THE PAW PRINT PRANK

Last weekend I discovered we can’t all be good at everything. As it turns out, I am terrible at executing pranks via social media. I also discovered that my friends are on board if (and when) I decide to get a paw print tattoo.

This weekend, I was back at my parents’ house where my mom is going on a renovation rampage. Along with that comes uncovering gem purchases that may have become buried (intentionally or by accident; in this case, perhaps a little of both). My sister and I found a sheet of temporary tattoos from Black Dog. It was nautical-themed with a Mermaid dog, a Pirate dog, two ships and two paw prints.

I’m not going to point fingers at who made the call, and even if I did, I honestly wouldn’t know which way to point. But at the end of the day, a joint decision was made to put matching temporary tattoo paw prints on our wrists (because #basic) and we’d post it to social media as if we had gotten real tattoos. Funny, right?

Insta

Immediately it backfired. My Instagram post received its first three “likes” from tattoo artists (and my tweet received its one and only like from my dad). First things first, hats off to Black Dog for their convincing temporary tattoos. But secondly, this is going downhill quickly.

Next, I get a response from a friend from high school who I had accompanied to get her first tattoo, and may or may not have been asked to leave by the tattoo artist because I “wasn’t being supportive” (mildly accurate).

In my defense, I was more so kicked out because of an insensitive comment, not for being disruptive or disorderly. I merely made the low-hanging-fruit joke associated with getting a tattoo that says NO REGRETS: “After this, I feel like it’s possible you’ll have regrets.” Retrospectively, bad timing. Before I knew it, I was shoved to the waiting room and her boyfriend was sent in to more supportively accompany her.

With her comment on the photo, that was four strikes, the joke was not going to land.

My solution was to write a comment with the hashtag #temporarytattoos4ever. Which again, was not that clarifying because the addition of the “4ever” could be seen as negating the “temporary”.

So at this point, I’ve ruined the set-up and the punchline.

Just in case anyone is reading this blog post only to find out the truth (and if it hasn’t become clear yet), it’s not a real tattoo. Though, if it was, I could have easily followed that tattoo with one that said NO REGRETS.

For those of you who feel lied to; for those of you who feel disappointed in my execution of this tattoo “prank”; and for those of you who didn’t even see the Instagram post to begin with, here are all the pictures my sister and I took while trying to get a good hand selfie. Hand models we are not.

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& THEN THERE WAS ONE

As a 5′ 2″ individual, a maxi dress is a difficult fashion choice. Prom dress shopping was challenging. After trying on approximately one long gown, seeing half of the dress’s fabric lying on the floor, I opted for a shorter silhouette.

Fast forward into adulthood, two maxi dresses found their way into my closet. I didn’t grow — although, according to my doctor’s file, I grew an inch and a half post-college because the nurse allowed me to wear my UGG® boots while getting my measurements taken at my annual physical. I did, however, discover the advantages of alterations.

There are certain setbacks you have to be aware of with maxi dresses (#amIright, ladies?).

  1. They sweep up everything in your path – solid OR liquid. Walking down the streets of DC, I can’t help but be super conscious about how nothing I wear should be touching those sidewalks. Before you know it, you’re collecting discarded receipts, cigarette butts, and half-eaten french fries. And the liquid element, I don’t want to talk about it.
  2.  The possibility of falling up or down steps increases tenfold. Sure you can lift the bottom of your dress while walking up stairs, but it does not eliminate the fear of stepping on even an inch of the fabric causing your whole body to jerk forward or be thrown downward. Call me paranoid, or call me prepared.
  3. There’s a smaller but equally troubling chance of someone else stepping on your maxi dress. People have (far too frequently) stepped on the back of my flip flops, which surface-area-wise is significantly harder to do than a billow of fabric – so I’m not ruling it out.
  4. Moving steps, also known as escalators, are dangerous to navigate. I know some of you are rolling your eyes, thinking I’m at the end of my list and grasping at straws here, but let me tell you – a few summers ago I was walking down the escalator and saw a “bottleneck” as my dad would say. What was it? A woman who had gotten the bottom of her maxi dress caught in the side of the escalator. It was causing a jam, and she was holding onto the fabric as it was being pulled from her body. I stopped because I’m a good person (and I like involving myself in things), and I looked at her and asked “how much do you care about this dress staying intact?” She looked at me wide-eyed and replied, “not enough.” Along with another who had stopped to help, we ripped the caught corner of the dress from the rest of the fabric, and we watched as the non-liberated piece shred. In that moment, a new fear materialized (mild pun intended).

Due to an unforeseen set of circumstances, I am now down to only one maxi dress.

Following an after-work happy hour, I made the trek home on the Metro. As I was taking the escalator up, I became hyper-aware as to not get too close to the edges with the dress — plant your feet and stay still on the ride. I made it to the top (#winning), but the first step I took was right on the front of my maxi dress.

I not only tripped, but fell so deeply that both of my feet became trapped inside of my dress. I tried to stand up, but ended up just kicking the inside of my dress. Full disclosure, I was a little inebriated (but don’t judge me, #work and #happyhourdeals).

I’m fumbling in my dress cocoon-style at this point. In a public space. Let me use this sentence as a pause for you to take a moment to truly picture that.

It didn’t take long for survival instincts to kick in. I didn’t think about the consequences of what I was about to do, I just reached down and ripped open the entire side of my dress – thigh to ankle. But my legs were free, and that’s what mattered.

Let’s just say, the rest of my journey was a breezy one. And now I only have one maxi dress.

COOKING FOR DUMMIES

Despite being fully moved into my apartment for three months now, I just realized yesterday that I’ve only used my oven twice, my stove three times, and my microwave once. Look, some people are meant to cook themselves dinner every night. And some people are meant to rummage through their cabinets and/or refrigerator playing a game of what-can-I-snack-on-and-call-it-dinner (currently undefeated).

This runs in the family (sorry, Mom). In preschool, I politely outlined in a class assignment just how (un)gifted our family was in the kitchen. We were asked to share a family recipe with the class, in which I recited our favorite dish:

Step 1: Cook the vegetables.

Step 2: Burn the vegetables.

Step 3: Eat them anyway.

If there was one thing I wasn’t, it was a liar.

I personally didn’t attempt using kitchen appliances much, though, so who was I to throw the first stone. When I did, 1 in 4 times something went awry.

When I was 9, I put a bag of popcorn in the microwave. I didn’t realize that when I pressed 3 that meant three minutes and when I pressed 3-0-0 that meant three hours, so I pressed the latter. That was not only the longest snack I’ve ever had to wait for but that was also the day I learned how to call 9-1-1. It didn’t take the full three hours for the microwave to catch on fire and for the whole first floor of our house to fill with smoke.

When I was 14, I had to bake brownies with two of my friends for a school-wide bake sale. They ended up paying us not to sell our brownies when we brought a tray full of oily brownies, because apparently measurements are not a part of the recipe you can play by ear.

In college I grew up in a lot of ways, culinary skills not being one of them.

The freedom of having access to a kitchen I could use at any time was both liberating and dangerous. But the one thing it wasn’t was helpful or conducive to learning to cook, bake, or even reheat.

I did, however, learn some valuable lessons my senior year. A mimosa is not a meal. And placing a piece of cheese on bread and heating it up in the microwave will never taste as satisfying as real grilled cheese. And just because there’s a buy-one-get-one sale on a 1-lb bag of ziti pasta, doesn’t mean you should cook both bags at once, especially if all you own is a medium-sized pot. And adding 1 cup of flour and two tablespoons of cheese instead of 1 cup of cheese and two tablespoons of flour would not result in queso but in an uncooked cheesy bread that should never be dipped into with a chip (no matter how hungry you are).

You’ll be proud to hear, I don’t even need an oven or a stove to ruin a meal.

A few weeks ago, I went to my kitchen, opened my refrigerator, and saw the two avocados I had bought a week ago and was waiting (as) patiently (as possible) for them to ripen. I squeezed them. Finally, I was going to get to make guacamole with these beautiful avocados.

To give you a full picture of the scene, I was so focused on these avocados, I didn’t even turn a light on in the kitchen. I’m like an 8 out of 10 on the hungry scale, so I’m working hastily.

I use a knife to cut the avocado in half and this knife is so top-notch I didn’t notice that I had sliced right through my pointer finger in the process. The moment I see blood, I immediately release a sound oohwhoaaohh and start sliding down the nearest wall. As soon as I hit the ground I realize I’ve just simulated my own faint. I’m not afraid of seeing blood and I haven’t lost nearly enough to be dropping in and out of consciousness.

I chuck the avocado at the ground, because betrayal.

I stand up, and reach for my phone contemplating whether I should tweet about this first or call my mom, but ultimately I knew there would be time for crafting a witty 140-characters later.

What do I decide to say first? “Mom, there’s blood everywhere.” Not true. “I sliced through my finger in an avocado accident. It won’t stop bleeding.” It just started. “I’m going to head to the hospital.” I had been working from home so I then added, “I’m going to have to email [BOSS] and let them know what happened.

But my mom knows me. She instructed me to send no such emails and to, if anything, seek an urgent care facility. But to wait it out to see if it will stop bleeding on its own. I told her “But I don’t want to lose too much blood.” I’m not a doctor, but retrospectively, that was highly unlikely and/or impossible.

Eventually the bleeding stopped, I wore a band-aid for a week and it slowly healed leaving behind a scar reminding me that there’s a cost to “cooking” hungry.

All I wanted was guacamole.

On that note, who wants to come over for dinner tonight?

THAT’S AMORE.

As most of you reading this should already know, my love life is (and always has been) thriving. [Please read as: I’m single AF.] I actually have a theory that I peaked in the fifth grade, but we’ll save that for a rainy day.

Sophomore year of college I met a guy. I don’t want to character paint this guy too much, I’d prefer we go into this story with as few preconceived notions as possible. Let’s just say, we had a mutual interest: each other; and in this story, we were on a date.

Have you ever had an experience, or phrase, or word, so embedded in a memory that every time you experience, see, or hear this experience/phrase/word, you can’t help but think back to that moment? I have, and I heard it today.

For this particular memory, it’s triggered by the mere mention of the word AMBIANCE.

[FADE IN] It was a Saturday night in Clemson, South Carolina, where date night location options were limited. Most restaurants were bars. Or fast-food restaurants. So we chose a place with this description on Yelp, “Homemade pasta, plus mix-&-match options, are found at this buzzy spot with vintage Italian posters.” Not Italian cuisine, Italian posters.

Despite it being a fast-food Olive Garden, they decorated well. The tables all had salt and pepper grinders, candles, water glasses with a carafe for refills, a basket of toasted baguette slices. I was impressed (enough).

This wasn’t our first date, but awkward conversation with me is a relationship-long experience (as I was told by a recent date, I’m awkward “in an endearing way”). I end up rambling to fill what I think are awkward silences and in this instance, I commented on how the food wasn’t great here, but I did like the ambiance.

He gazed at me with a mixture of concern and affection I’ll never forget, and he responded in the most sincerest of tones,

Then why didn’t you order the ambiance? Why did you get the rigatoni?” 

In the split second afterwards, I was forced to decide how I wanted to react. I could (as rationally as possible) explain why I didn’t order the ambiance, I could hysterically laugh with such vigor and for such a long period of time that the entire restaurant would begin to stare, or I could leave. And I’m not entirely proud to report, I chose option #2.

The intensity of my laughter eventually died down.

I explained to him what caused it.

He said he knew. I think he said something along the lines of “I was just kidding” or “I misheard you.” I let it go. I’m forgiving. And I liked going on dates with him.

As in most developing relationships – platonic or romantic – this turned into an inside joke. Combined with my love of extending the lifespan of a joke to the point of beating a dead horse, I brought this up at most likely every restaurant we ever ate at following. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

I

always

remembered

to

order

the

ambiance.