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Sloppy Firsts

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When Megan mentioned she was going on her fabulous Trip of Northern Aggression, the words of Michael Scott immediately sprang to mind. “Abraham Lincoln once said, ‘If you are racist, I will attack you with the North.’” I could really go for some colored greens right about now…

(Side note: We’ve come a long and weird way since the Diversity Day episode of The Office. I loved last night’s bizarro episode, but that never would have flown two or three seasons ago.)

(Side note to self: Gretchen, you don’t just launch into a critique of your favorite show without properly introducing yourself!)

Oh hai! I’m Gretchen, a.k.a. Gretch-a-sketch if ya nasty. I’m your Friday Fill-in!

Traditionally, I make top three lists. Without further ado, here are the Top Three: Reasons I Adore Megan…

1. Hello, cute shoes! The pictures speak for themselves.

2. She makes me laugh and I’m always secretly thrilled when people that make me laugh are willing to be my friend, too.

3. She’s super sarcastic, but also incredibly sweet to send me books when I need good reads.

Confession time: I’m a virgin guest poster…this is my first time. I think it’s only appropriate to tell you all (‘scuse me, y’all) about another first time. (Disclaimer: I’m really, really Mormon. Therefore, this is going to be a very PG-rated story, but in the good Pixar-way, not in the lame Disney-sequel-way.)

I’m talking about the huge event in every young LDS girl’s life—leaving the VL club.

It was October of my senior year of high school. (Back story: Six months earlier, I met a boy we’ll call Denny. We met at a…you guessed it…Denny’s in SoCal during band tour. I was an orch dork, he was 100% band geek.) I asked him to the Dogpatch Dance (my school’s version of Sadie Hawkins) and had a decent enough time. It was a reaaaaaalllly long date, so by the end of the night I was pretty much sick of him and ready to go home. Naturally, we went out again three weeks later and held hands.

There was a whole lot of convoluted high school drama for the next few months. I won’t bore you with the details, we’ve all been there. ANYHOW, exactly six months to the day after the dance, we were hanging out with some friends. It included a movie and Jamba Juice. At Jamba, Denny and I split a Raspberry Lime Sublime and shared the same straw.

Holy cow, this was a big deal to me at the time. You see, we’d been side-stepping around the kissing issue for a good two months or so. We were both chicken, so nothing transpired. I thought for sure he’d take the initiative during Band Tour 2: Electric Boogaloo, but NO.

But this night, I knew for sure something was going to happen. There was a long walk around the park and a longer walk up to the doorstep (at least, it felt like it). I’d be make this clear right away—the doorstep scene? Was about thirty minutes long. About ninety-nine point seven percent of that was spent either a) talking about the fact that we should just get the kissing thing over with already or b) in silence, awkwardly hugging. Add this to the facts that the whole neighborhood could watch if they felt so inclined and that my parents could possibly hear the whole thing from the bedroom window equals one very surreal experience.

Basically, our conversation went something like this:
G: Thanks! I had a great time tonight.
D: Hey, me too! So…uh, you know that thing I’ve been wanting to do for a while? Do you think we should? [The word “kiss” was never said the entire night.]
G: I dunno…do you?
D: Yeah, but I mean, how…um…how do we go about this?
G: I don’t know! You’re the guy in this relationship.
D: Well, you’re the brains!
G: sighs Okay, well, um, maybe we just…I don’t know, are you sure you want to?
D: sighs Yes, I’m sure.
G: Okay then.

This is where I nervously lick my lips and pull away from the hug to face him. Then I freak out and go back into the hug stage. We repeat this about twenty times, which is NOT an overestimatation.

Finally, it gets to the point where I know I have to just get it over with or I’d go inside and nothing would ever happen. So, I face him and begin to slo-o-o-o-wly lean in. (The whole 90-10 Hitch rule wouldn’t come out for another year or so. This was definitely a 50-50 effort.) Once our mouths meet, there was a slight attacking on my part, because I want a good first kiss, dangit! However, I think his train of thought went, “Choo-choo! All aboard for the Awkward Express! Next stop: Gymclassville. Your conductor would also like to note that apparently just touching lips is enough to count for a first kiss.” Holy miscommunication, Batman! I stop, because he isn’t kissing me back. Not good. There’s a fair amount of tense laughter and then he has the gall to suggest we try it again! Oh yeah, he also adds, “My way or your way?”

Me: what the huh? Your way, I guess.

This time goes slightly better, but it’s still just a peck.

Repeat AGAIN.

Curfew rolls around and I start to go in to my house. He stops me and asks me if he can kiss me goodnight. It’s short, but really quite sweet. I step inside, check in with my mom, and get ready for bed. I look in the mirror and I believe my exact thought was, “Wow. That was weird and not really very fun. What’s the big fuss?”

The kissing definitely improved, although things didn’t work out with Denny in the long run. And there you have it, internet. I’ve told that story a million times over to roomies and friends, but never seen it all written out like that. Feel free to cringe, since I know I did.

Come and say hi!

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Because you all takes too much time to say…

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Howdy, y’all! I’m EP from Stylish Handwriting, and today, I’m holding down the fort while Megan continues her Trip of Northern Aggression.

And since Megan is (kind of) visiting my neck of the woods, I want tell y’all about some Southern things. Because I am a Southerner despite my Louisiana friends calling me a Yankee AND there’s something fun and sweet and soft about the drawl even though my voice doesn’t show it.

I COULD tell y’all about our granma’s and ma’s (and maybe our own) ability to fry a chicken or a turkey like y’all wouldn’t believe and our love for some home-cooked, tasty grub. (OK, the first part is stereotypically Southern and doesn’t hold true some of the time, but you’d be surprised how many great cooks there are down here).

I could also write about Southern hospitality and how I think it’s one of the greatest things in the world. I mean, how many other places in the world can you walk around on a (football) game day and be offered a plate of food AND a beer by strangers because you “look like a poor, starving college student?” Yes, please, I would LOVE a third helping of your jambalaya, thankyouverymuch. Is it cool if my friend Emily grabs a plate, too?

But what I really want to say?

I love the contraction and second person plural pronoun y’all. A lot.

OK, please don’t stop reading. I promise there is a better reason for it than me loving whenever Brit Brit slurs it every once in a while. Because I like to think it sounds prettier when I say it than when she does. And it sounds a lot prettier than the way it looks/reads.

Y’all is one of my FAVE utterances. It works in SO many different contexts. And you’d be surprised just how many times a true Southerner can use this word in a string of thoughts.

Don’t worry – I won’t try to impress y’all with my fabulous y’all-writing skills (even though everyone should know that my y’all-speaking skills are much stronger). Y’all should already know that once I get on a roll with this, y’all will be thrown out numerous times. I can guarantee it. And this gets really, really bad whenever I have had a little too much to drink.

A born and bred Tennessean, I grew up thinking y’all was a word everyone used. But whenever we visited the Pennsylvanian cousins, my sister and I were mocked because, apparently, we “speak slow” and they don’t understand why we use y’all. Because their second person plural, you-uns, makes SO much more sense. *rolls eyes*

Twenty-three years later, they still don’t understand, and the mockery continues.

But it got me thinking today. Why DO we use the word y’all and, more specifically, why do I love it so?

Well, I certainly don’t know its history and the first man to utter it, but I can tell you it’s a whole HELL of a lot easier than saying you all. Or you-uns.

And in my opinion, y’all flows beautifully. And, as a Southerner, I appreciate words that float off the tip of my tongue, sound sweet and are relatively easy to say. That’s why I like to say ‘preciate instead of appreciate. And I don’t call it a soft drink, a soda, a pop or a Coca-Cola – I ask for a Coke, even when I want a Dr. Pepper, and specify after I’m asked ‘What kind of Coke?’

The way I see it, y’all is my ONE word to show I am a true Southerner. And I use it with pride because I can. And y’all will notice that whenever I let myself go, I say it a whole hell of a lot.

So please don’t judge me just because I adore this word and wrote it, like, a million times here. (OK, only 19, but who’s counting?)

Y’all will find that when you start using it, it’s hard to stop. And maybe Megan is being indoctrinated right now so when she comes home from her Trip of Northern Aggression, she’ll have a little Southern-ness about her.

OK, probably not, but it’d be fun to hear/read a California girl saying y’all. Am I right, or am I right?