Monthly Archives: March 2016

Happy Birthday, Hot Stuff

It’s my first kiss’s birthday today. Skylar, with an A.

We were at his house cuddling on a lopsided LoveSac. His friends were there playing pool. The lights were mostly off except for a bright blue TV screen, remainder of a movie.

I wore faded boot cut jeans without back pockets, a suede belt with big metal grommets from The Buckle, and a soft tan shirt that hugged my padded bra perfectly and just barely covered all of my stomach. My hair was waved.

Skylar was hot. That was pretty much all I knew about him, and that he had kissed a lot of girls already.

I wanted him to kiss me. I wanted to call him Sky.

He kissed me on the bean bag and I pretended to like it, but what I was really thinking was, GROSS.

And, This can’t be right.

Why have they made all this fuss?

Do I have to do it again?

Smile, look pretty, you’ve been kissed!

Sky and I ‘went out’ for a few months maybe. We kissed twice.

And the reason I remember his birthday every year is because of the gift I tried to buy him. I went to Target to get something, with my mom because I couldn’t drive.

I found this tacky bright red t-shirt with a red pepper that said, “HOT STUFF” on the front. I thought it would be a funny gift. So I bought it, along with something else I can’t remember (cologne?) but ended up getting too nervous to give it to him.

Would he think it was funny? Would he get me?

So began that years-long quest.

Can I make this joke? Can I be me? Will he get it?

I kept the shirt shoved up in the highest, unreachable shelf in my closet, in case I wanted to give it to someone else at some point. But most of the time it was best to not take the risk. Smile and look pretty.

A few months before getting married, Mother demanded I finally clean out my closet, and in the midst of stuffed animals and book reports we found the shirt. She started giggling. “Remember this?”

I did.

“Do you want to give it to Scott?” She tossed it to me.

I laughed as I looked at it again. Would Scott think it was funny? Scott gets me.

But I found myself disgusted by the thing. Perhaps because the joke is 13 years old, or maybe it wasn’t that funny in the first place?

Maybe because it is a remnant of a thankfully bygone era, one of braces and padded bras and school dances, and later make outs and break ups and witty banter over text message, of trying to find the version of me that could catch whatever Him I was currently chasing.

I gave the shirt away, but I think I may always remember March 15th.

Happy Birthday, Hot Stuff.

I Brought My Phone Into The Bathroom And Now I Don’t Know Where To Put It

Why did I do it? Such a poor decision.

I think I wanted to look at Snapchat. Yes, that was it. But then the volume was on and I frantically had to turn it off but it was too late because the person in the stall next to me definitely heard it. Then I had to wait for the person next to me to leave because who brings their phone into the bathroom?

And now I’ve reached that point where the phone needs to be put down.

But where to put it?

The floor? Gross.

The little ledge on top of the TP dispenser? But it sort of slopes and I can just imagine my precious device crashing to the floor, or worse…

What if it got flushed? What about all my friends?

Maybe I could stuff it into my back pocket while I button my pants? NO WAIT! I’VE TRIED THAT ONCE! I failed, and my poor phone spent the next two days trapped in a bag of rice.

Once I saw a girl emerge from one of these stalls carrying her laptop. How in the world did she maneuver that?

This place is a cellular mine field.

And the worst part of this whole dilemma is that I’ve had it before, so many times.

Why do I keep doing it?

Why has my phone become an appendage?

Ah, but suddenly I know what to do: I will put it in my teeth.

I turn it horizontally and bite down, hard, the muscles in my face straining under the clench, don’t drop it don’t drop it, don’t drop it, and now jeans are buttoned and zipped and my hands are free.

I take my phone, slide it lovingly under my arm, like a little chick under its mommy’s wing, and emerge from my stall, victorious.

I will forget again, I know it. Maybe next time I’ll bring my laptop.