Monday Memories: Because That Holiday is TOTALLY Stupid Anyway

So this is the only peep you’re going to hear from me on the subject of that Hallmark holiday couples everywhere waste money on and singletons everywhere cry into their beer. As the theme for this morning’s Monday Memories is LOOOOOOOOVE, I thought I’d tell you about the one time before Brian that I had a “Valentine.”

I was in college and dating the Ethiopian. (We had already broken up and gotten back together once, as I spent 2 weeks in London and he missed me and blah blah blah). So we had been back together for a couple of weeks when the VD rolled into town. Neither of us had really ever done anything for it…so I planned some stupid shmoopy crap and cooked dinner. I won’t tell you about the shmoopy crap (because I’m totally embarrassed for myself that it involved a scavenger hunt…), but I will tell you that dinner involved a bottle of champagne. That I drank. By myself. The Ethiopian enjoyed a bottle of PBR, and I enjoyed a bottle of Korbel.

After dinner, his single buddy called to say he was at the bar. I told the Ethiopian to head over there, I wanted to clean the kitchen first, and I would meet him there.

He left, and I immediately went down to the bedroom for a “nap.” An hour later, I saw that he was calling my cell, but I was groggy (read: drunk on champagne and passed the fuck out) and opted not to answer. I fell back asleep and woke up at 4 AM to discover that he had called me like 5 times, leaving messages as to which bar to find him at each time. And that he was home. Whoops! Guess I slept through the evening’s festivities. And I didn’t really feel all that bad. And neither did he. So I guess when we broke up (again) a few weeks later, it shouldn’t have been that much of a surprise.

Join me and my pals as we write memories to make you laugh. If you’d like to get involved, next week’s theme is FOOD!

Monday Memories

 

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Monday Memories: I Injure Myself More Than Anyone I Know

Obviously. If you’ve been here more than once, you’ve probably read one of my tales in which I’ve fallen down. Maybe it was that one time I went skiing, or the motherfucking strawberry, or the time I climbed a mountain, or when I wanted to be JUST. LIKE. Kerri Strug, or the hematoma death stairs, or how many times I hurt myself on vacation a few weeks ago, or even a collection of my favorite injury stories…you get the idea. I’m kind of a walking disaster.

That being said, today is the wonderful day in which we talk about memories! Monday Memories to Make You Laugh. I’ve teamed up with the ladies of It’s a Dome Life and First Time Mom and Dad to bring you some of our favorite memories. Today’s topic is INJURIES.

My First Big Injury AKA Why I’m Afraid of Monkey Bars

I was about 7 or 8 years old, and one of the biggest pains in the ass in the history of ever. One of mom’s friends was babysitting us, while she worked a relatively short shift at the bar (4 hours or so). We went to a park nearby, and 4 of us kids were having a great time. I was fearless. Crossing the monkey bars, like a boss.

Until I fell.

Like a boss.

APPARENTLY, even though those wood chip playgrounds LOOK safe enough, underneath a half inch of wood chips was fucking concrete. My arm went down rather unnaturally, and I screamed bloody murder. I could have sworn it was broken.

Of course, being 7 or 8, and having always wanted crutches or a cast (I know, the irony right?), I was hoping for a hot pink cast that all of my friends could sign. It would have been…cool. So we went back to the house and waited for mom. She picked my brother and I up, and we went straight to the doctor.

My pediatrician was seriously fucking old. She was old when she was MY MOM’S pediatrician…so those were some cold freakin’ hands. I thought she was lying when she said it wasn’t broken. I could feel the hot searing pain under those freezing hands. I knew what was going on.

Nope, just a sprain. We were told to get a sling, and I would have to wear that while my arm healed.

And Now the Part in Which I Was an Asshole

I know, I bragged last week about how my parents worked extra hard so that we weren’t little assholes. But hey, nobody’s perfect and that includes me. I had my moments. This was one of them.

After accepting the fact that I would not be sporting an awesome hot pink cast on my arm, I accepted (sort of) the fact that I would be wearing a sling. I envisioned a blue one, like everyone else who hurt their arms had. It wasn’t a cast, but it was the next best thing.

But Kmart only had GRAY slings. Ugly. Boring. Medical grade. GRAY. Being the fashion genius that I was, I refused to wear it.

90's fashion victim

Yep, stretch pants and my mom’s sweater. I was SO cool. NOT.

Mom used her mad artist skills to paint flowers on it, to make it pretty. And still, I wanted nothing to do with it. I was setting myself up for a world of disappointment when it came to injuries. While I would OFTEN find myself becoming a pro at crutches (remembering with disdain, the days we would play with the other kids crutches and wish for them ourselves), I never did get a sweet cast that my friends could sign. And I’m pretty sure that because I was a little asshole and didn’t rest my shit when it was hurt, I now have arthritis and carpal tunnel in my wrist.

injury prone

And BTW, this shit hurts like a bitch today.

Go visit my memory writing friends today!

Monday Memories

If you want to participate in Monday Memories to Make You Laugh, send an e-mail to QuirkyChrissy@gmail.com. Next week’s topic is going to be love.

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Monday Memories: Wild Animals…AKA I Got Bit by a Duck

When I was growing up, we did a lot of “camping.” Of course, our version of camping was a little bit more civilized than the camping that I learned about when I went to college and planned my first “real” camp out. We had a motor home. A motor home that happened to be Dad’s daily driver.

We always had a fully stocked fridge, running water, a shower, a toilet, a functional kitchen, and beds. We stayed in resort campgrounds, mostly Yogi Bear/Jellystone Parks where we swam in heated pools with water slides instead of lakes or rivers. We played video games in the arcade, and the parents cocktailed by the pool. We watched cartoons in an outdoor theater, participated in exciting kid programming like water balloon fights, scavenger hunts, and snipe hunts.

Our favorite campground was in Calendonia, Wisconsin. Occasionally, we would take “nature walks” around Boo Boo Pond. This would always seem like an adventure, but we never really saw anything terribly exciting…Except for that one time we saw a duck. It was a white duck that was just sitting there…hanging out.

Usually, the ducks were in the pond, but not this little guy. Or girl. She was sitting a foot off the path. Just sitting there.

We often brought bread to feed the fishies, so I thought that it would be cool to feed the duck.

Big mistake.

Huge.

I reached out to hand the ducky a little piece of bread. The damn thing reached it’s beak out and bit the crap out of my little hand. I screamed. My mom laughed. My brother laughed. I started crying. I had a big red bite mark covering my entire hand. It was surprising how much it hurt. Stupid duck beak.

Apparently, the duck was sitting on a nest. It was definitely a she-duck. A mommy-to-be-duck. A biting-vicious-beast-duck.

I remember whining about how I got bit by a duck. The whole weekend. I’ll bet my family loved that. Then again, whenever something ridiculous happens to me, I whine for days…

Check out more wild animals at It’s a Dome Life and First Time Mom and Dad!

What about you, friends? Any strange encounters with wild animals?

Monday Memories

 

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Monday Memories: Vacation? Or Hell? But James Van Der Beek was there!

Everyone’s got at least one “vacation” that wasn’t a vacation at all. I, of course, have several. My mom probably thinks that I’m going to write about the worst vacation ever, which is also known by me as the worst Thanksgiving ever…but I’ll save that gem for another time. (Love you mom!)

This is one that we all look back on and think. Wow. Just freakin’ wow.

I was 15. A sophomore in high school. It was Spring Break, and we were going on vacation! We had gone to Florida the previous Spring Break (my 3rd visit of now 8 trips to the Sunshine State). That was the magical trip in which we named our dog, Buck, where we ventured through Disney World, traveled to the west coast and spent half our vacation beach side. My sophomore year, though, no Disney  World or beachy ocean view for us. There’d be lots of sand…but no beach.

I heard they called it The Desert.

We were off to Arizona, land of the sun. No rain. No snow. No oceany watery goodness. Just sand. Lots and lots of sand. Mom’s best friend had moved out there with her family, so we were going to visit them. Even at the airport, Brian (my brother), Dad and I stared longingly at the Florida departure gates.

Mom had heard about the beauty of Arizona, and was the only one who was really excited about the trip.

Here are the highlights:

  • I had given up pizza for lent. On the Friday night we were there, my family decided that it was a brilliant idea to order pizza for dinner at the hotel. I walked to the Cracker Barrel next door so I could pick up food that I could eat.  The smell of pizza made me wish I wasn’t Catholic.
  • When Mom and I went to breakfast one morning, James Van Der Beek, or his damn well doppelganger was sitting a few tables away from us…I kept staring, and he even smiled at me. (This was at the very beginning of Dawson’s Creek, when all of my peers were obsessed with the teen heartthrob).
  • That same day, some of my parents’ friends from Chicago were also on vacation in Arizona, and came to our hotel to spend the afternoon poolside with us. Imagine my surprise when James Van Der Beek was someone’s son! I was this awkward 15 year old, talking to this beautiful older boy. I’m almost sure I made an ass of myself.
  • After getting a raging sunburn during the aforementioned super hot poolside afternoon, it rained. And then it snowed. IN FUCKING ARIZONA. Where it never rains. Let alone snows. Especially when one is sunburned.
  • I climbed a mountain. Yes. Me. Klutzy. Crazy. Falls down like a boss. Me. I got all the way to the top of Camelback Mountain. I was a proud Chrissy. I rocked. Even though I only had sandals…and had to wear socks with them. And looked ridiculously stupid. I climbed a flippin’ mountain. And then I got all the way down the mountain. And there were stairs for the last leg of the journey. And at the very bottom stair…I sprained my fucking ankle. Like a boss.
arizona camelback mountain

Note the sandals with socks. I brought an entire suitcase full of shoes and not one pair of gym shoes…

What about you, Bloggie Friends? Any vacay memories that you’d like to share with me? I’d love to hear them!

Join in the fun! Blog your memories and grab the button!

This week’s participants are

Monday Memories

 

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Monday Memories: Embarrassing Moments

I’ve decided to start making the Monday Memories topical, so that anyone who participates with me has some direction for their posts. The goal, remember, is to make people laugh. So let’s err on the side of caution and leave out sad memories for these posts.

Embarrassing Moments

I’m certainly no stranger to embarrassing moments…I mean you’ve read about my bald spot…and the most embarrassing glamour shots ever…and then there was the incident with the strawberry…and my poop story…so when I tell you that I’ve got more, you really shouldn’t be surprised…

Now, I happen to have another poop story, but I’ll save that for another day. Hair mishaps? Thousands. But not today…And as far as fabulously embarrassing pictures go? Here’s one just for fun.

Embarrassing Photos

Note the dirty socks, the bad hair, the huge forehead, and the old school phone.

That being said, I’m going to tell you the tale of one of my many embarrassing moments…

That One Time (Of Many) That I Fell Down

So last summer, after a painstakingly long stint of unemployment, I was able to revisit a summer job I had teaching reading comprehension to students with learning disabilities, autism, and others who had difficulty with reading, spelling, and comprehension (a truly rewarding position…)

I was training in downtown Oak Park, which is a cute almost-city suburb just west of the city. I had previously taken the train down, but as I was no longer living near that line, it was easier for me to drive in. I had worn my brand new dress pants (which were SUPER cute AND comfortable, which is almost unheard of with fancy pants) and flats. Yes. Flat shoes. Because that’s what perpetual klutzes wear. Flats. So they don’t injure themselves.

Of course, I made it through my second first day with flying colors. It was a short day, so I thought I’d wander the downtown Oak Park area (Read: go to cute fancy cheese shop and buy cheese). I was heading back toward my car, struttin’ along, thinking that I was on top of the world, when all of a sudden, I was falling. And then I was on the ground. And people around me (and there were a lot of them) were staring. And staring. And asked if I was okay. And asked to help me up. And I just sat there. And sat there. And told them that I was fine. And I would be okay. I just needed a minute. Or a protective bubble. Or somewhere to hide.  One of those. Or all of those.

There was a searing pain in my knee, to go along with the throbbing pain in my ankle. I had rolled it. Into one of those sidewalk tree squares.

Sidewalk trees

Image borrowed from Streetsblog.org

I looked down at my knee…Not only was there a nasty cut covered in dirt and blood…I could SEE said nasty cut…through the hole in my brand new pants.

People walked by, stared at me, but moved on… After what seemed like hours, I finally got up. With a new batch of onlookers, I stumbled to my feet and tried to put pressure on the ankle. Nope. Bad idea. So I limped my way to my car slowly, while people watched me with bemused glances. Both the knee and the ankle were screaming at me for the pain I was inflicting on them. It looked like I had another high heel free summer ahead of me. (I know what you’re thinking. This girl has NO business wearing high heels. Ever. But I like cute shoes just as much as the next girl.)

What about you, Blog Friends? Any embarrassing moments you’d like to share?

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Monday Memories: Snow Day

I live in the Midwest. We get snow. Sometimes, we get a lot of snow. Like a couple of years ago during the giant Chicago Blizzard of 2011, also known as SnO-M-G, Snomageddon, or The Snopocalypse, when the world as we (Chicagoans) know it was put on hold for a whole week(which actually felt like a lifetime.)

When I was a senior in high school, I had a car that I will one day write a whole post about (it was that awesome). And in our neighborhood, the bus was nasty, overcrowded, and smelled really really really really really bad. So even before I had a car, Mom drove our bus-hating asses to school every morning. And picked our bus-hating asses up every evening (My brother and I were also 2.5 season athletes, so we often needed the late night pick-up, anyways.)

So when my senior year came, and I was granted the coveted spot at one of the parents’ friends’ parents’ house across the street from our high school for the year, I was the happiest teenager ever. It was about 10 feet closer than the 50-spot lottery student lot. It was a mile closer than where non-lottery winners parked. It was awesome. And several of the kids in the neighborhood benefited from this spot. I drove my brother, myself, and at least 3 other kids to and from school on a daily basis. My Ford Explorer could fit several more (shhhh, don’t tell my mom), so sometimes we did.

One winter day in the early months of 2001, a blizzard was set to hit the Chi and surround ‘burbs. It was a normal weekday, and we had all made our way to school like it was no big thing. At about 9:30 in the morning, though, my brother and I were paged to the Dean’s office. Unexpected, but not unusual, I made my way to the office, where I sometimes spent a little free time, partially because I kind of liked the deans…and mostly because I was a total suck-up.

Mom had apparently called and told them to send her children home, because the blizzard was about to get bad she was not having and of this 17-year-old daughter driving home in a blizzard crap. Brian and I high-fived (does it confuse you that my brother and my boyfriend have the same name? My family hates it…There’s also a girl Bry in our fam too…and a boy Chris…it’s funny…err anyways…) So we looked at each other, plotting with the wonder twin powers (we’re Irish twins)…and I looked at the Dean and said, “What about the other kids we drive?”

The Dean looked a little confused and I went on…”There are 4 other kids who depend on us for a ride home every day. What about them? They need to leave with us, too.”

The Dean stared at me. Not surprised, he shook his head at me. “Write down their names.” A few minutes later, one by one, my friends from the neighborhood started piling into the office. The Dean greeted them as I grinned my Cheshire grin, “Call your parents. If they give you permission to leave school early, you can go home with Chrissy and Brian.”

30 minutes later, 6 of us were headed back to my house, where everyone was to stay until their parents got home. Mom made homemade chicken soup for everyone, while we played in the snow. We got the next day off of school with everyone else, but no one else got a day and a half, like we did. And it was a magical day.

High school Snow day snow day 3 Snow Day

Do you have any snow day memories, Blog Friends? Tell me yours!

Also, if you are interested in doing Monday Memories with me, I think that each week I’m going to have a topic, so let me know and I will give you the topic and link to you!

While you’re here, please click on this button to vote for me on Picket Fences. Just a click and that’s all! Thanks!

Oh and if you’re feeling EXTRA generous…you can go nominate me, Words for Worms, and any other bloggers that are AWESOME (I’m looking at you, B(itch)log, First Time Mom & Dad, It’s a Dome Life, Pocketful of Joules, Megcentric, That Ash Girl, Baking in a Tornado, and the list totally goes on, but I’d like to get this post published today and not next week…so if I read you regularly, odds are I nominated you, too–I think I nominated like 25-30 different freakin’ blogs!) for the 2013 Bloggies.

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The Oplatki Tradition and Holiday Wishes

Every year since before I was born, my family has had a Polish Christmas Eve tradition. We wash our hands with a silver dollar before dinner, starting with the oldest and ending with the youngest members of the family. It’s like…the sweetest tradition ever. This is to bring a year of financial goodness for everyone (I’m still waiting for mine to kick in…since 1997…)

My family celebrates Christmas Eve with oplatki and other Polish traditions, granting each other wishes for the coming year.

Then we feast on the Polish delicacies: pierogi (stuffed dumplings), gwumpki (cabbage rolls), kapusta (saurkraut), kielbasa (sausage–even though traditional Polaks don’t eat meat on Christmas Eve), and kolacky (cookies).

After the feast, we bust out one of my favorite parts of the evening: the oplatki (communion-like wafer of goodness). With the oplatki, everyone walks around to the members of the family, and shares with them three wishes and three pieces of their oplatki. When I was a kid, we all hated it. We would try to give Grandpa the biggest pieces, and ask for just the tiniest little bites for ourselves. As we got older, my sister and I would fight over the leftovers.

The thing was, three wishes to each family member can seem…tedious. I wish you happiness. Oplatki I wish you health. Oplatki I wish you lots of money. Oplatki Repeat for each person. From the time I turned 12, my aunt would always wish that I found love. Oplatki And so it would go until everyone had shared wishes with everyone else in a big happy family love sharing wish sharing circle. Oh and they hand fed the oplatki into your mouth, just like communion. (Click that if you’ve never read about my First Communion. Seriously. Go. I’ll wait.)

Anyways, back to wishes… I’ve already told you about my super awesome Christmas List… April, the sassy-pants behind First Time Mom & Dad granted me some wishes. Five of them for the holidays. Here they are in all their beautiful glory.

  1. I wish for the perfect job. One in which I am appreciated as a member of a team. One in which I can ask questions and offer answers/suggestions. One in which I make a decent salary, so that I can take my amazing boyfriend out to a fancy dinner once in a while. One in which I don’t feel worked to the bone, but I want to work hard for. One that makes me feel needed. You hear that, potential employers? I’m looking for the perfect job. Are you it?

  2. I wish for cancer to go away. Someone near and dear to our hearts is battling and I wish for her. To fight it. To beat it.*

  3. I wish for sponsorship from a cheese company. (Come on, we’ve got to lighten things up after the last one!)

  4. I wish for world peace world travel.

  5. I wish for cookies.

Cookie Monster Meme

 What are your 5 wishes?

*Brian’s mom passed away in March of 2013. We still miss her.

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A Christmas Memory

I’ll bet you’re thinking that I’m going to have some sappy-ass story with a title like “A Christmas Memory.”

Well, you’d be wrong then.

I was thinking about my gram recently. She passed away in 2008, but I still think of her often. Gram had a lot of grandchildren and not a lot of money, so she would usually buy us each one thing off of our Christmas list.

My Christmas list sophomore year of college included the following: Coffee maker, blender, and a backpack with lots of pockets. I was lucky, and managed to get all three from various sources. Gram got me  the backpack. It was a really nice backpack; it had everything I wanted in a backpack.

When I opened it up at Gram’s house I got really really excited. I opened all of the pockets, examined the quality workmanship, and planned out my strategy.

My dad, clever dad that he was, leaned over to me and asked, “Does your grandmother knowwhy she got you a backpack for Christmas?”

“Because I’m a proper college student and needed a backpack to put books in, Daddy.” I said with a sugary sweet voice.

“Don’t try to bullshit a bullshitter, Christine.”

I grinned. While my Gram believed that she was helping her studious granddaughter, my dad knew better. He knew that the backpack would never hold a book in its life (unless it was The Bartender’s Guide to Brilliance.) The backpack would become my Bar Bag of Joy. The pockets were to hold cups, stirrers, snacks, and garnishes. The bag was for the booze and mixers (usually vodka and Diet 7Up. Maybe a few Coronas.)

For the record, the coffee maker was to make coffee (so that I could have Bailey’s and coffee before class) and the blender was to make vodka slushies and mudslides. We didn’t mess around in those days.

Happy Holidays! It’s only going to get more festive around here. Get ready for it.

Christmas Tree

Author’s Note: I’ve decided to try this out a new theme segment. Let me know your thoughts on Monday Memories to Make You Laugh. More so, let me know if you’re interested in participating… I’ll even create a fun button!

Don’t forgot this is the last week to let me know if you want a Christmas card from Brian and I! We’ll be sending them out next week. If you would like one, send your information to quirkychrissy@gmail.com. I’m pretty excited about them.

Also (last thing today, I promise!), if you like my blog, please click below to vote for me on Picket Fence Blogs!

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!