Category Archives: Quarter-life Problems

Why Are You Wearing My Pants?

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I named the blog in honor of my sister, whose primary joy in life is watching me embarrass myself in front of strangers. One of the happiest moments of her life was when I rolled out of a camping cot, down a small hill, strangled in a sleeping bag, in front of 20 strangers on a heinously awkward Colorado camping trip after being forced to sing a song called “Sandwiches Are Beautiful” by the light of the campfire.  Wherever and whenever I am embarrassing myself in life, she is somewhere lurking in the background, laughing.

Senior year of college, I ran the university’s club tennis team. The position involved organizing a number of tournaments, which mainly took place on Saturday mornings, which I was mainly hungover for.

The morning of the spring tournament everything was already going poorly. I got to the courts, late. Kids were already warming up. I dragged my bag of prizes to the center and began to present them.

“And for our 3rd place winner, we have this pack of pink tennis balls. They are pink because they support breast cancer… Actually, no… They are in fact anti-breast… cancer.”

Durr.

After announcing the breast-supporting prizes I retreated to the grass to watch the matches. My sister was somewhere out on the courts, I strained my tired eyes and found her, sitting against a fence.

She was wearing my pants.

My black, Adidas, white-stripe-down-the-side, pants.

How did she get my pants?

She stole them.

SHE WAS WEARING MY PANTS.

I marched right over to her.

“ARE YOU WEARING MY PANTS?!?!?!?! YOU BEAST!!”

“…….Uh….. um… no? I don’t think so?””

I looked again. This was not my sister. This was a small, freshman girl who I had never seen before. It was probably her first event with the club, and here I was, barking at her face to stop wearing my pants.

“Oh. You aren’t my sister.”

I turned abruptly and walked out of the courts. My real sister stood on the other side of the fence, snickering.

And the girl who was not wearing my pants, she never came back… But the story of the pants of which she was not wearing lives on.

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The Skorva Midbeam Scam: And What My IKEA Bed Taught Me About Life

When I moved apartments, my box spring would not fit up the stairs. Because I am stubborn and moderately stingy, I couldn’t bring myself to buy a new bed. I slept on the floor for three months. I drank an occasional beer in ‘bed’, I slept with a pile of clean clothes that I had no reason to hang up, and a number of Apple devices which would alarm madly whenever someone wrote on my Facebook wall. This was all okay because my bed was the floor, and the floor has always been home to many things. I had regressed from 26-year-old woman to 19-year-old boy in a matter of weeks.

Then, the company I worked for was bought out. I found out my new job would eventually entail me working from my apartment – or “home office” as it was politely described to me. It was time to grow up. And when you are forced into a domestically adult situation before you are ready for it, there is really only one place to go. That place is IKEA.

Lesson 1:

Never go to IKEA with a mild hangover.

Not really a life lesson, just a thought. An addendum to that would be: Never go to IKEA with a mild hangover with your mother who is really into interior decorating.

Pregnant women, yelling at their spouses for picking the wrong color SVJEKA HARMESIKASHASHA… Couples, hands intertwined in a death grip, blocking your path… The open-faced prawn sandwich in the cafeteria… These things would make you want to vomit on a good day.

Lesson 2:

Scams come in inexpensive packages.

People trust IKEA because their furniture is cheap, looks decent, and you put it together yourself. You feel empowered in all sorts of grown-up ways.

ENTER THE SKORVA MIDBEAM SCAM:

For a number of bed frames, you need this magical $10 piece in which to balance your box spring/bed slats. While this is mentioned upstairs in the showroom, it is not however, posted below in the warehouse. Only two items on the shelf are listed as needed to be picked up, you forget all about what you saw upstairs. You proceed home. You build your entire bed, impressed with yourself. You reach step 29. The bubble man in the instructions calls for a long, metallic object which you’ve never seen before in your life.

IKEA does not sell this piece online, so you must sleep in your glorified litter box until you can arrange a date to drive back to the store, pick up the piece, buy more crap you do not need, eat more Swedish meatballs, and generally be miserable with life.

See also, “SKORVA: Swëdish for “Go back to the store

Lesson 3:

Talents are not necessarily hereditary.

My entire family is in the construction business. My mother drives a backhoe better than most women drive a car. My younger sister received a tool belt for her 5th birthday. People in my family seem to be innately skilled at putting things together and taking them apart. Which is why I thought I’d be fine to construct the rest of my bed alone.

The directions called for pieces that were unrecognizable to me. The slats did not slat. THE SLATS DID NOT SLAT. I got so frustrated that I just sat and stared at the nuts and bolts in my hand and thought about the purpose of washers for half an hour. And then I got up and Googled “the purpose of washers”, wasting another ten minutes before I…

Lesson 4:

Self-deception is the most effective form of self-comfort.

…threw my mattress on top of the poorly constructed bed. I heard several cracks. 25% of the slats had fallen off the frame, one appeared to have snapped. But I had laundered my sheets for this event — the bed was coming together, even at the risk of my health. Not being a particularly heavy person, I figured all would be fine.

And when duvet and throw pillows had been applied, it looked like the bed of a girl who owns a day-planner and gets her car inspected two weeks before the sticker expires.

But what lied beneath told a different story.

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