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Social Interaction Rejection
Mar 1st, 2011 by admin

I was just recalling this event with a friend the other day when it hit me that this was 1.) awkward and 2.) a memory. Perfect!

This is short and sweet. When I was in high school, I kind of knew this girl named, “Bernadette.” Bernadette played the clarinet in our high school band and sat in front of me in English class. One evening I went to a football game, and during half time there was a point where the band wasn’t playing, and was just sitting in the stands. I was passing by ‘Dette who was sitting on an aisle seat in the bleachers. So, I stopped to say hi and strike up some small talk. For the short period of time it lasted, she maintained a frigid half smile on her face before abruptly ending the conversation with, “OK, you can go now.” I hadn’t said a thing that could even be construed as offensive, and I definitely wasn’t infringing on the band’s playing time. I have no idea why she did that. So, I said….”OK….well…..see you later….” And I walked away alone….by myself….
The End. 🙂

Someone – Somewhere

passive income
Jan 24th, 2011 by admin

I work part time at a copy & print center. It stays pretty busy, and at times I’m the only person working in it. One evening this older guy walked up to the counter. He looked a little awkward, but he greeted me very happily and professionally. He had a small stack of papers (maybe four or five sheets) that he needed five sets of. They had little logos at the bottom in color, and he confidently decided they needed to be in color. The problem began when I noticed he was moving really slowly. I get paid to be patient, but it’s equally important for me to be quick and efficient. While he was stacking his papers and reordering them I noticed what they were. Oh no. Not again. They were multi-level marketing sign up sheets. I thought maybe I’d go free, but no!

“So,” he began. “Have you ever considered starting your own business?”

“Yes, actually. I started my own business. I’m a freelance web and graphic designer.”

He didn’t seem to hear me. “How would you like to quit working for these guys and work for yourself?”

I think he was going to say that no matter what I said.

“Well, yeah I’m doing that right now. It’s started slow, but it’s becoming more consistent.”

He just kept going. “Have you ever heard of …? He’s an entrepreneur. He’s made millions with a brilliant marketing plan. See these companies? All of them are big name brands. We simply do a different kind of marketing…People already pay for cable and buy groceries. All they have to do is buy it through your website.” Blah blah blah blah blah. He wouldn’t stop.  I knew his pitch better than he did.

Several times I tried to interject and decline. He’d make a direct offer. I’d apologize very politely and decline. I told him I was not interested. Luckily a lady walked up to the counter behind him. She needed copies. I had run his, but he kept standing there stapling and shuffling. I thought he’d let her step up, but he didn’t. He kept trying to get me to join his team. I made awkward “I’m sorry” expressions to her.

He just kept telling me how I could make so much money without doing work. After twenty to thirty minutes he made his final pitch. “Think about it. Everything I’ve said makes sense, right?”

“Uh huh.”

“We are meeting Wednesday night to talk about it. Wanna come?”

“No thank you. I’m not interested.”

“Would you like to give me your number so I can check back with you?”

WHAT!?! Are you serious. It just got scary. “No sir, I’d rather not.”

Then he left. Thank goodness. I threw away his card and helped my very patient customer.

Micah the Admin

wanna get some coffee?
Jan 23rd, 2011 by admin

A couple years after high school I ran into an old friend at a book store. We were close in school but hadn’t talked since. He was all excited to see me and told me that things were going REALLY well. He was still with his girlfriend and his life was on the right track. He asked if I wanted to meet up for coffee sometime soon to hang out. I said, “yeah! How about Friday?’

“Yeah. Friday’s good. Let’s say 6:30.”

When Friday rolled around I walked in the book store, and he was already sitting in the coffee shop section. We ordered drinks and sat down. He asked what I’d been up to and then immediately began pitching a really confusing business to me. It became obvious really quickly that he did not want to hang out. He had some cluttered URL to a website he had where I could buy things. He also let me know that he now sold these “really good healthier than normal energy drink”  energy drinks. I was not very interested. Then he got out some paper, drew some circles, and connected the lines. I was looking at a pyramid shaped multi-level marketing scheme for the first time. He gave me his number and a few free energy drinks, and we left. I haven’t seen or talked to him since. Thanks for the blindside and a crash course in spotting MLM guys fast.

The energy drinks were disgusting.

Micah the Admin

really long silence
Nov 26th, 2010 by admin

In high school my brother dated this girl for a very short time.  He invited her to spend Thanksgiving dinner with our family. Everything was late, and so we ended up eating at like 6PM instead of lunch time. This had some of us feeling a little awkward. Then the new girlfriend came in with Nate. I still don’t know why, but my family and the girl ate the meal in almost complete silence. My family talks A LOT – all the time. We talk to strangers and anyone, but for some reason we all felt awkward and made things worse by not talking. My brother’s relationship ended shortly after Thanksgiving.

Colby Johnson – SC

three horrible thanksgiving memories
Nov 26th, 2010 by admin

When I think of Thanksgiving, I’m surprised that I still like to get together with people after some real awkward times.  The “holiday season” should be filled with “holiday cheer”, but a number of times it wasn’t for me.

One time I was with my family for Thanksgiving.  It hadn’t happened very often because I many times have had to travel the longest distance of my family to get together with them.  This time one of our youngest had just received horrible news from someone at school:  Santa Claus didn’t exist.  The child cried and cried.  Many of my family said that this other person was lying, was stupid, and were convincing her that Santa does exist.  That was the Thanksgiving mood at the time I arrived.
Just before we served the meal, I was confronted with the question.  “So, do you think that person was right in saying that Santa doesn’t exist?”
I asked back, “Well, does he exist or not?  Is it better to say the truth about him or not?”

“What?!  You’d allow someone to say something to destroy someone’s Christmas?!  You’d allow someone to totally tear down a child’s hopes and dreams?  You know how much she cried?  You know how close we came to having her Christmas totally ruined?”

Oops.  One person was so upset and angry that it upset and angered another.  And because this second family member was upset and angry, it ticked off another, and then another.  That’s right – it was a huge family domino effect.

So, I got to sit down to a Thanksgiving meal with just about everyone mad at me.  Somehow the food just didn’t taste all that great that night.

____________

There was a time at Thanksgiving that I couldn’t be with my family.  An elderly lady felt sorry for me and said I could travel to her place and share the Thanksgiving meal and time with her family.  Unfortunately, she didn’t share with me about how her daughter felt, who was totally against my being there.

It seemed to be okay when I got there.  I had a nice, peaceful chat with my friend.  We went to church later on that evening.  There I got to see her daughter, who ignored me when I saw her.  I was surprised by that.

After my friend and I got back to her house, her daughter didn’t say hello to me, but was visibly upset.  “Why are you here?  Why did you even come here?  Don’t you know that Thanksgiving is extremely private, and that NOBODY outside of my family IS ALLOWED?    Why did my mom invite you here when she knew that?  I think you manipulated her.   Don’t you have your own family to go to?”

To keep the family peace, my friend dropped me off at the local Salvation Army that Thanksgiving Day to have turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and everything else with the homeless people in that area.  Even though I felt humiliated, the people’s stories there were worse than mine.  I actually had something to be thankful for.

Of course I left town that next day – quickly.

____________

One Thanksgiving break I was looking forward to seeing a girl with whom I had a “long-distance” relationship.  That summer before we had started our relationship, but my work and her work were in two cities that were far apart.  However, we were looking forward to this week-long break to see each other again.

One thing that she mentioned to me just a couple of days before I was to go see her was that she was also inviting her ex-boyfriend over to stay at her place for that time.  “What?  Why on earth would you want to do that?”  I was caught off-guard.  But she insisted.  I protested.

“Please come up.  I really want to see you.”

“Okay, okay.  But why still invite him?”

“He’s still my friend.  We saw each other a couple of times, and we’re doing alright.”

“What does that mean?”

“We’re kind of seeing each other.”

Right then I was ready to call off everything.

She insisted again.  “No!  No!  Please come up!  It’s been so long since I’ve seen you.  I really want you to come here.  Please.  I don’t know that I want to see him anymore.  Let’s get back together.”

I hesitated.  “Oh, all right.”

“But please, when you come up here, don’t tell him anything I’ve told you here.”

When it comes to romance and relationships, sometimes we guys act like bulls chasing a matador’s cape.  All we see is red.  I should’ve had a clue.  But I ignored every red flashing alarm in me telling me not to go.  I went.

On the trip to see her, my car started to break down.  I barely made it to her folks’ place.  So, I felt trapped there while my car was taken to the local mechanic.

The next day I saw her – holding hands with her ex!  She saw me and gave me a hug, and introduced me to her “ex”.  You know the feeling when your stomach drops to your knees, all you feel like doing is throwing up, and in that moment you use all of your strength to just to appear normal?  It took all of me to manage a smile, shake his hand and say “Hi.”

After I shook off the shock, the whole family sat down to eat.  Unbelievably, almost miraculously, I acted normally, as if nothing was happening.  However, deep down inside, I felt totally like a 5th leg on a chair – totally unnecessary.

Here I was – I was far away from home.  My car was getting worked on. Any way to continue having a relationship with this girl were gone, and I had to stay in this environment … for the rest of the week.  As I thought about it more, I decided that I had to do the unthinkable – tell this “no-longer ex” what was going on.

I got a chance to talk with him the next day.  He was shocked.  Later on the next day, the “stuff” hit the wall – my friend called me.  She was mad.  After her call, we didn’t talk for the rest of the time I was there until my last day there.  Just imagine how empty my Thanksgiving time was.

I wish that the trouble I had that Thanksgiving ended there when I left.  But it didn’t.  I got my car back, although the mechanic said that there was more to work on.  I was anxious to get back home.

Less than halfway home, my car didn’t want to run anymore.  In the middle of a large city where I had no friends or contacts, my car stopped.  I had no clue what to do.  I don’t know if I felt more alone than at that point.

Thank God for friends.  I called one for help.  He recommended a friend, who let me have my car towed to his place, and took me to the bus station.  A month later, another friend came out a long distance to fix my car, and other friends drove me from my home to reunite me with my fixed car and kind friends.

But, oh boy!  What a memory!

too recent to tell – USA

should i take this personally
Oct 17th, 2010 by micah the admin

My husband was a groomsman in our friends’ wedding. He was paired up with the bride’s cousin to walk down the aisle. At the wedding rehearsal, I was sitting next to my husband and the bride’s grandfather came over to talk with him.

Grandpa said, “So, I see you’re walking up with my granddaughter, Stacy.” Then he pointed to me and said, “She’s nice, but… STACY is beautiful!” He continued on to talk all about Stacy and how wonderful she was.

So I sat there and thought to myself, “WHAT?? Did he just insult me??…to my FACE??? Not only is he implying that I’m less attractive than his granddaughter, he’s trying to set my husband up with her!”

My husband kindly replied, “This is my wife and I think she’s amazing!”

This shocked grandpa and he said, “What?! You married a CHILD?”

A child?…Really?… Okay, besides the fact that I’m a little touchy about being mistaken for a 13 year old (which happens ALL the time), I was a quite peeved due to the fact that I was older than his granddaughter who was getting married, older than Stacy whom he wanted to set my husband up with…and most likely older than him and his wife when they got married.

El Fin – Somewhere

back when i was a cop in the bronx
Aug 3rd, 2010 by micah the admin

I’m waiting in line at Walmart with my young baby. It’s a holiday weekend, and the place is packed. I’ve been standing there about thirty minutes, and it’s almost my turn, when the man in front of me suddenly notices my baby and strikes up a conversation. He’s massively tall, middle-aged, with long, straggly gray hair, and has glasses with what looks like a wadded up napkin behind one of the lenses. Despite his odd appearance, we’re having a nice normal conversation. My baby starts to fuss, and I mention that I really need to get him home to feed him. At this, our conversation takes a disturbing turn. He casually mentions that he used to breastfeed when he was a cop in the Bronx. I think “There is no way he said what I think he said. I must have misheard him”. He then proceeds to go on and on about his life as a cop in the Bronx, and all the terrible child abuse he’s seen, and how he was a detective and they transferred him to this area. I smile and nod politely. He is clearly out of his mind. It’s almost my turn at the register, but I pretend I forgot something and politely excuse myself. Then I go stand in another line for half an hour.

Rachel – NH

rubber on the toilet
Jul 30th, 2010 by micah the admin

I was only 11 years old when my family moved to the United States from Ghana [West Africa].
Ghana being a British Commonwealth country I had spoken English all my life with no difficulty. However, moving to America was a challenge as I had trouble getting used to all the slang and such. It made conversations hard at times because I didn’t want to look like an idiot by always asking what this and that meant.
Anyways, after I had been in the US for less than a year, summer came along and I did what most American kids do during that time – I went to a summer camp. With my youth group specifically. An eye-opening experience it was for me in many a ways. Naturally, a war of pranks begun, sometimes it was between cabin members, other times a battle of the sexes. Being new to this whole scene, I didn’t know to what extent some of these pranks could go to, they escalated during the week and actually some pretty bad ones happened but this particular one wasn’t so bad just exaggerated by my naivette … I went to the bathroom to pee and soon realized that my pee wasn’t hitting the porcelain, I stood there in confusion for a while, lifted the toilet seat and to my surprise found a clear plastic placed neatly over it. I run back into the cabin yelling “someone put a rubber on the toilet!” x 3 The youth pastor heard about this and was furious, gathered all his little junior high boys together in one cabin and was angrily questioning them, trying to find out who would do such a despicable thing, I became even more confused at that point not understanding why he would be so seemingly mad about a prank of that degree when worse ones had been going on. Later on, someone came in from the bathroom and said all he found there was a saran wrap with my pee dead center, at this point everyone started laughing. I became even more confused. My youth pastor had to explain to me exactly what “rubber” implied in that context. My confusion turned to embarrasment. Said returnee then shouted through his laughter “hey, at least it wasn’t poop”…

Frank – Ghana

little injustices
Jul 29th, 2010 by micah the admin

It was third grade summer break and my family went on vacation to visit relatives and friends. We had dinner with some old friends of my parents from way back when. I didn’t know them but because their daughter was my age it seemed appropriate to everybody else to send us both to her room for hours so the grownups could talk. It was a large house and a bit ritzy, and even though it was nighttime they didn’t have the lights on in the halls or anything. For some reason the ritziness and the darkness made it all seem like a fancy haunted house to me. We played for a bit and then my new “friend” decides to watch a movie. She takes me to some room upstairs where the lights are all off and throws in a movie. I forget which. But as we’re sitting together in the dark room a preview comes up for “Hocus Pocus” – a Disney film about the three witch sisters who say “Double, double, toil and trouble” and all that. My eight year old “friend” starts spontaneously SCREAMING. So I start screaming! I was thoroughly freaked out to be in a strange house in a dark room with a strange (and I also suspected spoiled) little girl next to me screaming. We frantically try to find the door in the black room, and as we get to the door knob our parents have already bolted up the stairs to save us from whatever it is that’s making us yell like lunatics. The lights go on and my little friend recovers and then starts laughing. “She just started screaming for no reason, so I did too. She was probably afraid of the movie,” she tells her parents. I was in tears from being so rattled and furious and I just couldn’t get the words out to tell anyone that she was lying. I was humiliated.

Beth the Other Admin

where does the poop go?
Jul 28th, 2010 by micah the admin

I was fourteen years old and babysitting a toddler for a couple hours at his parents’ cabin. We had a wonderful time playing games and eating animal crackers. Right before his parents were due to return, he filled up his cloth diaper. I started to change him when I ran into a little problem: what to do with all the poop? You see, all the babies I’d previously sat for had disposable diapers. All I’d had to do was wad up the dirty diapers and toss them in the trash. I knew I couldn’t toss the cloth diaper, but I didn’t think I should put all that poop in the clothes hamper, either.

I knew the answer was right in front of me, but I had a major brain cramp. Where…did…the…poop…go? My mind froze and I panicked. The child’s parents would be arriving home any second. They must never, never know I didn’t understand this basic thing about child care, or they would laugh at me and never hire me again. After a few minutes of frantically racking my brain while the toddler ran around the kitchen, sans pants, I decided to try to think it through from another angle. “Where do we put food that we don’t want anymore?” I asked myself. “Aha! The garbage disposal!”

Feeling vaguely that it was wrong, but not knowing any other options, I emptied the diaper’s contents into the sink and, with a spoon, scooted the poop toward the drain. Feeling relieved that my ordeal was almost over, I hunted around for the garbage disposal switch. There wasn’t one; I had just clogged the drainpipe. At that instant, I had an epiphany: “The toddler’s poop goes in the toilet, you IDIOT! The same place YOUR poop goes!”

Crimson with shame at the extent of my spaciness, and mortified at what I had done, I hastily poured half a can of AJAX down the drain, and ran the water. I kept one eye on the clock, and one eye on the child as I frantically mashed down the remnants of poop that kept bobbing back up. I had just washed the spoon and scrubbed the sink for the hundredth time when the parents came home. I guiltily accepted their money and told them about our afternoon, omitting, of course, the diaper drama.

Apparently they never had any problems with their sink, because they asked me to babysit many times after that. I gladly did, being very careful from that point on to put human excrement in it’s proper receptacle.

The End.

Rachel – NH

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