Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ten Love Lessons I Learned in Elementary School

                Whilst enrolled in the second grade, I embarked on the task of making a new friend. I serendipitously selected the tan, cute boy named Chris Lambright.  As we were walking down the green stairs to the cafeteria one day, he asked, “Audrey, why are you so nice to me?” With each step, I huffed, “Because…. I want…to be…your friend.” And he said, “Ok.” Score.
Lessons: 1) Friends first, 2) Lovers later
A few days later, I was meandering from the playground’s Redwood Forest back to the square where my class lined up at the end of recess. Chris came up behind me and started walking with me. Little did I know, I was about to have my first DTR.
                 “Audrey, you can’t be my girlfriend anymore. I’m dating Sierra and Christine, and it’s just too many to handle,” he said.
                I said, “Ok.”
I said Ok because I was unaware that we were dating. As such, I was fine with our relationship remaining unchanged in my mind, though I had just been unceremoniously kicked off the girlfriend team in his. It wasn’t until I told my two friends Megan and Emily what had happened that I learned Chris was a jerk. I don’t think Chris and I were friends after that.
Lessons: 1) Be on the same page, 2) Polygamy is not OK
                I entered into the third grade a single gal. But soon, I caught the attention of a kindred spirit, a ginger boy named Cody. He was a new kid, which meant he was gawked at like a lion at the zoo, or a homeschooler outside. He was a novelty, with so much potential of being cool.
                One day, a girl came up to me and said, “Cody has been calling you his wife.”
                Not cool, Cody. Plus, he had blue hair at the time, which was not helping his case. Or his face. Naturally, we did not become friends because he was weird.
                Aftermath: Four years later in middle school, we had our first conversation.
                Cody: Remember when I called you my wife in elementary school?
                Audrey: Yeah.
                The end.
Lessons: 1) If you’re overzealous (or creepy), you will scare him/her away 2) Boys named Cody are always idiots
                I soon learned that surprising actions like Cody’s aren’t always creepy. The key is that the boy must be cute.
                During story time, the class sat at the feet of Mrs. Potok and she read us a fantastic tale, usually about caterpillars and metamorphosis. One day, I was sitting awkwardly with my arm straight to my side, palm resting on the carpet face up, and my fingers pointing backward. Perhaps adorable Carson took this as an invitation, because he grabbed it. Story time soon became my favorite time of day.
                …Until Mrs. Potok called my parents.
Lesson: PDA will get you into trouble
                However, our relationship pressed forward undeterred. Soon, though, it would be (unnecessarily) tested.
                One of our classmates had a birthday. As per elementary school tradition, they brought chocolate cupcakes for the class (I don’t know why we stopped doing this when we graduated to middle school).  Carson and I sat at the same table. When the student came up to Carson to give him a cupcake, he said, “No thanks; I don’t like chocolate.” When the boy offered me one as well, I responded, “I don’t like chocolate either.”
                I lied. Chocolate is awesome. I had to watch in silent misery as everyone enjoyed their cupcakes while all I had was a stupid pseudo-boyfriend.
Lesson: Don’t change yourself to have more in common with a boy, because you won’t actually have more in common…
                I wish I could say the lying stopped there, but it didn’t.
                During recess one day, Carson and I were sitting on a log talking about animals.
                “Do you have any pets?” Carson asked.
                “I have a dog,” I responded easily. Then, I had an idea.  “And…,” I began. My voice trailed off. I turned my body slightly away from him and looked up wistfully at the sky.
                “What’s the matter?” He asked, concerned, as he scooted closer.
                I kept my eyes wide open to try and prompt tears to fall, and I replied in the best choked up voice that I could, “I had a cat named Sebastian. I used to go to the laundry room where he was hiding and pick up his hind legs and pretend he was a wheelbarrow. He hated it. He got kidney disease and we had to put him down.”
                Cue comfort from Carson.
Lessons: 1) Don’t be needy or do something solely for the sake of getting attention. 2) Refrain from lying or fake crying over things, especially cats. The person should be able to see right through you because cats are dumb.

Monday, January 9, 2012


My last semester of college has arrived. Now I have to think about the future, like what environmental organization I can convince to hire me or how long I can go without a haircut before my mom notices. But before I allow those heavy issues take root in my brain, I chose to ignore the impending doom of what lies ahead by remembering what’s happened and realizing what’s happening.

The Past
  • Things I used to believe:
  • When a car would approach ours, my sister and I would yell, “It’s going to kiss us!” Later, I learned that when two cars “kiss”, it’s actually called an accident
  • If Whitney Houston hadn’t written “I Will Always Love You”, I would have.
  • My earwax looked like Disney characters, especially from the movie Aladdin.
  • Dude looks just like my earwax!
  • I had an abnormally large big toe. I cried about it.
  • I would look cooler if only I could get off this dumb turtleneck from underneath my jean vest.
  • If I focused hard enough, I’d be able to move the chalk with my eyes in my 7th grade social studies class just like Matilda did.
  • I was really cool because I could spell “silhouette” when I was in second grade. Actually, I still believe that.
  • My first word ever, “Buglebee”, was a real word.
The Present
The people we’re around tend to influence us. Fortunately for me, my roommates turned out to be more awesome and inspiring people than I ever could have hoped to meet in college. Unfortunately, their quirks also rub off.  
Group minus Kayla, but you already saw what she looked like.
Fortunately: Use what you love to do as a way to bless others. This is me saying thank you for doing my laundry and cleaning our entire apartment before breaks.
Unfortunately: She’s apprenticed me in how to increase my number of chins from one to seven and making attractive faces in general.
Sometimes I tell people this is photoshopped to make her feel better.
Fortunately: Anna embodies the saying, “A stranger is a friend you haven’t met yet.” She strikes up conversations with the lady selling herbs at Meijer and the guy sitting by himself in Baldwin, and they respond to her because she is genuinely loving and interested in them.  Tip: Most of her conversations work in a corny joke and hummus in some way.
Unfortunately: Talking in a high pitched voice when excited or flustered. This really enhances my credibility when I’m attempting to clarify a presentation point to a professor.
Fortunately: You are never too busy. Amanda runs track and cross country, takes a full course load each semester, has a job at the TV Station, and started an abstinence group for high school girls. She also makes time for her manly boyfriend. She shows that having things to do doesn’t equate to selfishness. She makes time for God, every person, and every task.
Unfortunately:  Using the word “precious” as the default response in conversation, such as “I’m going to class.” Precious.
What a hunk. Of time he takes out of her schedule.
Fortunately: Make long-term friendships with people who are nothing like you. Beka is friends with a 60-year-old couple who take her on motorcycle rides and a 70-year-old woman who feeds her grilled cheese.  
Unfortunately: She ponders thoughtfully before responding to a question or giving excellent advice, but in an effort to emulate this, my wisdom comes off as contrived.  
                Ex| I’m so stressed out about my exams.
    Maybe you should stop doing that.
Fortunately: Talk. Brooke is probably the most reserved of the group, but during our roommate Bible studies, she was extremely open. Seeing someone else bare their soul, especially when I could tell it was more uncomfortable for her than it would be for some of the others, encouraged us to do the same.
Unfortunately: Brooke hasn’t made any adverse marks on my personality because she leaves every weekend to see her fiancĂ© before she gets the chance (sorry Brooklyn, I couldn’t resist passive aggressively saying I miss you).