I was just publicly humiliated. Correction: I just publicly humiliated myself. So did this other boy, but I am not sure he had enough awareness to know that he was. Publicly humiliating himself, that is.
The boy, and I use the term boy here, because he was brushing his teeth (pause for anticipation) in the DRINKING FOUNTAIN. For reals. So beyond gross. I was so stunned that I said, "Well, this is a first for me" and he spittingly (because he had toothpaste in his mouth) responded, "What, you don't often see people brushing their teeth in the drinking fountain?" Quite a lengthy response for someone with toothpaste in their mouth. And I casually responded, "Nope. Can't say that I do." When I really wanted to say, "Nope, most likely because it is mildly, actually monumentally, repulsive." But he apparently thinks that is "normal."
Now on to my own bout of pariahhood. I was in my New Testament class and I got singled out to say the prayer. I tried to reassure myself, "it's just a prayer, you do this all the time, no big deal." But then I remembered that the person saying the prayer is required to introduce themselves. I don't usually have a problem with things like this, but the lack of preparation time just really threw me off. I also don't usually blush, but I'm pretty sure my face was bright red. Way to stay cool, Tara. Not.
So this is where the problem started. I got up, said hastily, "I'm Tara and I'm an English teaching major" then went to the praying position to indicate that this was over. But it wasn't. Far from over, really. The professor insists I give a little more information and then prompts me by asking where I'm from. Then came the inevitable T-bird or Bulldog question. (Cue lame hand motions in shape of t-bird, lamely supplied by me). Then the lovely man opens it up for questions. Seriously? Seriously. Question and answer time with Tara. Meanwhile, I am assuming the prayer position, hoping against hope that people will be discouraged. But alas, twas not so.
First kid (future rocket scientist)- "So, uh, what's your favorite color?" Are we in first grade here junior? Apparently. This seemingly simple question proved my downfall. A little background information is required here. One of my all-time favorite literary characters is Miss Havisham (name that classic Dickens novel?!) and she was quite an inspiring character for me. Come on, you can't beat the whole "I have a heart that beats, but not that loves" training she foisted on her eager pupil. Because of Miss Havisham, I have always insisted that black is my favorite color because it's the "color of my heart." Background information covered, back to class.
The color question really threw me and my instincts kicked in and I responded with the usual response "Black." Luckily, I had the presence of mind to not include the "because it's the color of my heart." Religion professors might not love that. Then some other smart alecky kid pipes in "uh, you do realize, that, uh, black is the absence of color." "Yes, thank you, I only get that every single time I answer this question" but I spared them the Miss Havisham story.
Next question from kid in purple shirt, "So uh, what do you, um, like to do for fun?" Fortunately, the professor at this point decided to step in before I could respond to questioner number two that I don't, in fact, have fun. Then I prayed and retreated back to my seat. And began to think about all of the ways being an English major has ruined me. I have accumulated quite a list so far, so that will probably be appearing sometime. Now I need to go find a hat or something to disguise myself. Excuse me.