To fully understand my personality and slightly self-deprecating sense of humor, I should explain my early beginnings. It is something I refer to regularly and is also the inspiration for the title of my autobiography/memoir or in this case, the title of the series of personal essays: The Fugly Stage. Whenever someone hears me refer to my childhood self as fugly, they often give me words of sympathy or pity but it should be noted that I am thankful for my fugly stage. Without my fugly stage, I would not have the personality I have today. I didn’t have a lot going for me as a child so I had to build up that charism early.
It all started when I was five years old. After one of those hearing and sight tests at school, my parents found out that I had a “lazy eye”. I’m sure that isn’t the technical term but that was my family has always referred to it. Essentially for anyone who hasn’t heard of a lazy eye, it means that my right eye was 20/20 while my left eye wasn’t as strong and had a tendency to wander. The way that doctors correct this problem is by having a child wear an eye patch over their glasses. So that’s what I did for the whole year of 1st grade. They tried to make them cute by putting rainbows and unicorns and hearts on them. I think it is a fairy on the one below. One time a kid asked what was under my eye patch and I told him it was just a bloody eye socket… I was a weird kid.
After a year of suffering through the embarrassment of wearing an eye patch you would think it got better. Wrong. It got worse, much worse. For whatever reason I hated hair brushes, in fact to this day, I still do not own one. As a child I would wear my hair, knots and all, in a low ponytail with it parted down the middle tied back with those big scrunchies. My wardrobe was completely made up of clothes from the store formerly known as Limited Too (now called Justice). My favorite outfits were the matching sweat suits and to top of the complete outfit, I had a pair of pink and white etnies tennis shoes. I had braces, just like most kids, but it really just pulled the whole aesthetic together. Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure:
Now that I have painted you the physical picture, there were other things working against me. I now know that I am allergic to most nature, most prominently, anything with fur. My parents didn’t know this growing up and as a result did’t know I was highly allergic to my dogs so I had a constant runny nose, blotchy skin and itchy eyes. Because of this, I was a mouth breather. If you need reference, you know that character from Hey Arnold who was always creeping around and you knew it was him because he was a heavy mouth breather? Me. One time a kid said “Tara, stop breathing so loud” in 3rd grade and that was the first time I became aware of my mouth breathing tendencies.
This kid from Hey Arnold
Last but certainly not least, I had a speech impediment. Essentially is was a lisp because I couldn’t say my S’s and T’s without sticking out my tongue. For a long time, every time I said my name, people thought I was saying Sarah.
This all may sound bad but to be honest, I was very unaware of it until I was removed from it. So since the fugly stage I have gotten contacts, cut and dyed my hair, completely changed my wardrobe, got my braces off, went to speech therapy, and started taking Claritin for my allergies. I still don’t brush my hair, occasionally wear glasses, and dress like I am homeless from time to time but not nearly as bad as when I was in the Fugly Stage.
This is about the crazy, outrageous time that I first……..
drank alcohol! Haha tricked ya. Recently I’ve been making a lot of drunken mistakes, saying things I don’t mean, doing things I shouldn’t be doing, just a lot of mistakes…So I thought I would tell the story of how it all began.
It’s important to note that high school Tara was on her high horse and vowed she wouldn’t drink alcohol until she was 21. She also vowed not to kiss random boys, not to smoke weed, and not even say the Fuck word. I should have mentioned this was a very high horse. Everyone was convinced that I was going to drink in college and go crazy but I was convinced I had too high of morals for that. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
So you might be wondering how long in college I made it without drinking and the answer is 3 weeks. I made it 3 whole weeks before I threw in the towel and fell off my high horse. But no ragrets, right?
So the plan was made. Trisha, my freshmen year college guru, said she would walk me through it and make sure that nothing crazy goes down. Another certain someone who also lived in the dorm with us said he would also make sure everything went smoothly and promised to stay on top of the situation. This soccer player, who shall not be named, ended up being written up that night for intoxication so it’s fair to say he wasn’t that helpful.
We (Trisha and I) decided shots were the most effective way to get the job done, so I choked down two and a half shots of vodka; half of the third shot ended up all over my shirt because I was already ‘too turnt.’ This is where the infamous name Two Shot Tara originated. I was laying down on Trisha’s bed looking up and pondering life because alcohol made me very insightful. I was having a grand ol’ time UNTIL creepy Craig* walked in.
Background: Creepy Craig* (not his real name) was from another tower that I briefly met one day and was friendly to but apparently he took my friendly and bubbly personality as flirting and developed a ‘fascination’ for me.
Creepy Craig decided to come see me on the first night I was ever getting turnt and it was really uncomfortable. He literally sat down in Trisha’s room for an extended amount of time while I was trying to peacefully ponder life. Eventually unnamed soccer player said something that insinuated that Creepy Craig was not welcome and Trisha asked him to leave. After that, Creepy Craig did not come back but he would walk very close behind me to a lot of my classes. Fun fact: last year Courtney, my current roommate, made out with him.
Back to the story, So I finally decided to stand up after letting the alcohol do its thing and when I tried getting off the bed, I fell to the ground soon realizing that alcohol impairs your motor skills. I can’t remember a whole lot more because I was just too gone after those two and half shots but I wanted to tell this story because I wasn’t always as crazy as I am now. In fact I use to be the opposite of crazy, but I’m just making up for all the years I was suppose to be a stupid rebellious teen when I was actually going to bed at 9:30pm every night and studying on the weekend. LOL.
Honestly I don’t even drink that much…
Since turning 21 I have gone downtown quite a few times. I also seem to think that suddenly my tolerance has gone up and it most certainly has not. Because of this I have done a lot of embarrassing things. I don’t get embarrassed very easily because most of what I do would be considered embarrassing to the average person so I some how built up a high tolerance for what embarrasses me. Regardless, these are 21 things I’ve done downtown that would probably be embarrassing to a normal person: ( how many times can I say embarrassing in one paragraph)
- Fall in Motav. (A bar)
- Fall outside of Motav. (The same bar, the same night)
- Ask someone if they needed to urinate…I USED THE WORD URINATE. He looked at me very confused and a little disgusted. (do you like my color choice)
- Puke. I made it in a trashcan though so that counts for something, right?
- An older man (50+) told me to “open up the vagina” when referring to my 21st sign. This is more embarrassing for him but I still felt embarrassed
- Break someones pint glass
- Break my own pint glass
- Step in pee in the mens bathroom. Don’t ask why I was in there.
- Feel a guys fingernails. He still asked for my number afterwards soooo
- Run up and down the streets in wedges telling people I was training for a marathon
- Kiss a ginger. No offense to gingers.
- Attempted a British accent with British guys. They did not ask for my number so
- Ripped my shirt
- Fell out of my chair after a guy winked at me
- Sung really loudly to a song that I don’t know any of the words to and posted a story of it on my snapchat
- Said it was my birthday when it clearly is no longer my birthday
- Called an uber, canceled the uber, reordered the uber and being yelled at by the uber driver, canceled it again and still had to pay five dollars.
- Attempted to get on a table and fell.
- Everynight I have to see one bouncer who ghosted me and another who thinks we kissed and we HAVE NOT.
- Hugged a taco bell employee who called me beautiful and special.
I have definitely done more then 21 embarrassing things but if I don’t stop somewhere the list would never end. If you ever see me downtown I hope to offer you comedic relief with my awkwardness. Maybe I’ll do a part 2 some day considering it has only been 25 days since my birthday and all of this has already happened to me. Overall, 21 is fun. Alcohol is fun. Downtown is fun. But most importantly, I am fun. really cute photo of me enjoying 21.
WARNING: This article contains graphic content including an over the pants hand placement…Proceed at your own risk.
I’d like start this post by formally apologizing to *Mike for the most awkward kiss in human history but unfortunately he picked the one girl at the frat party that had no previous experience.
I was going on my third week in college when I got invited to my first frat party. I declined the offer politely because that wasn’t my scene (sophomore Tara is a different story but that’s another blog post). Finally, after a little classic college peer pressure, I decided to go. They had told me the theme was Hawaiian, so naturally I wore a Hawaiian shirt and a lei. And to top off the outfit, I brought my purse with me because I was a stupid freshman. I showed up to the pregame and quickly realized that I was the only one who dressed up to the theme. Everyone else was in typical going out clothes so I discreetly took off the Hawaiian shirt and lei and shoved them in my bag. I decided not to drink because freshman Tara thought she was waiting till she was 21 to drink. Oh naive and silly freshman Tara. SOOO I was very painfully sober for the night.
We left to go to the party and the moment I walked in I was overwhelmed. I regretted coming instantly but I really had no way of getting home and to be honest I probably wouldn’t have been able to find my way home if I had tried. So there I was, standing awkwardly, waiting for the night to end. Soon some nice gentlemen came over to talk to my friend because they all lived in the dorms together. I didn’t realize that Mike was actually talking to me until he asked if I wanted to go “dance.” WE ALL KNOW WHAT DANCING IS CODE FOR. Except for freshman Tara, she didn’t know what “dance” was code for. I said yes and we made our way to the dance floor when to our surprise there was no music playing. He got really close to my face and asked why there wasn’t any music and without making eye contact I mumbled “I don’t know.” He proceeded to ask about the music a few more times as I laughed nervously and after standing there for awhile talking about the lack of music, Mike asked “Do you want to go sit down?” I started to catch onto the agenda by this point but for some reason I still said yes. While there were plenty of places to sit on the couch he chose to sit on a love seat type thing meant for one person; so as any awkward human would do, I placed my body at the very edge of the seat to avoid unnecessary touching. We made some small talk about random subjects and whenever he asked me a question I would answer with my eyes looking straight forward, not turning my head for most of the conversation. Then I made the fatal mistake. He asked me something and I turned my head just slightly when he went in for it, tongue first. It took me about 15 seconds to realize what was going on. After the initial shock period, all I could think about was ‘wow this is what kissing is.’ I spent most of my first kiss really contemplating the physical act and how strange it actually was. It was all going fine and dandy WHEN he took my hand and placed it on his nether regions. I didn’t want to pull it away immediately so I waited 10 seconds and slowly removed my hand. It was not only the first time I had kissed someone but also my first wee wee touch. Even if it was over the pants, it was still too many firsts in one night, so I decided to wrap it up and said I had to go find my friends and bolted for the backyard. I told the girl I came with that I wanted to leave but at this point it was 10:30pm and she said that there wasn’t anyone to drive me home yet so I waited 30 minutes paralyzed by shock. Soon I got a ride and when I got back a dormmate consoled me as I mourned the death of my innocence. I’m not being dramatic, but it was the most traumatizing thing to ever happen to me…
Most girls have their first kiss when they are in high school or middle school or, if they are really lucky, in elementary school, but if you knew me before the age of 18 you can completely understand why it took till college to reach such a milestone. If you take all the dramatic dialogue out, the story sounds like a VERY mild and normal college hookup story but add in the fact that I’m the farthest thing from normal and this is the first time another person’s tongue was in my mouth and you get a very unnecessarily embarrassing experience. Although at the time I thought I was traumatized for life, now I can look back at one of the funniest moments of my freshmen year. The kiss also ignited some important friendships and really kickstarted my college experience which only got crazier as time went by.
*Not his real name but kind of close
*this story has been censored for the sake of my viewers older then 35
I am not embarrassed to admit that I have a tinder. At one point it was a bit taboo to be on tinder because of the stigma it gave off but now a days people are finding there significant others on there so I thought maybe the same would happen for me. Wrong. But I have no regrets because I now have a great story that some may even call a fairytale considering I lost my shoes at midnight but we’ll get to that later.
I’ve dabbled on tinder for awhile never going on dates with anyone because no one really sparked my interest. That’s not to say I never met someone off of tinder but we didn’t go on a ‘date’ per say. Finally I was talking to a guy that seemed like he had potential. He was some science-y math major and he loved Fleetwood mac so I was sold. He asked me to go on a date and I thought why not, what’s the harm? For the sake of this story we will name my prince charming Matt. So Matt told me he would pick me up after his lab on Friday and we could go to dinner and a movie. Around 6ish he said he was on his way. The original plan was to go to In-n-Out which didn’t end up happening but it is crucial to the story that you know this. When he got to my apartment he got out of the car to give me a hug and do all the awkward first date introductions. When I first saw him I was pleasantly surprised with his Loafiness (which is a made up term about the characteristics of my ideal man, think Jason Segel or Andy Dwyer) so I was pretty happy. He mentioned that the movie started sooner then he expected so he suggested we go to Petra which is much closer to the movie theatre and I was totally fine with that. The conversation was flowing and I really thought we were vibing, as the young people say. I didn’t check my phone all through dinner because I didn’t want to be rude. After we finished, we walked to the movies to see Zootopia, his choice not mine, but 10 out of 10 would recommend. The whole movie I could tell he was building up the courage to hold my hand but never made the move ( I can confirm this because he told me afterwards that he was trying to but was too nervous) but I was glad he didn’t because my hand was sweaty. I don’t go on a lot of date, don’t judge me.
After the movie I checked my phone for the first time all night and had 15 missed calls and about 30 text messages from my friends thoroughly concerned about my safety. I thought Hmm that’s odd. I found out later that my friends used Find my friends app to see my location and when my phone said I wasn’t at in-n-out, like I had told them previously, naturally they thought I was kiddnapped. They proceed to get in a car and attempt to track down my phone and were lead to a bush in an abandoned parking lot which only heightened their suspicions so they drove to the movie theatre and stood outside until our movie got out and followed us to the car without me noticing. Although my friends are way too intrusive, I was touched by how much they cared about me. But back to what was going on with me…
So after the movie, to my knowledge, the date was going pretty smoothly UNTIL he asked if I had any plans for the rest of the night. Which it was like 11:30 and obviously I wanted to go to bed but I said I didn’t have anything planned. We decided to go to the beach to walk on avila pier. Things started to take a turn DUN DUN DUUUUN. I found out more about him on the car ride over like how he smoked weed a lot, was a part time DJ and he mentioned something about wanting to be a pilot but ultimately decided not to because they didn’t make enough money. He told me this after I mentioned my dad was pilot. Hmmm. Finally we got to the beach and the pier was closed so we drove farther down the road where there were minimal street lights and no people. DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME KIDS. We decided to go for a walk by the water. I know in hindsight this is a stupid thing to do but I lived to tell the tale so we’re good. Once we ran out of sand to walk on we sat down and talked. We started canoodling until SUDDENLY the tide came all the way up. When the tide came up, it soaked my entire backside. We both jumped up and I ran after my Rainbow sandals that were being swept off with the water. Unfortunately I couldn’t grab them in time so I had to walk back to the car wet, sandy and barefoot. Great first date, Am I right?! Once we were back in the car we canoodled a little longer but it was late so we headed home. We said our goodbyes and I shuffled up the stair with my sandy feet to recap the story with my roommates.
Although it was a bit of a rough first date, I saw potential. Matt and I had one more interesting encounter but then he ghosted me… that’s a whole other story. Am I a tinderrella? Well I lost my shoe(s) and my outfit was ruined by midnight so the answer is yes. Also bonus, Matt told me “this is the best first date I’ve ever had” not to toot my own horn. As for me, I’d give it a solid 6.
Studying abroad in London, I had high expectations. Most of those expectations have been fulfilled. With these expectations, naturally came the expectation that I would fall in love with a young British chap who was getting his masters at Oxford, who hung out with Will and Kate occasionally, and had great teeth. Nothing too unattainable. Except maybe the teeth thing. This simple request has yet to be fulfilled but I came really darn close in the Hyde Park this past weekend…
I’ll set the tone: It was a beautiful day in London and Tati, a friend of mine, and I were going for a walk in the park trying to find Kensington Palace. We were on one path with no other people except one man walking in front of us. All the sudden this older man turned around to talk to us. He asked for directions to the Peter Pan statue which sounded like an innocent question even though the path we were on passed the Peter Pan statue and we were walking in the opposite direction and there were multiple signs pointing in the direction to the statue. Red flag. The man seemed like he was in his early forties because his hair was slightly graying and he gave the appearance as someone who could have multiple children so I assumed (never assume) that he was just a friendly guy when he started making small talk. He started asking more specific questions about us like our names, where we were studying, what our travel plans were, how much longer we were in London, where we were from in the United states and me being the naive suburban girl I am, I answered all the questions without hesitation. I don’t know why I didn’t just give him my address and room number while I was at it. Regardless, he seemed like he was just a naturally friendly person. Some point early on Tati drifted away like a sane human being and left me to make small talk with the stranger. He made a weird comment about how much he liked Americans. Red flag. At this point we had been talking for about 10 mins even though his original ‘intent’ was asking for directions. I was being very polite UNTIl… he asked if we wanted to go to his house for ‘drinks’. RED FLAG. I thought this elderly man (really only 40 but that’s a life time away from me) was genuinely lost when in reality he probably never intended on seeing the peter pan statue, his loss. My deemer changed real quick. I don’t get asked out by a lot of guys, I know surprising, so I don’t understand proper protocol for rejecting someone. I told him we were going out of town for the weekend, which was true, and thought that would be the end when he proceeded to say “I’m sorry, I just really like you”. WE HAVE SURPASSED RED FLAG. I will admit that I am a very likable person but something told me that he was using that as code for something else. He then repeated that phrase a few more times while I stood there paralyzed by fear. Although I was uncomfortable, I stupidly did not run for the hills. Alex (I forgot to mention his name before but it’s Alex) then changed his tactic and asked if I’ve smoked water vapor. I am not hip with the drugs so I asked if he was talking about hookah which he said no but then described in detail what you did and it sounded like hookah. Again, I don’t do the drugs so I could be wrong. I politely declined, although my voice was a little shaky by this point, and said I didn’t do anything involving inhaling substances. I then tried to make a nice exit at that point but he proceeded to ask for my number. I told him it was international and I couldn’t use it in London. That was my polite way of saying no but then he said “we could viber, Skype, what’s app” this old guy was surprisingly up to date with his technology. At this point I was all out of polite excuses and just said no. He pleaded a few more times with “I’m sorry, I just really like you” but I pretended we had a reservation at 4 in the afternoon that I suddenly remembered we were late for. Hopefully that is the last time I will see Alex.
Although I have yet to meet a nice, young, charming Prince Harry look alike, I got pretty close. Just kidding. This was to date the most traumatizing experience thus far in England but I think it taught me a valuable lesson about strangers that I think I was suppose to learn in Kindergarden. Don’t talk to them. Have I found my european boyfriend? no. But was I pretty close? still no. I will keep you all updated because the search is still alive and thriving.
This picture represents how I felt during this experience.
Tara Kristine Jacobson