Thursday, January 13, 2011

Obviously, I Keep A Cool Head in Stressful Situations

I live in perpetual fear that a few of the French guys that I see in my daily life will ask me out. I know what you’re thinking: “Oh, poor you. Your diamond ring must be so heavy.” But it’s worse than it sounds! I have an amazing boyfriend, who sends me kickass care packages like this:
Everything is from him except the jack-o-lantern, of course.
 He Skypes me twice a day. Even if Joseph Gordon-Levitt himself asked me out, I would feel compelled to say no.
Saying no immediately results in an overpowering sense of rejection for the unfortunate guy and then I feel bad for crushing his hopes, and guilt for being a bitch to someone who only wants to be nice to me. And then the awkward silence ensues afterwards, and this is the WORST. My insides twist up and I want to die. So I really, really don’t want these poor French men to ask me out, for their sakes, and for mine.
I mean this in regards especially to the timid and kind-hearted teacher that I work with. He’s young, not bad looking, and obviously he’s smart because he teaches econ, a subject which wastes no time in making loud “WHOOSH”-ing noises over my head. He tends to wear sky blue knit sweaters and soulful puppy eyes. He’s also so quiet, and shy, and sweet, that I dread whenever he’ll eventually gather the courage I can see building in his super awkward body language.  Today, for instance, he walked over to me determinedly and started making small talk, and of course the conversation wound its way towards shaky ground. In French he asked, “Do you ever eat in the cafeteria?” with this hopeful tone to his voice. My mind started flashing red lights and going ALERT, ALERT.
“Uh… no, never. I bring something because it’s less expensive.”
“Ah…” Cue crestfallen look. I even hated shutting him down in sneaky subtext! I tried to escape by making copies, but he followed me with copies of his own. As we stood at our separate machines, the copy room scene from 500 Days of Summer flashed into my head and I quickly smothered it. SHUT UP BRAIN. 
“So what do you like to do on the weekends?” he started up in French with a newly resolute air about him.
“Um…” I started, just as I noticed that in my fluster I had been making huuuuge, double sided copies and that I was wasting tons of paper on worksheets that were all wrong.
“Usually, I stay in… uh…” My French suffered as I distractedly jabbed the cancel button, or what I thought was the cancel button because it was red, but maybe it was the log out button? Is “supprimer” delete? Or is it “annuler?”  I flashed through French verbs frantically in my head.
I heard myself blabbing on, stuttering over the French phrases: “But I think that I will start to be a better tourist--” Jab, jab, JAB, push. The copies stopped, but then started AGAIN, even more zoomed in.
“The other English Assistants and I have some plans for this weekend, so that should—that will—that was--will be fun.”
“I see. Well... have fun then,” he responds, walking out of the room with his head down and his body language reeking of misery.

He left me standing alone in the copy room, feeling like an asshole, and holding 50 unnecessary double-sided pictures of a cartoon turkey.

1 comment:

  1. Love the imagery of holding the oversized worthless turkeys!