5 Things I Learned Last Night When My Cat Woke Me At 4AM

If you follow my blog regularly, you may know that I am a Crazy Cat Lady, and that I have two cats. The first is Boo, my 16 year old baby I’ve had since the tender age of six. The second is Finn, the insane 2 year old rescue cat I got a little over a year ago. Today’s post stars Finn, who is currently wedged in my lap as I awkwardly try to type around him:

Please excuse my WORST WEBCAMERA EVER.

Please excuse my WORST WEBCAMERA EVER.

I would just like to mention that this is a screaming anomaly; Finn is zealously anti-cuddling except for the few random times when he decides HE LOVES YOU SO MUCH AND HE NEEDS YOUR ATTENTION RIGHT NOW ZOMG. But even during those times, he rarely wants to actually sleep snuggled up to you as closely as possible. Generally he’d rather just rub his face all over your feet because he has some kind of platonic foot fetish (he’s neutered, don’t worry ASPCA!). But since I’ve gotten home from college on Friday, I’ve set up my laptop at my kitchen table and have been spending time writing here. In a bizarre turn of events, Finn has decided that this is the time that he loves me more than he ever has at any other point ever since I adopted him, and he forces himself into my lap and essentially melts onto me in a puddle of sleepy purrs. It’s like as soon as I sit down in that chair, a forcefield suddenly springs up around me and creates a space that has the appearance to Finn of everything he loves best in the world and which is irresistible to him. It’s both insanely adorable and intensely bewildering.
But, as I so often do, I digress. Well, in a way. This story is still about Finn. It’s just not about Finn cuddling in my lap while I write.
Last night I was asleep, snoozing in comfort with my cat Boo curled against my side. Now, don’t judge, but I sleep on the loveseat in the living room whenever I’m home from school. Our house sadly does not have enough bedrooms for our family, and I prefer not to share a room with my 26 year old sister. But to be honest I actually like sleeping in the living room much better; the loveseat is as comfortable as any bed plus no one can complain when I let my cat sleep with me (I’M LOOKING AT YOU, BIG SISTER).  I admittedly had not been asleep very long, and it takes awhile for me to fall into a heavy sleep. So when sudden, swooshing, violent movement occurred, it woke me up. I discovered that this movement was Finn, who had been passed out on top of the loveseat. Something had apparently roused him in a hurry, and he was crouched with his head shoved under a footstool, which was shoved in turn against a box. This is where five new life lessons were added to my repertoire.

1. Finn Literally Has Spider Senses

I haven’t mentioned it before, I think, but I am a raging coward. One of my number one top fears is spiders. The subheading rather gives away what I found Finn trying to attack when I moved the footstool, but I’ll go ahead and say it, for clarity– it was a spider. Somehow, this freak of nature cat went from being dead asleep on the top of our loveseat at least ten feet away to being able to detect the movement of a quarter sized insect on the floor in the dark. Now, there’s been some suggestion of this enhanced talent before; once I was sitting on the couch and there was a Walmart bag nearby, and Finn suddenly showed up and started pawing at it. I discovered there was a tiny bug inside of it. I have no idea where Finn was when he detected its presence. The only conclusion I can come to is that Finn has spider senses that actually tingle when bugs are nearby (like some kind of reverse Spiderman who would go by the superhero name Anti-Spidercat) to the point that they will WAKE HIM FROM A DEAD SLEEP.

2. Do Not Use Airwalk Leopard Moccasins to Kill a Spider

If you know me at all, you know I love leopard. My mother, who fortunately knows me, is well aware of this fact, and kindly bought me a pair of leopard moccasins from a discount store the other day that I love:

Pictured here on some random internet person’s feet, because this is literally the only image of them I could find when I googled them. This makes me wonder if there’s something shady about these shoes…

These shoes were the closest spider-killing-appropriate thing at hand when I lifted up the footstool and discovered a spider crouched behind a lone Sonic straw that had been forgotten under the stool somehow. I gave a first enthusiastic swing at the spider, but he was completely unscathed. So I intelligently moved the straw, and tried again. To my consternation, he seemed completely unaffected. At this point he apparently felt bold enough to scamper into the middle of the carpet and I froze in horror for a second, before giving a very motivated smack at him, ready to dust off my hands in accomplishment. He remained entirely intact, and I began to fear that my worst nightmare had come true and spiders were beginning to evolve to be invincible. Gingerly I put down the leopard moccasin and picked up the next closest shoe, one of my Forever 21 canvas slip ons:

The black one there on the right.

The spider had perched itself right on my rug, which is a confusing wash of patterns and generally dark colors. With the light off, I momentarily lost track of him and swatted, panicked, what amounted to being a small piece of paper. After that, however, I managed to reorient myself and smash the spider to smithereens. So the moral of subheading 2 is this:



3. Be Very Thoughtful of Your Cat Scratcher Purchases and Their Subsequent Orientation in Your Home

Finn loves to scratch, as is normal for most cats. Luckily he is not particularly destructive, and he limits himself to the scratchers we buy him. The latest one is this scratcher from Petsmart:

finn's cat scratcherUnfortunately for both myself and my big toe, this lay in the path between the loveseat and the footstool with the spider hiding under it. Also unfortunately, I was somewhat dazed, it was very dark, and I was afraid Finn was about to be bitten in the face by some sort of poisonous creature, so I therefore neglected to take the time to remember the cat scratcher that always resides in the middle of the living room floor because our cats wear the pants in this family. We bought this scratcher because it was much sturdier than any of the others we’d bought previously. That’s like half an inch of pure, solid wood with a scratchy woven natural fiber top. It probably would’ve been better if I’d come into contact with the fiber part; it at least most likely had some give in it. My big toe and I can report that the wooden part did not. A sub-submoral here: even when you’re pretty sure your big toe has come completely off and you’re convinced that if you look there will be an empty space where it once was, you will generally find, to your shock, that it’s still there when you finally get the courage to glance down. Also, running your toe into a wooden cat scratcher  is not conducive to focus when trying to smash spiders.

4. 16 Year Old Cats Are Generally Not Terribly Interested in Spiders

It does not come as a great surprise that there are often a great deal of differences to be found between a 16 year old cat and a 2 year old cat. Boo’s main pastimes at this age are sleeping, snoring, sleeping, meowing for food, and occasionally wandering into the kitchen and then yowling distressingly because he is deaf and will sometimes feel lost if no one else is in the kitchen and he can’t see anybody from there. Finn’s main pastimes are sprinting insanely from point to point in the house, standing on his hind legs and staring out our bay window as he desperately tries to stalk the birds/bugs in the back yard through a pane of glass, attacking his stockpile of cat toys and his devil scratcher, and sleeping in the most bizarre positions I’ve ever seen. Oh, also, begging for treats from my dad, who is the biggest sucker ever for that cat.
Boo’s spider senses, admittedly scarce even in his prime, have been officially declared extinct after last night. He sat on the loveseat through everything with his little paws crossed , calmly observing the comedy of errors like a king watching his court juggler as he tried to chase down a runaway juggling ball. I would’ve thought he was laughing at me if I hadn’t been his owner for 16 years and already been supremely familiar with his expression of an absolute honey-badger level of not caring. He just looked mildly inquiring, as if to say, Whatever are you doing crawling on the floor? There is a spider down there, you know.
At this point, I’m not sure if I prefer Finn’s hyper awareness of spiders that alerts me so I can turn them into carpet detritus, or Boo’s complete disregard that allows me both to sleep and also ignore the fact that a spider managed to get into my house.

5. Finn Has a Thirst for Spider Blood

This is a metaphorical statement; I don’t know if spiders actually have blood or if they’re really just creepy balls of venom like I suspect. What I did discover is that Finn apparently craves the taste of spider death. After I killed the spider and laid back down, I watched as he proceeded to snoot tensely around the area where the spider was smashed. The whole time he looked slightly disbelieving, as if he couldn’t quite fathom that the spider wasn’t there and I had stolen the sweet thrill of the kill from him. After this went on for a couple of minutes, he went to stare morosely into the trash can where I’d placed the mangled remains of the spider.
He was apparently so shook up by this loss that it led to a couple of false alarms where he would suddenly and urgently leap down from the loveseat and intensely explore  part of the floor. At one point he looked so intent that I felt the need to get up and make sure that the deceased spider didn’t have a partner he’d been tag-teaming his home invasions with. Contemplating it now, I wonder if maybe Finn thought that if he just imagined hard enough, a spider would appear for him to destroy with the all the vengeance and barbarity of a thousand Attila the Huns.

I must admit that this experience was not the most pleasant of my life, but I feel like these are lessons that will serve me well in the future. And if you’re planning on pitying me because this is what I find relevant to my future, just enjoy this BuzzFeed article, charmingly entitled “15 Reasons Why Having A Cat Is Better Than Having A Boyfriend.”  Maybe I’ll suffer a few stubbed toes here and there on cat scratchers, but I guarantee you Finn and Boo look much cuter comforting me than a boyfriend would. To end with, I’ll leave you all with the picture I took this week, which is possibly the best cat picture I’ve ever taken. Enjoy:

My sister pushed Boo onto Finn...and they just stayed that way.

My sister pushed Boo onto Finn…and they just stayed that way.

Ceru, ka drīz atkal tiksimies,

PS I went with Latvian because someone from Latvia looked at my blog and how cool is that? The official language of Latvia is Lativian (surprising), and the phrase supposedly means “I hope to see you soon again.” Which I thought was appropriate since, you know, I hope to see you soon again on my blog.

Ruminations on College Graduation

It’s a bizarre feeling to be completely done with college.
It actually took me a bit longer than my fellow graduates, because I had to fix all the citations in my senior seminar paper before I turned it in, and they were a shambles. I just hit the send button on the email containing it, however, and now it is completely, 100% official- I am done with school FOREVER.
I wrote that sentence with the aim of sounding dramatic, but honestly it doesn’t to me. That’s because it seems surreal. Truthfully that’s how much of last week seemed to me. I was doing all these things that you do in your last week of school, but it just seemed like it was all fake. I was going through the motions that someone was telling me to go through. It didn’t feel significant; I didn’t even cry at all the day of graduation. My mind just feels like, Yes, summer! See you next semester, college! And I want to say to it MIND YOU ARE WRONG IT IS OVER. But apparently, I have done school so long that my mind just can’t comprehend not doing it. So here I am, a college graduate, resembling a rudderless boat cast adrift in the stormy seas of life.
But let me go back a little, and share my week leading up to graduation.
Finals week was surprisingly easier than I expected. The way my school does it, the last week of school consists of regular class on Monday and Tuesday, and then finals are on Wednesday through Friday, just depending on what classes you have. But for various reasons, my three finals were on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, so I was done early in the week. That just left me with the monster paper. I planned to spend all Wednesday night working on it, but then Oklahoma weather stepped in and we almost got smashed by a tornado in my college town. My sister and I chose to evacuate home to our parents, and I’m glad we did because my school lost power for the night. I was able to get a little bit of work done, but not as much as I would’ve liked to because we were busy being concerned over whether my car (still at college since I rode home with my sister) was going to be pummeled by hail or sucked into a twister, along with the majority of my possessions. Luckily no tornado was forthcoming, at least near my college, and my things remained unscathed. That was an enlivening way to spend a day in finals week, friends.
The next day was by far the most difficult. Thursday was my last day at the daycare I’ve worked at for the past three years. I basically grew up and matured there, and some of those kids I’ve seen grow up as well. One of my absolute favorite kids was barely one when I started working there,  and now she’s a rambunctious four year old. It’s hard to believe how much has changed within me and within my life because of that job. I had a party with the class I’ve been working with this semester, the older school age kids. We enjoyed some delicious ice cream and partied it up with paint. When the day was over, and I’d cleaned and closed down my room for the last time, I stood in the dark for a few minutes and just cried. Then I got myself together and said my goodbyes.
Thursday night was crunch time. I graduated the next day, and that meant my paper needed to be finished. I went to the library for the last time, and stayed there until they kicked me out at 2am. Then I went back to my apartment, sat down at my living room table, and I wrote the rest of my paper. I finished at around 6:15 in the morning, with a grand total of 33 pages. I didn’t know then, and I still don’t know now if those were quality pages of writing or not. My brain simply said, That’s enough. And I said, Yes, brain, whatever you say. I don’t think I’ve ever been so tired before that I actually felt drunk, but when I got in the shower at 6:30, and I closed my eyes to tip my head back into the water, I started falling backwards and had to grab the wall of the shower. I literally could not keep myself upright without the structural assistance of my shower. My legs were like jelly after not moving for four hours, and I had to sit down a few times. It was a bit rough. Sadly, by the time I laid down, I was so tired that I had trouble sleeping. I snatched fiveish hours of poor quality sleep before I had to get up, and get going. I was running around like a crazy person trying to get everything done before I drove home to get ready for graduation. After that, everything started moving in fast forward. We met some of my friends and family for dinner back in my college town, but it seemed like a split second before it was time for me to get to the school so we could take pictures before graduation. Putting on my robe and cords and sashes just seemed bizarre, like I was dressing up for a part in a play. My fellow graduates and I ended up loitering around in a hallway waiting for our pictures to be taken, and I got to see a bunch of my friends. Some of them were people I had gone to school with all four years; some were new friends. But all of them seemed a part of some dream. My school does two graduations for the different types of Bachelor’s degrees, so sadly a number of my friends graduated at 6 and I didn’t get to see them, including my roommate and best friend, Tiffany. I remember thinking, gosh, I’m probably never going to see them ever again, but I just couldn’t get upset because it seemed impossible. It still does.
Actual graduation itself was strange. It was in our tiny auditorium, since we didn’t even have enough graduates to fill up the front four rows of it. Our president talked forever, and honestly, I didn’t even really listen. My sister said it was mostly about how getting a Bachelor of Arts degree was dumb, so I guess I didn’t miss out. The graduate next to me in alphabetical order was Paige Simpson, and I think the best part of graduation for us was counting how many professors fell asleep during our president’s speech. You see, all the faculty was on the stage, which we were facing, and we basically were staring at them throughout the ceremony. And lord, they were dropping like flies, and it was truly one of the most hilarious things I’ve ever seen. At one point I had to demand Paige stop talking because I was on the verge of exploding with laughter in the midst of our graduation because of her comments about the sleepers. A number of professors rubbed the bridge of their noses during the ceremony, the way one does when pushed nearly past all bearing by some sort of mind-numbingly unpleasant situation. One of my favorite professors looked as though his brain was simply melting out of his mouth, which was slightly agape, matching the expression of utter boredom on his face. So to the professors of my college, I salute you. You made graduation intensely more entertaining that it probably otherwise would’ve been.
When it actually came time to walk, I was in the second row. We stood up, moved to the steps to the stage, and then it was literally over almost before it happened. I handed the vice-president the card, he announced my name and that I was graduating Summa Cum Laude, I heard a roar of people cheering for me, made sure I didn’t trip or walk too fast, smiled until my cheeks hurt, and then I sat back down. And just like that, I was graduated. It was bizarre, especially compared to my high school graduation, which had between 550 and 600 graduates and took around three hours. The rest of graduation was pretty standard; they told us we were no longer students but graduates, and everyone cheered. Then, a really cool part, they announced the Outstanding Graduates from each division, and mine was first. The faculty had to all exit the auditorium before we could, so we were all smiling at them as they went down the middle aisle. I was in the second seat, and so I was really close to them when they went by. One of the highlights of my graduation was when one of my English professors, Dr. Rees (who is the unanimously acknowledged badass of the English department), saw me, and then leaned over seats and past Paige to give me a hug. She said something encouraging but I basically didn’t hear it because I was so overwhelmed with how awesome it was that she was hugging me. Then my senior seminar professor, Dr. Simpson, who is pretty much the coolest dude around and was right behind Dr. Rees, saw me and said “You better just stay there” and I got another hug.
Almost before I knew it, we were walking out. I looked for my family everywhere but never saw them in the auditorium; I met them outside. A confusing whirlwind of pictures and hugging ensued. I had so many friends and so much of my family come out to my graduation, it was simply amazing. I felt so loved and blessed from all their support and the wonderful gifts they got me. We went to a reception, and I got a hug and chatted with one of my other English professors, Dr. Rodgers. She told me that I had to call her and Dr. Rees by their first names. I told her that I could not do it. Then I ate cookies, took some more pictures, and it was over.
Just like that. Seventeen years of my life. The main purpose I strove for during the majority of my time on this planet, and suddenly, it was accomplished. Done with. I graduated college.
I guess I never realized just how much school has dominated my life. In school, I always worked hard to get good grades so I could get a scholarship to college.  I feel like I’ve often been defined by school, because I was typically one of the kids who made better grades consistently, and people tend to catch on and classify you by that. Any time we had to fill out things or do writing assignments where we talked about where we saw ourselves in the future, my answer was always, without fail, getting a scholarship to go to college. It was weird enough when I actually accomplished that, but it was lost when I thought of the years of college I had to actually get through. But now they’re gotten through.
I know graduating college is a relatively common experience. I know maybe it seems like I’m making a really, really big deal out of it. But Saturday, I had to move out of my apartment for the last time. We rushed frantically to get everything packed up and loaded by our 2pm checkout deadline. My car was stuffed; my dad had brought home a bunch of stuff earlier in the week, and my mom’s car even had a pretty large load of stuff in it. All the accumulation of four years of college, kicked out of my apartment and stuffed into three cars. The reason that this feels like such a big deal to me, I guess, is because I feel exactly like my stuff. There’s no place for me anymore at school, and now there’s all this stuff that needs a place back at my house that we’re going to have to try to find. I need a place, too, and I’m really feeling the fact that I don’t fit anymore where I’ve always fit. I’m especially scared by the fact that I have to try and find a new place to fit. I spent most of last night scouring the internet for jobs, and I came up with NOTHING. Nothing that sounds even remotely palatable to me. I simply feel lost. One of the aspects about the institution of school that I never appreciated was that it gives you something to do. It gives you  a clear, predetermined next step. I’m beginning to completely understand why some people just decide to go to graduate school- it’s like a bonus level, like Super Mario Brothers when you go down the little pipe and you just run around punching things and getting coins (from what I’ve heard, this is a similar experience to graduate school, except you spend your coins just as fast as you get them).  But I’ve always known that graduate school was not my cup of tea. I recognize that it’s time to do something else with my life, the problem just is that I don’t know what.
So this leads me to a very important question… would anyone be interested in paying me to sit at home and blog?

Stin iyia sas,

PS I used the Greek phrase for cheers, because as of now, my future is all Greek to me. Also, I wrote a post over my graduation outfit over on my bargain fashion blog, so please check that out if you’d like. Now I am going to spam you with pictures of my graduation. Enjoy:

Myself in full regalia, looking like a rainbow threw up upon me.

Myself in full regalia, looking like a rainbow threw up upon me.

My honorary sister, Kasey and I.

My honorary sister, Kasey, and I.

Myself and two of my foreign guy friends, Joel and Richie.

Myself and two of my foreign friends, Joel and Richie.

My best friend Skye... who is approximately a foot taller than me.

My best friend Skye… who is approximately a foot taller than me.

Myself and two of my former roommates, plus my dear friend Stephanie, who let me be a bridesmaid at her wedding!

Myself and two of my former roommates Becka and Katelyn, plus my dear friend Stephanie, who let me be a bridesmaid at her wedding!

My favorite picture of the night. My sister, my dad, me, my mom, and my nana.

My favorite picture of the night. My sister, my dad, me, my mom, and my nana.

Me and my Boo baby. I've had him since about first grade, so this picture was pretty special.

Me and my Boo baby. I’ve had him since about first grade, so this picture was pretty special.

Crazy Finn cat and I.

Crazy Finn cat and I.

The best card ever- it was a cat playing a piano.

The best card ever- it was a cat playing a piano.

“Smiling, Smiling” Over Sweet Brown, Awards, and Essays

I graduate next week. I graduate next week. I graduate NEXT WEEK.
Don’t mind me, guys. I’m just testing out the theory that if I say that enough, it might seem real.
I’m sitting here in the library, and I’m supposed to  be working on my paper so I can send a longer version to my professor. Sorry if you’re reading this and disappointed in me, Dr. Simpson. I’m going to send it after I write this, I promise. I’ve been in the library like four days in the past week and a half. It’s like my brain thinks that if I just go to the library, my paper is going to somehow write itself. Instead, I’m looking at hilarious Sweet Brown shirts:
sweet brown cinderella
Sweet Brown is from Oklahoma, so be jealous. That clip is from one of my local news stations.
I’m also currently being distracted because there’s a girl in a giant fur trapper hat trying to do math (currently her problem is about yogurt) on a chalkboard, and she’s talking out loud. It’s pretty funny, she sounds like she enjoys math about as much as I do (which is NOT AT ALL). It’s also apparently National Siblings Day according to Facebook, so I was also distracted finding the perfect picture to post of myself and my big sister, Rachel. It was a toss-up between these two:
rae and I balloons

rae and I little
The latter one came out the victor, if you’re interested.
But honestly, I’ve been procrastinating this paper more than is normal, even for me. I always leave stuff to the last minute, but once I start on it, I always finish it very rapidly. But this paper… ah, it’s more than just Camus  being difficult, and I know it. I think I’m scared to write it. This is my last essay assignment. Ever. And I am so upset.
Most people would be like, uh, what is wrong with you? That’s something to celebrate! Heck, most people would probably just think I’m crazy for being an English major in the first place because of the amount of writing that it entails. And I’ll admit, essays are not my favorite thing to do.
But they have been vital to the development of my very character.
I’ve always been a really good student. My mom is a teacher, so education and reading were hugely important in my family. We also are a middle class family, so we don’t have a lot of extra money. It was always stressed that I needed to make good grades in order to get a scholarship to college, and that’s something I’ve taken very seriously. However, there’s always been some things I was better at, and some things I was worse at (cough MATH cough). When I got to middle school and high school and began writing more and more essays, that is where I began to realize that maybe I had a bit of a talent with words. Writing just came so easily to me that I’d never thought about it, but when teachers began to compliment me and I consistently did well on writing tests and essays, English kind of became my thing. Now, whenever people ask me what my major is and I say English, they always reply “Oh, of course!” and laugh, as if it was silly they asked. Writing is just who I am, and essays have helped to make me that way. When I think back on the sheer volume of essays I’ve written in school, I’m amazed, but I’m also incredibly grateful. No one, myself included, likes to think that talent is really achieved by enormous amounts of practice, but it really is generally true. And as unglamorous as it sounds, I can look back and recognize that any real talent I might have had was developed by all the seemingly endless amounts of random stuff I had to write for school. And now, that has come to an end. And I’m feeling lost.
I think the reason it’s so hard for me to write this essay is because it’s that idea that if I put it off, I can ignore the truth. If I don’t write this essay, that means I’m not finishing one for the last time. I’m also not going into my last finals week, and I’m definitely not going to graduate next Friday. I also can’t possibly be about to have to find a job and start my life. Yesterday was kind of bewildering, because my school held its annual scholarly award banquet. I received three awards, all related to being a graduating senior and it was so surreal. I’ve been to this banquet before, and watched other people who were graduating receive those awards. It seemed so wrong this it was now me getting them. I’m going to be a little braggy and post some pictures from the banquet:
senior awards
graduation awards
senior awards with rae
It seems like I literally just posted my first post on this blog, slightly amazed by the fact I was in my last semester of college, but thinking I still had four months– I still had plenty of time. And now, next week I end my entire school career. I was telling my family yesterday that I can remember, with crystal clarity, sitting at my desk in my kindergarten class. At my elementary school, my kindergarten classroom was next door to my first grade classroom. I can recall perfectly looking at that door and thinking, wow, next year I’ll be through there and in FIRST GRADE. Now I’m looking at the door, but I have no idea what’s beyond it. Next Friday I’ll walk through the last doorway of my educational journey, and come out of a world of structure into one of uncertainty. Who knows where the doors will be once I’m done with school, or if they’ll be open, or if I’ll even recognize them? I’ll probably never know for sure what’s beyond them. For me, it’s like this last essay is the big potted fern I shoved in front of that last door, and I can’t stand to move it because I don’t want to look.
But the whole time I’ve been writing this, the girl in the trapper hat has been working through her math problems, steadily, doing some things right and doing some things wrong, and she just now announced, triumphantly, “I did it right! Yeeeeah!” Then she erased the board and started over again on another problem. I think I need to take a page from her book and go about life a little more like that. You tackle whatever problem comes your way, and you do some things right and some things wrong, until you figure out whatever the solution is. Then you erase the board and start again. Next Friday, I will graduate Summa Cum Laude and with an expected GPA of 4.0. I’ll walk across the stage, receive my diploma, and then I’ll shout, “I did it right!!” And then I’m going to erase the board and write down a brand new problem.
But before I can finish the current problem, I have to finish my essay. So I’ll bid you adieu for now, because Camus awaits.

Güle güle,

PS I chose Turkish tonight because someone from Turkey totally looked at my blog this week. Supposedly this phrase means, “Good bye” or, literally “Smiling, smiling.” I like that a lot.

Metaphors in Milanos

I have always known that I am a lazy, impatient person.
I never wanted to do any chores; I always would’ve much preferred to be reading or napping or playing soccer. In other words, something I was actually interested in. I am impatient especially with things I hate or find boring (ie chores). Another thing that I find myself impatient with is retelling a long story that happened a period of time previously. I hate having to lay out background or catch someone up with what’s going on, and this is because I am a very excitable person. When something happens, I want to talk about it RIGHT THEN because I’m having all the FEELS. I am that person who gestures wildly with her hands and starts talking louder and louder until someone eventually has to shush her (I was the bane of sleepovers and spending the night because I almost inevitably woke up someone’s parent and we were then made to go to sleep). When something engages me, it FULLY engages me, and I get very excited to tell someone about it.
So, whenever a new thought occurs to me that I just HAVE TO SHARE WITH EVERYONEEEE, I get very impatient when I need to explain the context first. I haven’t written on this blog in approximately two and a half weeks (a fact I find sad). Within that time, I experienced a Spring Break that I had a lot of feels over, and I did lots of interesting things. Other interesting things have happened since Spring Break, too. But, as is my unfortunate tendency, I don’t want to have to go back and talk about them right now because I’ve got something else to say. And since the lovely but highly anecdotal things I experienced aren’t really necessary to this particular post, I am going to hold off. I WILL write a post with pictures over my life lately, since the whole purpose when I started this blog was to recount and preserve the experience of my last semester of college. What I didn’t bargain for was the fact that I was going to be so wildly busy that it was going to be difficult to find the time to blog about those experiences. But tonight, I found the time. And that leads me nicely to what I want to talk about.
milanoMost specifically, milk chocolate Milanos. I don’t like dark chocolate, and once or twice I’ve accidentally bought the regular dark chocolate kind, and I couldn’t even eat them.
Now, I am not a junk food eater. I am a little plump, but that’s because I really love my dessert. I don’t count candy or potato chips or pop, however, as dessert. I don’t really partake of those things. I don’t even really like cookies. But Milanos…
My god. They are on another plane of existence entirely.
I don’t know if you have ever had Milanos, but if you haven’t I AM SO SORRY. Please, please, please go buy yourself some. They have lots of different types if you don’t like milk chocolate, and I’m sure they’re (almost) equally delicious. I am fairly convinced that Milanos are made with some sort of witchery (I like witchery, because it’s like a combination of witchcraft and sorcery, as are Milanos). Speaking of who makes Milanos, it’s Pepperidge Farms, which is fairly obvious if you’ve ever gazed upon Milanos. But what you may not know is that (as of 2009 when I researched it), Pepperidge Farms was owned by Campbell’s, as in the soup company. Isn’t that weird? I had to  do a research report over a multi-national corporation as a high school senior in AP Human Geography, and I chose Campbell’s. I was quite surprised to find out they owned Pepperidge Farms in the midst of my paper.
(Enter smooth segue).
Which reminds me of the reason I felt so compelled to post. Milanos. You may be saying, really? Two and a half weeks without posting, and you decide that waxing poetic over Milanos is the post you just can’t do without? And to you people I say, obviously you’ve never eaten Milanos. But, alas, you are actually correct. I didn’t post just to idolize Milanos.
milano cookiesThough let’s be real here, they totally deserve a post dedicated to their goodness. But, to my point. Yesterday, as we are wont to do in a tiny college town that boasts little in the way of amusement and even less in the way of establishments that stay open past 8pm, my roommates, my sister, and myself all went to Walmart. Now, I think I’ve made it clear how much I love Milanos, but let me restate it, just in case. I really, really, really, really love Milanos. And this is why I try not to buy them very much. Milanos are almost three dollars a bag, which doesn’t seem like much until you realize there’s only 15 cookies per bag. Now, I’m really bad at math but that seems like a lot for only 15 cookies (this is what I must tell myself). But, honestly, three dollars is a small price to pay for a little bag of heaven. So that is not even the only reason I rarely purchase Milanos.
It’s because when I do, I usually eat an entire bag of cookies within a day.
If you are one of the poor people that cruel misfortune has somehow deprived so far of Milanos, let me explain to you how a bag is set up. They are in a pretty bag that’s top is folded down. When you unfold it, you find a layer of Milanos in the little crinkly paper cup-like thing you see in the picture above. There is typically five cookies per cup, and when you finish those, you take out the little paper thing and then there’s another layer, and then a final layer.
When I eat Milanos, this is typically how it happens. I buy them, get home, open the bag, and proceed to eat two to three cookies. I am able to restrain myself this first time because I always initially start with the willpower to “save the rest for later” and to “make this bag count.” Then, comes my Milano breakfast. The morning after purchasing the Milanos, I always eat approximately five for my breakfast as I’m scrambling, already late, to find something I can carry with me out the door as I rush to class. This morning was no different. When you remove the first layer, you don’t feel so bad. You think, oh my god, how could I forget how delicious those were? Thank goodness I’ve got two more layers! But with every layer I peel back, I am faced with another layer of my own unstoppable gluttony. It’s like my brain can’t even conceptualize how delicious I find Milanos, and I forget until I start eating them again. Then I can’t quit eating them. I just go back for one more, and then another, and then another. And that’s how, 24 hours after I purchased them, I find myself at the bottom of the bag, with only three lonely Milanos left and my tastebuds demanding I feed their drug-like addiction to the taste.
But Sara, surely you are saying, you said this post wasn’t just about Milanos! And you, of course, would be right. But I promise, this was necessary to set up.
What I realized tonight, as I crouched over my bag of Milanos, slavering over them while still at my kitchen counter like a heathen, is that Milanos are kind of like writing for me. I have a bad tendency to go long periods of time in between my writing, where I let the every day dross of life fill my time and distract my purpose, so that I tell myself “Oh, I can always write later. There’s no deadline on that.” But eventually, I always (ALWAYS) come to a point where I can go no longer. My skin gets this almost itchy feeling, my brain will simply not stop at night with plot ideas or snippets of dialogue or clever titles, and I feel as if I’m going to simply burst if I don’t get to a computer. I will  have to write, and much like with Milanos, I always forgot how wonderful it makes me feel until I’m actually doing it again. And then it’s like I can’t stop, and layer after layer of my brain reveals itself to me, I pull the ideas from the bag of my head, and  they are quite simply consumed by my computer.  It’s a glorious, reassuring process that always helps me feel again that I really am a writer, and that this is what I should be doing, because I can’t seem to not. If I had to choose between the two, I would choose writing over Milanos, and that’s saying something.
By tomorrow morning, I will have finished the Milanos (for my breakfast), and I will have proven to myself that I am helpless to their siren call. But after tomorrow, I can almost guarantee that I’ll have been on my computer, typing away at one of the two novels I’m working on (and have been working of for a fair amount of years. The whole long writing droughts thing makes finishing a novel slow-going). But it seems to me a good sign that writing is so wonderful to me that my mind can’t seem to grasp the pleasure I experience from it unless I’m in the midst of it, so I’ll take that positive reassurance, and hopefully have a new post for you all soon, resplendent with Spring Break reminiscences and key life events that have transpired since I last chatted with you. Also, just a quick note, if you’ve been keeping up with My Great Absurdist Love Affair/Senior Paper with Camus,  I hope you’ll cheer for me a little to hear that I’m up to almost 11 pages now. Only 14 to go! But hey, I totally love this writing thing, right? Right?????
In the meantime, cheers to a future that I hope is saturated with both Milanos and my musings, because surely if I start eating more Milanos, I’ll start writing more.

I think that is some of the soundest logic I’ve ever heard.

La revedere,

PS I said Goodbye in Romanian, because I want to go there someday.