Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Most Mortifying Moments

While I'm in the process of sorting out my plans for next year, I've been chatting to one of my old lecturers who was also my masters supervisor a few years back. He is a wonderful person, inspirational lecturer and a great psychologist. One of the people who make me want to be a clinical psychologist. His office is also the scene of what is probably my worst embarrassing moment on campus. And I had a few.

The day I, with a giant racket, fell down the steps in my undergraduate academic building is right up there as well. I landed on my ass with my books scattered around me and one of my shoes lying a few steps below. Naturally, I wasn’t alone in the stairwell when that happened... (There are always witnesses when I do something utterly stupid!) There were tons of nice people picking up my stuff and bringing me my shoe, asking if I'm ok, did I get hurt? To which I replied: "No, I’m fine. I landed on my butt so I didn't feel a thing." Sigh. Now, it is true that my butt is pretty padded, but did I really have to say it??

Talking about butts... I studied at Stellenbosch. Most of Stellenbosch University's academic buildings are scattered around a big garden/square called the "Rooi Plein" (aka Red Square). Due to the general acoustics (empty space surrounded by high buildings) sounds on the Rooi Plein tend to eco. So the day my little brother walked past me on the Rooi Plein, slapped me on the ass (loudly - it echoed), and just laughed and kept walking as people stopped to stare, was also SLIGHTLY mortifying. Apparently I had a tendency to be in my own little world when walking around campus. You can't exactly blame me - It's really nice in there! Anyway, I would pass people (friends from school, res, class, lecturers, my students, roommates...) on campus without noticing them. I could even walk past my own brother without seeing him. Which I did. Multiple times. Which is why, when he saw we were going to walk right past each other and I was completely lost in thought - again, he decided to catch my attention... Admittedly, he probably underestimated the volume of the sound his little pat on my backside was going to create. I still owe you for that one lil bru.

Back to my most embarrassing blond moment. No, I’m not blond so I don't even have an excuse. At least this story doesn't involve my ass...

On the morning in question, I had an appointment with my supervisor, so I got dressed all neat and studenty. That particular year, the very feminine look was really in. Everything was pastels and flowers and blouses and related girly stuff. So I put on my flowery, pastel, girly blouse and a skirt and skipped of to my boyfriend’s residence. Thereafter I was supposed to go to the library to search databases and print articles before my appointment at 12. The boyfriend said no, stay here and work from my PC. So I sat myself down and did my searches while he went to class. At about 10, my work was done-ish and his bed was starting to look really inviting. In order to not crease my frilly girly blouse, I put on one of his t-shirts, got in bed and promptly fell asleep. The boyfriend got back to his room and decided this mid-morning nap thing looked really inviting and joined the club. At about 11:45 I awoke to someone softly snoring in my ear and realized I was very late. Plus I was on the very opposite end of campus to where I was supposed to be.

I jumped out of bed, yanked my girly button-down blouse over my head, combed my fingers through my hair in front of the minute guys-residence mirror, applied some lip-gloss and asked the very sleepy boyfriend: "How do I look?" Who replied: "Fine, fine, very pretty. Now run." Which I did. Past all the mens' residences, through the little student shopping mall, over the Rooi Plein... and all in peak lunch-hour student/pedestrian traffic. Just past 12 I flew into my lecturer's office, apologized profusely and plopped down in a chair with my notebook in my lap. As I was looking down at the mentioned notebook a though crossed my mind: Where is my buttons? Hmm... The blouse's thin cotton material basically looks the same on both sides, but a lack of buttons, the presence of seams and a washing-instructions label are still a pretty good indication that you are wearing your top inside out.

Trying to cover my surprise, I flipped the notebook up and clutched it to my chest while trying to subtly flip my hair over my shoulders. Goodness knows whether he noticed anything. I was out of his office as soon as I could find an excuse! Keeping in mind the label at the back of my shirt, I backed out of the office, shook his hand at the door and then just kept backing down the hallway while making small talk. The staff's toilets were just around the corner from his office, so I backed around the corner…

I have found that, when in doubt, blame the boyfriend! Outside, I phoned him. "Jan!* I had my top on inside out! And you said I look fine." The snorts of laughter from the other side isn't doing anything for my bruised ego. "Jannie*, It isn't funny. I just walked across campus AND sat through the whole meeting with my top on inside out!" Increased laughter. "Okay, it’s a little funny, but it isn't funny to me right now!" He finally calms down enough to speak: "Ag shame my skat, I'm really sorry. I honestly didn't notice." I am slightly mollified. "Did Dr. ***** notice you were inside out?" I can hear he wants to laugh. "I don't know! He always laughs at me so much that I couldn't figure out if he noticed or whether he's just laughing at me anyway." At that point the boyfriend forgets he is supposed to be sympathetic and completely loses it again.

You know that saying: What doesn't kill you makes you stronger? Right. This just taught me to check the mirror twice before leaving the house.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Honey, I'm home!

Of late I have been a bad bad blogger...or is it naughty non-blogger? (Somebody spank me!) My excuse is that I've had a few bigger fish to fry. For example figuring out what to do with the next 40-odd years of my life. Oh, and I had this stupid song on constant replay in my head! Just my luck that whenever something actually sticks up there, I usually get stuck with some soppy ballad/irritatingly catchy poptune. Never a classic rock song... This one really isn't too bad as love songs go (see Lyrics below)...but that would be if it was only for a few days or weeks - not months! Just as I though rotation was getting a bit less frequent a new colleague started at my office. Want to guess what her ringtone is??? Jip, you've got it...

Hinder - Lips of an Angel

Honey why are you calling me so late?
It's kinda hard to talk right now
Honey why are you crying, is everything okay?
I gotta whisper cause I can't be too loud

Well, my girl's in the next room
Sometimes I wish she was you
I guess we never really moved on
It's really good to hear your voice saying my name
It sounds so sweet
Coming from the lips of an angel
Hearing those words it makes me weak

And I never wanna say goodbye
But girl you make it hard to be faithful
With the lips of an angel

It's funny that you're calling me tonight
And yes I've dreamt of you too
And does he know you're talking to me?
Will it start a fight?
No I don't think she has a clue

Oh, so this isn't enough reason for my absence? Well fine then! Lets get back to the next 40 years. Lately I have been thinking about what I want to do with the rest of my (working) life. I have come to the conclusion that furthering my studies might not be a bad idea. NO, three degrees are not enough! It’s a hobby…I collect them like baseball cards. AND since my varsity wardrobe still fits now might be the time...you know how they say "if the shoe fit..."?

What? Not reason enough?

All jokes aside...I just need to actually get a useful qualification. One that will lead to a job I like doing. Vaguely stimulating and all that. After varsity I was headhunted into a career I didn't study for and that I am still actively hating 3 years 1 month and 2 days later. But who’s counting?? On a more serious note, life really is too short (and the average working day too long) to stay in a career that I firstly don't like and secondly doesn't allow me to use the talents I have. Don't laugh! Those talents might be few ... and deeply hidden ... also almost forgotten ... don't include any form of ball sense, but there is definitely still some talent here! I hope... It also gets a bit lame to always have to answer the quintessential small talk question "So, what do you do? Oh, that’s nice." with "Yeah its okay" or on more honest days simply "No, its not".

So I'm thinking of either continuing with the direction I was studying in way back then (psychology) or doing an honours degree in Journalism. Clearly I like to write copious amounts of mostly nonsense, so I might as well get paid for doing so. Right? Sooo...giving some serious thought to going back to varsity next year. Since, I have already clarified the "why", I just need to work on the "where" and "how". And most importantly: get a new wardrobe for this new phase...I mean what self-respecting chick would wear the same outfit to an event twice?? Tsk.