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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

ummm…why are you calling me?
Apr 18th, 2010 by micah the admin

In first grade I was friends with a girl that we will call Candice. First grade. We went to the same school pretty much for the next nine years and never spoke to each other. I’d see her in passing and would hear random bits about her, but that’s it. One night when I was a sophomore in high school the phone rang. My dad answered, “who? Candice? Micah, it’s for you. It’s someone named Candice White.” My dad smiled at me in a sort of wink wink way. I wondered why on earth Candice White would be calling me. She had become popular and was in a serious/crazy relationship with a guy in the very popular jock crowd and only just recovering from another crazy/serious relationship with another guy just like him. Everyone knew about it. I took the phone anyway, held my breath and answered. “Ummm…hi?”

“Hey, Micah,” she said with a way too excited peppy voice.

“Hi.”

“Do you know who this is?”

“Yes. What’s going on?”

“I just wanted to talk.”

“Ummm…ok. Why are you calling me?”

“I was just thinking that we should start talking.”

“Ok…”

Realizing this was some strange attempt at asking me out, I went on to explain to her that I was intentionally not dating anyone and not going to. I had my heart set on Beth the Other Admin already. She responded with a few more sentences about how we should talk more. We never talked. We should just say “hey” and stuff in the hallways at school. Whatever. I said, “Ok…I guess.” The awkwardness continued for a month or two after this. We would see each other in the halls at school and say “hey” or “hi.” I tried to smile, but it was always a little creepy, and I was always slightly afraid of her two angry yet very cool jock boyfriends.

Micah the Admin

next time we're getting a hotel
Apr 16th, 2010 by beth the other admin

Years ago my husband’s grandmother died suddenly. We drove the eight hours from Texas to Florida where the funeral would be held with Micah’s brother and his wife. To save on money we all decided to spend the two nights with “Patricia,” a nice woman who was related to them somehow.  We arrived at the house late at night. It was very big and in a posh neighborhood. The first thing I noticed was the enormous Christmas tree, fully decorated, in the living room. It was the end of April. Patricia greeted us and seemed a little out of sorts. Not unusual, I thought, after somebody close had just passed away.

She took us on a tour of the home, showing us the kitchen, the dining room, the living room, all that. She showed us the “Martis Gras” room, a sort of party room with a full bar. All four walls were entirely made up of windows and no curtains, so even the wall connected to the Christmas-tree-living-room was “exposed.” There were party decorations from a month prior all over the floor. Empty cups, busted balloons, confetti, masks, etc.  She told us it was the room where the dogs usually slept. There was dog food spilled over on the floor next to a love seat. “That’s weird,” I thought to myself. “Her house is so grand, why is she showing us a messy room?” She showed us the library next.  Another enormous Christmas tree was there among the bookshelves, half-decorated. It was in the process of being taken down, but whoever started had given up long ago.  “That is really weird,” I thought.  There was a sheetless twin sized blow up mattress on the floor.  Huh.  And then there was a pretty little couch chair off to the side WITH A HUGE CHANDELIER SITTING ON IT. “Am I in a horror film? This isn’t right.” 

And then she showed us upstairs where the bathroom was, the bedrooms, and then she said goodnight and went to her room.  Umm… What? We were confused. Where were we supposed to sleep? And then it dawned on us… “I think we’re supposed to sleep in the crazy rooms,” one of us said. There was a single-person blow up mattress. A chair with a chandelier on it. A love seat in the window-room. No blankets, no sheets, no pillows, goodnight! Completely weirded out and exhausted from the day’s drive we each picked a room and tried to make it work. My brother-in-law and his wife got the library. We got the Martis Gras room. Micah slept on the floor on little decorative pillows and I slept on the love seat. I had brought a blanket with us “just in case” and if I hadn’t I don’t know what we would have done. We woke up the next morning and Patricia never acted like anything was weird about the arrangement. All the other guests, however, were mortified when they heard about it. Oh, and it was my birthday. Very memorable.

Beth the Other Admin

separate checks
Apr 16th, 2010 by beth the other admin

My sister had just gone through a traumatic experience and recently come home after being away for a few months. My husband and I wanted to spend some quality time with her. Talk things over, tell her we loved her, stuff like that. We invited only two of our closest friends to join us. We all met at my parents house so we wouldn’t run the risk of running into our other friends and offending them by not having invited them.  Well, one of our not-so-close friends, “Lydia,” must have heard my sister was in town and dropped by to see her. She wasn’t someone we saw regularly, and although we liked her just fine, I  groaned and wondered how the heck we were going to avoid a tag-a-long. We kept quiet about our lunch date, but Lydia asked my sister what we were up to and there it went. Lydia excitedly invited herself (or rather pushed my sister to invite her) to come with us.  “Well, OK,” I thought. “A lot of effort for nothing, but it’s better not to hurt her feelings.” And we really were broke back then, so we couldn’t afford to do another lunch date for awhile.  Oh well. So we go out to eat, the six of us now, not able to have the heart-to-heart we wanted to have.

Then the waitress comes back with the check.  “Will that be separate checks?” We were paying for my sister and one of the two close friends. That was already understood before we left.  Lydia looks at us helplessly.  “Don’t you have money” someone asks. “Yes. I have money.” Good. “Ok, so not a problem.” Wrong. “I only have a debit card.” Uh… “So you do have money in your account, right?” Did she want a freebie or what? I had no idea. “Yeah,” she replies, with a tone of exasperation. “But I only have a debit card!” This went back and forth for a little while, till we were all so uncomfortable that my husband finally decided it would be easiest if he paid for her and avoided ever going out to eat with her again. She had a full-time job, no rent, no car insurance or other bills to worry about. We were broke.  So weird. And awkward. Ugh.

This happened one more time, but not to us. But we were there. Still awkward.

Beth the Other Admin

a summer camp story
Apr 14th, 2010 by micah the admin

I went to a 5 day / 4 night Girl Scouts (Girl Guides) summer camp when I was 8. All the counselors had nature names like Rocky and Squirrel. (Yes, I remember such trivial details!)

The camp had a swimming pool, so all the girls went for a swimming lesson. I had no idea we were supposed to change in our tents first, but I somehow managed to get my swimsuit on without any of the high-school/college counselor boys seeing. As we picked up our clothes to head back afterwards, one guy asked whose…errrm…underwear was sitting on the rail, in full view of everyone within 100 feet. Yup. I meekly retrieved it and was embarrassed the rest of the day!

Susie – MN

napoleon who?
Apr 14th, 2010 by micah the admin

The first time I ever went trick-or-treating was the second year of our marriage. I was so excited. Beth dressed up in an Indian Sari and was beautiful. We also had a girl we babysat who was dressed as a very cute little pirate. I decided that I would be Napoleon Dynamite from the incredibly popular indie film. I thought it was popular. I put on tight tapered jeans, a baggy purple shirt with a neon dolphin, moon boots, a fanny pack, thick Coke-bottle glasses, a digital watch and had my hair gelled up into a curly fro. I looked like Napoleon Dynamite. We were happy and set to go. The three of us piled into our car and began going house to house. I realized after one house that some people hadn’t seen the movie. After two or three houses I began to understand that NO ONE in New Hampshire had seen the movie. Then I started to think about how creepy I must look – like the guy you’d never want to sit beside on a bus. I got weird look after weird look and didn’t even try to explain what I was. I just accepted the fact that people would be slightly disgusted and happy that my wife and our little pirate got smiles and candy. The night eventually ended.

Micah the Admin

i knew a hans once
Apr 14th, 2010 by micah the admin

I used to work at a group home for the mentally ill. I was helping a very sweet client in her late 50’s or early 60’s shop. From the way she dressed and carried herself, any observer could tell she was a little “off”. We were standing in line and I was a little ahead of her. She (let’s just call her “Lisa” struck up a conversation with a much younger man behind her. It went approximately like this:

Lisa: Hi! What’s your name?

Man: Hans.

Lisa: I knew a “Hans” once, in the foothills of an Alpine village in Austria. –I haven’t been with a man in 13 years!

Hans (taken aback, but seizing the opportunity): So… is anyone taking care of you now? Is there anyone who would mind if you came home with me?

Lisa: Oh, no! But you see that tall girl in front of us? (I turn around and treat Hans to a knowing, sinister smile). She’d get REALLY mad if I went home with you.

I look him up and down, sneer slightly, and turn away. Hans turns bright red and stares at his shoes, embarrassed to have just been caught trying to pick up and older mentally ill lady.

I loved that job!

Pamela – CA

uh…ok…
Apr 13th, 2010 by micah the admin

Oh my goodness, this was actually the most awkward moment, ever, ever. ewwww. Ewww.
I was going into work one day late and the place I was apprenticing at the time only had the owner there and two sections to the shop, an office section with a desk and computer and a work section for customers. So I texted emmm….we’ll call him Hubert and said I’d be late. I arrived at 10.30am and walked in, he was sitting with his head on his hand on the computer looking SO bored, I was like hi, hi, how’s it?? and walked on in. On the way past the computer which was angled at me as I walked into the customer section I glanced at the screen and saw that he was just…watching porn. Just sitting there impassively staring at the screen but was frantically clicking at the mouse to try and close the window.
I was totally grossed out and thought ok, I’m going to pretend I didn’t see that and stay here for a minute until he clicks that off an then I’m going to just pretend NOTHING happened. He clicks it off and gets up, but is really embarrassed and flustered and in his flustered-ness(word??) he goes ‘Oh, I was just watching porn there, so I was’ ……I was like…..’Uh……ok’ O_O
Yeah, I didn’t stay there very long……

Tanya – Belfast

in-laws
Apr 13th, 2010 by micah the admin

Oh, hahaha, oh my godness I can’t believe I forgot about this one, your shorts post made me remember it for some reason….!
When my boyfriend and I started going out we used to stay in one another’s house alternate weekends but we worked different shifts so one Saturday morning he left for work and I stayed at home in bed, later I got up and got in the shower and was just showering away, la-de-da….bit of lemon shower gel, washing my hair, ho hum and I heard the front door open, ok, that’s cool, he’s home already or forgot something or some such thing. So I’m still showering away and I hear someone come up the stairs, potter around the hall a bit and then push the bathroom door open, next thing….(oh I wish so bad I could do the voice because that was the funniest thing about this) I hear HIS DAD going…..’Hulloo-ooh’…I was like…..’What the hell Brian, it’s Tanya….!'(It’s cool we had an opaque shower curtain) and he’s like ‘Oh, is that you dear'(his parents are quite old his dad was in his seventies at the time) …so I’m like ‘Uh…YEAH, IT IS ME… TANYA…. IN THE SHOWER’ …..’Oh, ok then dear’ and disappears…..flip sake, I get out, I can hear them downstairs, I get dried, dressed go downstairs and sitting on the sofa is a pile of the clothes I was wearing the night before I had left in the kitchen to put in the washing machine, all folded in a neat pile, like , my stockings, skirt, underwear etc. and his Mum is in the kitchen doing the dishes. Oh. My. Ground. Swallow. Me. Now. O_O

Tanya – Belfast

bikinis are for private villas!
Apr 9th, 2010 by beth the other admin

About four or five years ago my sister asked me to go swimming with her and my nephew, I wasn’t that keen I’m not big on swimming pools and I had no costume but he was so excited and he was only about one or two at the time so I agreed, I was thinking, ok I’ll get a costume the day before. Typical to form I didn’t get a costume and the next morning she came round, I thought I could make excuses and get out of it but she was adamant that I go with her, so we started hoking through my drawers and she pulled out this white patterned string bikini that I had bought for holiday and never worn, I was like NO WAY! but in the house, standing in my clothes somehow it seemed like it would be ok so I packed it up and we set off, it wasn’t until I actually got into the changing room, put it on and went out to the swimming pool that I actually realised how awful it was. Everyone else was in swimsuits and bodysuits and I was standing there ghostly white with a white string bikini on, like I mean across the cleavage was just two triangles so you could see all around each bosom and it was tied around the back with a string and the bottoms were just two small triangles tied at the hips with string….I actually could not have felt worse if I was nude, I mean this is ok if you live in Miami but this is Northern Ireland, people just don’t go to swimming pools in bikinis, but there was nothing to do so I just quickly got in the water, I’m not being paranoid when I say that people were staring, a couple were even embarassedly sniggering and I kept bobbing under the water trying to hide, eventually I was like, I have to get out of here, so I took a deep breath and started climbing out of the water, I had to walk the whole way round the pool to get back to the changing rooms covering my modesty because the bikini had gone a translucent grey colour in the water……to make it the ultimate cringefest there was a man there taking swimming lessons who was a regular in the coffee shop I worked in, he came in EVERY day, the next day I was working he sat at the bench beside my section and I all I could think about was….Oh my, this guy has practically seen me nude….cringe, CRINGE, CRINGE!!!!! 🙁

Tanya – Belfast

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