Monday, June 13, 2011

I Blame My Mother

Three years ago, in the cafeteria, i came up with a plan B: quit school and simply become the next Anna Nicole Smith.

I have always had a soft spot in my heart for cute little old men, with their cute little old manners and their cute little old hats and their cute little old too-short pants and everything. But what i never knew is that they also have a soft spot in each of their hearts for me.

One night, i was eating my dinner, when in came an absolutely adorable little old man, wearing a pin-striped fedora, and a sweater and jacket (despite the heat), even a bow tie. Let's call him "Carissa". He had these huge, bushy, pitch-black eyebrows that stood out against his bushy, snow-white hair. He was just too cute for words.

Because my mother raised me to be polite, as well as raising me with my soft spot for cute little old men, i smiled as he walked through the cafeteria. At that, Carissa came over to my table, leaned down next to me, and asked if i was Irish.
"No . . ." i answered, bemused.
"Oh. Are you Polish?" he continued.
"No . . ."
He asked me about six more of these before i finally said, "I'm a little bit German and a little bit French."
"Oh! Do you speak German?"
"No . . ."
"Do you speak French?"
"No . . ."
"Well, how come you are so beautiful?"

Between my amusement at the situation, my confusion at the leap from linguistics to aesthetics, and the general weirdness of the conversation, i began to blush. And giggle. Both of which are my reactions to uncomfortable situations, and one of which (the giggling) i inherited from my mother. I think i said something along the lines of, "Thank you. I don't know," and Carissa went back to his seat. (My friends assure me that my behavior was much more flirtatious than this, consisting of several "Yes, sir"s and "No, sir"s, all uttered with doe-eyed glances. I can honestly say that i remember none of this.)

After regaining control of myself (which took a considerable amount of time and effort, the giggles having escalated nearly to the point of making me fall out of my chair), i jumped up and raced across the cafeteria to my friend Steven, who had missed the action.

I filled Steven in on the events, and then returned to my seat, intending to collect my things and exit the cafeteria with what little remained of my dignity. But i was denied this escape by three of my friends who insisted that i stay put.
"Why?' i demanded.
"Because he is writing something on a napkin, and we think he's gonna give you his phone number," was the reply.

At this point, the giggles and blushing had me almost completely incapacitated. Falling back into my chair, i awaited my fate.

Sure enough, a few minutes later, Carissa came over to me with his napkin.

"Since you are German and French, and you don't speak any German or French, I thought you should know a few phrases," he said. Handing me the napkin, he pointed to the first one and said, "'Ich liebe Dich!' Do you know what that means?"

I actually do know a tiny bit of both German and French, so i was able to choke out the reply: "I love you."
"Yes, very good! Now, what is this one? 'Je t'aime beaucoup'?"
Ordinarily, i would have known this one as well, but at this point all rational thought was beyond me.
"Ummmm . . . " was the best i could supply.
"It's the same thing, only French," he explained.

Carissa then asked me my major, asked if i planned to get my doctorate, told me to get my master's at ENC and then go elsewhere for my doctorate (i believe he suggested a school, but i was pretty much past the point of comprehension, let alone retention, of information), and i think he may have made another observation about my beauty before leaving me. I grabbed my dishes and wallet (and the napkin, which i later had framed), and ran. My one thought was to get out of the danger zone. But on my way, the RD for the boys' dorms stopped me.

"What was he sayin' to you?" he asked, suspicious.
"Oh, umm, he asked what my major was, and he wanted to know if i was Irish and stuff," i explained, not very coherently.
"So, everything's okay, right?"
"Yeah, yeah, everything's fine," i answered, still suppressing nervous giggles.
"Okay. I didn't know who he was, so i just wanted to make sure that everything was fine."
"Yes. Thank you," i managed, before bolting for the door in a fit of giggles. I think my face had surpassed red at this point and was nearly purple.

Oh, well. There's always a silver lining. I guess that if i ever decide that school is just too much for me, i can just drop out and become the next Anna Nicole Smith. I hope my mother will be proud.

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