Saturday, January 30, 2010

Oh Neville...

In every group of friends, no matter where they live or what they may do for a living, there is always one person in that group that gets picked on. A more common name for this person is "the bitch". And for whatever reason "the bitch" tends to be a guy. Obviously "the bitch" does not willingly submit him or herself to this position, but over time it slowly and subtly happens. In college "the bitch" in my group of friends was a boy named "Neville" (obviously not the real name, I have to give this guy a chance of un-bitching himself...yes I do think un-bitching is a real word).

There are many tales of Neville getting picked on. From having pages from various porn magazines plastered all over his side of the dorm room (not surprising he did keep them up for awhile). Shortly after that they planted a vibrator under his pillow to keep the theme going, Neville did not keep that around. And from day to day the streams of comments insinuating that Neville must be a girl or gay. If the latter, they constantly made plans for the coming out party that would include a keg of Zima. I'm still trying to figure out how Zima is associated with the homosexual community, some of my friends are just idiots and I apologize if this offends anyone.

There is one tale that is my favorite, it's not necessarily epic or the moment that Neville became "the bitch" (still trying to pinpoint that one) but whenever I think of it, it makes me smile and giggle to myself.

My friends and I went to cooking school, and as a part of our daily uniform we had to wear a toque to class everyday. For those of you who don't know, a toque is the tall, white, cylindrical hat that you see chefs wear. There are various styles, ours were completely open on top for ventilation, and I think they were just cheaper for the school to get. One day in class my friends had the brilliant idea to keep throwing a bit of flour in Neville's toque, then when the moment comes when he takes it off, boom! That's one messy Neville. So throughout class a friend would keep Neville distracted while the other threw flour in his toque. It got to the point where we were sure Neville would begin to feel something was on top of his head that shouldn't be there. Luckily Neville was as ever unobservant, oh Neville! Now, we thought he would take his toque off during lecture, as most of the class does, giving the gag it's optimal audience, or so we thought.

He kept the damn thing on.

There was so much flour in his toque now that every so often, if he moved just right, a bit of the powder would come out underneath dusting his shoulders! We could barely stifle our laughter, waiting for the moment to arrive. End of class comes, the toque is still on, and we head to the dining hall. We all sit down, finally one of us says, "Okay, class is over now, you can take off the damn toque and relax." Neville looks confused as this has never been an issue before, but he agrees by removing his hat. Boom! One messy Neville in the middle of the dining hall and everyone is laughing. At first Neville is ticked off, but then he can't help but laugh at being turned into a human powder puff.

*These stunts were done by professional college students who were bored and had nothing better to do and we don't blame you for copying but please do them in good humor.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Color Me Special?

When you ask a relative about how you were as a child you hope to hear some positive attributes. For example, "Cute as a button", or "Busy as a bee", or maybe even "A little stinker". Any adjective or story that will help spark a childhood memory. Over the last few years, a few of my relatives have given me the same label over and over again..."special". That's right, over the last few years I have found out that my relatives thought I was slightly retarded in my youth.
In high school I heard about this for the first time. I don't know how the topic came up, but my mother told me how her mother, that's right, my own grandmother, constantly made comments on my mental health. How I seemed to be a little slow on the draw. My mother can laugh at it now, even at the fact that she sometimes agreed with her (the bitch is getting coal for Mother's Day). I was of course horrified and hurt. How did I come off so "special"? Sure, I peed on the floor once and carried around our parakeet by it's tail, but I was just being a kid right? Anyone?
Another favorite is my aunt. She tells me how she would watch me play and talk and she would constantly think, "Oh dear, the child just ain't right." And again, everyone listening just laughs at this in agreement. My own family.
Now, I am not diagnosed with any mental disabilities. Although I have had my fair share of "special" moments, but who hasn't? I mean, when I thought the stapler was empty, instead of opening it to see if it was in fact empty, I tested it on my wrist instead. And to my surprise, there were a few staples left, one of which was now lodged in my wrist. Or no matter how many times I would cut open the ottoman to see what was inside, much to my mothers dismay, I would have to go back one more time and open it again, just in case anything changed.
It did hurt when my family laughed at how I behaved in my childhood. But then I looked at some baby and toddler photos of myself. And then I started laughing. I have a huge head, which I believe I am still growing into (by the way, those "one size fits all" hats in the stores, they just mock me with their lies). And, okay, tricky sensitive territory here, but I just looked "special". Home videos have also helped me see what my relatives saw way back when. Why did I like to keep locking myself in the closet only wearing a pair of diapers and a hat? Though I thought it was very smart of me to start yelling at myself after I peed on the carpet, it shows I knew it was wrong. And so what, after opening all my birthday presents, I still wanted to go back and play in the cardboard house we had for years already, it shows I'm not materialistic.
So, when it comes up again that everyone thought I was special when I was little, I can't help but laugh too. And I also have an interesting theory. You know how Asian comedians can make fun of other Asians, Hispanic comedians can make fun of other Hispanics, and Black comedians can make fun of everyone? Well, since I was thought to be, and even treated as special for so long, can I poke fun at my people? No, that doesn't sound right. Though I do feel less guilty when I laugh at the special jokes in "The Ringer".

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Blind Date to End All Blind Dates

In middle school I had my first ever blind date. Funny enough it was also my last. This blind date was set up by a friend of mine whom I was taking Catholic school classes with (religion intertwined with romance, I know, already a promising start). She kept telling me about her guy friend, let's call him "Tim" for secrets sake, that and I just can't remember the damn guy's name. Anyhow, she kept telling me how he really wanted to go out with me but was too shy to ask me himself. Being as young and naive as I was, and going through more hormonal changes than I could deal with, I agreed to let her arrange our date to the movies.
Soon enough the date night came, my mother drove me to the movie theatre and waited with me for my date to arrive ( I know, I know, almost too sexy already). I only knew his name (at that time at least) and had no idea what my date would look like. Then, walking through the double door entrance to the theatre was a most beautiful boy, practically a man. He could have been in a boy band (at that time, that was a good thing). With dark hair and sculpted features, I thought, "Could I be this lucky?" As many of you may have already I was in fact admiring my date's older brother who drove him to the theatre, and who apparently stole all the handsome genes in the family. I glanced at my date and immediately wanted the night to be over. Now, he wasn't completely tragic and God knows I am not in a position to behave as a beauty above him, but nonetheless I could not help but be disappointed. As my date and I awkwardly smiled at each other and struggled to even say hello, my mother and his brother discussed what time they would pick the two love birds up.
"Tim" and I went into the theatre where thankfully we would not have to talk. He just kept looking at me and smiling. Adding to the evening, "Tim's" entourage seemed to magically appear in the same theatre as us, and throughout the movie he kept leaving with them, and then would come back to join me. I had no idea what was going on nor what to do. This was my first dating experience and I just assumed this to be a normal thing, leaving to give his buddies updates and tell them how cool I was (again, I was very young and naive). Finally, after his 5th or so meeting with his entourage and coming back to his seat, he kept looking at me and smiling at me, seeming to struggle with the words he wanted to say. In my mind I'm thinking, "Oh dear God, he is about to profess his love to me and will want to continue dating. What am I ever going to do?" Finally, "Tim" looked at me and said, "I have to tell you something but I'm not sure how to say it." I can only imagine the horror-struck look on my face. He continued, "I thought...I thought...well, I thought I was going on a date with someone else."

You are free to start laughing now.

"What?" I asked with utter confusion. He then went on to explain how he kept describing the girl he really liked to our mutual friend, and this girl (whom he never knew the name of) just happened to have a similar appearance to myself. And our mutual friend, in her infinite wisdom, just assumed it to be me. I suddenly found myself to be outraged, why suddenly was I not good enough for him?! I wasted a whole evening trying to be nice to this boy while he kept running off with his friends, not to mention the whole time wondering what his brother was up to, and I'm not even good enough for him?! You can only imagine what I said next,

"Oh, that's okay."

When they do invent time machines, I will be sure to go back to this moment and slap my younger self for being so spineless. Eventually, though not soon enough, the movie finally came to an end. For the first time in my teenage years I couldn't be happier to see my mother take me away from this horrifying date. The whole ride home I relayed the nights events to her, while she tried to stifle her laughter and act sympathetic to her teenage daughter. I decided that night to never be put in that position again and have never allowed myself to be set up on a blind date since.