Why couch shopping was not as fun as I thought it would be

I don’t know why, but when I was younger and thought about getting married, I never really focused on the wedding day. I mean, it was there. But the part that always made me think: MARRIAGE was furniture shopping. Actually, specifically couch shopping. I was a weird kid.
So you can imagine my disappointment when I got married and my husband already had a couch because he already lived in his own basement suite. I wanted to buy a new one, but was greeted with this:

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My husband has owned his couch for over ten years. It lived with him through undergraduate school, graduate school, working life and into our married life. I figured “hey, its not pretty but it works.” But after ten years, it became apparent that we needed an upgrade. It came to my attention as we sat smooshed together, my legs all over my husbands lap and the two of us trying to find a comfortable position.

 

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It was also apparent when my Mom and stepfather came over to watch a movie with me and we awkwardly smooshed together.

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So finally, we agreed something needed to be done. And it needed to be done quickly. I alluded in my last entry about the experience – what I thought would maybe be an afternoon turned into a weekend long event with us sitting on every conceivable couch known to man; leather, pleather, corduroy fabric, weird furry, sectionals, separate pieces. Anything you can think of – we sat on.
During this event I also realized that salespeople like to approach me. You see, this is the expression of my husband and I when we enter a store to purchase something:

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And since I apparently look like the biggest mark on earth, this is what happens when a salesperson sees us.

 

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Well, luckily I may be nice but that doesn’t mean I’ll buy just anything. It was the end of day one and we had grudgingly agreed on this cheap piece from a warehouse. I went home that night, staying awake, thinking I was making a horrible mistake. What if it was uncomfortable? What if it looked ugly?

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So then the next morning I got a recommendation for a store that we’d never heard of. We entered and there, in all its huge grey glory was… dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuuun – my perfect sectional!

 

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Reversible for when we move to a bigger place, a durable fabric and it came with a chaise! A CHAISE! Surely a couch for royals! Best part was: it was almost 50% off of the original price!

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The only problem was… I was instantly in love and my husband… Well, he likes to be sure when spending larger sums of money. So after going back to see the other couch we’d been eying and deciding that it was now garbage because we’d found the holy grail of couches, we went back. I was ready to buy! My husband on the other hand, wanted to be positive.

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So, we bought it! Delightful! Then when we got home, I went straight for the computer to look up photos of it to show everyone because I was so darn stoked. I was in the middle of something when I heard a dark laugh from the other room. I walk out to see my husband holding a measuring tape in one hand and standing in front of our patio door.

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So yeah, after measuring it out we realized that the couch reaches to almost the patio door. Meaning to get outside, we would definitely have to climb over said couch to BBQ. Here is an ACCURATE diagram for reference.

This is what the layout was before.

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And this was after.

giantSo when the couch arrived, it fit pretty much exactly how it looks up above. Here is a before and after of the real couches, just to get an idea.

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But whatever, it’s the most comfortable couch ever. I love it and I can relax on it and if I ever have a sleep over like, 3 people can LAY DOWN and sleep comfortably on it! And it can probably sit around 8 people! IT’S THE BEST COUCH EVER. So basically, long story short, I’m in love.

There’s just one little thing…

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Why I didn’t write a proper blog post this week

So, I like to do my blogs in advance by about a week. That way when Wednesday crawls around I am not that worried about posting. But like anything I do in life, sometimes I leave things to the last minute. Like this blog. And no matter what I did or drew, my reaction was inevitably this

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So instead of trying to be funny, I will just tell you why I could not come up with a cohesive blog plot at this time in my life.
First, I have been in a horrible, grouchy mood for like, a week. I have no idea why but I am just soured on everything.

And because fate likes to sit, eat popcorn and laugh at my life, my husband has been in a RIDICULOUSLY great mood. And for some reason, the worst was when I was trying to take a photo of a meal I’d just plated and he INSISTED on sticking his head in the photo and pulling terrible faces. Instead of handling this like an adult, I stomped of saying “FINE, I WON’T TAKE A PHOTO!” with my husband confused and… no, that was about it. Just confused.

 

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Secondly, because of my horrible, sour mood, I’ve been eating way too many potato chips. And also, singing EVERY song on the “Frozen” soundtrack even though I am creeping up to the age of 30. I’ve also been doing these things while wearing a red bandana to keep the awful bangs I cut at home out of my face. I look pathetic. Oh, and I cannot hit ANY of the notes. Like, None.

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Thirdly, when cleaning my house I found a Dinosaur fossil kit. I mean, I feel like that speaks for itself but if its doesn’t, then…well I have nothing to say to you.

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Fourthly I have become obsessed with bunting. I blame my friend Rachel because she is RIDICULOUSLY talented in like, every artistic endeavor. (Seriously, check our her photography blog and prepare to cry at your own inadequacies – its okay, I do it too). And she always has this cute bunting everywhere in photos or her office and its so adorable I kind of want to barf at my own sad attempts at decorating. And since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I was all “Yeah, bunting! I’m all over that!” Except, mine is kind of cheap and garbage-y. And I feel like it takes me way too long to make it. Seriously, its triangles on string why does it take SO LONG!?

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Fifthly: Then my husband and I decided we needed a new couch. And I will probably make a long blog out of that gong show. But for now, here is a clear preview for how it went down.

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Sixthly there is an old woman/man (I’m serious, I do not know which gender) across the street from me that intermittently decides to do WEIRD ASSED dancing at random times during the day. And I swear this person does it while looking into my window and smiling. And the dancing/exercising is so weird it makes me uncomfortable.

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And then to top off what can only be described as a crummy kind of seven days, I saw this. And it stressed me out on a level that a 28-year-old woman should NOT be stressed about. Like, was this clown wandering? Would he end up near my place? Why was this person doing this? Wow I need a grip.

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So then that was it. My reason for not blogging properly. I apologize, but really when a person has killer clowns wandering around their fair city – is it really fair to ask that person to write a humorous blog?

Forrest’s “good-bye”

So there’s a few things you need to know about my family. #1 – none of us can draw cats. #2- We have great hair #3- We have very good intentions. Take for example, when my brother Jon had to leave for on campus living. He had to leave behind his beloved (and morbidly obese) cat Forrest (named for the actor).
Now, it was no secret that I hated Forrest. She was a jerk that liked to drool on me and left a coiler in front of my door for NO reason. Literally, no reason.

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She loved Jon though. And when he left she was a little bit heartbroken.

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Friskies treats and my mom’s spoiling of her quickly filled the void and soon she and my Mom were the best of pals. It just so happened that Mom began to give Forrest certain liberties that were beyond her capabilities. Like, letting Forrest (a permanent indoor cat) onto the small patch of grass in their backyard.

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Sure, it was fenced. Sure, Forrest was a lazy sloth that could barely move a few feet without heavy breathing and trying to score more treats. But there had been sightings of an orange cat hanging around our neighborhood. This didn’t stop my brothers and I from trying to warn my mother against leaving Forrest unattended in the backyard with my mother responding in her typical way.

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You see, my Mom as much as I love her, believes that she is always right. It is a trait she has passed down to my brother’s and I. So I can only imagine her horror when one day she let Forrest out into the backyard to enjoy the sun a few moments and returned to find the yard empty.

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Now, you may be tearing up, blowing your nose on a hanky wailing, I know how this story ends.
But no. You really don’t.

Cut to a few weeks later. My Mom has finally admitted that Forrest is gone and my brother has begrudgingly accepted his cat’s fate. My Mother was out in the garden, planting some perennials when all of a sudden, a flash of shadows catch her eye. A familiar, chubby shadow in particular.

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My Mother followed the shadows out into the alleyway and to her surprise – it was Forrest and two other cats looking chill and unscathed. (Think: The Jets in West Side Story but a little more gangster). And with the way my Mom described i:

It looks like Forrest joined a gang! And it looks like she’s the leader!”

This is how I imagined it going down.

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So our indoor cat escaped to explore the world, one neighborhood at a time. Free from her captivity, I like to imagine Forrest is having new adventures all the time, fondly thinking back to us and living her life to the fullest.
So if you see a chubby black cat hanging around in British Columbia looking chill and like she doesn’t have a care in the world, offer her a Friskies treat- Chicken is her favorite.

The Hairy Fairy

I have always been hairy.
From the time of my birth, when I met the world with a fine dark down that covered my body and my mother exclaimed “It looks like I gave birth to a monkey!” I have always struggled with being a hairy little gremlin.
Up until the age of 6, I didn’t mind much. I barely even registered that I was different from any other girl my age. But sometime around the age of 7, as I prayed for a Barbie dream house and the ability to run faster than the grade four’s, The Hairy Fairy paid me a visit.
This is him.

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I was already fairly hairy, but the Fairy thought I needed a little more. For warmth? For fun? I will never truly understand his motives.

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All I know is that one day I woke up, looked down at my arms and realized they were filled with cotton candy textured dark brown hair. I swear to you, looking back, they looked like little clouds on my arms.
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My mother assured me this was normal. Every girl looked like this. I didn’t really mind all that much. Who really cared? Not me. I dug me. I thought I was a fairly fun kid and didn’t really worry about outside influences.
Until catechism class.
I sat next to a boy that had behavioral issues. He had no boundaries, he was not limited by social convention or manners. And I remember sitting there, paying attention to my catechism teacher and seeing movement out of the corner of my eye.
It was the boy. And he was reaching over to my desk.

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At first I thought he was reaching for a pencil and went to object when his hands rested lightly on my seven-year-old forearm. More precisely – upon the hair that sat there.

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I remember how suddenly silent the room got. The teacher seemed to stop teaching, the students all watching at the horror unfolding before them. The entire thing was so painfully intimately embarrassing. I couldn’t even speak, I could only watch as he delicately began to rub my arm, playing with the hair as I would brushing the hair of my dolls.

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It was horrendous. And I recall the only thing I could do was catch the boy’s eye and shake my head in silent, “No. You can’t do stuff like that.”
Finally the teacher said something, but not before the giggles and whispers began to sound out around me. I felt my face go a shade of red before ducking my head into my book.
Shame. I had never felt it like this. I felt shaken, vulnerable.
I was different.
And it seemed to only go on from there. At school, I could suddenly hear snatches of conversation about me.

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Stuff that I would have ignored suddenly cut me to the core and I went home from the third grade with tear stained cheeks, rushing up to the bathroom and locking the door behind me.

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And so in the third grade, I found my mother’s pink plastic razor and decided to shave my body. My legs and my arms and even the little bit that grew on the upper part of my knuckles. Get that awful, disgusting hair off of me. I was a monster.And so I did… except with the lack of dexterity and experience my legs ended up looking like a carved Thanksgiving ham.

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I wept, finally dragging myself from the bath and getting dressed.

Being hairy didn’t stop then however. The Hairy Fairy paid me another visit around the age of eleven. I remember sporting a pretty brutal pale yellow upper lip mustache. Why was it pale yellow? Because I bleached it. I remember the horrible acrid smell and the burn.

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Then there was the time I got my mom to wax my upper lip for me because I was too chicken. I’m telling you right now, unless your mother works at a salon for a living, do NOT go this route. Because mothers are loving and want to help even when they lack the necessary skills.

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Bottom line: When my Mom pulled the wax y strip from above my lip, part of my lip went with it. Yep. It pulled off a bunch of skin, leaving me (inexplicably still hairy) and with a gash in my mouth that would appear to be a cold sore for weeks.

I’m older now, and I wish I could tell you that I’m hairy and fancy free, but I’m not. I still like the feeling of smooth arms and upper lip. I love shaving my legs and slipping in between bed sheets at night. The fundamental difference is that I do those things now because I like to do them. I like how I feel. I don’t do them because of others expectations. And some days I don’t shave and guess what? That’s cool.
Because you can be hairy, smooth, bumpy, lumpy whatever- it doesn’t make you less of a woman. And I wish I would have known that how other’s perceive me is not how I should EVER define myself. I wish I could go back to that grade three girl and tell her, “Chill dude. It’s hair. There are so many things you’re going to have to worry and fret about as you grow up. Just enjoy being you. Go back to loving yourself.”
Girls, woman, for the love of God, please just love yourselves. I implore you. Woman teach your daughters, nieces, friends, loved ones that being a woman is more than appearance. And to all the kids out there- BE KIDS. Stop worrying about looking like the women in magazines – the women in the magazines don’t even look like that!

And if there are young man, middle aged men, any men who fear the same things and read this blog – who want to shave their chests to look like the men in movies – its your choice. Do what you want. Not what the media says is cool. I know for me personally, a man with chest hair is more than delightful to behold.
Life is so beautiful and we are on this earth such a short time. Doesn’t it make worrying about a trivial thing like hair seem so silly?

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RELAUNCH of oddbutnice.CA

Well hello my friends and welcome to Oddbutnice.CA

Over the past year I have neglected the blog due to a myriad of reasons – but after encouragement from loved ones and fans of the blog, I am back and ready to make it last! I’m also making some changes that you may be curious about. So I’ve done a sort of Q & A to answer your questions.

Q: Why is your website oddbutnice.ca now? Wasn’t it .com before?
A: One day back in 2012 I went to renew my website’s forwarding address (oddbutnice.com) a few days after it expired, not even thinking that someone would snatch it up. But some business did. They specialize in buying expired domain names and then trying to sell them back to individuals who previously owned them at an inflated price. This made me really sad and jaded about doing anything online so I stopped. It also made me mad because I had built up a small but dedicated following of viewers and I felt like I let them down, allowing the website address to lapse.
Also, I’m Canadian. GO CANADA!

Q: What made you decide to come back?
A: Truthfully, I didn’t think anyone looked at my website aside from a few old university friends and my husband. My husband was continually on me going, “Oh, that would make a funny blog entry!” until for his birthday this year, I made a comic for him. Then I remembered how much I loved it. Then I went into my stats for the year and saw that for the past year people have STILL been coming to my page to view it and enjoying it and commenting and laughing and I decided that I wanted to continue. I still love making those pickle shaped people!

Q: How do you intend to make revenue off this blog? Advertising?
A: Unfortunately, I am nowhere near popular enough to have advertisers care about my blog enough to try and cash in on it. Since I host this website on wordpress I am at their mercy in terms of that. Otherwise, the only way I can make money off of oddbutnice.ca is

1.) My loyal viewers make donations here:

2.) People decide they want to buy my creepy dolls/magnets/etc here at OAKI DOKES.

I tried selling t-shirts for Odd but Nice but a.) they were SO expensive and time consuming to make and b.) Only a few friends bought them! (Thank you to those people!)

Q: Why is the layout different?
A: This will continue to change from time to time – I want to make a website that is clean, fun to read and above all not crowded. My old layout while organized had a crowded, unruly feeling. Plus, a new start, a new layout!

Q: How often will you be updating the blog?
A: I am hoping to have new Blog updates 1x a week! I will strive to have these done on a Wednesday evening, but due to the nature of creativity, these parameters may change slightly.

Q: Is your contact information still the same?
A: It is! missoddbutnice@gmail.com. I LOVE getting e-mail. I’ve gotten messages from fans around the world and check it every day.

Q: This entry was nice, but I wanted there to be a comic.
A: Ask and you shall receive.

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So, as many of you know, I enjoy all things creative. And for the last few years of my life I have done everything from painting to sewing etc. Due to being miserable, I hadn’t really been pursuing my creative side as much. A few months ago however, I saw a very cool drawing and decided I wanted to get back into the swing of things. I went out to buy nice art pens and came back, hunkered down and got to work.

Except I think in between buying stuff and coming home I sort of forgot that I’m not really good at drawing things. My proportions and etc always come out cartoon-y when I want them to come out realistic. I think I haven’t found my style yet. But that didn’t stop me. I was insistent on the fact that I would be awesome. So I drew LATE into the night.

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By the time I went to bed, I was very pleased with the stuff I’d done, crowing over Facebook about my pieces etc. Except, when I woke up the next morning, it all kind of went sideways and looked like this:

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So after I cried a little over the fact that I was no Caravaggio, I went looking in my art closet for something fun to do. I pulled out my polymer clay and just sat it there, looking at it angrily because I was not hit with inspiration.

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So then I did what most artists do when they’re telling you to get back into the swing of things. I just started playing with it, not hoping for an end result. Just getting my feet wet again. And then all of a sudden it was back to me. I was working late into the night like a mad woman, screaming at whoever dared to interrupt my process. Which considering I live with a man and a cat, the man got the brunt of my frustration.

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The worst part was, I think I thought I was really going to contribute to the family which is why I was so serious about them. I was picturing all the cash that would surely come flowing in when these creepy beauties hit the market. I would beam at them beatifically as their creepy faces stared back at me.

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I would stay up all night thinking of how to make them even more realistic, even more exemplary.

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The long and the short of it; I was obsessed.

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Unfortunately, the world was not and is not ready for my…erm, unique view of the world. More specifically dolls. So after setting up my etsy page and posting my creations, I waited for the cash to come ROLLING IN.

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Yes. Its true. My Mom made an etsy account JUST so she could be my one and only follower. Its kind of adorable. But its also kind of sad. Until finally I realized that maybe, just maybe my dolls were not for everyone and that Francis Underwood’s saga of corruption is much more compelling.

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And so ended my saga of doll making for the general public. They are still up on my etsy page waiting for someone to love them. Truth be told I kind of love making them so I’m never going to stop. They are going to find me sitting in my retirement home, creepy homemade dolls kept in a separate room because there’s so many of them, creaking back and forth in a rocking chair talking to a camera that isn’t even there.

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In case you’re wondering:

The Suiting my Fancy Shoppe

Why I didn’t date in University

This may come to a shock to many of you- but sometimes I am not super aware of my surroundings. I bump into stuff, into people, into cars (once). I’m also kind of oblivious when it comes to the opposite sex. I think my problem is, I always assume that men want to be my friend.  I’m never fully aware that I’m being hit on until the moment is over or they actually come out with it to my face. I was convinced for months that my (now husband) wanted to be my BEST FRIEND. Yes. Not my boyfriend. Until he asked me out and I was stoked.

Now, I take you back to a time when I was eighteen. Even more naive. Even more brutally unaware of how to interact with the opposite sex. (*The name of the boy in question has been changed because I don’t want him to stumble across this one day and be embarrassed because I’m sure in the end he turned out to be a really nice guy.)

So, one fine clear day during my University Life;  my good friend and sometime-classmate Laura and I were heading to our Psych campus. When we arrived, we were overjoyed to see a note on the door which could only mean one thing.

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On a scale from 1 to amaze-balls, classes being cancelled would have to be a +2000 because truthfully, while I loved going to classes sometimes, man I was a horrible student. Barely paid attention, fairly certain I slept during certain classes. I suppose that’s what spurned on what happened next.

On our way back we started talking about the upcoming project we were working on for said class. In a moment of unbelievable responsibility I put it to Laura that we should finish our project right now, taking advantage of the fact that class was cancelled. I also postulated that curly fries would go well with such scholarly aptitude.

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 We didn’t hear the soft panting of a figure behind us, and until his lanyard laden with keys hit me lightly on the bottom we had no idea that *Fred was behind us.

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Now, the weird thing is at this point, I thought Fred was rather dreamy. He had the bluest eyes I’d ever seen and a very manly voice. He’d always been nice to me and never really shown anything other than friendly concern. So when all of a sudden the following happened, I was unaware of its intent.

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It was a simple, casual request. He suggested we see The Matrix Revolutions  and I also believed he was asking us out as a group.  It was also the reason that this was my response:

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I suppose Fred thought this would be a slam dunk. He would ask me to a movie and I would jump on the chance. Unfortunately, I was pre-occupied with this project I was to be working on. Plus, again, I thought that he was saying that WE AS A GROUP should go to the movie and I didn’t even think Laura liked the Matrix.

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At this point, I can only assume our companion Laura was beyond uncomfortable. She tried to walk at a safe distance away, but it was a narrow path and why should she have to move anyway? The more I think of it, the ruder Fred was. Note: Again, still did not get that he was asking me out. It was then he started appealing to my gluttonous sensibilities.

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This was my breaking point. All I saw was a boy insisting on us going to the movies and I had patiently explained that this was not going to happen. Come hell or high water I was going to be a responsible student.  In foresight, had I known Fred was asking me out I would have approached this entire thing differently. As it was, I thought he was being pushy and me response was thus;

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That hideous silence. I remember it. It was terrible. But what broke it was even worse.

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Yes. Fred was openly mocking me, making it seem like the reason I was saying no to his offer was because I was a.) Afraid of dating/boys  b.) My parents were forbidding it. Neither were true, but I believe my horror was apt.

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 Then to make it worse, Fred looked at me with utter hatred and literally went RUNNING OFF.  Leaving Laura and I staring after him in his wake.

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Yes, I think its safe to say that if a boy makes fun of you for not dating him then you’ve probably dodged a major life bullet. Oh, and I should state that after that horrific encounter Fred never spoke to me again.

However, now looking back and realizing what was happening, I felt for Fred. I feel so bad that it went so poorly. I wish I could tell him that it was immensely brave putting himself out and vulnerable like that. That lashing out when someone doesn’t give you what you want is childish. That I hope in the end he found a woman who was right for him.

But if you are a young man reading this, please DO NOT ask a girl out in front of her friends. It’s awkward for all parties involved and there is a chance you’ll get turned down. NOTE: If you DO get turned down, please do not pull a Fred. Maintain dignity at all times.

Bottom Line: If confronted with a person of the opposite sex that turns does not want to pursue a romantic relationship (or doesn’t know one is being proffered) – do not pull a Fred.

Why the Lunch Police ruined my life

I love lunch. Its actually my favorite meal of the day if I had to choose one. However when I was around eight, I had much better things to do during lunch hour than actually eat. You see, I was a very social creature, and I LOVED school. To be fair, I think I was a nerd; I just wasn’t aware of it.

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So much that I didn’t want to waste a minute of it, sitting and eating. My friends and I were always coming up with new, usually inappropriate, things to do during our lunch hour. And usually it seemed there simply was not enough time to eat AND play. So I chose play. Every single time.

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Unfortunately, I was not the brightest bulb long term. I just kept bringing my mostly uneaten lunch home day after day.  And my Mom kept seeing it, day after day.

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And to my mom’s credit, she tried the old fashioned way of trying to get to me.

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However, it fell on deaf ears. Cool stuff happened at school and I was not going to miss out on it. Until one day, I think my Mom lost it.

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Seeing that guilt wouldn’t work, my poor mother realized she would have to approach this from another perspective. And then my Mom got a horrible idea. An evil idea. My Mom got a horrible, evil, creative idea.

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Yes. My mom told me about the Lunch Police. She told me that a group of people were dedicated to seeing who ate their lunch and reporting back to parents. As my father was a Police Officer – my imagination dreamed up something exactly like this:

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If you’re wondering why I grew up to be a neurotic mess – its &*@! like this, people. So for days after, I freaked out. I was convinced these lunch police were around every corner watching me like a hawk. My lunches often went like this.

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Then I suppose I got suspicious. I never saw these lunch police folk.

I hadn’t seen any. And they were throwing a wrench into my social life. So I threw caution to the wind and said, forget it. I did what I wanted.

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Surely no one saw.

 

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But someone did.

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And so I disposed of the evidence. I played it off like nothing happened. I came home with an empty lunch box and went to do my thing but I was stopped upon my arrival at home.

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That’s when the Lunch Police became real.

 So until the age of 11, I believed in them. Yep. I believed in the Lunch Police. Oh, I still complained about lunch every now and then, I threw away the odd apple. But there would be my mom, telling me the Lunch Police saw and giving me hard evidence.They were nice enough to inform my mom when I did eat my lunch. I think that’s what sealed it. 

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It was frightening. My only solace came in the form of trading. If I wanted to trade something, I had to do it like I was in prison. Covertly, quietly and quickly. I was horrified that every minute was being monitored.

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 Little did my mother know that her lies would come crashing down around her.

 So what you should know is that I cannot draw bikes in ms paint. I just can’t. What you should also know is that when I was eleven years old I was obsessed with bike riding. I loved my bike. I also abided by the laws of the road and wore a helmet. But because I was me, it was huge and neon green. I was a spectacle.

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 I was told I was not allowed to ride as far as the bowling alley in town. It was too far; traffic too fast. Sometimes I listened to this. But sometimes the wind dictated the day and I would find myself cycling down there at full speed.

 On this particular day, Mrs. R – owner of the Subway NEXT to the bowling alley waved to me.

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I felt it courteous to wave back as I continued on my sojourn. I was not prepared for what awaited me on my return.

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It had finally crystallized. How could the Lunch Police be monitoring my bike ride? Simple. Mrs. R phoned and told her. How was my Mom finding out when I didn’t eat? My teachers were ratting on me every day my Mom came to pick me up from school!

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My mother seemed to mull this over. Maybe she was worried her daughter would live her life believing in the Lunch Police if she didn’t admit. Maybe she was sick of the charade with me. Maybe, just maybe, she regretted telling me about the lunch police.

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kid33

kid34

And because I was a horrible sell-out that loved being in on something that the adults were, this was my immediate response:

kid35

And thus, the Lunch Police saga came to an end. Why, you ask? Because if I am anything, I am horrible at keeping secrets.