Just so you know, the age limit to see a pediatrician is 18

One day after coming home for break, I told Mom I needed to see a doctor because of some mysterious rib pain (which still isn’t gone, by the way). She gave me a number and told me to schedule my own appointment.

Lady: Hi, how can I help you?
Me: Hi, I’d like to schedule an appointment for mysterious, annoying rib pain? (This is always said like a question for some reason)
Lady: Is this for you or for your child? (really, this should’ve been my first clue about this particular number)
Me: Me….
Lady: Ok! Can I have your name and date of birth?
Me: Michelle… 1991.
Lady: Oh… [extremely awkward pause as she tries to figure how to word it] We usually only accept patients ages 0-18… Do you still want to make an appointment…?
Me: Um… I’ll call you back.

I bet she and her fellow secretaries all had a good laugh that day. “You’ll never believe what just happened… a 21 year old just tried to make an appointment with a pediatrician!”

But I also had some laughs… and some revelations.

First of all, did I not go to the doctor’s for 3 years?? Not even a check up? How else was I (mostly my mom, really) so oblivious to this?? I guess I’m the poster child of health then. Go me. On another note, however, if I die sometime this year, we’ll all know it was because of a lack of yearly checkups.

Or death by chocolate. Or overeating. I guess my death will actually be more of a mystery. Should I be leading a healthier lifestyle?


Crushes History, or, Crushtory (If You Will) Part 1

Before actually entering (a more accurate description here would be pushed into the deep, dark pool of) the dating scene, I only had a few crushes. But the few that I had basically took over my life. It was like being in reciprocated love—the highs when we were together—with a sucker punch of Just-Kidding-you’re-a-crazy-bitch.

Let’s jump back through the time portal.

A few crushes here and there in Junior High and High School which were mostly me slapping a face onto my “ideal man.” Actually, it was me vomiting idyllic projections onto the guy without him knowing. Stalking Admiring from afar.

Give me this instead. I know exactly what to do…

But in college, boy did I wise up. Actual dating seemed weird to me my first two years of college. You didn’t even know them, how would that interaction even happen? “Hi, uh, I think you’re gorgeous so on the off chance that you have an awesome personality, let’s subject ourselves to an hour and a half of maybe-good conversation”? What if you don’t click at all? Then it’s going to be awkward the next time you see each other around campus. “That’s the girl I almost had a thing for. Thank god I found out she’s crazy…”

So, I friendzoned myself. All the time, with a side of Creepy.

That’s a step up, right? Going from admiring from a distance to actually talking to them? I think I deserve a gold medal. It’s not like I have to tell them I liked them. They’re going to fall for me first! … publicly… !

Mario and I met where any other couple meets: the badminton courts. If you’ve ever wanted to climb up the social ladder, I suggest you not look towards badminton. If you wanted a good recommendation for grad school, however…

He caught my attention because he was the first normal-looking white guy I’ve ever seen on the courts.  Usually it’s nerds of all colors in the yellow-brown family. But I dismissed him immediately because he was attractive. In my experience, attractive guys provide the least stimulating conversation.

During this time, it was my Lost Years at the university so I was jonesing for some close friends. Around the time I met Mario, I met Jonie, who was petite and fiery. We clicked on and off the court and were soon inseparable.The three of us traveled to tournaments together, stayed in hotel rooms together, and went out at night together. I wasn’t 21 at the time, so I was the Super Baby of the group.

My love for him grew. But I refused to hang out alone with him. Guys had to make the first move and at least I was getting SOME airtime with him, right? The fact that they hung out without me meant nothing.

A comic strip has never described my love life so well...

The one time we hung out it was at a dive bar indie concert. And it was clearly not a date, although I did treat it like one. I got a little too tipsy on pre-mixed margarita, stood awkwardly while I waited for him to pay cover (not part of the plan, but I made it so), and then bought him donuts afterward. I felt bad, so I paid him back during the ride home.

I was getting desperate because I knew Jonie, my only connection to Mario, was moving away at the end of that year. And Mario? He was graduating soon. But that didn’t matter as much because without Jonie, there was nothing.

So it continued. Nothing. Nothing. Something? Nothing.

Soon, it was summer and whatever small momentum we had was lost.

Anytime anyone asks me about what happened, I get snappy. And they’re confused because everything happened in my head. 

Mom: So, what happened to that Mario guy? Is he still on campus?
Me: I think he left. (Actually he didn’t, but explaining why we haven’t hung out is worse)
Mom: He left without saying goodbye?! I thought you guys were friends.
Me: HE’S JUST LIKE THAT, MA. Pull into McDonalds right now.



How Fear Stopped Me From Finishing Swim Lessons

They were bouncing. Again. Those boobs. They stared me in the face, bobbing, as if waving hi. Yes, the swim instructor was jumping up and down on the diving board, but that doesn’t give them permission to just flop around like that. I couldn’t stand them.

Shivering, I stood there, clutching the rail, wondering–the way little girls do whimsically when they don’t know how harsh a blow reality is capable of–what I would do if I was assigned that swim instructor.

I loved swimming and I did it well. I passed the levels faster than any girl my age ever did. I was the youngest person to finish 10 levels by the age of 9. There were only 2 more levels to go until I made it to the top; when I become top dog. Nothing was standing in my way. Not even my friend who secretly competes with me because she let our parental rivalry get to her.

The whistle blew. It was time.

I watched as each girl get paired up with someone other than that swim instructor. Even when there was only one other girl left–two girls for two different instructors–I still didn’t comprehend.

“And… Michelle, you have Jack!” 

I blinked.

No… it couldn’t be. I was paired up with that swim instructor. And the eyes on his chest were staring at me.

Do you understand now? I was afraid of MOOBS. 

Maybe I thought it strange because he wasn’t even fat. He just had a pair.

My prodigal-like swimmings skills now worked against me. I was a pioneer of the Porpoise Level. I went where nobody went before–and that lead me to one-on-one lessons with Manboob Jack.

I spent the next 3 weeks trying to blind myself. I kept my eyes in close range to the water, allowing quick escape down under. When he showed me how to perform a certain technique, water would always be in my eyes. While swimming laps, the further I’d get, the slower I would swim.

I say 3 weeks because on the 3rd week, I wouldn’t come out of the locker rooms. My mom found me in there crying because my mental health couldn’t tolerate any more of the moobs.

She took my misery seriously and braved the manager and somehow, I got assigned a petite woman. I went on to successfully complete all 12 swim lessons, which led me to… absolutely nothing in high school.

I was very lucky to have a mom that would defend her child when she had an illogical fear of moobs. Years later, when I asked her about it, she told me that her excuse was that I was uncomfortable around men–even though I’ve been successful in swim lessons taught by men before. She also said that she was lucky to have thought of the excuse because the boy was the manager’s son.

I’m still unsure why I was so scared of moobs. Some people are scared of spiders; others are scared of snakes. But me? I was (am?) scared of moobs.