I am an embarrassment


As much as I would love to be a Gabrielle Solis, I think I’m unfortunately more of a Susan Mayer. When you’re an embarrassment, being able to laugh at yourself is a good skill to have. So sure, I’ve never been caught naked in some bushes, but some of my awkward moments were pretty laughable too.

  • Let’s start with the heaviest of the embarrassing stories I have in store. During mandatory study time at boarding school, I was gleefully chatting with my friends and helping them with their homework. I got up from my chair a bunch of times, when a kind soul -a fellow high schooler named Juliette, can’t forget that name because it’s also my grandmother’s- came close to me and whispered: ‘Hey MPug, can I talk to you?’ I was like, yeah, sure. She asked me if I was on my period right now, and I thought it was a weird question, but I figured she wanted to borrow a tampon or something, so I answered candidly that yes, I was. And then, she said ‘You have a huge blood stain on your butt.’ YUP.


  • OK, no big deal but this might be the funniest story in the world. I don’t know if it’s really that ’embarrassing’ per se, but it’s along those lines. My friends and I were playing charades one night, and we kept pointing at/touching certain items at my friend’s house in order to show flag colors. So whenever we wanted to signify that someone we were miming was French for instance, we would touch something blue, something white, and something red. I noticed a red piece of cloth resting on a chair, and I made it my go-to red item. After touching it approximately 55 times, I finally picked it up to see what it was. Lo and behold, it was my friend’s dad’s UNDERWEAR. Literally his bright red briefs sitting on top of a chair. I touched my friend’s dad’s underwear like a million times that night.


  • One time, I had to give a speech about Normandy and D-Day for some French and Francophone festival in Delaware. I wanted to say something about the D-Day beaches, but I screwed up and accidentally said ‘the D-Day bitches’.


  • In the same family of embarrassment, about two weeks ago a student came to see me during my office hours. The student asked me what she had to review for the exam, and as I wanted to tell her about the review sheet I had just posted, I said that I sent them a ‘review shit’.


  • One time, I emailed my professor and meant to say ‘I hope you had a good week’, but I accidentally said ‘I hope you had a good weed’ AND I SENT IT.


  • One time, I was driving my friend home after a road trip, and for some reason I tucked my dress straps under my armpits. I got out of the car to say bye to her when we reached her place, and BOOM, the top of my dress had fallen down because I had forgotten to put my straps back on, and I was just standing there in my bra.


  • In undergrad, I was going to my Shakespeare class, and I was in a rush, so I grabbed what I thought was Richard III and ran to class. It was a super small class and I sat very close to the professor. When I took my book out of my bag, I realized it was Sex and the City.


  • Again, in undergrad, I woke up late for a lecture, so I rushed to class, and when I took off my coat I realized I was still wearing my SPAGHETTI STRAP pajama top.


  • When I was working as a hotel receptionist, the head chef was very classy and very handsome. I bumped into him in town one day, he shook my hand and asked me how I was doing, and I was so intimidated that I said ‘blrgghh’. He looked at me like I was an idiot and said ‘Oh. Okay.’


  • This is NOT my story, but this is too good not to tell. My very good friend and colleague -I mentioned him in ‘Old Friends’- once intended to text me about a fight he was having with our teaching supervisor. He wrote and sent a text that said ‘Judy is out of control’….yup, you guessed it, TO JUDY. After a full hour of panicking, his boyfriend came up with the perfect solution: he texted Judy again saying that he meant ‘Judy, THIS* is out of control’, and that they needed to talk about the situation. Judy completely believed it and went like ‘OMG you’re right, I’m sorry I snapped at you’ and BOOM, they were friends again. So, guys, you know what to do during your next textastrophe.



Baby Heartbreak


A couple of weeks ago, I said here that dating stories are the best. I don’t think that was completely exact; sometimes, stories of non-dating can be even better. I don’t know if what I’m about to tell you about is good or not, but what I know for sure is that it was my first tale of rejection and that it shaped all the subsequent rejection moments in my life.

This was my first year of high school. I was only 13 -I skipped a couple of grades back in the day- and everyone around me was 15. So, naturally, I came in with a deep fear of being ostracized. The exact opposite happened: I made a ton of friends, almost instantly. I still had my friends from middle school, who were actually my roommates in the dorms -this was a boarding school-, but we were not in the same class, so I branched out and made brand new friends all on my own.

Among those friends was a guy. He was dreamy, had black hair and blue eyes, and bore a slight resemblance to Ross Geller from Friends, which was the epitome of cute for my 13-year-old self. This guy and I became friends, and soon enough, we were inseparable.

For once, I feel compelled to share his name, because it is so nondescript that it will certainly not give anything away. His name was the most normal French-guy name ever: Pierre.

So Pierre and I were friends, he sat next to me in every class, and we spent the whole school year hanging out with our squad -except no one was calling it a squad in 2003-2004. He was sweet to me in a way that no guy had been sweet to me before, and my little teenage self let herself fall for him. To illustrate that point, I will share an embarrassing piece of info with you: I wrote about all of our interactions in my diary every day. I literally had bulletpoints in my journal that said stuff like ‘In chemistry class, he sat by me and he smelled like Calvin Klein cologne.’ I was the poster child for teenage infatuation. Also, let it be known that I copied all of his texts to me in my journal. And, since the text echanges were not super romantic, I basically copied down a bunch of texts that resembled this: ‘R U going 2 the mall after gym class?’, except in French. Bottom line is, I documented everything, like a perfect little psycho.


That was also the moment when I found my signature move: I offered to help him with his English -10 years later, I would use the same move on my current boyfriend, but with Spanish this time. So, Pierre and I spent long hours in the study room, reviewing irregular verbs and writing small essays.

I originally only told my close friends about my crush; the ones who didn’t really know Pierre. But gossip always happens, and I don’t think I was very smooth hiding my feelings.

What I find incredible now, is that Pierre did not find out for a whole year, even though all our friends seemed to know. Maybe he knew all along but didn’t want to make it weird. I guess we’ll never find out.

Anyways, back to our timeline. After our first year of high school was over, along came summer. Although most of my friends were super thrilled about 3 whole months of doing nothing, I was simply devastated by the idea of not seeing him every day. During my first week of withdrawal from this teenage heartthrob, I refused to eat. Baby heartbreak was tying a knot in my stomach, and present-day-me can’t help but be jealous of this super convenient feature.


One day during the summer, I bumped into him at a Foot Locker. The interaction lasted a whopping 5 minutes, but my journal entry that night was about 15 pages long. I’m cringing right now, remembering this, but I believe I analyzed his smile over a good page and a half.

Our second year of high school started, and we were still in the same class. We basically picked up where we left off, and we began getting even closer. Except that one day, as we were hanging out in the student lounge, he announced us that he was transferring schools. The news hit me like a freight train, so I excused myself and went outside to, well, for lack of a better word, ugly-cry.

He followed me out and asked me what was wrong, and I candidly told him that I was going to miss him. He was very comforting and he hugged me. At that very moment, I put my -metaphorical- big girl pants on and decided I was going to declare my infatuation on that same day.

As we sat together in English class, I wrote him a long note explaining that I had feelings for him, and had had those feelings for a while. Looking back, I feel like this was a very mature way to handle things, instead of pining for him for a few more months. After being a little drama queen for a whole year, I was finally growing some balls ovaries.

I handed him the note, he read it, smiled, and started writing something on the piece of paper. I was over the moon, I thought ‘OMG, this is so romantic, he’s writing me back, AND he hugged me earlier, this is gonna be the best journal entry EVER!’

Except that you guys probably figured out by now -probably since you read the title of this post- that this story would not have a happy ending.

He gave me the note back, and among other things, he had written something along the lines of ‘aww that’s so sweet! I also feel something for you; I like you like a little sister!’

*insert shattering glass sound here*

All of this to say, this wasn’t exactly the worst rejection story of all time. After all, the guy was sweet enough not to ignore me, we were friends for a little while, and I feel sorta proud of myself for having the guts to tell a guy about my feelings, even though I was a little 14-year-old drama queen. It was sad, but I just remember being relieved: I had finally gotten rid of my ‘secret’.

I recently saw on Facebook that Pierre is in a relationship with a girl I went to elementary school with -small world-, and that they just had a baby. It made me feel happy for them, and it also made me feel really old. This guy had to deal with my teenage infatuation about 12 years ago, and now he’s a dad.

Oh, and another useless piece of trivia. I don’t know WHY I remember this, but the day I got rejected by Pierre was also the day the world learned about Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston’s divorce. So, it was a bad day for a lot of us. Go figure.

The Matchmaker


I am what you may call an office gossip/wannabe-matchmaker. I have a coworker, let’s call him Tom, who is in desperate need of a girlfriend, and we are all super eager to find someone to fix him up with. I know, I know, we should mind our own business. Actually, my past experiences as a failed matchmaker should have taught me to mind my own business, but I guess I never learn.

There’s one particular experience that takes the cake. Picture this: about 5 years ago -almost exactly-, a fresh-faced MPug was living her first few months in the great U.S. of A. I had just found myself a pretty tight group of friends: a Spanish girl, a Spanish guy (my roommate), a Russian girl (let’s call her Natasha), and a Turkish guy (let’s call him Omar). The 5 of us were a happy little family, and we found solace in the fact of being all foreigners. We understood each other and helped one another overcome the difficulties of being in a new country.

Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it?

One beautiful September night, we all went out for drinks and some dancing. I had noticed some sort of chemistry between Natasha and Omar, and my roommate and I were determined to give them a little nudge. So, in the middle of the night, we left them alone in the bar. Okay, I have to admit it was a very immature way to deal with things, but we were young.

The next morning, Natasha calls me and invites me over for coffee and gossip. She tells me that Omar walked her home and they talked outside her apartment until 5am. She tells me all this with stars in her eyes, and adds that she really likes this guy. I go home and, as I was filling my roommate in, Omar texts me. He asks if I want to go to dinner that night, just us. I’m like YAY, this is my purpose in life, I get to talk to Natasha about Omar, and now I’m going to talk to Omar about Natasha, and as soon as I’m done playing matchmaker, they will live happily ever after and I will be their maid of honor AND their best man, omg omg omg. They might even name their first-born MPug.


Yeah. Except that since you are not an idiot like me, you already know this is not how the cookie crumbles.

So, I show up to dinner. I’m SO focused on getting my 2 friends into a committed relationship that I ignore all the signs. I ignore the fact that Omar takes me to the best restaurant in town. I ignore the fact that he picks up the check. I ignore the drinks after dinner. I ignore the ‘I’ll walk you home’ initiative. I basically act like a naive little bitch.

So, he walks me home, and what do you know, before I could see it coming, he KISSES ME. I’m so dumbfounded that I don’t even stop him. I really should have, because he starts biting my lip pretty hard. So hard in fact, that when I walk back upstairs, my roommate asks me if I fell on the ground and busted my lip. Not only do I have a fat lip that would last a couple of days, but I also have an awkward situation on my hands. Instead of being a successful matchmaker, I have become a homewrecker. I have to mourn the idea of being their best man of honor. I can kiss godmother-of-all-their-kids goodbye. So long, little Russian-Turkish kid named MPug. But most importantly, I have to say something to Natasha.

I ask my roommate and my friend Elena for advice. They tell me to come clean asap, and without any sugarcoating. So, I ask Natasha if she wants to grab dinner the next day. I break the news to her, and she takes it in a very weird way. She is obviously upset, but won’t tell me that she is. As a defense mechanism, she refuses to acknowledge that she did, in fact, really like him, and that she is disappointed. Instead, she urges me to date him. But I really don’t want to date him, for a lot of reasons.

bad-kissThis is one of the reasons.

She assures me that she is not upset, but I know better. In fact, she stops speaking to me for a full month. Things got better eventually and we became friends again; but it was definitely the most awkward friendship moment ever.

I guess what I’m trying to say is: kids, be careful when playing matchmaker. You may wind up with a fat lip and a heavy heart.