You May Now Address Me as “Master”

Well, December has sure as fuck been one hell of a ride.

The first week of December saw me in a new role at a new company. I quit my old job before Thanksgiving, and started  at the new place a few weeks later.

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I took those two weeks between jobs to finish up my paper for the final class of my master’s degree. If I told you most of the paper was written in those two weeks (Sorry Dr. P!), would you believe me?

The second week of December, Brian FINALLY asked me to marry him, and much to his detriment, I said yes. And now he’s stuck with me forever. The proposal itself was magical and ridiculous and amazing, and I’m in the process of writing about it to give it justice. There’s also a video or two coming. You’re welcome in advance.

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The third week of December was the week I graduated from Benedictine University with a master of arts in education. I can’t say I’ll never use it, but  I don’t plan to be a teacher or anything…

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When your boyfriend tells you you're a tiger, you become a tiger.

I’ll tell you what, though. No one has as much fun in her cap and gown as me. As Brian would tell you, he felt tricked into attending mass, because my Catholic university invited a nun to speak as the keynote. Mom loved it. Well, what she could here from the back on the auditorium, anyways.

I was told I couldn’t write anything on my cap, which was unfortunate,  because when I graduated from undergrad, I had “need a job” taped to my cap for all to see. It was brilliant,  and it jinxed me for several months cough a year cough. Whatever. Back in 2005, I also had a twinkie and my cell phone tucked safely into my bra. This year, I thought ahead and wore a dress with pockets so I could fill them with entertainment.

I, of course, brought reinforcements. I had a bottle of Chila Orchata and a wheel of Mini Babybel to provide sustenance before I got day drunk with my family at the wine bar.

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I actually ended up hiding these refreshments in the goofy tubing attached to the sleeves of my gown because it was tricky to access pockets under the gown. These sleeve tubes also proved useful for keeping my hands warm while crossing campus in the bitter cold for free cookies and lemonade.

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I checked in with you guys on Facebook and kept myself amused until the one other MA.E. and I were guided to the stage. They never announced our degree, so as far as the audience was concerned, we were just two rando names in the long pause between the undergrads and MBA degree candidates. 

I neither tripped nor fell, but I did walk the wrong way, even when the guidey person was like, “that way…no, that way…no, THAT way.” Alas, I channeled my inner Fleetwood Mac and I went my own way. But I didn’t want to walk in front of the photographer who was already taking awful pictures of me. And so I shimmied around him awkwardly while one of the professors yelled at me.  No big deal.

But now, I am a Master of the Universe, and after getting champagne drunk for the 27th time this month, the celebration was over. Except that I wanted to tell you about my exciting month, even if my degree is only slightly wasted right now, you know…not being a teacher and all…

Let’s celebrate, my friends! What exciting things happened for you this month? What about this year? Did you get a new job or married or pregnant or write a book or just survive? What are you proud of or excited about?

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!

What Can You Do With an English Degree?

Whilst shopping at Carson Pirie Scott, I observed (eavesdropped) a couple of ladies who had run into each other randomly. I listened as they played catch up and maintained a somewhat blah degree of small talk. I drew a little bit closer as they began discussing one of their children who, to her mother’s dismay, was getting a degree in English.

Her friend/acquaintance asked, “Well, is she going to teach?”

The mother of this English major expressed her disappointment and incredulity that her daughter was, in fact, not going to be a teacher and what in the world could she do with such an inferior degree.

If you major in English, there are a LOT of career paths you can take. These are just a few ideas.

It was, at this point, the time I felt it necessary to interject. Yes, I did jump from being a fly on a wall to joining their conversation. Because OMG people need to understand the relevance and brilliance of English majors everywhere.

I marched right up to those women and interrupted the fuck out of their conversation. “There’s actually a lot you can do with an English major.”

They looked at me only a little funny, because in the Chicagoland area, and probably by extension the Midwest, it is entirely normal for people to just jump into your conversations. We’re a pretty friendly people. Even if we do eavesdrop and take joy in overhearing people quitting their jobs out of the blue.

“I have a Bachelor of Arts in English.”

“Do you teach?”

“No, actually I don’t. I’m certified to teach English, but I have no desire to do so. On the contrary, there are many things that a degree in English can prepare college grads for that other degrees don’t.”

“Really?”

Well, duh, lady.

“I’ve actually had a couple of thriving careers with my English degree, and the beauty is that I’m not tied down to just one. I was a catering manager for a couple of years, and now I’m a senior copywriter for a Fortune 100 company.” (And now I’m an editor. Maybe one day I’ll own a restaurant or something. It’s the circle of life, bitches).

The ladies were impressed and maybe a little less judgeysaurus rexy about the whole English major thing. As I walked away, I was transported back to my senior year of college in which one of my favorite professors, Dr. Prescott, led our senior project class. The project? Write a research thesis discussing one career path you  can take with your English major.

Of course, not knowing what I wanted to be when I grew up, as I had JUST dropped my education minor (to teach English) the previous semester, I looked to what I knew. Dad was in wine sales for years before he took on ownership of the bar. Liquor sales seemed like a brilliant idea. Plus I could source dad and some of his cronies for my first-person sources. It was ingenious. I got an  A.

English majors, and really anyone with a degree in the liberal arts, often get a bad rap for being lazy and stupid (LAS – Liberal Arts and Sciences). None of which is actually true. Lazy? Fuck no. We’re intuitive. We’re clever. We believe in working smarter not harder. If we can write a paper in 3 hours when we’re given 3 weeks, why in the world would we waste time writing it early? If we work better at 2 am than at noon, we’re going to write the shit out of a final paper in the middle of the night. Because we can. We understand our strengths and weaknesses. We know where and how to thrive.

-Literature is unbelievably helpful, because no matter what business you are in, you are dealing with interpersonal relationships,It gives you an appreciation of what makes people tick.-

As an English major, I learned more life skills than most of my friends in other more direct degree programs. Sure, a business major is going to learn how to land a deal or make a sale, but I learned how to talk to and more importantly, write to people. To engage my audience in a way that makes a sale feel natural and authentic. I learned how to negotiate a big fancy contract without ever discussing contract negotiations in a class, because I know people. I know words. I know the intrinsic value of human interaction in every aspect of business. Someone who went straight from their B.S. to an MBA program without working a day in their life doesn’t necessarily have that luxury (this also doesn’t mean that that don’t).

So what can you do with an English major?

Whatever the fuck you want.

Did you go to college? What did you major in? Did your major lead you down an expected career path? 

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!

I Got So Drunk, I Swallowed Live Goldfish

When you’re in college, you’ll do anything to be one of the bad asses who can drink like a fish. I think I got that confused with swallowing live fish. They sound really similar, right?

When you're in college, you'll do anything to be one of the bad asses who can drink like a fish. I think I got that confused with swallowing fish.

My first semester of Sophomore year at Bradley University was my most alcoholic semester. It was also my highest GPA semester. Go figure.

Bradley frat parties always trumped ISU frat parties. Where ISU frat parties were selective with their entry, Bradley frat parties welcomed anyone and everyone. Where ISU frat parties were mostly frat guys and select chicks, Bradley frat parties had lots of dudes (not all frat guys) and lots of chicks. Where ISU frat parties were BYOB, Bradley frat parties provided libations to those of age (with wristband proof). And if you knew a guy in the frat, wristbands weren’t hard to come by.

I suppose that’s why Peoria police started cracking down on frat parties at BU pretty hard core as of my Junior year. Lucky for me, I had a fake ID (well, a “real” ID that had someone else’s name on it) by then and was drinking at bars, not parties.

But this was Sophomore year…and Bradley parties were in their prime.

Our little group of friends planned to head over to the SAE party known as Rubber Ducky. Now, SAE at Bradley had a pretty bad rep, but they were loads of fun. I always had a great time when Katie and I would trek over there. Gin and Tonic night is the precise reason why I don’t drink tonic. Ever. Gin and I are still friends, but mix that bitch with tonic and memories of weekday morning hangovers are plentiful. Plus tonic tastes like shit.

So Rubber Ducky. A party in which the frat boys celebrated safety. And ridiculous amusement. A giant bowl of colorfully packaged condoms adorned the front table like a bowl of candy on Halloween. A brother in a duck suit wandered around greeting guests. And a huge baby pool filled with water and goldfish dominated the back yard.

The thing about those goldfish–people swallowed them. Live.

So before we went out, I made Katie, Sheila, and Mark promise promise promise that they would not let me eat a goldfish. They promised. Several lemon drops later, we were on our way to the party.

As soon as we arrived, I ran into Porno Steve, a man who was the single biggest reason for my lush-like freshman year of dare drinking.

Porno Steve yelled to me, “Hey! I’m at a frat party!”  He didn’t do frat parties. Ever. He was the pre-game captain, but never made it to the main event.

“Awesome! What’s goin’ on?”

“You should eat a goldfish!”

“Yes! I should!” I responded immediately. Where was Mark? Where was Katie? Where was Sheila? I didn’t even think. We walked over to the kiddie pool where I squatted down, cupped my hands, reached in, and caught a tiny little fishie. I brought the squirmy fish to my mouth and I downed my first goldfish in one full swoop.

Yes, I said first.

I looked at Porno Steve with drunken, glazed over eyes, searching for admiration, but all he said was, “I didn’t see it! Do it again.”

So I did.

Again, searching for his approval, I looked at him and said, “I did it!”

“I didn’t see it! Do it again!” I was about to reach down into the kiddie pool again, when Mark pulled me up.

“Hey Chrissy, you’ve already done two. He’s full of shit and messing with you. I think you’ve had enough.” Mark reminded me that I didn’t want to do one in the first place. But it was so easy…and I was so drunk.

Then while I was sitting on a bench, Jack, one of the frat brothers that I knew came over, dangling a little goldfish above my face. He held it by its tail fins and I didn’t think. I looked up, opened my mouth, and swallowed the squirmy fish that fell into my throat.

That was the last thing I remember about Rubber Ducky.

The next morning, I was so hung over that I couldn’t even eat potato triangles. And I loved potato triangles.

All I could say to Cletus and Robbie the entire day was, “Poor little fishies.”

What is the craziest thing you’ve done while under the influence? Have you ever swallowed live fish?

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!

We Could Live Beside the Ocean…

Today’s 25/25 music is a song that calms me down.

When I was in college, I was a hot mess. Some things never change, I guess…but my best friend on the planet knew just what to do when I was freaking out. Katie and I would have girly dance parties, singing into hair brushes and dancing on desk chairs.

When Lisa Loeb and Liz Phair didn’t cut it, though…Katie brought out the big guns. She brought out the Everclear.

Somehow, there was nothing in this world back in those college days that could make me relax more than watching Katie (and eventually joining in) with her choreographed dance to 
Santa Monica.

It was one of those dances where you act out the actions of the lyrics, so OBVIOUSLY it was awesome. Maybe one day I’ll convince her to YouTube it… Until then, you can watch the normal video and imagine the moves.

Blog friends, is there a tune that calms your crazy?

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!

Because YOU Asked For It: The Fan Pants

I was having a  little bit of writer’s block this morning…so I posed the question to my pals in the social media world…what the hell should I write about today? And what I got back was brilliance. Today’s post is brought to you by the wonderful world of Facebook, Twitter, and my fucking awesome fashion choices in life. Among other things.

Katie says, “Write about the fan pants!”

Unfortunately, when Katie made that suggestion, she opened a can of worms that will likely take up the majority of the blog post. I can’t help it. We were fashion victims and didn’t even know it. Gather round Blog Friends, and listen to the tale of Bradley. You can backtrack to when I first met Katie (who I very briefly referred to on this blog as Penny…but then she outed herself in her first guest post about Cinderblocks) at Bradley…or you can just join in the fun here.

Katie and I were VERY different people. She was an angry bookworm who wore grunge tee-shirts and wide leg jeans…I was a peppy social butterfly who wore flared jeans with “party shirts.” I listened to pop music; she listened to 90’s and classic rock. She was a Mac. I was a PC. But somehow, we shared a brain. It was like she knew me before she knew me. She understood me. And even when she was secretly (or openly) judging me, she still loved me.

Katie is family. Katie is my butter-churning sister from a past life. Katie and I have had an on-going battle royale fight discussion about our differences in opinion when it came to fashion…She wore Jar Jar Binks boxer shorts with these hideous doggie socks (all. the. time.) I wore fan pants.

Secretly Judging Your WardrobeJar Jar Binks Boxer Shorts

Annnnnyways, what are fan pants? You ask…

Fan pants were a flared pair of denim jeans (my favorite for quite some time) that had pleats in the flares. I’ve always had a thing for jeans that are a little bit different than other jeans. When I was five, I stopped wearing jeans (FOR SEVEN YEARS) because I outgrew my favorite pair of jeans (that were splashed with bright colored paint) and couldn’t find an adequate replacement.

Sweet pants

Me and the sweet ass pants. Making things happen (and looking exceptionally skinny!)

So after plotting out the post about these pants, I came up with a plan. First, I decided that I would try to find them on the internet because the internet knows EVERYTHING. Unfortunately, the place catalog that I ordered the fan pants from more than a decade ago (Shut it. Shut the fuck up now. Stop judging me for being old.) is now out of business and their website is gone. But I did come across an AMAZING blog post about that company…Girlfriends LA anyone? There, I found the following catalog images…

Girlfriends LA Catalog  Bathing Suit

I had like…everything on this page.

Girlfriends LA Bag

See, there’s the bag hiding in this picture of me after graduating from high school…in Florida…

Girlfriends LA bathing suit 2

There’s the bathing suit…in Florida…BEFORE graduating from high school. I was a lucky girl to go twice in one year!

Girlfriends LA Bathing suit

There’s that bathing suit in Florida again. Check out the HUGE headphones.

Girlfriends LA Catalog Sweater

I had the long black sweater

At which point, I decided that it was time to dig through my photo box. And by box I mean giant tub ‘o pictures…

Memory box

This is as far as I got before I gave up and decided that you’re getting enough awesome for one day.

This is the best I could do with the fan pants. There was a better picture of the pants, but I didn’t think you would want to see Shawn til Dawn’s thonged-ass over them…

The fan pants

It’s an angle thing. I wasn’t ACTUALLY that disproportionate…

Alpha Phi Omega Burke Family

Same picture…WAY more proportionate.

And this is also where I found all sorts of glorious pictures of Katie and I. But I’ll only show you this one. And it’s really to make up for the less than flattering picture that I captioned above. But you know, that’s what happens when you secretly judge me.

College girls in party shirts

This was the same year. After we took Katie shopping for “party shirts”

OK, there were definitely more ideas, but I think that this post is quite long enough. Tomorrow I will be posting responses/answers to the rest of your suggestions and questions.

So what else do you want to know about me? Ask me anything and I’ll respond tomorrow!

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!

Confession Friday: Things I Did in College…

Ahh… not just things I did in college; but things I did in college that I STILL do today. Don’t judge me. In fact, I bet you do some of these things too. Be honest.

6 Things I Did in College That I Still Do Today

1. Use Febreeze as a substitute for washing clothes. Sometimes, I just don’t have time to wash my favorite pair of jeans…and I’ve already worn them 4 or 5 times. They could use a little freshening up. Especially when I pull them out of the hamper. From the bottom. Febreeze still works like a charm. (I don’t do it often and it’s never acceptable for socks or underwear…but I know it’s sometimes okay…until I find a pasta sauce/chocolate/soup stain on the shirt in question…several hours later…from the week before. Oops.)

Things I did in college that I still do today

I swear there’s a hamper under that pile… Also…this was a week ago. And I just did the laundry yesterday.

2. Waiting as long as possible to do laundry. I know that in college it was either take the laundry home for the weekend or break…or trek down several flights of stairs to the over-used laundry rooms, where dangerous or naughty things happen often and unexpectedly. (Seriously, go click that link. It’s one of the best stories I’ve written.) And I know that now it is a mere 4 feet from hamper to washer. But for some reason laundry just doesn’t happen as often as it should. (Of course, because Brian has significantly less clothing in general, I do have to do it more often than I did in college…but back then I would just go commando if I ran out of clean underwear…)

3. The 48 hour shower rule. Yes, I tend to shower every other day. I’m okay with this. If I’ve worked out, or have some strange odors coming from my body, I’ll shower sooner…But I mean, I wear deodorant. I brush my teeth. I wear clean underwear every day. I’m not totally gross. But when you’ve got hair the color of my hair and you want to keep it that color (especially considering how much it costs to get it that color)…you gotta be cautious with the hair washing/wetting.)

MAN, you guys probably think I’m the dirtiest creature ever. I promise that I’m not. I have excellent hygiene…I’m just a non-germaphobe who doesn’t like to do laundry and sometimes considers showering a chore. I don’t smell. I swear.

4. Go out of my way for a free meal. I know that I’m a grown up. I have some money. I am well-fed. But something about getting a free meal is exciting. And necessary. because I’m Polish and I don’t like to spend money if I don’t have to. So, I find free meals. And then I drive x amount of time to go and eat them.

5. I will fall asleep anywhere. Just last month…the night before Christmas Eve…I was exhausted. It was 3 AM. And yes…I passed out with my purse as a pillow on the floor of an ER curtained room. My mom freaked out on me for fear of the germies…but really it was the floor or a plastic chair. At least on the floor, I could stretch out.

6. I drink vodka. OK, so I don’t drink vodka in the mass quantities that I consumed in college, but I’m pretty impressed that I can still hold down my college poison without feeling like I’m still in college…Alright, so I can’t drink flavored Smirnoff anymore…but whatever. Bring on the Stoli.

There you have it kids…College me meets grown up me. Do you still do any of these things?

 

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!

How I Sprained My Knee 3 Times in One Semester AKA The Fucking Strawberry

Confession Friday: I sprained my knee…slipping on a strawberry.

“A what?!” You may be asking yourself…and yes, I said a strawberry.

If you aren’t caught up on the fact that this is part 3 of a series of blog posts, you can read the first two, about my skiing injury and then my epic battle with an icy alley.

Now that you can see what you’re dealing with here (you know, the biggest klutz in the history of ever…), let’s move on, shall we?

So I was finally out of physical therapy for the second time…thank God for Bradley and their fancy pants PT department because we had no insurance…and I was walking a little bit better. My physical therapist friend who was a physical therapy major was making me do regular exercises to regain mobility (Sit on the ground with your legs straight out. See how they both look normal? Now pop one knee up about 4-5 inches… And imagine that you have a hyper-extended other knee…because I have hyper-extended joints… That’s what my knee looked like. It would not straighten out completely. And it still hurts a little bit to this day Oh, hey! We’re still inside a parenthetical statement. Sorry about that…)

So I was doing everything she told me. Even though it was essentially healing really well, I still iced it…and used elevators…and was late to math class (okay, I was late to all classes, but math was the best. Math 101: the only math class I took at Bradley. Math 101: in which I hobbled in late on crutches every day. Math 101: in which I walked over to the far side of the room after class started, pulled out the left-handed desk, and pulled up a chair to rest my knee on… Math 101: where I was the biggest asshole in the history of ever.)

I may have mentioned that I’m a stubborn ass Polak…and I like to do things for myself. I don’t like to rely on other people, and I certainly like to push my limits. So I always wanted to keep moving and get my mobility back. But I did what my physical therapist friend who was a physical therapy major said. I even used the elevator when I wanted to take the stairs (Yes, there was a time when I wanted to take the stairs! (I don’t particularly care for elevators. After you’ve been in a few too many over-stuffed elevators that have ever gotten stuck or *gasp* dropped a few floors, you wouldn’t either!)

So I was feeling a little pain after a long day of walking to class…and I thought to myself, Self, you should ice your knee. So I got up from watching bad college TV (at one point we had a lava lamp channel!) and started to head toward the stairs. I thought twice and decided…No, Chrissy…it’s already been a long day. Suck it up and take the elevator. So I walked to the elevator. Rode up to the second floor. Made my way to the laundry room, which had two doors on either side of the floor (girls on one side, guys on the other). I walked into the laundry room with the sound of dudes’ laughter on the other side. But the second step, I slipped comic-style with one foot in the air and my ass going toward the ground. My knee was shot. Again. I screamed the way that I scream when I injure myself or see a spider or accidentally forget to take cookies out of the oven and burn them. And the boys on the other side of the door looked at me like I was crazy.

And I panicked.

Again.

And when I saw the apparatus of my demise…I was like, why the fuck is there a rotten strawberry on the floor of the Willy 2 laundry room? And then I remembered that one of my dear friends had also banged some dude in that same tiny laundry room and decided that it was better not to ask questions like that.

I crawled back downstairs and handled myself…and called my physical therapist friend who was a physical therapy major…she came over and told me I was an idiot and had sprained myself again. I whined, “But I took the elevator and was getting ice and everything!!! It was that fucking strawberry!!”

A fucking strawberry.
Not a banana; that would be too cliche.

A fucking strawberry.

9 years ago.

And yet, just this year, Katie, my favorite little bookworm, Katie decided to tell me that she saw the strawberry…a few days before my little slip. And didn’t like…tell maintenance or anything. So, you know…if you don’t visit her blog today in solidarity with me and the strawberry incident… And she’s been begging me to tell this story. (I’m not going to lie, it was my favorite to tell on first dates. It gave me an idea of whether a dude could handle my shit or not.)

A fucking strawberry. In a laundry room.

Are you kidding me?

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!

And the knee sprain story continues…

If you aren’t caught up, go ahead and read about the original knee sprain when I made the mistake of going skiing without health insurance. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

You’re back? Great. Let’s continue.

So I went home for the rest of winter break, and hobbled my uninsured ass around for 2 weeks. Upon my return to the great state of Bradley, I was forced by my physical therapist one of my besties who was a physical therapy major to go to the health center. This is where I received “free” medical care and crutches. They set me up with a physical therapist (a legit one, who taught at the Bradley PT school) and I was on my way to a not-so-speedy recovery.

Let me reiterate this to you with a few key points

  • College Campus
  • College Student
  • LOTS of alcohol
  • Crutches
  • Winter
  • Snow
  • Ice
  • Death Snow
  • Death Ice
  • Stubborn ass Polak

Is the picture becoming a little bit clearer?

So I was finally off the crutches, some time in early March. I was healing. I was walking without assistance. I still had some pain, but the sprain, per say, was healed.

One of my roommates was singing in a choir thing, so we went to go support her. I had to leave early in order to attend an Alpha Phi Omega meeting (I was a vice-president at the time, and needed to make my presence known to all the little pledgies. I was might still feel very self-important.)

The music hall was off campus, and a few blocks away. It was dark, and icy…

You can see where this may be going.

I was crossing an alley covered in black ice…and lost control. I slipped. I tried to re-balance myself, but I overcompensated and pulled my knee out of line. At which point, I, not only re-sprained the knee, I fell on my ass. And to make matters worse, there was a car coming.

The car didn’t see me, so I had to quickly scoot my ass off the alley before it hit me. I made it JUST in time.

My roommates were in a concert. They didn’t answer their phones. To be honest, it was lucky I had just gotten my first Sprint phone a few months earlier…otherwise I would have been stranded on the street! So I called Robert. He and his Audi picked me up. He told me I should just go back to my dorm and rest it, but I was a stubborn ass Polak, and needed to go to the pledge meeting. When my physical therapist one of my besties who was a physical therapy major saw me hobbling, she was pissed. She told me to sit down and let it rest. She made me get the crutches. Again. And so I was back in PT for the second time that semester…

Oh yes…there’s more.

To be continued….

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!

This is Why I Don’t Ski Anymore

When I was in 7th grade, my church had a ski trip for all of the junior high kids. So I packed up some of my best buddies, and Mom drove us to our first ski trip (about 20 minutes away on a little hill of a mountain.)

It was amazing. We had so much fun that we did it again the following year.

Of course, the year after that, I was in high school and too cool to do that sort of thing. Also, I was very busy being a cheerleader…and I may have just sprained my ankle for the first time…

So I happily went many years without so much as a thought about skiing. Several years and hundreds of injuries later, I was a sophomore in college. The boys were planning a ski trip over winter break, and I just HAD to go. Mark and Robert were two of my best buddies, and I wanted to play with the big boys.

My mom, of course, was against the whole thing. “You’ll hurt yourself!” Our insurance company had gone bankrupt or something, so we were in between medical insurance policies at the time and Mom knew my history with injuries. At that point I had sprained both ankles numerous times. I was a walking disaster. They tell me I can’t chew gum and walk up the stairs at the same time…(I can’t chew gum at all anymore because of my TMJ disorder, but that’s beside the point.)

So, being the stubborn 19 year old college student that I was… I went skiing.

I was happily skiing down the “bunny hill” and going at my own pace. The boys, though, were not pleased with my la-dee-da thought process. They both came packing with their own ski equipment, and wanted to try the “black mountains.” Of course, with their “younger sister” type in tow, they didn’t feel comfortable leaving me all the way on the other side of the resort.

So I agreed to step it up a notch.

I moved to one of the next harder hills, and I was doing just fine. There was a dip in the hill where it was flat, so I could slow down and pace myself. It worked out quite well. Until it didn’t.

Mark was ready to head towards the bar and I was considering taking a break/calling it quits, but I was sort of crushing on Robert at the time, and I thought…if he’s going down once more, I can too. So I told Mark I’d meet him at the bar and I thought Robert was right behind me.

I started going a little too fast…and the break, where I was supposed to slow down? I missed it. I went straight through it.

I started panicking. I lost control.

There was a guy in front of me, going way slower. I screeched, “Get out of the way!!!!”

I thought, and I panicked.The boys said “if you need to slow down, turn, and if you feel like you are going to fall, let yourself fall.”

So I did both.

Everything happened so fast. I heard a crack. My left ski popped off. My right ski did not. But my right leg was positioned unusually awkward. My body was in pain. I was cold. I was screaming. I was crying. I couldn’t move my right leg.

The guy I passed turned out to be ski patrol. He came over quickly and called for backup. He took the ski off my right foot. He helped me get myself situated. When the ski patrol jet ski guy came, he helped me onto it.

I rode it up to the medical attention center, where they elevated my knee and iced it. “It was probably a sprain,” they told me. I was in shock. They asked for my friends’ names. I told them. All I could think, though, was she’s going to kill me. She’s going to kill me. She’s going to kill me.

When Mark and Robert arrived with their heads shaking, my thoughts were now verbalized, “She’s going to kill me. She’s going to kill me. She’s going to kill me.” I probably looked certifiable. I was rocking back and forth repeating the same thing over and over and over again.

And so, we had a strained ride home in a tiny little beater Audi from the 80’s with 2 dudes, 2 sets of skis, and a Chrissy with a bad knee. For like 4 hours. Then I had to drive my ass home the next day with my driving leg not so much working. I learned how to drive with cruise control and my left leg that day.

Mom was not pleased.

To Be Continued….

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!

Katie’s Guest Post: Like a Word Ninja

All Chrissy commentary has been, as promised, printed in a separate color so as to differentiate from guest post writing. Enjoy.

Hello Chrissy’s Readers,

This is Katie, and I’m guest posting today. Let’s just go ahead and clear a few things up before we start, shall we? I am Katie and I write a little book blog called Words for Worms. I am one of Chrissy’s real life best friends. As in, we knew each other prior to whoring ourselves out as bloggers. Regular readers of Chrissy’s blog will know me as Penny, because when Chrissy started this blog odyssey, she offered me the anonymity of a fake name. I accepted, because she knows too much about me. Perhaps my trust is misplaced here, but so far she hasn’t posted anything terribly incriminating about me. And, frankly, I’m really boring, and was pretty boring even when I was “wild,” so I’m blowing my cover.

The first time that Katie posted–as Penny– I was running late to work and needed a post. Fast. So I said to Katie… “Hey Katie, want to guest post on my blog?” And Katie gave me a resounding “YES!” You know… as resounding as a text message can get. “What does that entail?” So, I gave her a login and password for my site. I told her not to embarrass me too much. And I told her to have fun. Three days later, Katie decided that she, too, wanted to be a blogger.

Okay. So. As my blog suggests, I’m a big nerdy bookworm. I love words. They’re delicious. My parents are both notoriously bad spellers (sorry guys, but you know it’s true) so we never played Scrabble in my house growing up. Ever. When I got to college, Chrissy took it upon herself to teach me how to play Scrabble, so she’d have an unsuspecting victim someone to mercilessly eviscerate challenge.

Double word, triple letter score. All. The. Time.

I was just learning to play Scrabble. I was content to create words with my little tiles. It was exciting and fun! While I was having a ball making words like “garden” and “feet” she was still going full force. We’re talking full Scrabble domination. She’d routinely have quadruple my score. Imagine the modern US Army picking a fight with… Luxembourg (a Luxembourg without any allies to save them from the onslaught.) “Garden” and “feet” were met with “Qoph” and “Qi” and “Qat”. In case you were wondering, those ‘Q’ words mean: the 19th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, a circulating life energy in Chinese philosophy, and a leaf of the shrub  Catha edulis, respectively. The Q’s always fell on triple letter squares.

In my defense, I was only trying to help Katie learn. You can’t learn without a strong master. Would Karate Kid have become a karate genius without the challenge from Mr. Miagi? Would Obi Wan have been the Jedi master without Qui Gon Jinn? Would Baby have gotten out of the corner without Patrick Swayze? No. 

Chrissy knows every two letter word. Every weirdo Q word. Words that don’t look like real words. But don’t challenge her! Damn Straight! She’s got that doggone Scrabble dictionary memorized. Way before there was Words with Friends, Chrissy found scrabble online. Nobody we knew could challenge her. I almost lost a few friends because of it… She had a super amazing high score. Sometimes she’d play on my account because I was so pathetic. Not only is she super good at Scrabble, but she’s crazy competitive. DO NOT bet her money on a game. Any game. Ever. I can beat her at Trivial Pursuit, but we’re matched pretty evenly. It’s just not a good investment.

Katie is very good at Trivial Pursuit. I’ll admit…She’s better than me. But I like it better when she talks Chess. “I’d play by myself, but I won’t. I know myself too well, and I’ll end up cheating in favor of one side.”

Also, Brian’s friends call me the Jason Bourne of Gaming. I can pick up a gamer game (with ridiculously detailed rules and win conditions) in less than a game, strategize, and often win.

Remember in Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey how they played board games against death to win back their lives? (You. Have. Sunk. My. Battlesheep.) Chrissy would totally win her soul back if she played Death at Scrabble. Like a word ninja. You’ll never know what hit you.

Trust me, Death. You don’t want a piece of this.

 

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!