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!

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!

Cheers to the Forest Fire

I promise I’m not really an asshole. I have a point.

(Hey Mom, let Dad read this one. Also, don’t cry. It’s awesome to have such great memories.)

So, Saturday was my dad’s 70th birthday.We were chatting about my blog, and he asked how he could read it. I explained it to him, though I’m not sure if he still understands. He’s really cute when he says, “Quirky Chrissy.” One day I’m going to film it and put it up here. But he asked if I ever wrote about the forest fire. I hadn’t, but I knew that I had to.

Mom shamelessly plugs my blog–I can tell she’s really proud that I am able to write about the crazy and make it sound adorable and endearing. I love that she does it though, because it spikes my readership. Moms are good like that… but she forgets to show my dad the tales I write…and he’s the opposite of tech savvy. His last technological achievement was playing Pacman on a table top machine. (Oh and the cell phone I made him get by bribing him with the Notre Dame Fight Song ring tone).  But he’s the best dad ever.

No one can believe that he’s 70. Especially not me. Back in my heavy drinkin’ days… Dad was one of my favorite drinking buddies. My first legal shot was with my parents. I used to hang out with dad at the family bar, doing shots of Jamo, showing off my mad skills that I learned in college (like how to open a beer bottle with my forearm), and reigning as Princess Flaherty, by my dad’s side.

My first legal shot

My first legal shot. Happy 21st birthday to ME. (Less than 2 hours later, I would have no idea which hand I wrote with, which was up, or that my skirt should be below my belly button…not above it.)

One of my earlier memories is of my estranged sister (obviously, before she was douchey and estranged), Deven, telling me that MGD was the best beer ever. I looked her square in the eye and said, “When I grow up, I’m going to drink Bud Light, like my daddy.”

And I did.

Of course, not for a while. My parents were pretty brilliant in the boozin’ world of raising kids. Nothing was ever “off limits” so to say… there was no mystery in alcohol. “Can I try?” was always met with a “sure, one sip.” This would typically be denied after a whiff of the beer, cognac, whiskey, wine, etc. in question.  But occasionally, my brother and I would go in for the kill and take a tiny swig, which we found revolting. Alcohol is definitely an acquired taste.

So we didn’t drink. We made it through high school relatively straight-laced. Friends of our parents called us the “stepford children,” because we weren’t drinking and driving, doing drugs, having sex, getting arrested, or any of the other crazy shit that many of their own children were doing… we were goodie two-shoes’. (I was terrified of my mother’s wrath…rightfully so, obviously. I was also afraid of getting caught and kicked off the cheerleading team. I fear reprimand. In life. Still.)

So, then I went off to college. And my dad bet me that I was going to come home and say, “Hey dad, pass me a fuckin’ beer.” He was always is always putting “fuckin” into my potential quotations. His biggest fear was always me meeting my future mother in law for dinner with this beauty: “Pass the fuckin’ potatoes,” which I would never say in front of Brian’s mom!

Not wanting to lose a bet…I made it a point to dislike beer. And find some nice older student to buy me liquor. As evident from previous posts about my college drinking habits…this was not a problem. For the first week, I called home every night. And every night Mom would ask, “Did you get drunk yet?” And every night I would say, “Nope, not yet.” Until one night on Geisert 8. And all hell broke loose.

So when my parents came out for parents weekend…and took me on a massive stock-up grocery trip at the Super Walmart…I was a little surprised, yet ridiculously excited when we walked down the booze aisle, and Daddy said to me, “What do you want?” I was like a kid in a candy store. It was the greatest thing ever. For a college freshman. I picked up a bottle of Smirnoff Raspberry and a bottle of Malibu. They were pretty much gone before my parents left for home that Sunday. I. Will. Never. Drink. Them. Again. Ever.

I came home that summer and not once did I ask Dad to pass me a beer. I still hated beer. I said, “Pass the fucking vodka.” And he laughed. The following summer, Dad and I shared many Bud Lights over long chats by our pool. One night we were talking about cheers and toasts. My dad looked at me, and said, “Christine, you come from a family that would drink to a forest fire.”

And so every once in a great while, Dad and I will drink to the forest fire. But only the ones that are done on purpose. We’re not monsters.

 

 

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!

A Bookworm’s Guide to Slackerdom

Mom, you may not want to read this…

Confession Friday: I have a degree in English from an excellent university…but I never once read an entire book for class.

True story.

In the third grade parent-teacher conference, my teacher, Mrs. Jacoby, told my mom that I was lying to her about all of the books that I was reading. Mom knew that I had no life but the one in books, so she got really mad and bitchy. I’m pretty sure that was mom’s last parent-teacher conference. I also think this scarred me for life in regards to school, teachers, and reading books.

I was talking to the Word Worm about blogging–She writes a fantastic bookworm blog–and she mentioned something about Shakespeare (you can read her blog to find out what she said). I, the lover of Shakespeare that I am, told her that I was a fan of reading Shakespeare. I read Romeo and Juliet (which everyone says wasn’t very good, but I loved it) when I was 12. for fun. At home. I’ve read Much Ado About Nothing SEVERAL times. I did attempt to read Twelfth Night several times to no avail, but other than that, I’m kind of a fan. Hamlet, MacBeth, even Julius Caesar…all enjoyable reads for me.

She then questioned my tactics in college…and asked if I ever read a full book for school. In all honesty… not counting a graphic novel called Maus… no. No, I did not.  I had read bits and pieces. Excerpts. Listening to class discussion (when I showed up for class). Talking to my classmates. Sparknotes. Cliffsnotes. Gradesaver.com. Classic Notes. Classic Reader. And when in doubt, I Googled it. And it worked. I never got lower than a B in my English classes. (OK, and to be fair, there were some books and stories that I had already read.) My mad-writing skills got me exactly what I needed: A decent grade and plenty of time to do other things.

As an English major, required literature was something Chrissy considered...optional. She managed to pull off a splendid GPA considering she didn't read one entire book for class.

College and Computers 🙂

I was a very organized slacker…I had a notebook for every class. Each notebook was filled with excellent doodles (as doodling would help my brain calm down so that I could actively listen). Each notebook had a very important front cover. The cover listed the number of excused absences that I was allowed in that particular class, a dated list of missed classes, and the excuses that I used to not go to class. I made sure that I didn’t overuse cramps or migraines (though those pesky headaches happened regularly). There was even a time that I thought I was having a panic attack…that turned out to be the results of a little too much booze the night before…

That being said, you all know that I’m a voracious reader. And if you don’t, you should see my gratuitous post discussing my ridiculous unwavering love for Pride & Prejudice. The obsession is almost disgusting. But whatever. I read. I do. I just don’t read when someone tells me that I must. I saved every book from all of my classes, college and high school (sans Childhood’s End, which, until Fifty Shades of Grey, was my least favorite book in the history of ever.) Then, I spent summers, and even free time during school, reading. Yes, that’s right. I’ve read a good portion of the novels that I should have read for class…long after class ended.

Here’s a list of the best books I never read in college:

Candide (even though I walked into class after reading the Sparknotes version and told the prof that I had, in fact read it and loved it. After actually reading it–it’s pretty awesome)
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (which ironically became my favorite American novel)
Tess of the D’urbervilles (which is really super depressing, but well written and uber Victorian… Stupid 50 Shades of Grey for ruining the association.)
The Canterbury Tales (In my defense, the teacher tried to make us read it in middle English. Do you have any concept of how hard that is?!)

OK, and here’s a list of some of the best books I read in college for no reason but to read:

The Stand
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Les Miserable
Great Expectations (Actually a reprise from my youth…thanks to those marvelous Great Illustrated Classics)
The Tenth Kingdom (A book based off a cheesy TV mini series on NBC. If you watched it and like it—I think I love you.)

Have a great weekend!

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 Kissed a Girl

OK, so we all know that a pretty decent percentage of college girls eventually kiss someone of their own gender for one of three reasons.

1. They’re truly experimenting with the girl on girl thing.

2. They’re drunk.

3. They’re drunk AND looking for attention from dudes.

There may be other reasons, but those were the important ones.

So at some point during junior year, Claire and I decided that we hated men…after the Lumberjack and the Ethiopian respectively broke our hearts. Who needs ’em?! Right? We swore off men and decided to become lesbians. Except since neither of us is really into girls…and we still secretly wanted boyfriends, we became lesbian boyfriends (in name only.)

Do not discount the “in name only” part. We had a serious bond that could withstand the test of time. And marriage. And babies. (Yes, Claire still considers me her “lesbian boyfriend” despite her fancy house and husband and child and 3 dogs…although I still think one of those dogs should be mine…you know for balance. She could still have visitation rights…)

Rightfully so, this is mostly a giant joke. But on Penny’s 21st birthday (in which I was defo still under age, but using Mama Missy’s state ID for access to bars), The Lumberjack and the Ethiopian were both kinda hanging around…along with a lot of other handsome fellows.

Claire, Penny, Sheila, and I got shmammered that night. Penny kept shouting to the world in an adorable sing-song voice, “Who’s the birthday giiiiiiiiirl?! Penny’s the birthday girl!”

Near the end of the evening, Claire and I were explaining to our ex boyfriends the lesbian boyfriend relationship. They didn’t get it. “Wait, you don’t kiss? You should kiss.” And there in the back room of Gorman’s in front of a huge audience of drunks, Claire and I shared a ridiculously un-passionate kiss. It was then that I knew I would never. Ever. Be a lesbian. When you’re into dudes, kissing a girl is like kissing your hand (if your hand were to kiss back.) This is not to say that she wasn’t a good kisser–she was. Just you know…there was nothing there.

Of course the Ethiopian and the Lumberjack were significantly more impressed, as were a large portion of the male audience. Case in point: Girls kiss girls to rile up the boys.

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!