Monday, January 3, 2011


I don't get stressed out often. But when I do, bad things happen.

For example, my first date with Hannah; I was 17, and had never been on a date before, or even ever been alone with a female. Needless to say, my stress levels were fairly high.

She lived an hour away from me, so I had a long drive ahead of me. My attention was not on the road for that hour. I spent the hour putting my brain into overdrive, all neurons focused on formulating every possible horrible outcome of this date.

I began to get so worked up about this date that my blood pressure shot through the roof. I'm sure the other drivers considered calling the police when they passed and saw a kid driving a minivan with his eyes extruding from his skull.

Then the unthinkable happened.

My nose decided to commit suicide. The  result was spread all over my face, and the river of gore would not stop. A quick check of my pockets and my surrounding area did not reveal any tissues. I would show up to this date looking like a socially awkward zombie.

But then I remembered: my wallet. In those days I had an unhealthy obsession with keeping my debit receipts, no matter the situation. The rationale for it was that they would be useful for keeping track of my expenses. I never looked at them again. They were stored in my wallet and never saw the light of day. But here, during my one-man performance of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, they would at last find a purpose.

I reached into my pocket for the wallet and took out a handful. I proceeded, with one hand on the wheel and the receipts in the other, to crumple them up individually and shove them up my nostrils. Debit receipts, unfortunately, are not very absorbent. It took a lot of time to mop up the mess.

I then proceeded to go to the wrong Starbucks and arrived late to the date. It was the perfect storm of bad circumstances: late to your first date, and looking like you just butchered a cow with your face. Luckily, she is the forgiving type and we ended up getting engaged three years later.