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Being French

reasons-to-like-france-graphElo, me naam eez CT, ande 2 monts agoe I beecame French. Well 50% French in the eyes of the law and sub-French in the eyes of every 100% French person, but that sort of ruins the announcement, don’t you think?

Finally, 17 years after being born on French soil to American parents, I was awarded a brilliant piece of paper stating that I now had french citizenship. The whole ceremony took place in a dingy office on the 2nd floor of a dusty creaking building that specializes in transforming peoples’ lives, and was officiated by a weary looking middle-aged woman who looked like she could really use a trip to, well, anywhere. After verifying that I wasn’t a llama posing as a human just to benefit from french health care, she offered me a three page list of first names and asked me to pick one. Despite my longtime fantasy of being named Gertrude Cunégonde, I decided to stick to CT after my father shot me a threatening look, which he only barely pulled off, since I could tell he was about to lose a hard fought battle to hysterical laughter. The lady glared at us, pursed her lips when I told her I was keeping my American citizenship, shook our hands and wished us good day, wrapping up the event in the pomp with which it had been conducted (yes young pineapples, that is sarcasm). And voilà, French I am.

As a French person, I have learned several things essential to surviving in the society of baguettes and berets, which I thought I should share with you here, as I am a kind and generous soul:

#1: Never, ever let on that you are any part American
Apart from the rare Frenchman who appreciates his neighbors from across the pond for having supplied his people with Star Wars and liberation from the Nazis, the French hold Americans to the very lowest of standards. We see the United States as perverting our culture of fine cuisine with such abominations as pre-made frosting (I mean seriously, who can’t make the effort of beating up half a ton of butter and confectioner sugar themselves) and yellow cheese (oh the woe of a people not able to enjoy a cheese made from real bacteria and mold). Not to mention the endless stream of loud and obnoxious tourists who get drunk everyday and end up keeping the whole neighborhood awake at 4am with a slurred version of the Star Spangled Banner that sounds more like a tyrannosaurus rex wailing because its arms aren’t long enough to reach the steak that’s on the top shelf of the refridgerator than any kind of musical ditty. So when in doubt, if the conversation at a wine-tasting soirée turns to the land of guns and bacon, just whole-heartedly agree that every American should be tossed into the Seine River immediately upon arrival, for fear of ending up there yourself.

#2: Act superior
If they hold Americans to the very lowest of standards, the French hold themselves to the very highest. As an ancient civilization with a proud history of invading and being invaded, it is necessary to maintain dominance on the rest of the word, a task which falls to every commoner as his or her civil duty. The code of conduct is as follows. When walking down the street, stride briskly and keep your face completely neutral. When spoken to assume a slightly annoyed look and adjust your voice so as to have a condescending echo (nothing obvious enough to allow for a formal rebuke of course). Finally, be sure to always having something French on you, such as a baguette or a book by a great French novelist (to be handheld in plain view). This will inspire awe from foreigners, who will return home and spread the stereotypes that allow for an international French reverence, and notify other Frenchman that you entertain the same noble quest as they, and thus deserve to be treated with respect.

#3: Be patriotic
This goes hand in hand with reason number 2, but is absolutely primordial: you must be willing to fight for your country, lie for your country, sow, reap and die for your country (I think I should change my career path to motivational poet. Thoughts? Actually, it’s probably better if you don’t say anything at all, I see you sneering from a million miles away). If you are caught doing something dishonorable, say you’re from England, those bastards have tried invading us enough times to deserve a little retribution. Of course if you’re being filmed by a television crew for having saved 15 people from a burning building, no matter if you look like raccoon whose wife is dragging him to marriage counseling sessions that cost way too much for the meager salary you make as a trashcan spotter, make sure to yell that you’re French. It’s very important to the social well-being of the country that we be recognized as underdog heroes. Keeps us modest and bashful.

Now I realize that I’ve been rather unkind to the French in this post, and before any of my fellow compatriots descend upon me in a flurry of rage and cigarette smoke, I’d like to share the words I wrote in my letter to the mayor: “J’espère amener honneur à vous et aux institutions de ce pays dont je suis si fière d’être devenue la citoyenne”, which translates roughly to “I promise to try and not disgrace myself any more than I already have… but dawg I’m French now, and there ain’t nobody who can touch me” (very roughly).

Liberté, égalité, fraternité to all my French homies out there. I’m going to stop writing now, before I get any more ghetto.

Live long and prosper \V/
Yours sincerely,
The Mostly Confused Teenager.

To Hair With It

{if you ignore the title everything will be peachy and I won’t have to kill you}

I glance in the mirror, shudder at my disheveled appearance and pick up my phone. The screen lights up and glares at me dauntingly, flashing the numbers 8:12 and the words “Run CT, run” over and over again. Cursing, I pick up my hairbrush and try to pass it through the mess of knotty curls that amasses on my head when I forget about the existence of a blow dryer. The hairbrush gets stuck and makes a dull cracking noise when I pull it out of my hair. 8:13. Well, I guess that today I’ll just look like a lion that hasn’t gone to the hairdresser’s in a billion years. My parents should be so proud.
On the upside, I’m not late for school; although as I slip into my seat at 8:29 my friend looks at me sympathetically and pulls a brush out of her bag as a silent offering, while across the classroom, another friend looks at me, touches her hair and frowns. And so my day begins.

In case you hadn’t noticed (you wonderfully perspicacious human being) from the hairy tale above (get it? I made a pun! Shakespeare would be so proud), my hair is a sore point for me. I inherited my mom’s light golden color and my dad’s crazy Einstein wave, because of course having straight blonde gorgeously perfect hair like my mother’s that allows for the perfect bitch-hairflip wouldn’t have been fair to other girls anywhere on this colorful planet we earthlings call home. In this spirit my hair alternates between straight with a stringy wave and slightly poodlelike, depending on the days. I get a lot of questions asking what I’ve done to my hair on any particular day, most of which can be answered by a simple “I brushed it” or “I didn’t brush it”. A notable example came in June of last year when I was studying in the library. A dude from my class came in, stared at my head and said “did you go to the hairdresser’s? Your hair looks so… orderly.” No genius, that’s the power of a hairbrush. I’m not offended, really I’m not.

Although my blonde tends to look like yellow snow in the summer and muddy golden retriever fur in the winter, I have always been proud of the color(s). Why, you ask, would I be proud of having a melanine deficiency which has prompted numerous degrading stereotypes? (oh do please ask, otherwise my ensuing reasons are completely without a point) Well for one, it’s true, blondes have more fun, since we have a certain liberty to do what we want, no matter how silly, because when in doubt people will always use the blondeness as an excuse to justify a choice. Secondly, our hair completely changes color when it gets wet: from yellow to brown and back again. How cool is that? Thirdly, when it’s hot out, your dark hair attracts and sucks in heat while ours says “no sweat, I got this” and repels the rays. Finally, let dark haired girls be forever jealous: most of us fine-haired blondes don’t have to shave our legs. That’s right ladies, none of that excruciating wax business (well, I imagine that it’s excruciating, truth is I haven’t had to go through it. yet. (don’t want to jinx myself))  for me. Chew on that, suckers. So go ahead, tease me all you’d like… in the long run, I’m the winner.

Live long and prosper \V/
Yours sincerely,
The Mostly Confused Teenager.

PS: I wrote this post back in November and completely forgot about it. I know I know, I’m blonde.

Don’t cry for me, high school

graduationThere are two days left until graduation. Two days of the same classes that we’ve been subject to all year, with the same teachers who have drowned on about Kant and Keynes for hours that have seemed like days. This week is different though, tinged with a sort of pre-nostalgia. When we put on those hats that make it look like one has a table on one’s head and the robes one gets at the hairdresser’s, we’ll be closing the door on one stage of our lives and saying hello to college all-nighters and disgusting frat parties.

Now before y’all get teary-eyed on me (yes, I’m flattering my writing, deal with it), you should know that French graduation, at least at my school, is a complete sham. It’s so early in the year only so that the International Baccalaureat kids (who are now on summer break, bastards) can go on vacation. Which means that while they waltz off to their expensive tropical destinations and sip those diabetes-inducing cocktails with little pink umbrellas in them, us normal students get to go back to class so that the teachers who have only taught a quarter of what they’re supposed to on the year can jam 3/4 of the program into a week and then have the nerve to tell us that we’re “not going to fail final exams”.

Every kid I’ve ever wanted to punch here, every adult who made me wish arrest for money laundering on them, every failed test that I quietly and unceremoniously set fire to (after having examined and learned from my mistakes of course, geez mom) is soon gonna eat my dust as I jet off to the land of capitalism and bacon.

Still, I’m getting graduation goggles. Why? Because for every five assholes at this school, there’s been someone to squeeze your hand and say “just keep swimming” when you’re staring at that despairingly low grade and wondering if it’s time to just give up and flush your dreams down the toilet already. Because for every five teachers who made you come in at 8am on a Saturday to take a four hour test, there’s that one who squealed and hugged you ’til you needed CPR (preferably administered by a hot shirtless dude, obviously) when they learned that you got accepted to your first-choice university.
The way your face lights up when you spot a friend in the hallway that you feel like you haven’t seen in weeks even though you saw her yesterday, the contests to see who can eat their slice of pizza the fastest, the lazy afternoons after class spent lying on the grass staring up at the Eiffel Tower eating way too much ice cream… These are the things I am going to so desperately miss. Because as cheesy as it sounds, they are the reasons that I painfully convinced myself to not smash the 7am alarm clock all these years.

Ladies and gentledudes, Classes of 2015 around the world, we did it. Props to our brains for not going through with the idea that they would much rather be potatoes.

Live long and prosper \V/
Yours sincerely,
The Mostly Confused Teenager.

Being a Lady

I take a huge bite out of the greasy sandwich I’m eating, instantly hiding it under the table, pretending that I don’t have food in the no-food school library. The librarian shoots me a glare that would make a bloodsucking mountain goat recoil in fear, but at this point all I can think about is eating before my afternoon classes start, so I shoot him my sweetest smile, completely forgetting that my mouth is full of tomato and cheese. His eyes widen in horror as I quickly gather my books and dump the rest of my lunch in the trash. As I pass the front desk I stub my toe in the doorframe and utter a string of swear words as he chuckles and looks away so I don’t see him laughing at me. Yeah, as if. Nice try dude.

Being the perfect lady has never been a particular goal of mine, but as I progress through life and have people say things like “No spitting contests. They’re so unladylike.”, it does force me to think of what being a lady is all about. So, without further ado, here is The Mostly Confused Teenager’s guide to being a lady.

#1: Be Respectful of Others
Some would call this first rule “be kind”, however I tweaked it purposely because in my humble opinion life would be a complete drag if you couldn’t tease people just a little bit. I guess that you could just implement the rule that teasing and ribbing (are those the same things?) are fine up until the point where you’re causing pain through your words. Now now, I can already hear your cries of protest: “CT, laughing at someone is always wrong!” Well, yes; but my wise sixteen year old self knows that some relationships are based pretty much purely on insults and fake-loathing and that those friendships are worth everything in the world. So in a short, babble-free resume: teasing = OK, one-way insulting = well… guess. Bad (duh.)

#2: Make Your Own Choices
You all know the meek “we can do whatever you want” type. I’m not talking about normal polite people who can easily go with the flow, but rather people like my mother. I love my mom to bits and would without a doubt jump off a cliff to save her (although I’m not sure in which circumstances this would ever take place), but she annoys me to no end by having no particular opinion about most anything. Ladies, if you want to do something, as long as it doesn’t involve insulting nuns in their presence, go ahead! Being a lady means being a person, and being a person means standing up for yourself and for what you believe in.

#3: Respect Yourself
This suggestion ties in with the previous one. A lot of people would say that being a lady entails having perfect hair and makeup at all times, having the posture of a telephone poll and dressing like a 1950’s housewife. I think that that’s cow poop. The basics are hair that doesn’t have capybaras living in it, a face that doesn’t look like a grizzly bear gave it two black eyes and no bikinis (or equivalents) in business meetings. Other than that, do whatever the hell you want, within reason! Respect yourself and, generally, others will respect you.

In short (yeah, ironic I know), being a lady means being yourself. There are no 100,000 commandments to obey to the letter; there are only a few guidelines to follow. Swear, get sweaty, eat pizza with your hands and get it all over your face… And most of all, have fun. Otherwise, what’s the point of being anything at all?

Live long and prosper \V/
Yours sincerely,
The Mostly Confused Teenager

PS: On the 3rd of August 2014, TMCT turned one. Happy Birthday to the best little blog this girl could wish to run!

The Post About Toes

My toes lie dormant for most of the year, nestled in warm fuzzy socks and hidden from the cold by thick furry boots. Much like groundhogs, they hibernate until they feel the soft breeze of spring tickle them during a night when they were violently kicked out from under the covers. And that, that is when they wake up and start demanding what they feel is rightfully theirs: freedom.

From all of you out there freaking out because I’m implying that my toes have an independent thought pattern, calm your over-enthusiastic horses. I’m not saying that my toes suddenly start moving all by themselves and ask the brain if they can break up with my body just to pitter-patter away on their own adventures. I like to think that my toes love me far to much to ever act on the great threat of 2011 (don’t ask.), so don’t y’all go chopping off your toes in fear that they’ll decide to discover China without you. Seriously, don’t, you’ll look like a wounded ostrich when you walk around.

I, being the generous and fair goddess that y’all claim me to be, give them their freedom earlier than most. Roughly translated into human lingo, this means that by March I can be seen prancing around the streets of Paris in my favorite pair of flip flops, gathering stares of disdain from most, awe from some and admiration from the rare few. I mean I have nothing against normal shoes, I wear sneakers and flats like everyone else, but there’s nothing quite like that first day when you walk outside, wiggle your toes and feel the raw air on your feet.

Having feet free of the constraints of suffocating socks and shoes is a part of summer that I love and that I would have a hard time living without, which is part of the reason that I could never thrive in Siberia. That and I don’t speak Russian. Now I know that some people simply can’t take off their shoes and walk across a lawn or a beach barefoot. Ladies, gentlemen and aliens, you are missing out. There are few feelings more enjoyable than having sand filter through your toes or letting your feet sink into a shaggy carpet of juicy green grass.

So (I feel as if I’m in a commercial, advertizing some natural health enhancer thing), take off your shoes, let your toes breathe, and walk through the grass. Well, except if you live in the city, in which case don’t, because the grass is covered in a thick layer of dog piss. Side effects of walking barefoot through an urban park may include fungi, disgust and consequential barfing. You are forwarned. Peace out.

Live long and prosper \V/
Sincerely,
The Mostly Confused Teenager.

PS: Am I the only one who’s been having some trouble with WordPress lately? My notifications don’t always show up, my reader won’t load… It’s the weirdest thing.

Graphic Drawings

cyanideandhappinessdrawing” – Oh look, you drew something!
– Yeah, do you like it?
– It’s wonderful! [more gushing ensues] But… um… What is it?
– What do you think it is?
– I, uh, a representation of death?
– No, it’s a forest.
– Oh of course, I totally see it now! Right, and here’s a person walking through it!
– That’s a tree trunk. Maybe I’ll start over again.
– I’m sorry, I really did try to be enthusiastic.”

I’ve never been the most gifted person with colored pencils, pastels, paint, blood or any of those artistic devices used to create a masterpiece on paper, canvas, cupcakes, corpses or whatever. My family has always been artistic: grandparents, aunts, parents and even siblings have a certain magical talent to create these wonderful drawings that look like they could be in any art museum. They each have their specialty: still life, nature, surreal forms, architecture… And of course I have one too, one that requires great, well, nothing: stick figures.

You see, the drawing gene seems to have skipped me. Sure, when I was little I took great pride in being able to connect the dots to make a snowman appear or color in a certain amount of shapes without going over the lines, but my abilities seemed to stop there. My brother started showing promise early, concocting things like trains and dogs, while I was left drawing teepees (why you ask? Teepees are basically triangles. That much I can deal with.).

At this point you’re probably thinking to yourself “Nah, she can’t possibly be as bad as she’s making herself out to be..” First of all, if you really are thinking that, it means that my mind manipulation techniques are finally working and I can start putting my world domination plan into action. Secondly, shucks guys, you’re so nice! Thirdly, I forgot what I was counting for. I know that they say that practice makes perfect, and while I agree to a certain extent, I have to concede the fact that at a certain point, if it ain’t happening, it ain’t gonna happen. So instead of lamenting the fact that I have the drawing talents of Godzilla, I’ll keep  proudly drawing stick figures living in houses consisting of squares and triangles under a sun that lives permanently in the upper right corner of the page.

Why am I suddenly being so generous and forgiving myself for making a drawing of Mars look like a giant apricot? Because I can paint in a different way: with words. The Mostly Confused Teenager is my canvas, the keys on the keyboard my brushes, the posts my masterpieces (I have a weird notion of masterpiece I know) and you, fellow bloggers, are my critics.

So in conclusion, thank you for making me feel artsy. In return, I promise never to publish a collection of my drawings, for the good of the world.

Live long and prosper \V/

Sincerely,

The Mostly Confused Teenager.

 

Why I’m Suicidal (Part I)

Now before you all  shove your suicide hot line numbers in my face (on which, paradoxically, I might choke), I’m not suicidal yet. However, I want to become a doctor, so I am convinced that a part of me must be slightly crazy. Slightly. No comments please.

I’ve wanted to be a doctor ever since I was a little girl, around 6 years old. As the years pass I’ve always stuck firm to my resolution, never wavering from the path of my dreams, but never really thinking about it either. Now, less than a year away from college applications, people (including my pushy but well-intentioned parents) are questioning my motives. Why do I want to become a doctor? Why would I want to put myself through so many years of hell? Well maybe I like hell. Did you ever think of that? Huh? Wait no… I like lazing around and doing nothing. I really need to ask myself some serious questions. After a lot of procrastinating and wishing that I had a yacht (don’t ask, even I don’t know), I’ve come up with a certain number of reasons why I want to be a doctor.

#1: It’s as interesting as a chocolate fountain

Chocolate fountains are interesting as fudge (get it? *big grin* no? *grin fades a little* I use the word ‘fudge’ to replace f*ck, and in context it worked so well that I found myself quite clever. Whaaat am I doing?). Biology is my favorite class in the whole wide world, because I always learn something new, something so amazing that it often makes my mouth hang open and my eyes widen until someone tells me that I look like a dying fish. “Yeah, but CT, you learn things in other classes too, isn’t that the point of school?” I see where you’re coming from, oh stranger of the Internet, but for me there’s a vast difference in between say, what I learn in math and what I learn in bio. Here’s an example:
BIO
Teacher: did you if someone laid your blood vessels from end to end they would circle the Earth approximately 2,5 times?
Me: I COULD RULE THE WOR-Oh wait no I’d be dead. *looks down at body* The force is strong with this one!
MATH
Teacher: did you know that if cosx = 1/2, x= pi/3 or -pi/3?
Me: Oh my god, who the hell cares?
See, there’s just something about the world of science that is so fascinating that sometimes I can’t tear myself away from my biology book. Math on the other hand I have no trouble putting at the bottom of my bag where I can’t see it.

#2: The knight of the sick

Knights can be women now right? No? Only dames? But I want to go around on a horse and save people too! When you’re a doctor, your patients look up to you, unless you do a crappy job, in which case they risk killing you with a chainsaw in the middle of the night while eating a hamburger. I’m not saying that I’m avid of power, but it’s nice to be needed and to know that you can make someone’s life better, show them the way out of the dark abyss that they’d been stuck in, and most of all put a smile back on their face. I know it’s cliché, but there’s a reason that people use it as a reason (not at all repetitive CT, good sentence structure): there’s nothing quite like seeing someone’s face light up because you’ve made them happy.

#3: It’s fulfilling (like mint-chip ice cream)

The awesome thing about making someone else happy is that it makes you happy. There’s nothing that makes me more pleased than someone’s eyes widen in delight when they see that I have cookies. Is that selfish? I can’t tell, and it’s stressing me out a little bit. Aaand now I’ve forgotten what I was talking about. Ah yes: I imagine that making people feel better and taking away the pain is a bit like giving someone a cookie and a hug when they’re having a bad day, but in a much more important sense. I don’t want to get stuck in a dead end job where I finish some kind of project and get absolutely no satisfaction in it, sit back in my chair and think; “I miss the days when I was all smiley faces and jumped around ecstatically when I accomplished something (and not because I was high either)“. I want to feel something inside of me each time a patient come around and tells me that he or she is feeling better, something new and refreshing that will motivate me to keep going.

#4: I will NEVER get bored

And if I do, there are always fail videos on YouTube (will YouTube still exist when I’m grown up? *slaps herself before the panicky feeling takes a hold of her heart*). I’m not the kind of person who can sit in one seat for 3 hours and type away at a computer without getting butterflies in her stomach and needing to walk around stretching her legs as if she were part of the Ministry of Silly Walks on Monty Python. In medecine, you’ve got the type-cases that you learn about in medical school, but as soon as you get into the real world everything is very different (I’ve heard, I unfortunately haven’t mastered time travel yet): no two people are the same, which means that no two needs  are the same and by association no two cases are identical. Can you imagine? The excitement of waking up each day and knowing that you’re going to accomplish something new and be confronted to something that you may never have encountered before? It’s kind of like pizza: there’s an infinite amount of possibilities that will always surprise and challenge (I consider a nutella pizza to be challenging) and will sometimes leave a bad taste in your mouth (try nutella and anchovies, then reap), but all in all the experiences are so interesting that nothing would make you regret them.

This is a list in progress, meaning that it’s not even close to done. It also means that when I go into an interview and someone asks me ‘why’ I want to be a doctor, I can remember this article and spit out a drastically different version of it. Because there is no way in hell that I’m telling my examiner that I want to be a doctor because with the money I make off of it, I could buy a solar powered unicorn tracker.

Live long and prosper \V/
Yours sincerely,
The Mostly Confused Teenager.