Archive for November, 2011


Free Samples

Free samples are amazing, aren’t they?

Someone walks up to you and offers you a morsel of some delectable item, you consume it, nod your head in appreciation, and walk off.

Free samples are great because they give you the chance to try something new with no financial consequences and no obligation to make a purchase. You can try something out, and if you didn’t like it you can walk away and never have to experience it again. If you did like it, then you can consider whether or not it’s something worth purchasing or not.

But more importantly, free samples are awesome because they give you the chance to make informed decisions about your purchases. You can decide whether to purchase a certain food with full knowledge about how much you enjoy it.

 

Life should give out free samples, I think. Wouldn’t everything be so much easier if life came up to you and said “Hey, would you like to sample how your life will be in ten years if you go to dental school?” or “Free sample of what your life will be like if you choose to live in Paraguay!”

I don’t know about you guys, but I have a shitload of decisions that I have to make in the not-so-distant future, and not enough information to make an informed decision on any of them. It’s great reading pamphlets and hearing testimonials, but in the end you need to actually experience something in order to know how much you’ll enjoy it. How can anyone possibly know what dental school would be like without actually attending dental school? How can anyone possibly know what living in Paraguay would be like without actually moving there?

But life doesn’t offer you free samples. In the Supermarket of Life, you have to buy things at enormous cost without more than a vague idea of whether or not you’ll enjoy them. And with life’s bigger decisions, it’d be nice to have more than a vague idea when the cost of an item is tens of thousands of dollars and multiple years.

I understand that life is largely about taking risks and discovering things for yourself, but sometimes you just want to know, you know?

The Honeymoon Ends

I’ve always had a good relationship with school. In both elementary and high school, when a lot of people were just waiting to get out, I wanted to stay in. I just love the idea of an environment where you’re expected to just sit down and learn shit. Sure there are tests and essays to be done, but that’s a minor gripe when you’re surrounded by friends all day and have the entire summer off. School is awesome.

Or at least, that’s how I used to feel.

Now for the first time I can feel the relationship between myself and school souring a bit. I’m getting a bit tired of it, I guess you could say. The never-ending grind of essay after essay is starting to wear me down a little. In part it’s my fault. I chose to go the history/political science route, and in doing so I chose a world where I would be writing essays constantly. But that doesn’t make it any better.

Suddenly I’m starting to look at the future as bright. I look forward to having a job where the day ends at 5:00, and from that point onward I’m free to spend my time with family or friends. No essays to worry about. No tests to study for until 3:00 AM. That’d be nice, I think.

And having money sounds nice too, mainly for travelling purposes. I mean, one of my areas of historical specialization is Western Europe, but I’ve only been there twice, and I’ve never been to a European capital before. That’s something I’d like to rectify soon, but minimum wage employment isn’t quite sufficient for that. I’m forced to rely on my parents, and though I appreciate their generosity, that’s something I’d rather not have to do.

 

 

Now, this is all a terrible mistake. And I’m well aware of it. The adult world is almost unanimous in wishing that it could go back to university, and I have no doubts that someday Mike of the Future will look back on this blog and say YOU HAD IT SO GOOD BACK THEN. But this is what I’m feeling at the moment, so Mike of the Future can go fuck himself.

The Girls’ Bathroom

I remember being nine years old.

In those days, I went to a school called St. Clare. And by the age of nine, I knew every hallway like the back of my hand. I had mastered every water fountain. And yes, I had even caught a glimpse of the forbidden Teachers’ Lounge. Yes, I was the master of my domain.

Except for the girls’ bathroom.

Now, the girls’ bathroom was unique in that no one had any idea what really went on there. Everyone knew that the Teachers’ Lounge was where the teachers went to drink coffee and do other grown-up things, but the girls’ bathoom? No idea.

No boy had ever been inside, after all. Attempting to do so would result in a detention, or worse, cooties.

And you couldn’t trust a girl to give you any accurate information about the girls’ washroom either. Girls, being strange and evil creatures, were naturally inclined to lie and screech.

As a result, us boys had to use our superior skills of conjecture to predict what was in the girls’ bathroom. The consensus was that the girls’ bathroom was at least three times the size of the boys’ bathroom, and painted entirely in pink. They had couches and TVs in there, magazines to read, a lip gloss dispenser, and possibly a drink fountain. Girls spent their time here applying makeup, watching soap operas, and doing other girly things.

Our hypotheses were solid, but could not fully explain the mysteries of girls. The TVs certainly explained why it took the average girl five times as long to use the bathroom as the average boy, but we still had no explanation for why girls only ever went to the washroom in pairs. This mystery still plagues me to this day.

 

A couple of years later (I was eleven or so), I found myself in the school after-hours. I forget why I was there, but there I was. The school was quiet at this point – the only audible noise was that of the janitors cleaning floors in the distance. And before me was the girls’ bathroom.

Despite the fact that cootie theory had been debunked by this point, I still felt nervous. If I was caught, it would be one of the most embarrassing moments of my childhood. But I had to proceed. For all of boykind.

I pushed open the door.

I turned the corner.

And…

 

Disappointment washed over me. There were no TVs. There were no couches. No lip gloss. No drink fountain. Not even a magazine! The room was slightly bigger than the boys’ bathroom, to be fair, but that was only due to the lack of urinals. I couldn’t believe that this was all there was to the best-kept secret of all time. I couldn’t even feel smug at having discovered that the girls’ bathroom was no better than our own, such was my disappointment. I turned around and left the bathroom, feeling utterly cheated.

 

 

 

Often when I write blogs like this, I have a point. A certain “moral of the story”, as it were.

Well to be honest, that’s not the case this time. There’s no lesson to be learned here. I just wanted to talk about that one time I went into the girls’ bathroom.

Good night!