Tag Archive | Death

Drive me sh*tless

driving“Please go wait in the car with the 700 license plate”. The words ring in my ears as I stand in front of one of the driving school’s bright blue Renault Clios, wondering what my instructor (let’s call her Ma’am) means by “in”. In the driver’s seat? The passenger’s seat? The trunk, that safe refuge where no one would find me? Surely she can’t mean the driver’s seat, we’re in the middle of town and I have no idea how to drive. Uncertainly, I hover around the passenger’s door until Ma’am rounds the corner of the building, grins sadistically at me and tells me that I’m on the wrong side of the car. Alright, I reason with myself, she may just want to show you how things work, she’ll be the one driving you to a parking lot where you can take you first few tentative tries in first gear.

“Take a right out of the driving school’s parking lot and then go around the traffic circle to the third exit.” WOAH WOAH WOAH LADY I don’t even know how to shift, and you’re throwing me into oncoming traffic? Do you have any idea how at risk your life is right now? Heart thumping, I breathe in sharply, say a prayer to the Great Cookie in the Sky and rev the car into first gear. Once I make it to first gear on the crowded street without stalling, I offer Ma’am a proud smile, but she’s having none of it. “Second gear.” My face twists with anguish as I try to remember the steps I learned on the driving simulator, which was more like Grand Theft Auto than anything you’d ever experience in real life. Now fully engaged in the traffic circle, the car groans, sputters and jolts when I shift, prompting a frown from Ma’am. Some douche in a Mercedes flips me off, whom Ma’am replies to with a slew of choice curse words yelled out the window.

The rest of the lesson continues in this fashion — me trying something, Ma’am lecturing me on the awful thing I just did and patting her car to make sure that it doesn’t have PTSD from the maneuver I just attempted. Frankly, after nearly taking out a horse-drawn carriage, a bike and a group of children, I’m the one who needs checking for PTSD. As I pull back into the driving school after two hours of trial and error, Ma’am finally relaxes. Her hands have left a damp mark on the seat that she was clutching, but she assures me that I did fine for my first day. She’s not particularly convincing, but I nod and offer her a quarter-smile, hoping my face doesn’t betray the immense fear I’m feeling.

Back in the safety of the passenger seat of my own car, I recount how I’m a natural at driving to my dad, who nods proudly and tells me he knew I would be. I don’t have the strength to tell him about the moment I was going 90 km/h and veered into the other lane, Ma’am only saving my life by grabbing the steering wheel and yanking the car away from the oncoming truck. I’ll disclose that particular incident later, preferably when he’s had a few drinks.

Ladies, gentlemen and aliens, I’m learning to drive. If I don’t ever post to TMCT again, you can all guess how I bit the dust.

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

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Never Forget

9-11-flagThank you. Thank you to the people, thank you to the firemen, thank you to the doctors, thank you to to ambulances drivers, thank you to the police, thank you to the radio operators, thank you to the rescue personnel, thank you to the brave Betty Ong, thank you to the coast guards, thank you to the ironworkers, thank you to the structural engineers, thank you to the carpenters, thank you to the electricians, thank you to the machinists, thank you to the plumbers, thank you to the pipefitters, thank you to the riggers, thank you to the Red Cross, thank you to the rescue dogs, thank you to the volunteers, thank you to the unsung heroes stuck inside, thank you to Americans everywhere, thank you to the world. Thank you to so, so many more. Thank you.

I was only a little girl when the attacks took place, but that frightened little four year old saw her parents hysterically crying and hugging each other. Now 4 times the age that she was then, this teenager still automatically reverts to a scared child when she sees footage or hears stories. Even though back then I didn’t know what was going on I knew it was something big and horrible that I couldn’t even begin to imagine; I knew nothing of hate, the place of the United States in the world, politics or terrorists. Today I’ve seen original footage, films, interviews, read stories, seen Mike Piazza’s home run that gave life back to New York, heard the phone calls that were made from the Towers, seen the people jump to their deaths. 

Today I know that my Aunt got lucky. See, she worked in a building directly adjacent to the World Trade Center. If you walk out of her office you are at Ground Zero. On September 11th 2001 my Aunt got a headache when she woke up. After long debating whether or not to go to work, she decided that she’d better stay home and call in sick. That one decision saved her life. Later that morning her building was totalled under the falling of debris and eventual collapse of the Twin Towers. It makes me wonder, how can something as trivial as her decision was change, just… everything?

I’m sometimes asked what kind of movie scares me the most; gory, mysterious etc. But the real answer, the one I don’t often give is “the real kind”. The 9/11 videos that make me cry uncontrollably. It’s a different kind of scary, and for me, it’s much, much worse.

RIP to all those that lost their lives in this horrible tragedy. We will never forget you.

Live long and prosper \V/

Yours sincerely,

The Mostly Confused Teenager.

PS: I know that this isn’t my usual light happy fluffy unicorn style of writing, but in previous years all I’ve known to do is wear black on 9/11. This year I have somewhere where I can finally pay tribute, somehow, to the fallen and the heroes of September 2001. Never forget.

How to Get Ready in a BIG hurry

For effing school.I don’t often oversleep, but when I do, it’s bad. This morning was the first time that I needed an alarm clock all summer and guess what moron slept right thru it and almost missed her train? My brother. Crap that doesn’t make any sense. OK OK it was me. During the school year I make sure to get up an hour before I have to leave, do nothing for 45 minutes and then dash around collecting myself in the last 15 minutes. Granted, I always end up arriving at school in a daze at the last possible second, but HEY! I MAKE IT.

Of course as the new school year is about to start I have made a whole lot of meaningless resolutions about not going on Facebook or checking the score of the game in the mornings, but I know full well that I’ll never keep them. It’s just fun to think that I might not have to run around like a madwoman tripping over dogs and getting attacked by cats because I look like one big glob of edible something or other darting about at the speed of light.

Here are my secrets to getting ready fast.

#1: Prepare your bag and outfit the day before

I’ve done this about… um… once, and it truly saves you a huge amount of time in the morning, if you’re willing to do it. Because I am a naturally lazy person, I am not. This refusal to comply with my mother’s constant reminders ends in the dismal fact that I always forget something important and that nothing fragile can ever survive in my bag. Although to be fair that might also have something to do with the fact that I have two heavy rocks at the bottom of it. Why? I picked them up on a beach in Cassis and my friend and I swore our friendship over them. Yes, we were two crazy teenagers who took the rocks into class and wrote our names on them. Deal with it. As for the outfit part of this suggestion, I generally spend way too long trying different things on (first world problems right?). The best day is when I have nothing left but a top, a pair of jeans and a hoodie in my closet, at which point my selection becomes so much easier. So basically, if I don’t do my laundry I save time. My mom would love this. [Sheldon Cooper sarcasm sign]

#2: Things don’t go well if you decide to start making pancakes 20 minutes before you have to leave.

Especially if you’re still in your pajamas, hair shooting in all directions and eyes barely open. This has happened to me, because who wouldn’t want some delicious, creamy, sweet pancakes piping hot off the griddle before school? No one. Unless of course you are a person who promotes healthy living and eats a breakfast of fruit and yogurt (oh look Mom, you’re in the post again!), in which case you are an exception –> quick interlude here, how DO you do it? It sounds so… so… I can’t even find the words. Now some of you might have been blessed with parents who put an assortment of breakfast foods out on the table the night before; I was not, my parents are the “figure your sh*t out by yourself” type. The best bet is to know beforehand what you are going to have for breakfast so that you won’t stand around making a mental selection in front of the fridge for 10 minutes.

#3: Drink

Alcoholic beverages are not recommended, but a strong cup of coffee or tea might just make you look and feel alive enough to drag yourself through the house collecting your stuff before lumbering off to school/work. I must warn though that this pointer is not for everyone. By this I mean that if I drink coffee in the morning, I turn into a hyperactive panda with wide eyes who can’t stand still, and although being a panda can be quite nice, it’s best not to be one just before a big math test.

#4: Makeup, in perspective, is not important

For all the girls out there going “Whaaat?!”, I feel just like you, but let’s lay it out. Would you rather have your teacher humiliate you in front of the whole class while you wish you were home, in bed with a cup of hot chocolate and a cookie; or go an hour looking naturally weird before you can make a run for the bathroom? Your choice. I choose spending first period looking like a Confused Teen all while wishing that I was at home, in bed with a cup of hot chocolate and a cookie. It’s the best of both worlds.

#5: Keep your wits about you

The worst thing you can do is panic like I do. As luck will often have it, the morning when you need to get ready the fatest also happens to be the morning when you look like a lethargic chimpanzee. Whatever you do though, make sure it doesn’t involve running around in circles effectively doing nothing. This rountinely causes extra stress which frizzles my hair; yes, when I’m really stressed out it appears as if a bird made it’s nest on my head, bad breath (to my dismay I found out that a mint does NOT replace toothpaste), hyperventilation, choking on the piece of toast you’re trying rather unsuccesfully to shove down your throat, dizziness and even death, if all of these things happen at the same time. Keep calm and eat a cookie! Well, you might not have time to eat a cookie, but stay composed anyway.

Upon further reflection of these five suggestions I find that me myself and I, author of this post, does not respect any of them. And since I am the very model of horrible organization, I can only conclude that if one were to follow these rules, that person might actually have a chance of getting out of life alive. Hold on now, that doesn’t make any sense. If one were to follow these rules, that person might actually have a chance of getting out of the house on time without looking like a puddle of melted jello. Better?

Live long and prosper \V/

Yours sincerely,

The Mostly Confused Teenager.

PS: This post was inspired by one over at Parisianettes, check it out here: http://parisianettes.blogspot.fr/2013/08/getting-ready-fast-in-morning-for-school_25.html

Those Crazy American Commercials

There’s something that makes American TV commercials somewhat different from ads in other countries, or at least ads in France. Yeah, you know that I’m talking about those erectile dysfunction ads that come on every two seconds *involuntary shudder* I mean the purpose of one in three TV ads is, it seems, to council men on how to get boners.

Whenever I go on holiday to the US I always get excited about watching TV. Reason 1) I finally get to watch my shows on the big screen without having literally every male character sound like a 12 year old girl because it’s been dubbed, and reason 2) because I know that I’m garanteed a fit of hysterical giggles when it’s time for ads. And man, it’s always time for ads. In France you’re not allowed, by government law, to advertise any prescibed medication on TV, in magazines or in the papers, which in some way makes sense but in another makes French ads sooo much more boring. L’Oréal, because I don’t care. Get the idea? Pratically nothing ever happens, and when it does it’s most often an American ad that has been dubbed into French.

But in the United States of America, with it’s freedom of speech and wonderful liberty, there are no such rules, and the results are both glorious and disquieting:

“Are you having trouble living up to your ‘woman’s’ needs? Do you need a treatment that will last over 36 hours? [wait woah… 36 hours? Now I may not now much about the birds and bees junk but 36 hours seems quite a long time to be prepared for] Try our new SuperBonerCrap and go, go be free! Have sex in the middle of the street, in the park, in front of your grandkids! With SuperBonerCrap, it doesn’t matter when, where or how inappropriate the circumstances are, if you’re feeling it, take action. Warning, an erection lasting more than 5 hours may cause serious nerve damage. [God TMI people, kids watch Top Chef too you know] Side affects may include extreme exhaustion, nose bleeding, digestive issues, liver failure, prostate cancer, respiratory difficulties, brain damage and death. [Um excuse me, whaaat?] And as usual, stay safe! SuperBonerCrap, making you wish that you were single and surrounded by cats.”

So maybe I exaggerated a little bit, but not that much. And I know that erectile dysfunction is a real thing that affects a lot some people, but the number of ads compared to the percentage of the population that might need the product is disproportionate. Then again, it’s America, why am I suprised?

Live long and prosper \V/

Yours sincerely,

The Mostly Confused Teenager.