Monday, August 29, 2011


It is common knowledge that the top of your bed is the only safe haven from the infamous monsters that live beneath it. A bed is a relatively small space, so those monsters can keep track of your every move. That's bad enough. But monsters are second worst. What is first? Spiders. Spiders are the worst scary things, simply because there is nowhere you can go where they cannot get you.
Say you are in bed, under siege from the sub-mattress ghouls as usual, but still, you're feeling pretty safe. Then BAM! Spider drops on your face from the ceiling! In your panic you claw at your face, and soon the arachnid releases its grip on your skin. By now you've recovered enough to acknowledge that this issue must be dealt with. But when you look for the spider again, of course it has vanished.
Or possibly you are feeling brave enough to venture into Snatching Area (also known as the floor of any room containing a bed). Ogres & Co. are leaving you alone (probably they already caught your dog or something and are busy eating it) and you are feeling pretty confident. Maybe you just brushed your hair, so when you feel that tickling sensation on your leg, you assume it is just a stray lock. But when you brush it off, your fingers come in contact with something significantly larger than expected. As you may have guessed, it was a spider. And this ends the same way as Scenario #1.
Personally I find that spiders pose a bigger threat to my mental health than my physical well-being. I get so paranoid that I can rarely sleep after an attack, and I am left telling the tale of my misfortune to the inhabitants of the Under Bed, who are very understanding and offer both condolences and hugs (of course I have never accepted the latter, otherwise I wouldn't be writing this right now. I would be dead.)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Nobody Looks Good in a Swim Cap

This week some friends of mine invited me to go to the public pool with them. It sounds like great fun, right? Nothing is better than a care-free day spent swimming and tanning.
But at this pool, to go in the water you must wear a swim cap.
Why? It can't be vital for the functionality of the pool, because lots of pools let people swim with their hair waving free.
I think it is clear that they do it to cut down on flirtation, namely between swimmers and lifeguards.
First of all, the lifeguards will see you in your swim cap at some point. Sure, you could just stay out of the water the whole time, but that is enough to break even the most image-conscious person. It's just too tantalizing. If it was May, maybe you could do it, but it is July, and it is far too hot to sit in the sun looking at the water without actually going in. So sooner or later you will jump in, even if it's just for a moment. And the lifeguards will see you.
Secondly, the lifeguards don't have to wear swim caps. They sit under their umbrellas in packs, laughing and being tan and good-looking. Mostly they don't interact with us common folk(but you kind of know they are talking about you every once in a when they burst out laughing as soon as you swim by) except to blow their whistles at the few people who try to slip into the water with their dignity and without their caps.
It would take an enormous amount of self-confidence coupled with desperation to flirt with the lifeguards. It can't go well.
Say you go up and talk to them before you don your aquatic headgear. And it goes really well. Then you go in the water, and they see you, and you see that look of horror in their eyes as they realize that you, the bald sea-monster, are the same person with whom they were bantering a few short minutes ago.
Or you talk to them after you swim. They've already seen you at your ugliest and that might be a big step for a healthy relationship, but for a first impression it just scares them off. They will forever be scarred by that image of you.
I'm assuming no one would ever try to flirt with anyone while wearing a cap.

I didn't see a single person speak to or make eye-contact with the lifeguards the whole time I was there.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

In Defense of my Disarray

My room is messy again. But I've been thinking about it, and I realized that it is only because of my selflessness that I let it get this way! Yes, it's true. See, during the day I spend very little time in my room, so I don't clean it. However, after I go to "bed" I stay awake in there for hours: the perfect time to clean, right? Wrong! The only messy thing about my room really are the clothes. They are strewn across the floor in a brilliant explosion of color and texture that could give any modern artist a run for their money. It also is very uncomplimentary to the room itself. "Why," you may ask "don't you just put the clothes away?" To which I may answer (as my halo slowly comes into focus): "My dear little sister."
Every night as I come to my room I have grand ideas of reforming my ways and keeping my room perfectly spotless. (My sister's room is always in amazing order and, since our rooms are next door, the juxtaposition is constant and humbling.) To get to my room  I have to walk through her room (wherein lies my dresser), which involves turning on the light.
She is always already asleep, due to the fact that she goes to bed unhealthily early. So, anyway, I turn on the light, still determined to clean. Then, as I'm walking by, she stirs and "looks" around in a very confused manner. She scrunches up her entire face and kind of thrashes around in slow motion. It is so pathetic and sad that I can't wait to turn off her light again as soon as I arrive at my destination.
In conclusion, my room is messy because my dresser is in my sister's room, and to clean up I have to turn on her light. And I love her too much to deprive her of even a fraction of her ample supply of rest. How can anyone blame me?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Ice Cube

Sometimes the things that seem the most innocent turn out to be the back-stabbers. Today it was an ice cube.

It had been a pleasant, slow day and it appeared that it would end with a tranquil evening. Since this morning we had acquired a bottle of ginger soda and it was on my mind, I decided to cap off my fourteenth waking hour with a certain drink whose main ingredient is Ginger. I poured some into a glass and added the other vital ingredients: Sprite, one slice of orange squeezed into it, one slice floating ornamentally. I am so anticipating the first sip that I almost break my own rule and snatch a quick one before I catch myself, but I refrain. The ice cube is needed to complete the experience.

Ice cube tray in hand I return to the table. I twist it, as is customary to summon the cold blocks from their lairs. I grab one, but it slips away. I try again for the same one, and again it evades my grasp.

Maybe the right thing to do would have been to choose a more cooperative box of frost, but I had begun to feel personally slighted. I would have that cube, by golly!

So I twist the tray again, and again the piece in question emerges for just a moment. I make my move. No success. I try fitting my nails in around its sides but my offender fits perfectly and there is no room.

Now the icy viking ship that is the tray encounters rough waters as I shake it up and down. Some cubes play Jonah and jump over-board, hoping to appease the angry being that is tossing them around and by now there are at least 6 of them strewn across the floor around me, but the cube in question is unmoved.

This had stopped being about simply cooling my drink. Now it was a mission to overthrow the rebel; to force it into submission. If I didn't take care of this now, who would? It could end up staying there for years if I failed to do so!

As I made this speech to myself I could hear my idea of the Hero's Soundtrack (a mix between the National Anthem and The Eye of the Tiger accentuated by awe-inspired applause). I took a deep breath.

The rest is kind of a blur. I remember hearing some sort of war cry and not being sure if it was coming from me or my opponent. And I remember banging the tray on the table and I remember ice flying everywhere.
And I definitely remember lifting the overturned tray and seeing my enemy face-down in defeat; I am champion.

My drink was delicious.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Valentine's Day

These secret admirers are a suspicious group. What are they saying, really? "I love you, but I don't want you to know that I love you."
What do they even gain from this? The recipient of the token of their anonymous love cannot know who their admirer is, and so they cannot know if the feeling is mutual. The Admirer is left in exactly the same place as before, minus a few dollars.
It's as if they want only the part of a relationship where they make the person happy, without any of the other important landmarks: working out disagreements, being a shoulder to cry on...getting introduced?
I wonder if they have group meetings about how secretive they are: Anonymous Anonymous. Unless the rule is that you can't tell anyone about your alter-ego, in which case the meetings would have to be cancelled.
Don't get me wrong, it is nice to be told that you are loved, but it is important to know who loves you. Otherwise it could very well be some creep who has been driving by your house every day at 3:30 because he knows that's when you are outside in the yard, and who has fallen in love with your plant-watering technique.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Earlier I had resolved to get rid of unneeded junk in my room. In my mind I had pictured myself going through my room with a pot of fire and burning all evidence of my pack-rattedness. When it came to actually beginning, I decided that standing by the wood-stove in the kitchen was close enough.
Now that I am actually in here, I feel it would be weak to do nothing, so I take down my decorative post cards--they were starting to annoy me--and put them in a box that Abbie gave me for Christmas. I notice for the first time a preponderance of post cards from South Dakota, from our cross-country trip in 2009. I never knew I went on such a shopping spree there. Four of them won't fit in the box. Well, at least I did something that slightly resembles cleaning. I will sleep with a clean conscience tonight.
As soon as I think that I feel incredibly guilty and suddenly notice how messy my room really is. Two pairs of pants, a small blanket, a towel, my bathrobe and an empty plastic bag have been compensating for my lack of carpet for some time now. I know that if I pick them up I will be stepping onto a very slippery slope...but it has to be done sooner or later.
My problem is not just that I am messy, but that when I do clean I fool myself into thinking that I am a clean-freak. So I pull everything out, ignoring past experiences and sure that this time I will be disciplined enough to finish the job. Right around when I finish tearing my belongings out of the communities they have begun to build, and right around when I am about to start putting these inhabitants of my little kingdom where they are supposed to be, it occurs to me that I am outnumbered. I feel so overwhelmed that I escape right away, shuddering and my heart racing because I just survived a near-death experience.
Then I live in denial for weeks, occasionally moving various items to obscure places, until I decide to clean again. It's a vicious cycle.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Don't be fooled, I really DO like animals.

I stare into the bowl, willing the 2 oblivious goldfish to die. A year is more than long enough for a fish to live, and they have already stretched that overly-generous death-date for almost 3 months.
I bought them last November as a welcome-home present for my little brother and sister. They seemed more exciting than simply a bouquet of flowers. Plus we aren't allowed to have pets in our apartment and I have something of a rebellious streak.
Oh well. I don't take care of them anyway. Nor do Abbie and Jay. All the three of us do is trash talk the defenseless swimmers. My dad changes the water in their pathetic bowl of a home about once a week. He feeds them too. So do Abbie and Jay, occasionally, when they can find a free moment in their virtually empty schedules. The fish are often victims of overfeeding, due to lack of communication between the 6 hands that feed them. I don't hear them complaining though, and it certainly doesn't seem to have affected their health for the worse.
Resigned to the fact that they are still alive and well, I walk back to my room. Once arrived the first order of business is to excavate my bed, which has accumulated lots of junk throughout the course of the day. If I was really lazy I wouldn't even bother, and I would just sleep in one of the other 3 beds that are in here. I imagine that's what the Mad Hatter would do.
First my box of makeup gets moved to its rightful place atop my shoe holder. I then spot a t-shirt cleverly masquerading as my sheet and reach for it. Suddenly I stop. There, on the sleeve, is a stinkbug. Relaxing in my room, on my bed, on my brand new shirt! The nerve! Luckily I already know the drill. I pick up the shirt and carry it into the hall. Then I flick the unfortunate insect and I hear him hit the wall. This is my revenge: he isn't dead, only paralyzed. Now he will lie there until he starves, freezes, or regains motor skills and perseveringly directs himself to a more populated area of the apartment. In that case, we would start all over again.