Gassy Girl, Part I

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For months now I’ve been planning to post about my tumultuous lifelong relationship with flatulence.  And as Lucy lies next to me sleeping and farting, it reminds me of one particularly horrifying day during my freshman year of college.

My freshman year was tough.  I entered school with an out-of-state boyfriend which distracted me from the task of making friends.  I spent the first three months driving to see him every weekend, but by late October, my road trip funds were depleted.  I had to get a job.  Unfortunately, by December, we broke up because he had cheated on me with some hoochie working at Victoria’s Secret.

Missing the window of opportunity to make nice with people on campus, I focused my attention on my fellow mall workers.  If you’ve ever worked in a mall, you’re familiar with the mall culture.  It is much like a small town-everyone knows where you work, who you hang out with, and if your boss is gay.  I’m not exactly sure how this gets spread, but I’m convinced it’s related to the security guards that circulate from store to store.  One of the people I met through the mall was Adam.

Adam was  cute.  He wore glasses, was nerd-chic, and was three years older.  Best of all, he lived in Arkansas prior to moving to our city.  I was really into Adam, and I thought he was rather into me.   We hung out pretty often, usually with mutual friends.

Then one night he invited me over to watch movies.  He lived with his parents, who were the campus missionaries at my school, but they were out of town at a conference.  When I arrived, we ate dinner and then sat down to watch the film. Adam was in a recliner and I laid down on the sofa. 

Things were going well.  I wasn’t ready to just start a physical relationship so I was thankful for the distance.  However, the movie wasn’t that interesting and I started to doze off.  I guess I feel into a deep sleep because my body completely relaxed and then “PPPPFFFTTTT.” I farted. I farted and it was loud.  It was so loud that it woke me up.  However, I wasn’t 100% that I didn’t dream it so I didn’t say anything.  Oddly, Adam didn’t say anything either. In fact, we didn’t say much to each other for the rest of the night.

By the time I performed my own version of the walk-of-shame across campus to my dorm, I knew that it wasn’t a dream.  I didn’t really wonder why he never called me again.  The answer  to that question is blowing in the wind. 

Weekly Wisdom from Dr. Advice

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People save themselves for marriage and then the wedding night say, “I waited for this?” You know, the first time isn’t that great.

It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

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I knew it was Monday because I was almost run off the road by a crazy guy with road rage, flashing his lights at me. Personally, I don’t think his repeated saluting with his middle finger was justified; I was going five miles over the speed limit. (Literally, it was like saluting. He did it three times, paused, and another two times. Or he’s one of those rave kids and was practicing his moves for the discotheque.)

I still enjoyed my usual large cup of coffee and bottle of water on my commute. After my first class, I was aching for a potty. I located the nearest ladies room and chose my stall. After finishing my business, I reached for the toilet paper roll. It was on my right side and was attached via a lock hinge. You know the kind, the ones you have to fight with when you’re trying to steal paper from cheap fast food restaurants before T.P.-ing your nemesis’s house. Well, it wasn’t latched. And I guess I’ve been working out too much with the indomitable because when I reached for it, it shot across the bathroom floor, rolled over my stall neighbor’s feet, and hit the wall that was ten feet away. Not only did it fly with amazing speed, it managed to stay intact. I was left with about ten squares in my hand and a train that provided tissue for over half the bathroom, right at their feet.

I chuckled for a few minutes afterward. Then I heard my neighbor flush and begin washing her hands. I waited a few seconds for her to finish and leave, but she was a good little washer and was scrubbing, hard. So I convinced myself that it was okay and that I wasn’t embarrassed (even though I really was). I wrap up my visit, pull up my pants, flush the toilet, and exited. I was greeted by my neighbor with my toilet paper roll in hand. She looked at me and said, “Nice Shot,” and placed the roll back in my stall.

Weekly Wisdom from Dr. Advice

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One of my favorite professors teaches my Sociology of Family course. I get to start my school day by attending his class at 8 o’clock in the morning. Though I’ve had some people tell me they have a hard time staying awake in his class, I find it no struggle. I’ve decided to share his wisdom with you, my internet audience.

“I want to encourage smoking. Those of you who don’t smoke should start. The new proposed cigarette tax is to fund education. Everyone should smoke.”

Wrinkles and Pimples

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Have you ever reached a moment in your life when you realize you are older? This week I became a regular daytime college student for the first time since my freshman year in 2000. As I roamed the halls and looked around my classes, I realized that I’m out of date. My generation’s Birkenstocks and Doc Martens have been replaced by Crocs and Uggs. I began to feel self conscious about my paddle sized black clogs. I was praying that they would notice my age and know that I was not young and hip but mature and modern. However, my adult acne doesn’t do a good job portraying all my life experiences. I looked like a dork, and I felt old. When did your age hit you?

History Lessons by My Uncle Dennis

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My history professor is a pure delight. I knew I would like him when he started the first class with a spit bottle in his hand for the wad of dip in his mouth. He’s a good old boy through and through. Last year, he was in Iraq serving our country. Every class he recounts interesting events from his tour of duty, supplementing them with stories about country bumpkins. He has an amazing ability to mix words of the earth, like turd kicker, with those that would appear on a GRE test. This week I learned three new words: loquacious, gaggle, and abscind. Now, you may know these words but keep in mind that I attended a Math and Science high school and was not required to take tradition English courses.

Loquacious
- adjective
1. talking or tending to talk much or freely; talkative; chattering; babbling; garrulous: a loquacious dinner guest.
2. characterized by excessive talk; wordy: easily the most loquacious play of the season

Gaggle
–verb (used without object)
1. to cackle.
–noun
2. a flock of geese when not flying. Compare skein.
3. an often noisy or disorderly group or gathering: a politician followed by a gaggle of supporters.
4. an assortment of related things.

Abscind –verb (used with object)
to sever

9.11.06

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Today is the beginning of the third week of school. Because of Labor Day, it’s only my second meeting of my Monday night American History course. It is unlike most of my night course as it contains a large amount of freshmen. The first night we met, my professor asked who in the class remembered or knew of the Soviet Union. I was appalled to discover that only a third of the class raised their hands. I know that at 24, I am a little bit older than your average student in this basic seminar class. However, the Soviet Union fell in 1991. I guess my age has really snuck up on me. It has been six years since I graduated high school.

Tonight I realized how truly different those six years makes me compared to my classmates. It is September 11th. It has been five years since those towers fell. I have always felt a little guilty because I’ve never fully internalized the significance of that event. This day is my sister’s birthday, and a part of me has always wanted to remember it as that day. I didn’t want the terrorist to make me afraid of a day that has always had a more positive feeling. I was moved when I saw the images of the fireman draping the flag across the crumbling remnants of the twin towers. I admit that I sang patriotic songs on the way to class and looked forward to my professor, a veteran of the Iraqi war, teaching. However, I am alarmed of the images that I saw as I walked across campus to my classroom. As I approached, I saw the overwhelming sight of hundreds of girls chanting and dancing in a circle. Rush.

I must admit that I’ve never been a big fan of sororities. Maybe this is because of my secret envy. They are a society of elitist. Girls that can afford the time and money to dedicate. I have either been on scholarship or working or both. I’ve been focused on much more difficult and pertinent things. I’ve not had the luxury to “rush”. Regardless to my bitterness, I do not feel that this day is an appropriate day to shift our focus from the realities of life and place our hopes on join a privileged club. I know that five years ago, these freshmen were 13 years old. They do not remember the Soviet Union. They probably do not remember the panic of their parents and other adults as the rushed to pick them of from school, or pick up bread and water, or scramble to the pumps on that fateful day five years ago. They have the luxury to not remember as vividly as some of their classmates. However, I know that they do remember that day. They remember where they were when they learned. They have seen the footage, probably once a week, for the last five years of their life. Terrorism has been part of their entire adult life. Maybe, without knowing the comfort of our ignorance, they cannot fathom the fear of our knowledge. The United States has been at war since their pre-pubescent teen years.

This has been a reality check for me. I am a firm believer that we cannot let the experience of 9/11 change our day to day lives. I believe that would be giving into the terrorist. At the same time, I struggle with what I saw. It seems completely disrespectful. Why this day? Are we so removed? This has definitely reaffirmed my decision to not join a sorority. If I were a freshman, I think the group I would want to join would be the one chanting U-S-A, or the group waving an American flag, or the one praying for peace and safety of our troops. But then again, if I were a freshman today, I would have been born in 1988. I would have owned a cell phone long before I had my first car. The Berlin Wall would have only existed in history books. And terrorism would be as normal as the AIDS epidemic.

There’s No Cool Senior Ring Involved This Time

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I remember my first day of my senior year of high school. My whole body anticipated the anxiety and excitement of the year the lay ahead of me. My senior of college, I cannot say the same. I think this day can be surmised in one word: dread. Forcing myself through last year was challenging. Though you’d never know by looking at my 4.0 GPA, every time I made the monotonous commute from work to school, I internally struggled with allowing the use of my “skip day”. Every weekend I had to force myself to wake up, drag my ass off my friends couch, and go home at a decent hour on Sunday afternoon in order to complete my homework. Thankfully level-headed Kelly wins out by reminding me that I need to reserve my “skip day” for the unexpected illness. Fortunately the only illness I’ve suffered from was a killer hang-over and that took place on Easter Sunday weekend when I had minimal homework and optimal recover time.

However, I do feel like this year is going to be a memorable one. I started off my day at the gas station, filling up in preparation for the hour long drive to school. It was cooler this morning than it has been in a while. There was a mild breeze – one that’s strong enough to let you know that rain is on the way. The smell of the air reinforced the weather prophecy. The time had an aura to it. The kind of aura that reverberates for the remainder of your life. Reoccurrences that happen when you hear a song or smell a perfume that reminds you of your youth and emotions of the past, anxiety, love, happiness, surge into every part of your being. You can feel it well up in your chest and your senses heighten.

Smells are my strongest portal to the past. When I breathe in the scent one specific unisex cologne, I am taken back to my junior high years. The September I met my best friend at the county fair and made a life long connection with an amazing soul. The taste of green peppermints. The feeling of the later summer sun complimented with the breeze of the impending fall. I think of the khaki jacket I stole from my 8th grade love, warm with its flannel lining and complimentary olive corduroy collar. I am taken back of an innocent time when my only worry was trying to figure out which one of my early pubescent friends was mad at me that week. Life was sweet and pure just like that perfume. And I will always be flood with the joys of immaturity when I smell it.

This year is going to be one of those years. Though not all of my evoking memories are good, I cannot imagine this year having a negative connotation. With everything that I have overcome behind me, my life cannot take a turn for the worse. It’s been there. I pray that I’ve hit the low point in my story. Now it’s time to experience the pure joys of life.

Maybe that’s one reason why I am not looking forward to this coming year. Yes, I will complete a life long goal. But I’ve had an unfathomable amount of fun this summer. The freedom to do only what makes me happy is an ecstasy I’ve never experienced before. Another fear is completion. I will finally reach my life-long goal, one that I’ve probably anticipated more than my wedding day. It’s definitely one I’ve planned longer and paid more money to obtain. I guess level-headed Kelly will have to force me to go class and graduate. I’m sure I’ll look back to this in ten years and be overwhelmed with the feelings of youthful opportunity. Right now it feels like purgatory.