Several weeks ago, I was at work, filing brochures and writing things in Excel, when my manager came in from the parking lot.
“There’s a bird in the parking lot,” she said, frantically.
“Yes, that’ll happen,” I replied.
“It’s injured,” she clarified.
Being the intrepid being that I am, I left my coworker to man the desk and went out to rescue said bird.
Now, normally I have a pretty hands-off approach to nature. Nature, in my opinion, is something that can pretty much take care of itself (a lot more efficiently than humans can, in fact.) I am outdoorsy in that I like to drink on the patio, provided that it is nice out and not super buggy. I have been camping, but I have little desire to do it again.
However, being that my manager specifically asked me to do something about the bird, and being that my manager decides whether or not I get paid, I (intrepidly) forayed into the wilds of the parking lot with two plastic bags.
The bird, a robin, was sort of hobbling around and feebly flapping one wing. I caught it fairly easily and managed to get it into a box.
I named him Taco.
My coworkers and I decided he should go up to the local wildlife care center, so I went up there, dropped off Taco, filled out a form and left feeling like a good samaritan.
UNTIL THIS MORNING.
I got a letter in the mail telling me they had to put him down.
THEY KILLED TACO.
WHY would I want to KNOW that??
Hey, remember that bird you saved a few weeks ago that you felt good about and then pretty promptly forgot about? HE DIED. If you’d left him outside, he also would have died, but YOU WOULDN’T GET A MORBID NOTE IN THE MAIL.
ENJOY YOUR DAY, ASSHOLE.
I know, internet. I totally left you hanging right when we were getting to the juicy part.
I don’t understand how Cassandra could possibly be a Stage Five Clinger, you probably asked yourself repeatedly over the last two days. She seems like such a normal, well adjusted, fashionable, sanitary person.
Well, you would be right, internet, and I’m modest, too. However, this is the story of how I was a Stage Five Clinger, and it’s still one of the most mortifying circumstances I’ve ever been in, so you’ll excuse me for beating around the bush.
So anyways, I had this insane crush on Cupcake, who was a year older than I was (I was 15, he was 16). We were on the same crew team (he was varsity, I was a wee novice), and I used to chat about him with my friend, Hillary Duff, using extremely clever nicknames that there was no way he would ever possibly figure out.
…of course he did. You saw that one coming, didn’t you? He totally knew. Everyone knew, apparently, and I, using my keen powers of observation, was completely oblivious to the fact that everyone totally knew about my giant crush FOR MONTHS.
Sigh. High school.
Anyways, one day after practice, Hillary Duff and I are in the parking lot talking about Cupcake, and Cupcake waltzes over and says, “Um, I know you’re talking about me.”
So of course I did Something Very Smooth.
Aka I ran for it.
I am an embarrassment.
Luckily enough, Cupcake found my complete lack of social skills endearing, and he asked me out on a date.
Now, I mentioned before that I was a dating dummy. What I should stress now is that I was a moron, actually, because somewhere in my mind I’d managed to get the idea that going on a date with someone automatically make them your boyfriend.
No, I’m not making this up. Going on a date with someone makes them your boyfriend. I was (okay, am) socially inept. However, you have to admit it would make things much easier. No “are we monogamous?” conversations. No awkward “how do I introduce this person with using the B word?”. No dating for 2 years without changing your Facebook status. One date = boyfriend. Boom.
So we went on a date. My dad dropped me off at a local park and we went Geocaching. Never found the thing, but had a lovely afternoon. My dad picked me up. No kiss. No hug. No handholding. Not so much as a pat on the back.
I went right home and changed my Myspace status, because this was 2005 and Facebook wasn’t even a thing yet.
Oh yeah, you’re thinking, this chick is crazy. I bet she had a totally pimped out Myspace page.
Yes, internet, I did.
And I’m not ashamed.
Yet I digress.
The very next day, Cupcake left on a week-long school trip to England.
By the time he had returned, everyone in high school thought we we dating.
Because I told pretty much everyone.
Because I’m a psychopath.
Now here comes the fun twist, internet.
Cupcake had made out with someone else on his trip.
Now, in his defense, he knew that we weren’t actually dating, and since he’d been overseas, he didn’t know that I thought we we dating. I, however, thought he’d cheated on me.
I took to AIM the night I found out about Cupcake’s infidelity. I don’t have a transcription, but I’ll do my best.
me: how cud u?
him: ??? 😦
me: u cheated on me??!!
me: IT’S OVER!!
him: uh… okay?
Cue tears. Drama. Hysteria.
It wasn’t until almost SIX MONTHS LATER that I figured out that Cupcake and I had never ACTUALLY been a couple. And that everyone at school had secretly been laughing at me about the entire affair. And then of course I was so mortified that I couldn’t talk to the guy for three years after that.
…I’m really, REALLY oblivious.
Apparently you guys are jerks.
Anyways, I figured I’d regale you all with a tale of a young, naïve, sophomore year of high school Cassandra. Because if there is anything better than terrible stories about dating mishaps, it’s dating mishaps in high school.
This is also the first true story I’ve told where there is any chance that the person involved could possibly read it. So if you find this, and you know who you are, you’ll know why I have to refer to you in this post as Cupcake.
I’m so sorry, Cupcake.
I should preface this tale by telling y’all that in high school, I had a very shady concept of how relationships worked. At the time of this tale, I had:
Gone on three dates with two different people, all terrible movies (Pirates of the Caribbean, Master of Disguise, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), and my mom came and sat in the row behind us.
Had a whirlwind month-long pseudo-relationship.
However, all around me, my friends were dating people. Like, for real dating. Like, my best friend Miks totally held hands with a guy in the hallway walking to class dating. My other best friend slash mortal enemy Boomer totally made out with someone on the robotics team who had a CAR and gave her flowers for Valentine’s day DATING.
Meanwhile, I looked like this.
So clearly my milkshake was bringing zero boys to my yard.
I met Cupcake through mutual friends. He was a year older than me, a foot taller, and he no longer had braces. I immediately developed a HUGE crush on him.
To this day, thinking back, I still can’t put my finger on what it was that attracted me to Cupcake, as he in no way, shape, or form resembled anyone else I’ve ever have a crush on.
I think it was just that he was so freakin’ nice. Here I was, just some dorky loser sophomore, and a junior was being nice to me.
to be continued…
So I’ve been watching my stats recently, internet. Don’t you think I haven’t been.
These are the top ten posts of all time out of the last 82 posts (this is post 83, can you believe it?) along with their page views:
The WORSER worst date I’ve ever been on. 115
The true story of the first night I ever went out drinking, part 1. 103
Women’s Strength Training Anatomy – a review. 93
The worst meal I’ve ever had. 80
Friend dating. 72
Justin Bieber is not a douchebag. 68
Here goes nothing. 67
The true story of the worst date I’ve ever been on. 66
Grad school in memes. 65
My cat’s on Prozac. 64
Look at this list, internet. A lot of worsts. Dating. Drinking. Debauchery. And of course, memes and cats.
I figured today, given your preferences, I’d do a crowd-pleasing post about The Worst Kiss I’ve Ever Experienced. It’s a short but bittersweet tale.
Our story today takes place in a little pseudo-town called Govy (Government Camp). On Wikipedia Govy is referred to as an unincorporated community, whatever that means. It’s essentially a slap-dash ski town that has three or four different ski camps, 6 or 7 different demo shops, a pizza place, an ice cream shop, and a diner. That’s essentially it. If they have police or a fire department, you’d never know it (unless you were involved in a firecracker war with the dishwashers who worked at the Huckleberry in diner, but that’s a different story for a different time).
I went to a ski camp there in the summer of ’05 called MHSSC. It was a ski/ snowboard training program run off of the nearly mountain Mt. Hood (Fun fact- the hotel that The Shining was filmed in, the Timberline Lodge, is located at the base of this mountain. Awesome). It was a two week program where you got to train during the mornings on the glacier until the snow started to melt around noon, and then in the afternoons we got into plenty of debauchery and craziness and shenanigans like surfing and hiking and white water rafting and whatnot.
I was 15. I had, in fact, kissed some people. I had even french-kissed someone. I had bypassed the cootie contamination issue, but I was by no means experienced in the ways of love. Coming off of my first year in high school, I’d already fancied myself old and wise and had had my heart broken by my boyfriend of 37 seconds (it was meant to be, but alas, someone else’s boobs came in before mine did).
I was, however, not ready for the whirlwind of hormones that awaited me at Govy.
I met Murphy MacManus the first day of camp. He was tall and Irish and had blue braces and sunburnt skin. His voice crackled like feedback on a microphone. He even had a few ginger hairs growing on his scrawny torso. I was in love (probably).
Our whirlwind romance lasted an entire 3 days, which in summer camp time, is practically a year. He even let me share his headphones when we listened to music on his Discman on the bus. What we had was real.
Sadly, it was not to be. We went on a date after white-water rafting one night to the Huckleberry Inn Diner. I bought us a huckleberry milkshake to share and a piece of huckleberry pie. To this day that pie ranks on my top five pies of all time (piemakers 1-3, you know who you are).
The huckleberry shake was so good we ended up ordering a second.
That’s where it all went downhill.
Full and satisfied, we walked down the street homewards when Murphy MacManus grabbed me and locked me in a passionate embrace, and what should have been the highlight of my teenette life took a rapid turn as his kiss deepened. First of all, he was about a foot taller than me, so he had to bend down at an awkward and frankly unreasonable angle. Secondly, oh my goodness, he used his tongue like someone trying to get the last little bit of peanut out of a jar. I mean, I don’t want to get too graphic here, but his tongue was in it to win it. Thirdly, I cut my lip on his braces. Fourthly, I was full of milkshake.
I pulled away from him but it was too late. His passionate kiss had triggered my gag reflexes. I spewed huckleberry milkshake all over my American Eagle flip flops.
It remains the 3rd most embarrassing moment of my life.
Poor Murphy MacManus gallantly helped me back to my dorm room, but the moment was ruined forever.
Ah, young love.
This story is meant as a cautionary tale for fellas who want to woo a special lady. It’s not great to under impress a girl, but it’s even worse to overshoot the landing.
I will say as a preface that I was really rooting for this one to work out. It happened a little over three years ago when I was going through a bit of a rough patch in life, having just broken up with my first “real” boyfriend of sorts. I will not name names, but for clarity I will refer to him as one of my favorite actors.
Morgan Freeman was a fraternity president, an accomplished musician, a chef, and a very accomplished scholar. We met at a pageant of sorts in which I was playing the ukulele and he was playing the guitar. I’m pretty sure he won. I came in second. No, I’m not making this up.
Anyways, Morgan Freeman and I totally hit it off, and push comes to shove, he invited me back to his room in the frat to play music.
Calm yourselves, internet, nothing untoward happened. We actually played music. Beatles, mostly.
It was really nice. I had a fantastic time. We were jiving and the conversation was flowing and all that good jazz. I remember being impressed because his room was ridiculously impressive for a frat house, and I think he told me his mom was an interior decorator or something like that. Super posh. I went home to my fantastic roommate all revved up, and then we probably watched a hockey game and ate goldfish and drank a really horrible cocktail and went to bed or something.
So Morgan Freeman texted me the next day asking me if I’d like to do dinner. And that’s when Things Went Downhill. Because of course I said yes, and in my head I was picturing a slice of pizza, and if things got really impressive, ice cream. And in his head there was apparently a 5 course candlelit meal with a string quartet and a dozen roses.
Gentlemen, here’s some life advice. Impressing women is not always about buying the gal roses and champagne. Sometimes, it’s about knowing whether or not she even likes roses and champagne, or if she’d far prefer dandelions and an ice cold beer.
I’m mostly a dandelions and beer kind of girl. So when Morgan Freeman told me he wanted to cook dinner, I said okay, but I was a little apprehensive. Then when he told me he was planning on making a blueberry wine marinated rack of lamb with an impressive assortment of sides, I said I’d make dessert, when what I really meant was You’re cooking what now?
This is the part where some of you are shaking your heads and thinking I’m an ungrateful snot. Maybe I overreacted slightly, but in my mind, the first date is about getting to know each other, not impressing your date with a crazy meal, especially if your date knows about as much about making dessert as a business executive in L.A. probably knows about ice fishing. Let’s just say that I stressed out about what I was going to make the entire meal and when the chocolate mousse I decided to make (I was so naive) was about as cooperative as a cat in a bathtub, I was in full panic mode.
Meanwhile, Morgan Freeman was waltzing about my tiny kitchen with the grace of a true pageant winner, going on and on about exotic cheeses, and I felt so out of my element that I kept adding vodka to my screwdriver. It didn’t help that he showed up in a button down shirt with a nice sweater and pressed khakis (!!!) and I hadn’t even bothered to brush my hair.
Add to this scene my pajamaed roommate running in and out grabbing things from her pile of school books, the neighbours having some sort of rave next door, and the fact that my notoriously finicky oven kept misbehaving. By the time the food was ready to eat, I was already tipsy, we had run out of conversation starters, and my mousse had lost what little stamina I’d managed to beat into it and had melted into a goopy puddle. Disaster.
Happily, the meal he’d prepared was really, really good. Unhappily, we we both so stressed out and on edge that we barely touched it.
Like a true gentleman, he rallied to my deflated mousse, but by the time we parted ways with one of those awkward hug – handshake – only-one-person-goes-in-for-a-kiss situations, I’m pretty sure we were both ready to call it a night.
Moral of the story – Dudes, know your ladies. Pick something out for a date that puts both of you in a non-stressful situation. And if you ever have to “just whip up” a dessert, for the love of all that is holy DO NOT try to make mousse.