By Maggie Reimherr
Hunger struck as I was strolling around Harvard Square. I’d already downed my lunch of leftovers at my desk and was using the remainder of my break to shop for a birthday gift for my mom. As I was buzzing from the natural fragrance of the Lush products I purchased for her, my stomach started growling.
I was on a diet, but healthy snacks weren’t appealing to me at the moment, and besides, I was about to enter a wedding weekend for some friends in the South. I’d certainly spend the next three days downing fried chicken, biscuits, and alcohol. I determined from that that my diet could wait until Monday.
I wandered into a cafe to see if I could get a pastry. Everything was gluten free. Gluten free baked goods are objectively disgusting. Across the street, like a beam from heaven was shining on it, I saw an ice cream shop. I wandered in, ordered the “Charles River Crunch,” a dark chocolate ice cream with bits of almond toffee, in a sugar cone. I felt a sense of accomplishment that I chose the smaller cone over my usual waffle cone selection.
The teenager scooping said, “You better grab some napkins. This might be messy.” Because Massachusetts seems to not believe in central air conditioning, the chocolate ice cream was beginning to drip before I even exited. I scurried out to find a bench to sit on.
I settled on a bench across from the entrance to the Harvard Yard. The ice cream was liquifying faster than I could eat it. Soon, my hand was covered in chocolate. But by damn, I paid $5 for this thing. I couldn’t give up. I scarfed down my cone in a rather unflattering manner. As I did, a bus of tourists stopped beside me and stared.
“My life is a dumpster fire,” I thought (I am dramatic).
I gave up, tossed the cone in a garbage can, and my hands were covered in dark chocolate ice cream. My napkins got soaked through, so the only thing I could wipe my hand on was the paper bag containing my mom’s birthday present, which I paid 10 cents for because I work in a hippy, eco-conscious area. The bag only did the trick on one hand. The other hand was still dripped with the gross, sticky, brown liquid.
I looked down at my red pants, and they were also a casualty of the chocolate dessert. I had to head back to work with a hand and pants that looked like they were covered in, um, defecation. Great.
I tried to take a less populated route through campus to get back to work, but there was only so much crowd avoidance I could do. My employer is both a school and a tourist destination. People were everywhere. I don’t know if people’s judgmental stares were a figment of my imagination or not.
When I got back to work, I darted into the bathroom to clean up the mess. I pulled out my trusty Tide to Go pen only to find that it had run out, thanks to other food-related accidents (I feel like this happens to me a lot?). I resorted to using a wet paper towel to dab the spots, and apparently, this old-fashioned stain removal technique works on still-damp stains. Who knew?
Of course, I looked at my face in the mirror, and my mouth was covered in chocolate like a small child. Whatever.
I’m 24, married, and have a fancy, stable job. I seem to have my crap together, right? I really do not. In a world where perception is everything (thanks, Instagram), I want to shout from the rooftops that I am a grown-ass woman who was recently covered in chocolate ice cream while wearing a business casual outfit. Life is messy. Life is sweet. The two are not mutually exclusive. Everybody looks and acts dumb sometimes.
So the next time you start putting yourself down or feeling “behind” on your accomplishments, remember this: we’re all a bunch of dorks just trying to eat the ice cream before it melts. Or who just spilled coffee down the front of a white outfit (this also happened to me - another story for another day, folks).
More of me embarrassing myself on Millennial Marriage: