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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Five Year Secret

When you like to talk as much as I do, you can rapidly (and accidentally!) enter some dangerous territory in terms of your conversation topics. Sometimes it’s just in the form of telling a story that really didn’t go anywhere, or telling a joke that really didn’t go anywhere, or telling a joke about a girl telling a story about a bus that didn’t go anywhere (ba dum chh), but sometimes a person can get so wrapped up in the art of running their mouth that a secret or two just pops out, and boom, trouble’s afoot. Cartoon characters have it easy, because they can easily grab the slip-up in mid-air and cram it back in their mouths before anyone actually notices that they made a verbal boo-boo, but the rest of us have to either keep talking and hope no one caught our little mishap, or own up to it and get ready for a stream of explanations and apologies to whomever the secret was about. I really don’t try to do this, it just happens! You’ve done worse, I’m sure, like that time you…JUST KIDDING.
On the other hand, there are certain skeletons in my closet that won’t see the light of day for quite some time. Five years, to be exact. You see, while some classified info goes into my mental file cabinet without it’s “Do Not Repeat!” tag, other stuff is highlighted, strung with Christmas lights, and practically set on fire to remind me that it is a major hush-hush topic. I invented the Five Year Secret because was trying to prematurely bail myself out. I figure whatever it is that was done/said won’t hold much importance to whoever it could potentially offend five years after the fact, so it provides a nice buffer for me to forget entirely (thus, avoiding the issue altogether) or we can all share a hearty giggle about our ridiculous selves a half-decade ago.
Let’s discuss which hypothetical secrets that I have zero knowledge about or connection to at all serve as perfect candidates for the Five Year Secret:

Hooking up with a friend’s boyfriend:  If you’re a true bitch, you do this type of thing on the daily and therefore could not care less whether or not you’re “friend” finds out about your dismissively slutty behavior. The rest of the world has Jiminy Cricket sitting on their shoulder screaming “Whooore!” right into their ear. Hopefully if this happens, it was an accident, a one-time thing, and you went home and immediately threw up from the guilt. Ideally, you would tell the friend from the get-go, get the fight over with, and go back to being BFF’s at least a week later (Yes, that long. You hooked with her boyfriend ya skank!). However, if you choose to keep it to yourself, you have no choice but to initiate the FYS. The longer you wait, the more the phrases “Why didn’t you tell me?!” and “How could you do that to me?!” will be thrown around in progressively screechier tones, so it’s best to let the entire situation ride itself out. Five years from now, she will inevitably have another boyfriend and your indiscretion can be chalked up to immaturity, and you two can joke about what a loser he was while your little part in the whole ordeal slides under the radar. If you don’t see it going your way, add a year. Or two. Or just make the bed you lie in and stop inviting other people’s boo thangs in there with you.
·         Let the record show that I do not condone this type of behavior, and I would recommend that you tell your friend that she is dealing with a horribly conniving prostitute friend as well as an inconsiderate, deceitful douchebag of a boyfriend. It sucks, but as a gal pal, so do you. 

Hitting someone’s car: [Assuming no one saw it happen,] regardless of if it was your mom’s SUV while you were pulling out of the driveway or a random stranger’s convertible in the mall parking lot, if you caused significant damage, you keep your mouth shut. These things are very easy to get yourself out of without getting into deep trouble. In the mom’s car situation, all you have to do is quietly drive yourself to a random destination, wait a few minutes, conjure up a wobbly voice and some tears, and call her up with a story about how “Someone must have slammed into it and just driven away while you were in [church/homeless shelter/donating bone marrow/feeding starving ducks] and they didn’t even leave a note!” You’re automatically in the clear, and the imaginary jerk is suddenly the subject of your mom’s scorn. In the mall parking lot, the only option you have is to peel out of there as quickly and stealthily as humanly possible. Some people might think these measures are a little excessive and that five years might be unnecessarily long for something so miniscule, but those people have A) never met my mom’s wrath and B) have never had to pay $2000 for scratching a brand new Lexus parked outside of Subway. After keeping the FYS, your mom probably won’t be able to distinguish an old dent/scratch from a new one, and the poor fella at the mall will have let go of his grudge and learned to park his car in a wide open spot rather than right on the line. Your depth perception might also improve over this time…

Hazing activities: We’ve all heard the myth that in order to initiate into a frat, guys will have to have sex with a goat. We haven’t? Well your eyes just got opened WIDE, didn’t they? Anyway, whether you had to remake the scene from Clerks 2, chug a das boot full of your fellow pledges’ urine, circle jerk, or anything else even remotely homoerotic to prove your allegiance to “the brotherhood,” it’s probably in your best interest to keep it on the DL until you’re out of undergrad. Sure, prospective employers whose connection you received through your fraternity will have allegedly gone through the same thing and will understand your pain, but bros can discuss a lot of ridiculous college events, and jacking off your pledge brother in the darkness of the chapter room is not one of them. This will probably be hilarious to reminisce about after five years, given that Brian didn’t develop some weird bestiality fetish, Greg didn’t get a horrible throat infection from his “cock”tail, and Justin didn’t come out of the closet. What fun would a FYS be without some extra surprises?

Peeing your pants after age 9: You should never admit to this. Not five years later, not ten years later, never. Even if people were there to witness it, vehemently deny it. This is right up there with kissing an ugly person and once having an extra toe; it just didn’t happen. Let’s practice:

“Hey, didn’t you pee your pants in Macy’s once?”
“Nope, not me.”

“What’s up Professor Pee Pee Pants?”
*Look around confused to see who they’re referring to*

“Remember that time you…”

Billy Madison had it completely wrong: you AIN’T cool if you pee your pants. You just ain’t. 

There are countless scenarios where the Five Year Secret is far superior to telling the truth. If you don't know, ask. I'm keeping so many of my own right now my brain might explode, which is pretty telling of how embarrassingly nuts my life is. Luckily, we're closing in on the secrets of 16/17-year-old Skylar, so a huge load will be lifted off of my shoulders soon. And depending on how understanding everyone is, a few friends might be lifted off my shoulders as well. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Kollege Kid Kard

I think they should hand out passes at the beginning of your freshman year that are similar to those punch cards at Dunkin Donuts granting you a free coffee after your tenth visit. Every time you do something quintessentially “Colleeeeeege,” you get a space punched out, and instead of freebies at the end, you get a diploma. There are certain aspects of college that everyone – no matter who you are or where you go – simply must partake in to get the full experience.
  • Making your RA’s life a living hell by wreaking sexual-innuendo-laden havoc on the bulletin board she spent way too much energy decorating? *Punch!*
  • Showing up still wasted to class on Friday morning only to participate more than you ever have all semester and probably ever will again? *Punch!*
  • Getting into a huge fight with the kid you were sorta kinda dating and texting him at 3am that same night to “see what he’s up to”? *Triple Punch!*
I’ve crammed a lot of calamity into my college experience, but there are some things that I will never receive punches for. And I’m strangely cool with that, because I’d rather save my funtimes up for occasions that don’t put me in hilarious danger or make me look like a complete asshole (at least not intentionally).
Here are the ways in which I lose my Kollege Kid Kard:

Not liking Dave Matthews Band: Getting this fact out in the open puts me in great danger of getting shanked by just about everyone I hang out with, but they can suck it, because the man sounds like he’s had the hangy ball in the back of his throat shot with more than the recommended dose of Novocain, and I can’t stand it. “But Skylar, he’s a great song writer!” “But Skylar, they’re such influential philanthropists!” “But Skylar, how could you not love Under the Table and Dreaming?!” I SAID SUCK IT. I’ll take it a step further: A lot of their stuff sounds the same to me; I get “Crash Into Me” and “Where are You Going” confused all the time. There is a certain thing called variety, and Dave ain’t got it in my book. If nothing else, I should probably feel some sense of camaraderie towards the guys based on the fact that they’re from Charlottesville, VA, which is very close to my hometown, but I can’t/won’t even give them that, because Charlottesville is boring as shit. So go off and follow them around like the Deadheads of the 21st century; Incubus is better anyway.

Never having bonged a beer: I am 5’0” (5’1” on a good day), and although the speed with which I can scarf down a Bruschetta Chicken Burger from Red Robin might suggest my stomach capacity is similar to that of Joey Chestnut’s, physically and logically it just cannot be so. Therefore, I am understandably not comfortable with the idea of that much beer entering my body that fast, and me not either puking or burping in a very manly fashion. Anatomy aside, I have a few personal qualms with the whole “beer bong” practice. For starters, I’m not a chugger. Relaxing my throat sends beer straight down my trachea. I have no egotistical need to be a hero, and I don’t try to be. Secondly, I have a one-track mind that is excellent for quick delivery of That’s What She Saids, but not so great when anything tubular is in or around someone’s mouth. A lot of the time, beer bongs are taken on the knees, and that opens up a whole new world of naughty jokes altogether. Finally, pouring a beer that fast results in an absurd amount of foam, and that’s not only hard to swallow but also a huge waste of my time. I’m just fine casually sipping my classy whiskey and Coke and observing the other party time favorite in which I will never participate: keg stands.

No stories involving homeless men: Honestly, I’m kind of crossing my fingers for this one to still happen, but only if the experience turns out as awesome as some of my friends’ have. For instance, one of my good friends met her hobo pal while cutting through a field on her way home one night. His name was Gravel, and they met on the train tracks. Although the story had all the makings of a Dateline Exclusive, Gravel was very kind and directed her and her friend through the field so they could get back to campus. He may have been missing about 97% of his teeth, but she’ll be damned if he wasn’t helpful. Something similar happened to another one of my friends as she and a couple of other girls were walking home from a bar. Unfortunately, their hobo friend wasn’t nearly as helpful or sweet, didn’t have a cool name, and I’m pretty sure they had trash thrown at them. Still, a story’s a story, and I’m always looking for something new to add to my arsenal of ridiculousness, so if I have to put my personal safety in jeopardy and risk getting taken away to someone’s underground vagrant lair in a storm drain, I’m all about it.

Never attended a PCB Spring Break: I know, right?! How could I possibly have made it to this point in my life without a visit to the Mecca of drunken tomfoolery? Actually, that’s probably exactly how I’ve made it to this point in my life. A trip to Panama City, Fla. leaves you susceptible to any or all of the following things: dehydration, amnesia, Chlamydia, crippling regret, babies. I don’t need any of those things in my life. That is not to say I’m entirely opposed to the idea, though. There are certain aspects of a PCB Spring Break that I would definitely be a fan of, such as meeting D-list reality TV stars, participating in booty shaking contests, and working hard in the gym for three months prior to the trip only to have picture upon picture taken of myself sporting an embarrassing beer belly. How have I deprived myself for so long?  

Not owning Vera Bradley merchandise: I love colorful things. I love printed things. Colorful printed random things that are attention grabbing and girly and wonderful. That being said, I cannot stand Vera Bradley. At first I thought it was just the popularity that got to me. Everywhere I looked, there were hundreds of girls with the backpacks holding the matching laptop case with a matching ID case on their matching lanyard, and suddenly I was so overwhelmed by “Safari Sunset” and “Pinwheel Pink” that I almost threw up quilted paisley florals all over myself. On second thought, it might be the names of the patterns themselves that riled me up. It can go anywhere from just plain “Olive” all the way up to “Floral Nightingale,” and quite frankly that’s a lot of creative license for someone to take. “Twirly Birds” in pink OR navy? Can you even do that? The fact that there are so many options and it seems as though people only own stuff in “Rhythm and Blues,” “Happy Snails,” or “Make me Blush” is just ridiculous. Finally, Vera has taken it way too far in the sheer variety of products she sells. Duffels, garment bags, makeup cases; all good and well. But then we get into the curling iron covers, the placemats, the coolers, and the photo albums, and I feel like she’s being a little greedy. Cornering the market and knowing your audience shows excellent business savvy, but who in their right mind would pay $22 for a stationary set? I’ll stick to something a little less Java Blue, thank you.