Tag Archives: awkward

Shasta McNasty: Part II


A continuation of Shasta McNasty: Part I

It had been a long first day. I wearily wandered into my room. Shasta McNasty wasn’t there. Thank God. I wouldn’t be needing a brave face. Though I was the youngest, I certainly wasn’t going to be some simpering weak cry baby emphasizing that point in front of my … practiced teenaged roomie. That said, I was basically a simpering weak cry baby in that moment. I needed reassurance. I needed a distraction.  Like any eleven-year-old having a time of it, I needed my mom.

I called home to hear my parents’ encouraging voices, trying hard not to reveal my current state of vulnerability. I didn’t want to disappoint them. They’d sacrificed a lot to send me to this camp, and I wasn’t going to let them down. Seeking a diversion from my terrible day, I asked what was knew. I was tendered the tragic news that my gerbil, Gremlin, was dead.


Now before I continue, full disclosure, I’d only had said gerbil for a week. He was a proxy pet.  A quick fix, if you will. See, my Martha, a six-year-old guinea pig, my first pet, and adored ball of fur, had crashed and burned the week prior, hence the four-legged rebound that had croaked on my parents’ watch. I lost it. Not because I was mourning the death of a replacement rodent, but because I was overwhelmed. It was coming out in one big ugly cry. I hate ugly crying. However, my parents didn’t know how overwhelmed I was because, of course, I’d lied. I was eleven. I wasn’t stupid. So, when they thought I was hysterical because of my week-long companion’s untimely demise, I went with it.

After the unfortunate phone call, I headed to the communal showers. Another miserable experience in the making because pretty much at any age insecurities abound in shared fitting rooms, locker rooms, showers, etc. So, that awkward experience was basically the cherry on top of the ultimate shitty day.

Till I got back to my room.

Shasta McNasty was there. Okay, maybe this wouldn’t be so bad. Maybe after today’s shared tennis trials and tribulations, this was our moment to bond.

It wasn’t.

I can remember sighing at her somewhat dismissive attitude. I simply chalked it up to being born with Palace Script monogrammed towels as I headed to my bed.

Of course, I didn’t immediately fall asleep. I laid there, staring blankly at the dated ceiling, desperately wishing for a sprained ankle the next day when Shasta McNasty started to speak. I suppose in the dark confines of our dorm room, when all others she could impress were gone, I was what was there. She talked; I listened. She went on and on and on about her sex life, her popularity, her money … insert pretty much any nauseating topic here and she had it covered. I passed out somewhere between lingerie she’d recently bought from Victoria’s Secret and the car she’d been promised for her 16th birthday.

The next day was much the same though we had a mid-morning break. So, I ran back to the room to relax a bit, using the air conditioner to beat the heat. When I walked in the room, I was alone, but something was off. Something just wasn’t right….

I looked around, but it all seemed in place. I shrugged it off and went to the cabinet to have a quick snack when in my periphery, I saw the trash bin had more than a few Kit Kat wrappers inside. That was odd. Maybe Shasta McNasty had brought Kit Kats, too. Though when I told her she was welcome to share my snacks, she hadn’t mentioned it.

I shook it off and opened the cupboard only to see that my bag of Kit Kats had been opened. Over half the bag was gone. Shasta McNasty must have eaten them. And no, I didn’t jump to that conclusion because she was fat, well, okay, maybe I jumped to that conclusion because she was fat, but regardless, it had to be her because I knew it wasn’t me. This also meant that even though I told her she was welcome to my snacks, she had snuck them when I wasn’t in the room. She had gone through my things. This did not make me a happy camper.

Shortly after my discovery, Shasta McNasty entered the room. She, too, was seeking a cool reprieve from the sweltering sun and had also come to grab a quick bite to eat. Because of course she had. (what? I was ELEVEN!)

I casually mentioned the Kit Kats. I said I was glad she’d taken me up on my offer to share my snacks. She stared at me vacantly (yeah, this was kind of her standard look, but there was a little more detachment behind the eyes than usual). So, I motioned to the trash bin, hoping she understood. Her eyes had followed my hand to the bin and then back again. She said she hadn’t eaten them. She didn’t take my Kit Kats.


I was confused. She had to have eaten my Kit Kats. Right? Wait! Maybe one of her equally vacuous new friends had been in the room with her and she had given them some of my Kit Kats. That had to be it!

Shasta McNasty said she hadn’t brought anyone to the room. Honestly, given our schedules, she probably hadn’t.

Swiftly, she turned on her heels and went to open her cabinet. Lo and behold, some of her snacks had been eaten, too! She quickly checked her suitcase as well, which had even more snacks hiding in it, (because she was fat, folks) and a bag of Fritos or something was gone.

We both looked at each other. I was baffled and she was as vacant as before. What was going on? What could this mean? The answer was clear —- someone had broken into our room and was stealing our food.

There was a mystery to be solved at this Nike tennis camp and dammit, we were going to solve it.

To be continued … 


Karma Comes For Us All


I wholeheartedly believe in Karma. She comes in different forms and typically when least expected, but the bottom line is that she always comes…

Clifford and I were taking a brief reprieve from school for a weekend in Atlanta. Apparently, we had committed ourselves to a double date with Cliff’s friend Tim and a girl he was seeing at the time. This was a rare phenomenon for several reasons.  One of them being that Clifford was the one who agreed to a social gathering with friends. The second being that Clifford was going on a date in any capacity whatsoever. The third was that I was the one of our twosome that didn’t want to go (no offense, Tim) as double dates just never appealed to me. There’s always that something awkward about them that has left me easily declining future offers through the years.

Regardless, there Clifford and I sat on a Saturday night at an Outback Steakhouse in the suburbs of Atlanta waiting for Tim and his girl to arrive. Being the daughter of my father, I made sure we were there 15 minutes early (because if we were going to do this, we were going to do it right). They actually gave us a table, even though there was quite a demand, because our friend and his date would soon be there.

Our waiter was a younger guy, probably around our age. He wasn’t the friendliest but he wasn’t a jerk either. He brought us our complimentary bread and our cold cokes and continued to replenish and refill them as the evening wore on (which was quite a while as Tim and his date weren’t there). They were running late. That said, this was the era before everyone could contact anyone at the drop of a hat via mobile phones and the like, so Clifford and I had no idea where they were or what was keeping them. Were they going to be just ten minutes late? Fifteen, perhaps? Were they coming at all? The age before Wi-Fi and cellular plans was like one giant guessing game. And as the ones waiting, where exactly do you draw that line?

Our waiter slowly became irritable, subtly-not-so-subtly prodding us to order or pay for the drinks and get the hell out of Dodge. We were not insensitive to his plight. He was a waiter at an Outback on a Saturday night. He could probably turn the table two or three times in the amount of time we ended up being there that evening, but faux pas like that should be remedied when it comes to the tip, acknowledging with your wallet that your wait staff’s time is valuable and that you understand it is their living. However, it should not be remedied by a waiter turned asshole trying to kick you to the curb sooner than you’d like.

45 minutes later (60 minutes if you count the 15 we were there in advance), and maybe 6 or 7 Coca-Colas down the hatch, Tim and his date walked through the door. By this point, our waiter was slamming down the 5th loaf of courtesy bread and freshly refilled glasses while glaring at us with the heat of a thousand suns. In short, he was acting the douche.

Of course, Tim was extremely apologetic to us and to the waiter as well. He and his girl made their menu choices as quickly as possible to get things moving. As the dinner progressed, the waiter became more hostile and aggressive (pretty sure he spat in our food). We weren’t going to complain or engage the management, though, because it simply wasn’t worth the energy or our breath. Negativity and opposition such as that rarely is.

While ignoring the waiter, and trying to enjoy our meal, we swapped college stories and made small awkward talk. Clifford, all the while, began shifting in his seat uncomfortably. This continued till our dinner neared its end, as indicated by the bill being handed to us while still eating our steaks. That’s when he leaned over to me and whispered he was off to the restroom but he’d be right back. Famous last words.

So I sat there, by myself, making small awkward talk with Tim and a strange girl I’d never met, because it was a double date … and we continued to make small awkward talk and continued to make small awkward talk because Clifford still hadn’t returned.

Over 20 minutes later, our waiter now officially Lucifer in the flesh, Clifford unsteadily emerged from the men’s room with his hand on his stomach, trying to act as nonchalant as possible while gracelessly making his way back to our table.

He reached us, leaned in and said in his deep South African accent, “We need to go. Like we need to go now.”

I looked at him questioningly as did Tim’s date. Tim made some witty remark about leaving so soon which prompted Clifford to repeat,” We need to go. I’m serious,” as he looked distractedly back towards the bathroom and then back to me, a bit of panic and a desperate plea in his eyes.

Suspect, I cautiously asked, “Why?…”

He took a deep breath, uttered a heavy sigh and reluctantly said, “I just had a case of the green apple splatters…I pity the person who goes in there after me. It’s bad. It’s SO bad. We need to leave the money and go.”

As he divulged his reasons for leaving, Tim, Tim’s date, and I all turned our heads and followed Clifford’s line of sight to the bathroom door. The next thing we saw was our douchebag waiter walking in…

I was reminded of that moment through the events of this last week. Sometimes you’re going to be the guy that can’t help inappropriately dumping in public, and sometimes you’re going to be the guy who can help being a disrespectful douche. Karma knows the difference and she comes for us all.