24 June 2009

[Imported] When left is right

At last, school is over for me until next fall. Five and a half months at Disney World is just 23 days away, and Christmas is just around the corner. And God saw that it was Good.

These past ten days the world has been doing an experiment on me called How Much Schoolwork Can Natalie Handle Before She Finally Smothers Herself With a Pillow? In the past week I have had four exams (for each of which I typed a study guide no less than 10 pages long) and four papers due, and having to cram all of that into FIVE school days had me constantly keeping that pillow in the back of my mind. But haHA! I shake my fist at you, world, for your little experiment has failed and I am still alive and well and DONE with your foolish schoolwork! HaHA!

Last night I decided that I needed to get started on my Christmas shopping, so I planned on going to the mall today after my FINAL final exam. I wanted to go to this really fancy mall called Southpoint, because, well, it's really fancy, and also because it was the only place I knew of that had this certain store that I had to stop at to get a certain Christmas present for a certain someone.

Now, I had never gone to this mall directly from school before, but I knew what I needed to do to get there, so I was fully confident in my ability to successfully navigate my way there without bypassing Guam on the way. So I get on the beltline (that's North Carolinian for Really Big Circle) which will take me to I-40 which will take me to Southpoint.

If you were to look at at map of central NC, you would see that Durham, where Southpoint is, is LEFT of Raleigh, where I was. Now I know that to Most People, LEFT translates to WEST. But I, dear Internets, am not Most People. No, in my puny, exam-fried brain, LEFT means EAST. I don't think I need to explain my mistake any further.

So I get on I-40E with no problem, but as I'm traveling, I notice that none of it looks familiar. I blame this on the fact that I had never gotten on I-40 from this part of town before, and I just need to drive a little ways before things start looking normal. And there were other signs that I was not going the right way, but I have a special talent for convincing myself that no matter what the environment around me is saying, I AM STILL CORRECT, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

But then thirty minutes had gone by and I still didn't really recognize anything. Dangit, I should BE THERE by now. I saw a sign ahead letting me know the distances of nearing towns, which were Benson and WILMINGTON. You know, the town ON THE BEACH. Wilmington was still a hundred-something miles away, so I hadn't gone THAT far, but that pretty much got the light bulb to go off in my head. Of course, there wasn't another exit for me to turn around for another FIVE MILES, which meant five more miles of me having to beat myself up for going SO FAR OUT OF MY WAY.

I finally found an exit, which was located in a town called Fuquay-Varina, which is Portuguese for Really Far Away, You Idiot. There might have been a better way to go than simply turning around and retracing thirty miles of wrong direction, but I'm just a bit stubborn, and I wasn't about to admit to my mistake/stupidity just to get shorter directions.

No, but I'll admit it to publicly humiliate myself on the World Wide Web. What is WRONG with me?

But, of course, I have my theories as to why I thought "EAST!" All my life, I ALWAYS went east. When I lived in TN - Going to Grandma's? Go East! Dollywood? East! North Carolina? East! Knoxville? northEast! Florida? southEast! True, returning home was always west, or a variation on west, but the destination was always in the wondrous east. Even the earth revolves east.

On the compass of my soul, my spirit points due East.

So, that's my reasoning.

By the time I arrived at the mall, I was physically exhausted from all the papers, the exams, and the FRIKIN LONG DRIVE I JUST TOOK, but I was happy because it was all behind me. The first store I hit was the one that I needed to get to in order to make the purchase that can only be made at THIS particular store at THIS particular mall. Never having been in this store or any like it before, I was pretty intimidated by all the techy-ness and gadgets and things that really byte. I just needed a simple thing, and I just needed someone to direct me to it and ring me up. Well, a guy approached me, I told him what I needed, and he said, "Sure. Do you want to pick it out yourself since it comes in many different styles?"

And you know what? Those different styles don't make a single difference, and my brain was thinking the same thing, but this same brain wasn't functioning properly because it was all frazzled from the papers and the tests and the FRIKIN LONG DRIVE, so my brain made my mouth say, "YES! Let me pick out a style!"

Only these styles were apparently spread throughout the store, and I didn't know where and each time I thought I picked one, the guy was like, "No, that's not the same thing..." After about three times of that, he finally directed me to where this thing was, and this thing ONLY CAME IN ONE STYLE, THANK YOU CHECK-OUT GUY WHO SHOULD HAVE ALREADY KNOWN THAT.

So he rings me up and tells me how much it costs, only instead of telling me a normal human amount, like dollars he says "one thousand five hundred pennies," which may or may not be the actual amount (I have to keep it all secretive). Only, I don't hear the last word, and I thought he was just being smart and telling me some outrageous amount because he's trying to be Cute. I wasn't in the mood for Cute, but I still smile, hand him a single bill which is more than enough for the cost, he says something about change - again, something which I only partially make out because I am ridiculously deaf - and I thought he was waiting for me to give him some change so that he didn't have to give me change in return. Only that wasn't it at all, and he was still, in whatever the hell he had just said, just trying to be Cute, but it was making me look like a TOTAL. IDIOT. And because I wasn't suffering enough, he had to ask me, "Have you had a long day, or am I just making it longer?"

I simply said that my brain was fried from exams, left it at that, and went my merry way, but in some alternate universe, I know that I looked him square in the eye and told him, "Look, I know you're trying to be funny, but I'm tired and I just want this transaction to end before I smother myself, or even YOU, with a pillow."

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