So, this actually happened a while ago, but I remembered it while going over that FedEx story. I was visiting my dad a the Michigan District Convention because it was held at CUAA, which is like fifteen minutes away from my apartment. The thing you have to understand about me (not to enjoy the story but so you understand why I gate crashed a District Convention) is that I love my parents. I have zero angst about them like other people my age. I like hanging out with them. They are great people.
Anyway, I went Sunday night when dad got to campus and then I went again on Tuesday, which was my day off from work. They actually do things at the convention, so I went around lunch time so that I could actually talk with dad. After lunch, we had time to just walk around. I wanted to go to the Zimmerman library, which is where I worked for four and half years while i attended CUAA. To give you a mental image: we ate lunch on the lawn of the manor. The door to the library is roughly fifty feet away, and that’s just because you have to skirt around Krieger, also where I spent most of my time because that’s where 99% of my classes were held. I was fully intent on walking. Except we passed a bunch of bored college kids who were staying on campus for the summer and had volunteered to help out. I recognized a couple as freshmen when I was a senior. I didn’t want to talk to them. I wanted to ignore other human beings, talk about geeky and Lutheran-y stiff with dad, and not be that person who never really left college. I kind of am, but I also like to ignore it because it doesn’t showcase normal human growth.
“You want a ride?” The kid in the golf cart was one of those guys. He was moderately athletic and moderately attractive, so naturally Concordia has given him the false idea that he runs the world.
“Yeah.” That would be my dad’s instant reply. Instant. Because he knows where it’s at. Say yes to free things. Except, he’s never had to identify as a student on CUAA’s campus. “Marissa, want a ride?”
NOOO. No I don’t want a ride. No I don’t want a condescending look from people who look prepubescent that I’m getting a golf cart ride fifty feet to the library. Also, I don’t like people treating my dad like he’s old and can’t walk around campus. He’s not old. His still spry. And I said this through tilting my head back and doing sort of a angsty teen roll turn and stomped, just a skosh, to the golf cart.
My anxiety throw a tantrum and suddenly I felt like I’d doubled in size and that I looked like a hippo on a tirade. I squished myself next to my dad, never unaware of the stares of the college kids that felt like weights on my soul. (My anxiety is SUPER dramatic. Please excuse it.) And then I sat like I always sat in these situations. I put my arm around the back of the seat, and crossed my legs. I usually rest the foot of the leg I’ve crossed against the back of the seat in front of me. My foot was at about the level of the bottom of the seat not quite.
As my dad and I got comfortable for the four second drive, I thought to myself, “The back of that seat is weirdly squishy…”
MY FOOT WAS NOT ON THE SEAT. I was toeing that kid’s butt. TOEING HIS BUTT, and I was so mortified.
Oh my God. What do you even do? I mumbled an apology, that I don’t know if he heard. Of course, my dad doesn’t even know what’s going on. He’s just being dad, so I try to be Marissa, but that’s hard on a normal day. In the end, I was just weird, and saying things that I hoped sounded remotely natural and/or funny. It was the worst four seconds of my life. The kid almost hit people with the golf cart. I thought, Oh my God, I’ve sexually assaulted him and he can’t concentrate anymore. We’re going to be those people who die in a golf cart accident at a convention for Lutheran pastors. I was overcome with shame.
The moment that he stopped the golf cart, I was out and walking away. Leave no man behind? Sorry, dad. I was in the library and what just happened didn’t happen. I was never here. We never had this conversation.