Story Time


Gather 'round readers, I didn't bring this inspiring old Instagram or this picture of my bookshelves in their former glory out for nothing. I had a bad day. A really bad day. A life-chaingingly bad day. The kind of day during which you sit in your car and after crying over the steering wheel for ten minutes and come to the realization that if you don't laugh about something, you're going to go mad. I also realized that I've been leaving you out of all of the hilarious situations that occur in my life on a daily basis. No lie, I could write a sitcom based entirely on funny things that have happened to me over the course of my life. Actually, becoming a sitcom writer is definitely one of my tentative future plans. Somewhere along the road. For now, I'm content to share with you all, and I know the perfect first story.

If you didn't know, a crippling ice storm slammed the Northeastern coast a few weeks ago. Philadelphia and its outlying suburbs were the hardest hit and, in a similar vein to that of Superstorm Sandy, we were without power for an extended period of time. When that happens, the best you can do is to try to live life as normally as you possibly would, even if it means going to the gym for nothing else than a warm shower and making multiple Wawa trips a day for coffee. (Side note: If you're not from the area, chances are that you don't know what a "Wawa" is. All I can say is that I feel bad for you because Wawa is one of the greatest things to ever happen to mankind.) Despite the lack of power, I had made plans to hang out with Kira-- plans I intended to keep. I threw on jeans, a sweatshirt and a North Face, I threw my hair up in a messy bun, cleaned off my glasses instead go changing into my contacts, grabbed a bottle of Prosecco and we headed to this great Asian-fusion BYOB. I'm going to say this right now because it sets the mood for the rest of the story: I didn't look great. I didn't look terrible but I definitely did not look like my normal prim and polished self. If you know me in real life, you know that I spend a lot of time to look just right and leaving the house in such an unattractive state is something that only happens in times of extreme distress.

Dinner was wonderful. It was also so filling that neither of us could finish it. We asked the waiter if we could have the leftovers boxed, a request he hastily fulfilled. He placed two nearly-identical brown paper bags on the table along with the bill. After taking care of the tab and leaving a generous tip to our seemingly hospitable waiter, we each grabbed our bags. Upon doing so, however, my ever-observant and detail-oriented mind realized that the bags had something different written on each. It was written in Chinese. Once again, if you know me in real life, you'll know that this is one of those things I'll ask questions about and not stop until I have a proper answer. Luckily, (or unluckily) I just happen to have lived in China and have English-speaking Chinese friends. I snapped a photo and sent it to a good and trustworthy friend.

Here's an incriminating iPhone photo of the bags in question, by the way. 

I wish I was the kind of person who isn't moved by simple moments like this but my fatal flaw is that I have an overly inquisitive mind. While awaiting a translation from my friend, this nonsense kept me awake at night to an extent. I admittedly obsessed over it a little too much. Part of me was afraid that this guy was an evil-genius-type serial killer and this was his way of telling his victims that they are next. Laugh all you want but in the moment, it was incredibly unnerving. Finally, a day and a half later, my friend got back to me with the translation. She told me that the bag on the left, Kira's, meant "beautiful." Not as bad as I thought! I said to myself. Until I read the next sentence. "And the one on the right can be translated as 'girl with glasses.' It's not a very nice thing to say." Rage overcame me.

In that moment, the anger was too real. A large part of me wanted to get all dolled up and then throw my hair up and my glasses on, go back to the restaurant, hopefully get the same waiter, and when he asks what I want to order, to stand up, dramatically whip my glasses off and let my hair down with a sassy flip and say in Mandarin, "WHO'S WEARING GLASSES NOW, HOMEBOY?" Incredibly corny and absolutely absurd. I know. But it also would have been strangely satisfying. In my daydream, my antics would have been met with applause from the other restaurant patrons and a standing ovation by the ones who have ever been called "ugly." I would be a beloved saint sticking up for the unfit in a world where standards of beauty are unattainable. Yes indeed, I got very self-righteous very quickly. Good thing that didn't last for more than a couple minutes before I realized that it's just one of those weird Seinfeld-esque situations in which a laugh is the only option.

Although I shared this story for nothing more than a laugh, I feel that I should attach some kind of lesson. Other than "and this, my friends, is why you shouldn't take yourself too seriously," I'm coming up dry. Take it for what it's worth. If you guys enjoyed this story, there are plenty more where that came from because my life is a circus of strange. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day/evening!

xo,
e.m.

9 comments

  1. i love your second photo. it looks very neat

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  2. okay, that's a pretty nice, and silly story, lol
    being a girl with glasses isn't a bad thing, but it certainly isn't the best!

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  3. I would be raging! What an asshat -_- But I'm glad you were able to share it with us. We've all experienced things like this.....

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