Words are Hard

Embarrassing Moments No Comments

Hello there friends!

It’s been so long since I wrote anything. It’s not that there’s a lack of thing I could say; I have no shortage of opinions and feelings…I just decided some of it was entirely too exhausting to write about.

So, why not tell you a funny story instead?!

Over the weekend, my friends Jason and Nicole were trying to get their toddler to demonstrate that she could say the word “elbow.” She eventually complied, and it was adorable!

If you know me, it won’t be shocking to hear that the word “elbow” sent my brain off on a journey, back in time 20 years, to a funny memory about the word “elbow.”

Let me preface this silly story by adding that sometimes my brain cannot understand English, which is my first and only language.

Growing up, I was blessed to know a great deal of extended family on my mom’s side. When we would gather for family events we would often play Scrabble. I would sit around the table with my great aunt Lois (a reading teacher), and several cousins (once or twice removed and all that jazz), and aunts–all very intelligent people, who were patient enough to allow children to play along with them. As we got older and our vocabulary grew, so did our Scrabble skills.

During one of these Scrabble games, I was definitely in high school, and was playing with my Aunt Sue. She played these letters “E-L-B-O-W.” I chuckled at her and waited for her to remove the tiles. She didn’t and began tallying up her points.

I questioned her, but she kept going. I just about lost it when she wrote down the points and added them to her score (these are not casual games). She said that I could tally the points if I wanted, but felt she was correct.

I said, “You can’t get points for that word!”

She asked why not…

And I responded “Ee-lah-boo (pronounced phonetically) is not even a word!!”

She gazed at me blankly, as did my younger cousin, who was in middle school at the time.

I did the big eye head waggle to emphasize my frustration, and she calmly said “The word is ELBOW.”

My bad.

I’m glad Nicole and Jason have taught their daughter this word so she will never know the twinge of embrassment during Scrabble.

I remember a couple other times I couldn’t comprehend English.

I infuriated my high school health teacher, Coach Wolverton, as he taught us about the practice of “Carbolodayne.” I asked “What?!” three times in a row, and still never understood what he was really saying, until years later.

Carb Loading. That’s totally a thing.

I can still recall him rolling his eyes at me in front of the class. Coincidentally, we are peers now and work in the same district…or is that irony?

The last language fail I can remember was in college. I was at a classmate’s house with a couple others working on a group project about the founding fathers of research psychology. Ebbinghaus is the only name I can even remember from that class…

Anyway, we were deciding what our visual should be for the presentation. This was before the days of Google Slides or PowerPoint, so we had to actually make a poster.

My friend, Jana, took out a piece of blank paper, turned it to “landscape,” and began to draw rectangles for the spots where we should glue pictures of the men. She drew squiggles underneath the rectangles to indicate we would have a blurb beneath each image. Lastly, at the top of the page, in an arc and in all capital letters she wrote “T-I-T-L-E.”

I waited a second and asked “Tit-lee? What’s that mean?”

My classmates gave me the same blank stare I’ve become accustomed to in these moments. After a second or two it dawned on me what the word actually was, and we all laughed until we cried.

To this day, any time I see the word “title” I pronounce it in my head as “tit-lee” and get a little chuckle from it.

Well, I hope you got a chuckle or two, as well.

Until next time…

Lisa

Hello there friends! It’s been so long since I wrote anything. It’s not that there’s a lack of thing I could say; I have no shortage of opinions and feelings…I just decided some of it was entirely too exhausting to write about. So, why not tell you a funny story instead?! Over the weekend, my […]

How Kathy Ireland, The Breakfast Club, and Londonbeat Made Boys Love Me…Or Not

Embarrassing Moments | Point and Laugh 2 Comments

Last night I posed a question to my best friend KT about how she seemed to be so much more mature for, like, her entire life, as compared to others (namely me).

We agreed her parents were wonderful, as are mine.

We agreed we both learned from the adventures of our older siblings.

We agreed on the role of friends (or lack thereof for dear, sweet KT) in playing a part…..

but

We could name some differences
KT contends she is shy and I am not. This was a little difficult for me to accept, but as I am the one who smiles at other people in cars and strikes up conversations with strangers, well, anywhere (and she will tell you I will honk, from the passenger seat, at drivers trying to kill us)….basically, I’m not shy…whatever.

Teen Girl Squad!

Teen Girl Squad!

I think I landed on the critical difference with two words: BOY and CRAZY.

That is an accurate description of me, and although KT and I can agree everyone once in a while on which fellas make our heart beat fast (Henry Cavill, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Welling…super heroes, apparently), there is a defining symptom of my particular brand of “boy craziness.”

From a young age I was very willing to make the “grand gesture” to get a boy’s attention.

For your reading pleasure (and proof) I present 3 pieces of evidence:

1) There was a boy who grew up about 3 blocks away from me. He lived in the nicer part of the neighborhood. He is one of the few people with whom I went to school K-12 (maybe 20 people). A great deal of that time I was convinced we would be married. I think this started because our last names start with the same letter and alphabetically, he was usually right after me. His name was tough for some teachers to pronounce and I was usually the one correcting the teacher when the emphASis was put on the wrong syllABle. The poor guy didn’t even get a break from me in the summer as we belonged to the same swim club. (HHCC!)

We’ll call him “H.”

Anyway, over the years I collected facts about H (not on purpose; it’s just part of who I am). One of these facts is that he was gaga over super model Kathy Ireland. Some time during our middle or high school years I saw that Ms. Ireland was going to be on Dave Letterman and being the KIND AND THOUGHTFUL (not at all creepy or scary) I Very 90s!called him to tell him so he could stay up late and watch it.

But wait, there’s more…

When I called, no one answered but I got the answering machine. Think mid 1990s so it was a FAMILY answering machine.

I identified myself (for the whole family) and explained that I knew of his affection for Kathy Ireland and she would be on Dave Letterman that night…so he wouldn’t miss it.

I’m still waiting on the call back to hear what he thought.

2) For this story I need you to understand how influential movies are in our culture…but also know they ruin real life. I have a brother who is 5.5 years older. His favorite bands were my favorite bands (Michael Jackson, U2, Goo Goo Dolls).** His favorite movies were my favorite movies (Say Anything, The Breakfast Club).

This story actually combines BOTH of those movies….with a 5th grade Lisa…oh, it’s glorious.

My 5th grade self was head over heels for a boy (Move aside H!) whose name had 5 letters and 4 of them were vowels. We’ll call him “G” as that was the sole consonant.

Some time during 5th grade G said he was moving.

I. Was. DEVASTATED!

Before he left I HAD to be sure he knew of my undying affection. The best way to do this was to make him a farewell gift.

I can’t remember all the items in the package, but two were memorable.

1) A single diamond (read cubic zirconia) earring stud (shout out to Claire Standish and John Bender)

and

2) A copy of the GREATEST love song ever: Bryan Adam’s “Everything I do (I do it for you)”

I know, right?! Totally memorable.

One liiiiitle problem. I was in 5th grade. I couldn’t just go out and spend $2.99 on the cassette single. Also, if you tried to record it from the radio it would be interrupted by the DJ or another song.

No, the only choice was to record it from the speaker on the TV as it played over the credits of Robinhood: Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner.

lloyd doblerThe only way to achieve this was to hold up my little stereo (a la Lloyd Dobler) to the speaker on the TV while the VHS played the song….duh.

One evening, before we had to return the video to Blockbuster, I attempted to carry out my plan; however, my parents wouldn’t cooperate and kept TALKING OVER MY RECORDING!

Rude!

Once my mom figured out what I was doing she quickly put the kibosh on my plan.

Don’t worry! Even though I couldn’t give him the beautifully wrapped box and all of its bounty, I still think I handed him the single CZ stud earring.

He immediately took it, poked it through his ear to make a hole, and we got married and lived happily ever after.

Or not.

Whatever.

And last, but certainly not least; my last bit of anecdotal evidence:

3) You know, DJs weren’t always reliable with playing your personal dedications on the air, so sometimes, you gotta take matters into your own hands.

And I did.

I called this crush, sometime in elementary school, to play him my personal dedication. “D” was a year older than me, and his younger brother was in my class.

Despite my googly-eyed stares as our classes passed in our single file lines on the way to restroom, or PE, or the library, D never seemed to notice me.

It was time to change that, and I knew just the song to turn his head my way:
“I’ve Been Thinking About You” by Londonbeat was going to help me “shi-pow-pow” my way into his heart.

(Just fast forward to 1:09 on that video)
This likely involved some more intense recording shenanigans, but D was worth it; our love was worth it.

I very clearly recall being at my Grandma Sinele’s house one weekend afternoon. I had my stereo ready and I called D’s house and asked for him.

D came to the phone (corded, duh) and I said I had a song to play for him.

I let Londonbeat do the talking after that.

Once the song ended I put the phone back up to my ear and heard the loud blare of the noise that meant D had hung up the phone…like a while ago.

I was certain he was on his way to find me and hold my hand.

I was wrong.

 

And there you have it, my friends. Three different love stories…tragic, in the most embarrassing of ways.

I hope you enjoyed them. (and stay tuned because “D” will play a role in another embarrassing moment I plan to share from my 2nd grade school wide Spelling Bee experience)

And I hope you know that I have to fight my nature most days so as not to create more stories.

My guess is that at age 34 they would be less “grand gesture-y” and more “creepy stalker-y.”

C’est la Vie!

<3,

Lisa

**These decades old music interests may no longer accurately reflect my super cool brother’s music tastes at the current time…whatever.

Last night I posed a question to my best friend KT about how she seemed to be so much more mature for, like, her entire life, as compared to others (namely me). We agreed her parents were wonderful, as are mine. We agreed we both learned from the adventures of our older siblings. We agreed […]