classmate: why does it taste like cinnamon?
me: my lipgloss is cinnamon-flavored.
classmate: but... if you hate cinnamon, why would you wear cinnamon-flavored lipgloss?
me: BECAUSE IT LOOKS AWESOME.
classmate: I don't get it.
This is further proof that boys, no matter how impeccably-dressed and generally fabulous though this individual classmate is, sometimes just do not understand.
Awkward Moments in Communication!
When I was working at a theater in Minneapolis, a large portion of my weekend afternoons was spent answering the box office phone. You zone out quite a bit when conducting the same conversation ("which night? how many tickets? are you a member? do you have any accessible-seating needs?") over and over, so my brain was obviously not working at full capacity. My boss was named Jennifer, and has just popped in to the office to say goodbye before leaving for the day.
The phone rings, and as I answer, a woman in a super-thick Australian accent says "Allo, this is Jennifer!". Naturally, I "allo, Jennifer!" her right back, with the thickest, worst faux-Aussie affectation known to man. Except this was not Boss Jennifer, I realized, as she paused for a moment and then went on to make her reservation with me. It was simply an Australian woman with an unusual accent and she heard me grab onto that accent and now she thinks I'm mocking her.
A particular compulsion borne of years of theater involvement is to never, ever act inconsistently with a character once you've begun to act as them. "Make a choice and support it", our acting teachers would always remind us. "Don't back down from your choices!"
I spent the next interminable six minutes or so on the phone with Down Under Jennifer sounding like a ridiculous ass, desperately trying not to let my crappy accent slip as I got her tickets ready for an upcoming show.
When she was but a wee thing, a close friend of mine did the same thing that all slightly insane actor-types do: she took a social situation in which she was certain to never, ever see some people again and became a different character for the duration of that situation. Except, in this case, it completely backfired.
She was on a plane, and decided to pose as a British au pair. (She was in high school, if that's any sort of explanation.) This might have been just a fun 90-minute interlude, except her plane was re-routed due to inclement weather, and what was a temporary character very rapidly became a massive pain in the ass. As she was no longer landing in her destination city, she had to make alternate travel plans with three handicaps:
1) she was too young to rent a car
2) this occurred pre-cell phone and wifi, so all communication had to take place via public pay phone with all the other re-routed passengers waiting in line behind her
3) SHE WAS PRETENDING TO BE BRITISH.
And so, like any good actor following the established rules of Never Break Character and Stick To Your Choices, she stuck with the accent for hours and hours. She called her ride and her family from the pay phone, spoke in the same British accent she'd used on the plane, and simply ignored their confusion as to why the hell she was talking like that. Travel plans were made which involved her getting a ride with another stranded passenger who was able to rent a car and drop her off in a city about an hour away, which meant that she was stuck being English in a car with a stranger for what I imagine was a long, awkward hour.
I have an appointment to test for a potential food allergy this Friday, and I fear that the nurse will instead decide to test me for "moronic decisions relating to eating spoiled food" upon noticing how much mold I inadvertently consumed in the span of a few days.
After all, if I'm to go down in a ball of flames, I may as well look good doing so.
-1999, Nebraska. I'm driving my exchange sister to the airport to pick up a friend, when she notices that the interstate signs all say "To Municipal Airport", not "To The Lincoln Airport". She, being a non-native speaker, asks "what does municipal mean?"Now, in my defense, I was driving on the interstate and looking for the best route to the airport, and didn't really want to get into the levels of governance and their nomenclature. I looked at her briefly, and said "the. Municipal is a long word for the. The airport."
I don't know at what point in her life she realized that "municipal" was mis-defined for her that day, but she's never again asked me what a word meant.
-2004, Minnesota. I'd chosen to sign up for a Ph.D-level Shakespeare seminar taught by the most wonderful prof in the Lit department, because 1) this professor was truly amazing and probably close to death and I felt that I should take every opportunity to take his courses before he was no longer around, 2) I was crazy and felt that overacheiving in such ways was somehow a good idea while finishing my B.A., especially in that last semester of undergrad with a full course load and the looming prospect of having to obtain gainful employment. The syllabus noted that our final papers, 70% of our course grade, were due on the day of the penultimate class meeting.
I never questioned it.
In my head,"penultimate" meant "the Tuesday after the last regular class meeting- the one after the ultimate, right?", and I operated under that theory for the full semester. Then, on the actual occurrence of the penultimate class meeting, he asked us to turn in our final papers. "What?", I sputtered, "but those aren't due for another two weeks!"
Oh. Oops. Perhaps a dictionary might have cleared that due date up for me. I had to admit, out loud and to a room full of Ph.D candidates, that I didn't really know what "penultimate" meant. Had I not saved my drop-a-class-free pass until that final semester of undergrad, I would have earned the very first failing grade of my life.
Lesson: words are your friends, so don't fuck with them, or they will screw things up mightily for you.
I feel as if I'd be asked to revoke my Minnesota credibility if anyone at the Minneapolis DMV found out that my car is stuck on ice in southern Ohio, where it has not dropped below 0 degrees in well over a year.