priorities, because I want to eat whatever I want to eat today

You can only truly be best friends with someone when they share your biggest priorities in life. Like not talking the whole time on long car rides and prioritizing food above convenience, or anything else. Yeah, mostly the food thing.

Kass and I had a labor-day-weekend trip to the Delaware beach this weekend. Together, we are not very savvy travelers. At least we discovered, repeatedly, that we don’t understand the concept of stopping for food “on the way” to anywhere.

“Ok, we’ve got snacks and coffee, so we just need to stop and get sandwiches or something on the way there.”

Kass was more enthusiastic about this idea than would seem appropriate to any person other than me. “Oh my god, yes! Oh can we please stop and get hoagies at Wawa? I’m dying for one of those.”

As we got closer and closer to the end of our two-hour drive, I was starting to worry that we might somehow have chosen the only possible route from my house to Delaware that did not take us past one single Wawa. I was not going to be able to handle my life if we got to the beach and had no lunch to eat. I pointed this out to Kass with the additional notation that we had passed about 58 similar Wawa-equivalent sandwich stores.

“Oh no, we can’t go to Royal Farms.” I was told as we zoomed past one such stop, “Wawa is way better. Actually, I’ve never been to a Royal Farms, but Wawa must be better. That doesn’t make sense, but I don’t know, brand loyalty or something.”

Finally, we had to resort to googling store locations near our destination and programming a detour into the gps. So we could get exactly the right kind of sandwich that we had been looking forward to for half the morning. Which was probably exactly the same kind of sandwich we could have gotten anywhere else.

But you can’t know that for sure.

Don’t start shaking your head and rolling your eyes at us yet though, at least wait until I tell you that we had to do pretty much the same thing all over again on the way home. It was a quest for Chipotle this time: an adventure that involved 20 minutes on Google, driving a half hour out of the way, getting stuck behind the slowest 18-wheeler in history, a spontaneous and useless detour in attempt to not be stuck any longer behind said 18-wheeler, and a fair amount of road rage on my part (I wasn’t even driving).

“God, what the fuck?? He’s just making a right turn! He can keep moving. There’s no need to stop and THEN turn right. What the heck is is problem?!”

“Don’t get hangry on me dear.”

“I’m not hangry! I’m just hungry. And angry. Cause this dude can’t drive! But I’m not hangry.”

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it’s not okay to splash me right now

Sometimes, I wonder if I’m missing the portion of my brain that is supposed to differentiate between fun activity and stupid idea. But then I think back and realize that it has simply been shrunk to an inconsequential size by me repeatedly disregarding any warnings I DO get.

Brain: “You shouldn’t eat fourth helpings. You’re already full, and it’ll probably make you sick.”

Some other part of my brain: “Shut it brain. This is delicious and everyone knows that delicious things can’t possibly make you sick. I’m going to eat some more.”

 So that’s pretty much what I did when my friends and I decided to go tubing on Sunday. It was just about the coldest day that the month of August is capable of producing, and by the time we had gotten ourselves down to the river with tubes in tow the sun had vanished behind some rainy looking clouds that were starting to sprinkle on us.

I had suspicions that this wasn’t going to go well. In fact, my suspicions were so strong that, at one point, I may have even said the words, “I’m not going to go. Once we leave, we’re stuck on the river for three hours. I will get hypothermia.”

tubing

We managed to delude ourselves for about 20 minutes.

It took another 20 before my teeth started chattering. Certain people less endowed with surplus body fat than I am also started turning purple around now.

At one point, my friend Maddie got so fed up with the way her tube kept slowly deflating into the icy water that I convinced her to get in my tube with me. “Get in with me. Please. I want to cuddle with you. Please!” I didn’t sound desperate at all. Unfortunately, we were both pretty chilly at this point and didn’t have enough body heat to really warm the other person up much. Eventually, Maddie decided this was just too uncomfortable and that she would ride the floating cooler full of snacks and drinks instead.

“Guys, you’d better not let go of the rope or I’ll be alone on a cooler!” 

Never again in my life do I expect to hear the phrase “alone on a cooler” in any context that makes the least bit of sense.

Of course, we all eventually survived and got to the end. Or at least I was so distractedly miserable thinking about how cold I was, that I was not likely to notice or go back for anybody who may not have survived. I spent the last 40 minutes or so telling off anybody who was paddling a little too vigorously in my general vicinity: “Um, you are splashing me right now, and it’s not ok.”

Now that it’s over and I’ve had a couple of days to forget the more vivid details, it actually seems like a grand adventure, and I’m quite keen to go again. Although there’s an almost inaudible voice in my head muttering something that sounds vaguely like, “bad idea.”

I told the voice to shut it.

the new job, and I nearly manage to act normal for an entire week

I don’t have strep throat! Hallelujah. I thought I did. Kate did. And I have some sort of upper respiratory fun that has produced, among other things, a horrible sore throat. But, as the nurse at the clinic informed me when I showed up and demanded that I also be tested for strep, “You’d be really sick, like can’t-go-to-work sick.” I insisted that this might not be true because Kate had still been going to work and because I would be going to work no matter how sick I was; I couldn’t very well call out of my brand new job on only the second week. What kind of impression would that make? They may have hired a fully qualified invalid, but they certainly didn’t need to KNOW that. Not yet.

Well, as it turns out, Kate and I have both managed to become quite ill independently from one another.

Anyhoo, moving on. I promised you all stories about the new job, but so far, it’s been void of much action. This is partly because I haven’t been able to work on the actual team I was hired for until they process my background, security info, and lots of fun stuff like that. Oh the joys of government work. So I’ve just been working on odds-and-ends editing tasks and palling around with a terribly nice admin lady (who seems to be temporarily in charge of me) and some other random new guy who is also in the process of being processed.

Last Friday, however, my admin friend was not in the office and, of course, it was the day that my badge wouldn’t work. One must use such a badge to get through pretty much every door in the building, but since I was new and didn’t have one yet, I had been issued a temporary badge. On Friday, the temporary badges weren’t working. None of them. And not only was my nice admin friend out of the office, but everybody else from our section seemed to be too. I mean, who wants to work on a Friday? Besides the new kids that is.

I basically could not get through any doors by myself and could not even lurk around said doors waiting to pounce on the coattails of other employees, because there WERE NO OTHER EMPLOYEES. Well, hardly any.

So every time I had to leave and pee, and if you know much about me you know this is about every 20 minutes, I had to take the elevator down seven stories and bother the security guard at the front desk. He, in turn, had to get some other person to come and man his post while he came all the way back upstairs with me to let me back into my section of the office.

Needless to say, I made a valiant effort to make it at least an hour between trips to the bathroom. This was accomplished through numerous texts to Kass (I need a new nickname for her since she’s no longer Roomei; Bestie, maybe? I’ll think on that.) complaining about my awkward circumstances and tiny bladder. I should have picked a more sympathetic audience. After the third or fourth such complaint, I received a response that read simply, “Drip…drip…drip…waterfalls. Ocean. Lake. Rain…”

Finally, hours later, my friend, the other new kid, arrived in the office (he is not a morning person, apparently). I thought he might be able to help me out, since he sat quite close to the door. I didn’t want to explain about having to pee, since I really didn’t know him all THAT well, so I explained about the badge problem, said I was going down the hall to the kitchen (clever substitution on my part – much less awkward to mention than the bathroom), and asked if he would mind letting me back in when I knocked on the door.

Friends, catastrophe of epic proportions: HE OFFERED TO GO WITH ME. “Oh, I was just thinking I needed some coffee, I’ll walk over with you.” He really is very nice, but seriously?

I couldn’t sneak off to the bathroom with him in tow. And I couldn’t just leave again in a couple of minutes, because he would wonder why I hadn’t just said I needed to visit the bathroom the first time around. And I couldn’t sneak back out and get the security guard to let me in again, because my friend sat right by the door and would notice exactly what was going on.

I don’t know why I was so oddly incapable of just admitting that I had to pee, which, in other company, is something I will yell across a crowded room.

Somehow, I survived another EXTREMELY UNPLEASANT hour or so. This time, I did not announce where I was going at all, but just left with the hope that he would remember my original request about letting me back in when I knocked. Either way, it was a much more awkward and uncomfortable work day than I had been planning to have or, possibly, had ever experienced.

So, moral of the story: White lies are entirely harmless 99.8 percent of the time. But that other 0.02 percent will bite you in the bum (or cause intense discomfort to certain other body parts) with a vengeance.