Generally when I walk, I veer in all sorts of crazy directions, bouncing off of whoever is walking next to me. Which is awkward most of the time. I can tell they judge me. Then I get super self conscious about if my feet are pointing straight, so I watch them to make sure they aren't pigeon-toed or anything. But in doing so, I run into more people and inanimate objects. And even though I'm watching my feet and the ground around them, I manage to trip over uneven pieces of sidewalk and random tree roots.
It is Oregon, so with the copious amount of rain we get, there are puddles everywhere. I think I've stepped in every single one that forms on campus. However, I never step in the puddles with my rain boots, it's always accidentally with my highly non-waterproof sneakers. I just love the having cold prune feet and listening to that squelching sound my socks make with every step I take.
But here's what really gets me.
I live on the far side of campus, so it's about eight billion miles away from all of my classes. Using my math wisdom gained from high school, but mostly using my common sense, I know that it's faster to go diagonal than walking around the blocks in a square fashion. The best diagonal is going through the quad behind the Memorial Union building. It has a bunch of paths that intersect in the middle of the quad. Anyway, it's the best way for me to save five minutes getting to class (five minutes that I generally waste on facebook, creepin').
Unfortunately, the quad is also the best place for people to peddle volunteer things, free garbage, and other blah stuff. Under no circumstances do I ever want to take one of their handouts. I don't have time to stop and I don't want to take the energy to hold it or to file it away. They're so damn persistent that I have to stand there for five minutes getting papers from them. Which, in hindsight, actually defeats the purpose of going through the quad in the first place.
I've tried everything to not get their handouts. It's a huge strategy game on both our ends. I've tried having my hands in my pockets when I pass them, they hold the paper out to me so I have to take it. I've tried not making eye-contact, they squirm into my line of vision. I've tried having my headphones in so I can't hear them, they talk louder. I've tried going around them, there's another one of them on the other side. I've tried switching sides with my walking buddy so they have to take the paper, they hand my buddy two.
Lately the cause has been Special Olympics. I am all for Special Olympics, don't get me wrong, but not when I have to get to class on time so I don't flunk out of college.
A couple days ago, I was employing all of the strategic tactics listed above. And through my headphones blaring Fleetwood Mac, if Fleetwood can even be blared, I hear:
"Would you like to help Special Olympics?"
My instantaneous response was "NO."
I realized, a second too late, that this answer was that of a 100% douche-bag.
The person handing out papers looked at me like I was the scum of the earth.
Scowling, I took a handout.
I have to cross through this quad about four times on most weekdays.
Needless to say, I have a hefty stack of Special Olympic handouts on my desk.
(If you would like to help Special Olympics, click here.)