'”
Pete: “That would never work.  If I told my wife in college ‘Hey I’m gonna lose all this beautiful hair and fart in my sleep for 20 years,’ she never would have married me.  Love is like an onion, and you peel away layer after stinky layer until you’re just weeping over the sink.”

So freaking true.  While I love the idea of getting to know someone over time, learning what makes him or her laugh/cry/puke, I think there are certain things you just need to know upfront.

  1. Serial killer status.  Really any jail time for that matter.  Deal breaker.
  2. Obsession with more than 2 professional sports teams.  Two is the absolute limit.  I love football, but I don’t want to spend my life watching sports.  An ex insisted on watching every single Eagles, Phillies, 76ers, and Flyers game.  And since all of them seem to overlap at some point, that leaves time for pretty much nothing else.
  3. Too health conscious to fat around with me on Saturdays.
  4. Crowd pleaser.  You need to be original, be able to stand out, and think for yourself.
  5. You dress up rodents like Steve Carrell’s character from Dinner for Schmucks.  True story: a guy I went to dinner with buys specialty costumes for his guinea pigs and photographs them with tiny props.  He has at least 7 Facebook albums of pictures.
  6. Unwilling to step out of your comfort zone.  If you’re never spontaneous and refuse to try anything new, it’s not gonna be fun.
  7. You are dating other people/have a girlfriend/are married.  Self-explanatory.  I wish guys had to wear those Indian dots on their foreheads.  Or maybe we could implement some sort of barcode system.
  8. Allergies.  Specifically to things I love such as puppies and peanut butter.  Not necessarily a deal breaker, but still need to be considered.
  9. Socks and sandals.
  10. You have no drive.  You’re working at a job you don’t care about and are in no hurry to find a better one.
  11. You yell your own name when you climax.
  12. Cheating. In Monopoly, in relationships, in life.
  13. You’re going to judge me when I want to sit in my sweatpants all day and watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  While I’m pretty awesome, I’m not going to be perfectly put together all the time.  I’m gonna need to cry over Audrey kicking Cat out of the cab once in awhile.
  14. You can’t afford to buy me a drink, or you’re too cheap to.  Going Dutch is fine, but be a gentleman.
  15. You wear women’s jeans and look better in them than I do.
  16. Texting naked photos when I have not seen you naked in person.
  17. Hatred of breakfast foods/pasta/beer/cheese. What is wrong with you????
  18. We’ve gone on one date and you’ve already written a song about me.
  19. You’re under Federal Investigation.
  20. Bestiality.

Time Tattoo

Does anyone else feel like you have no sense of what time it is? I was just talking to a friend about how I can be reading blogs and tweeting for what seems like 10 minutes, but really 2 hours have passed. I decided I had an amazing idea for an invention to solve this problem:

Me: “What if there was a way to tattoo a clock onto your skin, like some sort of microchip on the back of your hand so you always know what time it is?”

Friend: “I believe that would be called a watch.”

How I Became a Fish Killer

As I was driving home today, listening to Barry White on the way back from my trip to the grocery store to purchase contraband chocolate ice cream, a thought occurred to me.  My blog is really boring.

I’m not a boring person.  I promise!  I’m actually really funny.  I wrote a screenplay about European hamsters (Hamsterdam) that I’m hoping Pixar will pick-up any moment now.

My blog needs to be funnier.  More relaxed.  No shirt, no shoes, no problem!  Well… unless you have athlete’s foot or an extremely hairy back.  Then maybe cover it up.

Obviously I want to maintain a professional air.  But that doesn’t mean I need to be cut-and-dry like a Fox news anchor.  I want to let my natural voice shine.  And that is why I’m going to tell you about The Fishidents (Fishidents = Fish Incidents) (I’m thinking this is going to be the next great tween book series) (Watch out JK Rowling).

The Fishidents

Growing up I never had any pets.  My lack of animal exposure led me to be extremely afraid of all dogs, cats, turtles, and zoo animals.  The only real pets I had were those sad little goldfish you win at fairs and carnivals.  I would win a fish, bring it home, shower it with gifts (grass and leaves from my yard, Barbie accessories to spruce up the punch bowl that was its new home), and name it, only for it to drop dead no more than 48 hours later.  I was devastated every time.

Sometimes the fish deaths were natural: a fish, no matter how small, is not meant to live in an old dusty punch bowl.  However, sometimes these deaths were a manner of escape.  I had no less than 3 goldfish jump from their bowls during the night in a tragic suicide attempt.  Only one survived, saved by my mom’s quick-thinking (although it died a day later since it refused to eat the leaves and grass).

Needless to say, I stopped trying to win these coveted pet prizes.  I’d avoid the games and instead beg my mom for another ticket for the Tilt-a-Whirl.

When I was about 11, I began begging my mom for a pet.  She decided to let me start off easy with (you guessed it!) a fish.  But no dime-a-dozen carnival prize for me.  I got to go to the local pet store and BUY A FISH.  I was floored.  I spent weeks researching.  I picked out an actual aquarium, colored pebbles, the best fish food money could buy, and even an elegant castle for my new fishy friend.  The day I brought my fish home, I was so excited.  I was like a new mother, doting over her newborn.  Since I was in an era of thinking I was some sort of suburban celebutante, I named my fish “Spring Break in Las Vegas”, or, “Vegas” for short (no, I was not yet medicated at this time).

Vegas and I became the best of friends.  I read to him, played with him (this involved me sticking my finger in the water and chasing him into the castle in some sick game of “hide and seek”).  We grew close, we shared secrets.  And then tragedy struck.

Let me preface this by saying that the castle I had purchased for Vegas was definitely not up to safety regulations.  The openings were big enough for the small body of my fish, but once inside, the tunnels and crevices were too tight and he would get stuck.  This happened again and again and either I or my family members would have to rescue him.

The smart thing to do would have been to remove the castle from the tank and allow Vegas a safe area to live.  However, my home-decorating genes had kicked in at an early age, and I feared the castle’s removal would throw off the aesthetic I was going for.

One morning, I came downstairs to see my mom cleaning out Vegas’s tank.  But there was no Vegas in sight.  Instead of easing me into an explanation of the “fragility of life” and the “natural cycle of death”, my mom bluntly told me she had flushed my beloved friend.  Vegas had gotten stuck again during the night, and with no one to help him wiggle free, he had perished during his efforts to escape the castle.

I have not had a fish since.

In Loving Memory of Spring Break in Las Vegas: 4/23/1999-4/29/1999. RIP My Fishy Friend.

Disclaimer: Although animals were harmed in the making of this blog, I am now a champion for animals and newbie vegetarian. Please don’t throw animal blood on me PETA!