Tag Archives: Rules

Booger rules

I had the top bunk my freshman year of college which was fabulous but made some things difficult. Namely- getting into and out of bed. I had to climb on my desk, get a tight grip on the headboard, take a deep breathe, and swing my leg up while hoisting my whole body up and over. It was a process. I tell you this so you won’t judge me as harshly when you read this next part.
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So there we were, a few weeks into school. I had bonded with my roommates and the girls in my hall- so much so that about 5 of them joined me on my bed to watch a movie. Then my roommate Jenny looked up.
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“Oh my gosh, Katie. Are those boogers on the ceiling?”
There was no way out. I could think of no lie.
So I blushed, I laughed, and then I came clean.
“Yes. Yes they are. But in my defense, it’s too much of a hassle to climb down and get a tissue late at night and I can’t fall asleep with boogers in my nose.” Continue reading

10 Tips for Eye Contact

Eye contact is a funny thing. Too much of it and you’re probably being too intense. Too little, and you’re aloof or socially awkward. You need to have just the right amount but different circumstances call for different amounts. Plus, there are other times when you’ll want to avoid eye contact altogether and at all costs. Though I missed “10 on the 10th” this month due to forgetfulness, I thought I’d make up for it now.
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10 Tips for Avoiding Awkward Eye Contact
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1) When being weird in the car, NEVER look around. Singing in the car? Gettin jiggy behind the wheel? Great. But don’t glance at your neighboring cars. Making eye contact in the middle of hitting that high note or bustin that great car-dancing move, is just awful. Ruins the entire song. Picking your nose in the car? Have no shame. We all do it. Just remember to keep your eyes straight ahead (do NOT inspect your findings). If you look to the side, you will be met with a disgusted and disapproving stare from a stranger who will quickly glance away. If this happens, do NOT glance back a second time. They are destined to do it as well and then the situation is doubly awkward. Continue reading

Movie- Going Rules

I am a bit of a regular at the movie theaters. That may be putting it lightly. I’m the type who has a Regal card and is continually racking up points for free movies and free small drinks. I purposely go to the movies on Tuesdays for dollar popcorn days. (for card-carrying folk only) I’m the type who often goes to the movies by myself and sometimes even prefer to be alone. I love to feel like I’m actually IN the story and if my chatty Kathy friend is giving me her running commentary, I cannot fully engage. Plus, sometimes none of my friends or family will enjoy the weird movies I want to see. And there are the other times I’m just plain ashamed to admit I want to see a movie. (I saw The Hangover and laughed myself silly at very inappropriate jokes and felt no judgment from the strangers I was surrounded by) I’m also the type who usually sees a double feature and occasionally will hop to three or four movies in one day (like I did with my dad on Christmas day. Our goal is to one day see five).

I have countless fond memories inside these full-screen wonderlands. In high school, while other kids were dancing at cool parties, I donned my pajamas and brought a pillow to the theaters. In college, I found a group of fellow Westmont students who also loved Harry Potter and we all saw the first midnight showing together though we had never previously met. (It was a magical night until my coach found out I was at the movies until 3 AM the night before a game and ripped me a new one. Totally worth it.) I went to the movies in Mozambique by myself even when I didn’t understand a word and there were no subtitles. I planned my trip to visit Jenny in New York based on the weekend Eragon was first released in theaters. (don’t judge- those dragon books are delightful) I made Trent go to the movies with me when we were in Ireland and we missed the infamous match between Federer and Nadal that was supposedly “the best tennis match of all time.” He was beyond livid when he realized we missed it because we were at the movies and said, “Katie, we will admit this to no one. We will watch the replay and go to our graves claiming to have seen this match live.” Sorry sucker. Wasn’t Hancock worth it though?

I’ve sat in midnight showings and midday showings, waited in countless bathroom lines, and snack lines and of course the infamous Twilight premier lines. (We waited 8 hours. Worth every butt cramp and vampire-crazed, teeny bopper scream) I love everything about the theaters and clearly, I’ve spent a lot of time inside them. I feel this wealth of experience gives me some authority in matters pertaining to rules for the theaters.
Of course, the theaters have their own set of rules, several of which are made to be broken. However, there is a set of unwritten rules that is now, for the first time to my knowledge, being written. I confess, that I have broken several of these rules. However, I felt the necessary amout of guilt and shame that I fear many oblivious movie-goers do not feel when they break them. So here is my public service announcement, my attempt to make the world a better place….at least for the easily annoyed such as myself.
Movie-Going Rules

1) Make yourself invisible. I am not an anti-social hermit. I like people. I really do. I like people watching in long lines and I like packed theaters because of the ambiance it creates. However, for me to completely engage in a movie and reach maximum levels of movie-going enjoyment, there are several moments when I need to forget that you exist. I don’t mind hearing you laugh as long as it is in appropriate moments and isn’t too loud or obnoxious. I don’t mind hearing you gasp if the movie warrants a gasp. I don’t even mind hearing you cry softly or even sniffle- especially in movies like Marley and Me, but don’t get carried away. (All I remember about I Am Sam is my friend Lori sobbing uncontrollably. It was funny because she’s my friend and we all were crying but sobs are typically highly frowned upon. Sorry Lor) Basically, I want to forget that you are next to me. I need you to disappear. You’re in your bubble. I’m in mine. We’re all happy. Continue reading

Protocol for Encounters with Strangers

I don’t always make a great first impression. But the other day I really wanted to make a good one. I was meeting all the other girls’ basketball coaches in our new league and I wanted to impress. Being the only female and the youngest, I wanted them to leave thinking, “Wow, that Valley coach sure has her stuff together.”

But the problem was I had to come straight from our practice. I scrimmage against our girls and when I play, I do not “glisten” or “glow”. I sweat. It pours out of every pore. Once in college, I had just left practice and someone asked me if I had come from the pool. You get the idea.
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So I arrived at the meeting sweaty. Not a great start. But I figured I could still recover. “Sound like you know what you’re talking about and they’ll look past the disheveled hair.” I thought I pulled it off…. until I went to the bathroom afterwards. First, I had a major sharky. This is when the hair on the top of your head gets pulled out, making it appear that you have a fin like a shark. They look ridiculous. No matter how badly I was playing, if someone on the court got a sharky, my mood was instantly improved. So I shook my head at myself in the bathroom mirror and redid my ponytail only to notice a giant blob of nutella in my ear. IN MY EAR. I had been eating bread with nutella right before practice and I skillfully managed to lodge some in my ear. And then I played basketball for 2 hours. So I had a sweaty, now crusty blob of nutella in my ear.
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I should have gone with a different strategy for the first impression: look like a total buffoon so they underestimate our team. That is what I accomplished.
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Why didn’t anyone tell me there was a giant mess of hazelnut spread in my ear? Why? And why didn’t they tell my my hair looked ridiculous? Why? Because they were strangers and it was not socially appropriate to point out the ridiculous mess in my ear. Had we been friends or even acquaintances, someone might have said something. But I’ve found that there is a different set of social mores when it comes to dealing with strangers. Today alone I experienced two other awkward encounters with strangers and I’m curious if I am following the proper protocol when these situations arise. You be the judge.
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1) What do you do when you accidentally gleek on a stranger? I spit on my students all the time. Accidentally. And I always say something because I know if I don’t, they’ll be snickering behind my back for the rest of the period. However, should you point out to a stranger when your saliva ends up on their shirt? Or their face? Perhaps there is different protocols depending on where the spit lands. I think you must acknowledge and apologize if your spit makes contact with skin. Today I gleeked all over the desk at Jiffy Lube. I’m sure the guy must have noticed. Especially because I shocked myself a bit and probably looked surprised. But I chose not to acknowledge the gleeking mishap. I didn’t hit the guy and I didn’t know what to say. “Um, sorry sir. I just spit all over your desk involuntarily. You might want to wipe that up when I walk away.”

Awkward Hugging

My beautiful and strange friend Lesley recently had us all in tears as she told us possibly my favorite hugging story. She had just gotten her eyebrows waxed and the lady who did the waxing opened the door for her to exit but left her arms wide open. Never one to deny a hug, Lesley shrugged her shoulders and went in for the hug. Right as she made contact, she noticed the lady’s surprised expression and realized that the poor lady had simply been opening the door for her to go out. Lesley found a new waxing place.
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This had me rolling and thinking about how awkward hugs can be.
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Public Restrooms: Breeding Grounds for Awkwardness

This was the bathroom in the village of Shiparango. Talk about a breeding ground for awkward moments. I made sure to eat and drink very little on Sunday mornings so I never had to use this. I get awkward in normal American bathrooms that have toilets, doors and running water so I knew this flimsy, porta-potty constructed of tarps would only spell trouble for me.


I started thinking about these awkward moments in bathrooms when I was running along the beach and swung open one of the bathroom doors to discover a middle-aged woman squatting over the toilet, pants at her ankles, in the very awkward, very vulnerable position none of us ever desires to be caught in. I quickly snapped my eyes shut and flung the door closed but not before she called out, “Sorry!” I was hoping she hadn’t seen me but apparently my expression was one of such horror she felt the need to apologize to ME for making this awkward moment possible by not locking the door. I really don’t know which I like least- walking in on someone or being walked in on.
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And then the first day of school rolled around last week. There is only one bathroom stall for female faculty in my building but luckily my room is right next to it. However, since our bladders have not yet adjusted to a school schedule, it was constantly occupied on the first day. By lunch time I was about to lose it. Literally, I gave myself 2-3 minutes before I would need new, dry pants and an explanation. There was a line outside the bathroom and I asked my waiting roommate if it would be totally inappropriate for me to use the students’ bathroom since we were just instructed NOT to. Her advice was to go in and announce, “teacher present.”
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What???
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Students already see us as not fully human and freak out when they see us in public eating or walking or simply existing outside of classroom walls. When my team was doing sit-ups, I once let one loose by accident. You really have no control over that when doing sit-ups. I excused myself and blushed, the team erupted into laughter and by the end of the day most of the school knew that Miss Hardeman farted. We’re human and have normal bodily functions but this concept is mind-boggling for most students. So the thought of them hearing me pee? That’s a 100 % guarantee for an awkward moment for everyone involved.
.You want me to announce my presence? “Teacher here! I’m going to pee and you’ll hear it. And I’ll hear you pee as well. Just so we’re all clear and prepared to be super awkward.”
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I couldn’t do it. So I snuck inside and lifted up my feet so they couldn’t peek under the stall and see my “teacher shoes.”
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This of course got me thinking about the many awkward moments I endure in public restrooms. There is no deep meaning in this post. God has yet to speak to me through toilets; however, I won’t limit Him to doing just that. Perhaps you don’t feel awkward in public bathrooms. Perhaps you’re a guy and these scenarios don’t present themselves in your world of urinals. I wouldn’t know. Perhaps it’s just me. Or, perhaps you should be awkward but just didn’t realize it until now. Either way, here are the moments I cringe inside the public commode: