One uneventful Tuesday night, a good friend of mine and I were out for dinner and drinks, where she was hogging the entire conversation by babbling on and on about her new love interest.
“He’s so great! I think he’s the one. I can’t wait for you to meet him. Did I mention he is really, really great?”
I poured the remaining sangria into my glass and did what all good, single friends do: Nod and smile.
Her gushing about her boyfriend lasted throughout the appetizers and through most of our main course. I didn’t mind, really. I didn’t have too many stories about guys who were really, really great. All I had were a few funny anecdotes about a blind date I went on the week before.
Finally, as the waiter cleared our plates and dropped off the dessert menu, my friend realized that she had been stealing the entire conversation. “I am so sorry! Look at me, talking talking talking about my new relationship. I haven’t even asked what’s new in your life!”
“Oh, don’t worry about it! I am happy to listen. I really don’t have anything new or exciting going on. I went on a few dates last week, but they didn’t amount to much. Cest la vie. But I have a few prospects, so not to worry. I will find some…”
“This chocolate cake sounds amazing!” she exclaimed holding the dessert menu over her face.
“I think I’m too full for dessert” I lied and picked up the other menu.
“Now that’s settled!” She sat back in her chair, took the remaining sip of her red sangria and looked at me, quizzically. “You go on a lot of dates, right?”
“Yeah” I answered. “I guess you could say that.”
“You must have so many funny and crazy stories.”
“That I do. Some are funny, but most are just awful.”
“Well, tell me! Tell me about your shittiest date!”
I ordered another pitcher of sangria, put both menus aside, and dived into the story about my shittiest date.
I was still studying at Florida Atlantic University – before they kicked me out – when I met someone in my geology class. Don’t ask me why I was taking a geology class when my major was journalism. But, there I was, a hopeless sophomore taking a course about the differences between an igneous rock and a sedimentary rock.
Leigh, a girl friend of mine who was also a lost cause when it came to college, decided to take this class with me because it would be “fun”. We showed up to the first lecture wearing shirts we found at the mall that read “Geology Rocks” hoping to make some friends, and well, to be the center of attention.
We ended up playing hangman the entire time in the last row of the auditorium. The only time we were ever noticed was when the professor called us out for laughing because the answer to a question was “Dykes”.
Needless to say, we were going to fail this entire class, so our attention was focused on tic-tac-toe and USWeekly.
I met Leigh the very first day of college. I was all moved in and enjoying my empty dorm with a glass of wine when I heard a bunch of loud screaming and cheering. I looked out my window, which faced the courtyard, and saw about 30 to 40 people all circled around on the lawn. I downed the last sip of my Cab-Merlot blend and took the elevator down to see what all the commotion was about.
It turned out that Leigh couldn’t hold her liquor. Or her top. Or, her pants.
She was running around the lawn butt naked, jumping through the sprinklers. I went to the nearest person and asked, “What the hell is going on? Is this some kind of sorority initiation?”
He just shrugged his shoulders, took a sip of his beer, and shouted “This is fuckin’ awesome man!”
I nodded politely, said something heterosexual about some sports game, and walked away. I went back up to my room and watched the remainder of the show from my window.
The following semester I ended up having ENC1102 with Leigh. (If you don’t know what ENC1102 is, go to college). We stood in class to introduce ourselves, and as soon as she spoke, it occurred to me that I had seen her before. When she sat back down at her desk, I leaned over and said, “You’re the sprinkler girl, aren’t you?”
And ever since then, we were the best of friends. Aside from taking off her clothes at the first taste of tequila, she also has another embarrassing habit: Peeing her pants. I’m not sure which is worse. Every time that we would hangout, one of the two would always happen. Well, once, both happened simultaneously, and I still can’t stop the nightmares.
Whether it be us at the Cracker Barrel for Saturday breakfast or in a crowded movie theater, or in the drive thru at a local McDonalds, she always found a way to pee herself.
And now, almost a year later, we are failing out of college. Together.
We showed up late to a midterm review and our seats in the very last row were occupied so we had to split up and find seats somewhere closer to the front. I luckily found a seat on the end, so it was easy for me to sit down, while the only other open seat was in the second row, dead in the middle. There was no way she was going to be unnoticed.
The review dragged on, while the professor was reading notes about metamorphic rocks into magma when this kid next to me tapped me on the shoulder.
“Hey, I wasn’t here last week, do you mind if I borrow your notes to copy real quick?”
I turned to him with a puzzled look on my face and said, “I haven’t taken one note since this class began three months ago. I don’t even own the text book.”
“Aren’t you afraid you’re going to fail the midterm?” he asked, shocked that I wasn’t taking this class as seriously as he was.
“Not really. I mean, I’m going to fail the midterm. I’m just not afraid.” It was at this moment I realized how cute this guy was – well, cute in an Elijah Wood kind of way. I could tell that he was a gay, so I asked him if he would want to get together to study for the test. For some reason, he agreed, and we set a date to meet the next morning at the library.
As I walked out of the auditorium, I met up with Leigh to tell her about my interesting new seat.
“Hey, you want to drink tomorrow morning and then go putt-putt golfing?”
“I can’t, sorry. I’m meeting up with this guy, Andrew, to study for the Geology exam.”
She stopped me from walking any further. “You’re what?!”
“I ended up sitting next to this cute guy, and he is going to help me study. I’ll probably still fail it, but I might as well get laid.”
Our meet up time was eleven o’clock at the library on campus. I woke up that morning hung over and starving. My roommate ate the last of the pop tarts, so I was left with nothing for breakfast.
“There is still some milk left in the refrigerator. Have some cereal.”
“I can’t eat cereal, Cory! I’m lactose intolerant!”
“Oh, yeah. I always forget that. What’s that like, not being able to eat dairy?”
“It sucks, Cory. It really sucks. But hey, I have to run for a study date.” I ran to the front door with my backpack. “See ya!”
“I don’t think I have ever heard you say the words “run” or “study” in my life.”
I threw up the middle finger and left my apartment. On the drive to campus, I really needed something to eat or I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on Andrew. Or the notes. But mostly, on Andrew. I spotted a Starbucks with a drive-thru on the way. “Score!” I shouted over Beyonce.
I pulled into the drive thru and was abruptly shocked when I saw a young girl scout with her mother standing by the menu board and microphone.
“Hi, would you like to support the Girl Scouts of America this morning and purchase a box of our world famous cookies?”
I looked at the girl, and then to the mom, and then back at the girl. I shook my head and regretfully said no.
“But you would be helping out a great cause.”
“I’m really sorry” I shot back. “But I’m a student and I’m on a tight budget. I really can’t right now.”
The mother of the young girl gave me a dirty look and said, “But you can spend 6$ on a cup of coffee? Yeah right. Some budget.”
I sat there in the drive thru lane, shocked and waiting to hear from the barista. Finally, she came on and asked what I wanted. I suddenly felt guilty for ordering my 6$ cup of coffee and crumb cake. I shouldn’t let this woman interfere with my breakfast!
“A venti iced caramel macchiato with soy milk and a crumb cake.”
“Ok, move forward please.”
“Make sure it’s soy milk, please.”
“Yes, sir” she responded.
I got back on the road to head to the library, drinking my delicious coffee and eating my yummy cake while texting my roommate about what had just happened at the Starbucks.
When I was about five minutes away from my destination, I had a strange grumbling in my stomach.
Maybe it’s just nerves.
Maybe I ate too much for dinner last night.
Maybe the Starbucks barista forgot to use soy milk.
My stomach pains were increasing and I quickly decided I was going to have to turn around and head home. I could have been like any other, normal human being and stopped in somewhere to use the bathroom, but ever since I was little, I have had this tremendous fear of public restrooms. At this point in my life, I have only used two public toilets. One, when I was five and didn’t know what I was doing, and two, when I got so drunk I threw up at a bar on my birthday. And that’s it.
I swerved into the left lane so I could make a U-turn at the next light.
“Oh, boy. These pains are getting intense” I thought to myself, turning down Beyonce.
Whenever I am in this situation where my stomach feels like it is attacking the insides of my body and I can’t breathe, I always know what’s coming. Diarrhea.
Usually, to trick my mind, I try to do a complicated math problem in my head to focus all of my energy on solving the problem. So here I was, sitting at this red light, dividing 347 by 13.
Why won’t this fucking light turn green?!
13 goes into 47 3 times.
I’ am going to explode.
And 13 times 20 is 260.
Luckily, the green arrow turned green and I was allowed to make my U-turn. Although, it was too late.
Much too late.
The second I turned my steering wheel, all math went out the window and I realized I was in the midst of an “accident” – not a car accident. . Now, when this happens, the last thing you want to do is panic. You admit there is a problem, and you casually think of a way to fix it. I pulled off to the side of the road to think of a way. And to unroll the windows.
I looked to the passenger seat and noticed the bag that contained my coffee cake and inside was a plethora of napkins. Instinctively, I took the napkins out of the bag and wedged them between my ass to absorb the remaining liquid. I was fifteen minutes away from my house, and I realized this was a problem I would have to take care of now and not in fifteen minutes.
I spotted a McDonalds at the next intersection. I put my car in drive and sped along the road into the parking lot. With the napkins still intact, I got out of the car and made my way into the restaurant lobby so I could use the bathroom.
Desperately, I tried to go unnoticed. I didn’t want the employees of McDonalds to see me walk in and head straight for the restroom, so I paused for a moment to look at the menu. When I felt I had been seen enough, I made my way to the back of the restaurant, clenching my ass cheeks together and walking like my knees were glued together.
On my way, I passed a table holding six Mexican men enjoying their lunch break before heading out into the hot Florida sun to continue their business of citrus selling, when all of a sudden I felt a cool breeze enter through my shorts. It was at this time I realized the napkins were no longer in place.
Oh my God, I thought to myself. Where the hell were the napkins?!
I turned to look behind me, and saw the clump of brown, damp napkins lying on the ground, directly in front of the Mexican table.
The table of ese’s all put down their egg McMuffins and stared at the soiled paper on the floor next to them while I, at the same time, was trying to decide whether or not I should go back and pick it up, or act like I never saw it and run straight to the bathroom.
I stood there for about fifteen seconds pondering my options, which felt like 15 hours. Eventually, I ran back and picked up the napkins…with my bare hands…and made my way to the restroom.
Luckily (the one thing that went right so far) there was no one in the bathroom so I locked the door and stripped down to my birthday suit. I then took that off, and got completely naked.
It’s these times when you wish mirrors were never invented.
I threw the mucky napkins, along with my favorite pair of J.Crew boxers, into the trash can and headed for the handicapped stall to clean up. I started filling the sink with boiling, hot water and added soap to saturate my khaki shorts so the brown spot could get washed away. While my jeans were soaking, I did my best to thoroughly clean the rest of my body.
It was this moment when I heard a knock-knock on the bathroom door.
“I’ll just be a minute!” I screamed.
“Andale! Andale!” he shouted.
After the longest three minutes of my life, I took my jeans out of the sink and went over to the air dryer to dry them out. Of course the air dryer stops after 10 seconds, so I stood there, pants-less, pushing the button every ten seconds until my jeans were a wearable moist.
I got dressed, did one last look in the mirror, unlocked the door, and headed out of the restroom to find the Mexican man holding his crotch and rushing past me towards the urinal. He gave me a concerned look, which I guess had something to do with my damp shorts.
I grabbed the keys out of my pocket and got into my car and was suddenly overwhelmed with the smell of an old egg salad sandwich. I started the ignition and made my way to the library, running the red lights and rolling through every stop sign on campus.
I ran up the steps to the library and texted Andrew that I had just arrived. I went to the second floor, the “quiet” floor and searched for Andrew at one of the work tables. My phone beeped and I was abruptly “Shh’d” and gawked at by every nerd who chose to hang out in the library on a beautiful autumn day.
Andrew was texting me to let me know he was running a little late but would be there shortly. Now I was pissed. I always come early!
Let me rephrase that, shall I?
I always show up places earlier or before the other person has arrived. Every single time! It doesn’t matter if I watch the last few minutes of that Oprah interview, or stop and get gas, or even shit my fucking pants. No matter where I am going, I will always get there first.
I found a table in the back of the library and started getting all of my study materials out on the desk. I opened the highlighter 3-pack and stack of note cards I bought the year prior and sharpened a brand new pencil.
As I sat there waiting for him to arrive, I became so paranoid that he would be able to smell shit on me. I had smelled it for the past twenty five minutes, so my nose became familiar with the stench. But this smell was going to be all new to Andrew. I should have stopped at CVS and sprayed some G-Unit cologne on my body.
The following Tuesday we had the big Geology exam and I felt pretty good about it. Andrew was actually pretty smart in geology, a skill that will get him absolutely nowhere in life.
I met Leigh outside of the classroom after the exam to see how she did.
“I fucking rocked that shit. Get it? Rocked it? ‘Cause the test was on rocks.”
“Yes, Leigh. I get it. Do you know who you are talking to? I am the king of word play. My first words as a child were a pun.”
I left campus and headed back to my apartment to eat a frozen pizza and watch day time television with my roommate and await the grades to be posted online. Naturally, Cory was lying on the couch in nothing but his boxer briefs and a Christina Aguilera concert tour shirt watching Judge Joe Mathis.
A few hours later my phone beeped and I was promptly “Shh’d” by Cory. I was really getting over people not liking my Blackberry sounds. I went into my room and read the text message from Drew. I call him Drew now because we have reached that level in our relationship. Pretty soon and I will be calling him cute, fun nicknames like Anders or Mountain Drew.
His text message(s) read:
6:34pm Hey! The grades are up!
6:38pm How’d ya do?
6:39pm Hope you didn’t take my studying tips for granite. (granted! Ha!)
I opened up my grade book on blackboard.com and checked to see how bad I did in this stupid rock test. A 79. That’s a high C. Wow, I was pretty amazed with myself. I texted my score to Andrew and thanked him for his help studying.
6:54pm Awesome! C+
6:55pm That’s not shitty at all man!
No, Andrew, you’re right. Unlike my day last week, this is not shitty at all.
As I finished telling my story, I looked over at my friend and realized her mouth was hanging open, probably in shock. But mostly in disgust.
I drank the last sip of my sangria, picked up the dessert menu, and asked, “So, did you still want to get that chocolate cake?”