Monday, December 20, 2010

*tap tap tap* Is this thing on?

Let's leave this until next week to get as much money for Heifer as possible. Talk to you next week. --

Just when I thought no one was paying attention because the Indonesian Blog, kewtawa lucu, is kicking my ass, someone sent me a note me about Nathan Bransford, who is raising money for a wonderful cause, Heifer International. Here’s the deal, if I link to his site and this cause, he will redirect people to my site to keep it going. So we should REALLY do this! For each comment that you post on mkromd, I will donate 25 cents on your behalf (up to $50 total).

Now, if you aren’t familiar with this organization, they use donations like this to purchase sustainable items for indigenous people around the world, many of whom I’ve personally offended at one point in time or another and need to apologize to en masse. Hopefully this will help me make amends (and improve my karma). And... for those of you who regularly read my blog, you know I need all the help I can get. You even already know that years ago, in college, when I studied in Sardinia, I was attacked by a passive-aggressive hair stylist who shaved my head. But, what you don't know is that, as tragic as that event may have been, it was far from the worst thing that's ever happened to me abroad.

That probably happened in India, after I graduated from college.

You see, every year my large co-dependent family vacations together in a place we've never been before. It's true, we pick some unfortunate destination and descend en-masse, and one year we decided to go to Asia. At any rate, there we were, visiting a mosque in India, when someone suggested that we see the, “lesser known Poor Man’s Taj Mahal.” If you've never heard of it, don't be alarmed. It’s more like a roadside attraction than it is a mosque, but the rules still apply: men can go inside, women cannot, and everyone has to take off their shoes regardless.

So there I was... walking around... outside... in India... without shoes on... when I stepped in bird poop.

If you know nothing about me, please know this - I’m a complete germ-a-phobe; however, luckily for me, there was a big pool of water right there. And, as a recently-graduated, culturally-sensitive Anthropologist, I hopped over to it and stuck my bird poop covered foot RIGHT in. No kidding, about twenty-five men immediately ripped their hands out of there the second I'd touched it. Being the polite idiot that I am, I was loudly apologizing/explaining and showing them my foot while saying, “Sorry – I stepped in crap and I need to get it off.”

Now, if you know anything about Islam, then you probably know the following:
1. That’s holy water and it’s used for men to clean themselves before they pray. Women don’t use it… EVER!
2. Never show a Muslim the bottom of your feet. It’s like giving them the finger.
3. Either one of these things is offensive.
4. Both of these things together can be life-threatening.

I now know that too…

That said, as I’m writing this, it dawns on me that the poop "incident" wasn't actually the worst one. The worst was definitely when I was living and working in London because of an international assignment. I tried to warn my boss this was a bad idea, but it wasn’t until I lost my knickers on High Street that he agreed.

However, before I can tell you that part of the story, I have to tell you this part first.

You see, one morning, I’d gotten up and headed into the office to prep for a big meeting with my manager and his peers, all of whom are men. However, because God hates me, I didn't get to work early at all. In fact, I got there late because of traffic on the M25. Already tardy and frustrated, I quickly grabbed my stuff from the car and accidentally slammed the door on myself - which naturally resulted in a MASSIVE tear in my nylons. As I looked at my watch, I realized that I could pull it off (no pun intended) and literally JAUNTED (in heels) to Woolworths on High Street for a new pair.

Though I was able to successfully repress most of what happened next, I still remember running into the store, grabbing a pair of pantyhose off the rack, looking at the back of the package, and realizing that this wasn’t going to end well for me. You see, the problem with buying clothes in England is that the height and weight charts are metric.

Do you know how many stones you weigh or how many meters tall you are? OMG… ME EITHER!

But I grabbed a pair anyway and hauled back to the office where I went into the bathroom, pulled off my nylons, pitched the torn ones into the garbage, and opened the new pack. Clearly God hates me, because when I opened them, they were thigh-highs… for an Amazon. I’m five foot two, and in NO parallel universe would those have worked - even if I'd had a garter-belt, which I didn't.

So there I was, eyeballing the torn ones in the trash and running the numbers in my head, when I realized that it would require a lifetime of therapy if I went dumpster diving for my own used clothes. Instead, I tried to make my B Plan work.


After fifteen minutes of sheer hell (no pun intended), I walked over to my boss’s office, shut his door and said, “We have a problem.” It was (quite literally) five minutes before one of the biggest presentations of my life, so he was clearly upset by this declaration and asked why. That's when I stamped my right foot three times, and my thigh-high fell to the floor... engulfing my shoe. As we stood there, staring at each other, not sure what to say, the left thigh-high fell to the floor, too. And no, I hadn’t shaved. That’s when my boss said, “Take the damn things off and tell them you’re French. Let’s go.”

To think I was scared of what could happen on our last family vacation to Peru. No kidding, I was genuinely terrified that I’d hear a blow dart and wake up days later in some South American jungle hut without a kidney. Since that didn’t happen, I clearly still have amends to make before my karma can improve, so PLEASE help me out. Give to Heifer International. Or, post a comment and I will make a donation on your behalf (up to $50 total from mkromd).

Have a great holiday! Talk to you next week.


  1. Comment for charity! And OMG, your stories. I'm fairly certainly I would have crawled into a hole somewhere and never come out. YOU BRAVE, BRAVE WOMAN.

  2. Perhaps luck is a zero-sum natural phenomenon, in which case we can assume that SOMEBODY had a really awesome time where absolutely everything went perfectly, balancing out your experience.

    In that case, would Karma be like energy in the universe that can neither be created nor destroyed? You could be the karmic black hole of this section of the universe, attracting the bad karma from your surroundings and trapping it beneath some karmic event horizon ...

    But for this all to be some sort of lesson from the universe, with origins in some prior life behavior, ... you must have been a really terrible practical joker.

    Great stories!


  3. Hey, cool blog. Love that name! :)

    Awesome of you to do this! I hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful holiday in return.

    Yay for Heifer!

  4. Bravos to you for participating in this great cause - I've come over from Nathan Bransford's blog to help out with a comment.

    My wish is for those in need to have a brighter 2011, especially those who are homeless.

    Best wishes to you too!

  5. Thank you for participating and making a difference! Cheers!

  6. Thanks to all of you! We're making great progress.

    And to Whit, I *loved* your post. Perhaps you're right... Perhaps I am the karmic black hole in this section of the universe. That said, I prefer to think of myself as comic relief *grin* Happy Holidays.

  7. Stopping by for charity. Love your blog title, by the way!

  8. Heifer International rocks! And so does this blog. I too, have been traumatized by neighbors who answered the door in their underwear. A landlord, actually.

  9. Commenting for Heifer! Thanks for doing this!

  10. So many comments. Yeah! Go Heifer, go!

    And to Leigh and Vickie Littleton - I hope (for your sake) your landlord wasn't my neighbor - LOL! That could be the subtle difference between traumatizing and therapy inducing *grin* Happy Holidays (and thanks for posting).

  11. Hope your challenge is still on! Because here's a comment for it. :-)

  12. It was my landlord back when I was single, not Leigh's. It added another layer of inappropriateness that he was answering the door in his underwear when a single female was innocently trying to pay the rent. And his wife was home. Or is there any situation in which that would be right?

  13. Hi Vickie, GAG... no, there's never a situation where it's OK. But, if your luck is like mine - it may just be par for the course - LOL!

    Hi Jennifer - Thanks for the note! It's not too late at all. I'll leave this post active until the new year. That way we can raise as much as possible. Happy Holidays.