I’m in Poland, land of pierogis, remnants of war, a plethora of Zs and Ls, and several skis. It happens to be the exciting time of soccer’s Euro Cup, or what Americans call the “what’s that?” It’s the most-watched sporting event not seen in America. Some games are held in Poland this year, so there are flags galore and fans aplenty. This reminds me of a time when I lived in Madrid back when I was twenty (just a few years ago.).
Real Madrid won the Champions League Final then, and the streets filled up with people. People climbing flagpoles. People squished like shipments of shirts. People screaming and drunk and happy and triumphant. This was also a time when I liked to mix Coke and wine, and that day I celebrated the victory by mixing a lot of Coke and a lot of wine and then throwing up in someone’s mouth.
Yep, I had a Spanish boyfriend, and I made out with him until I puked down his throat.
I hope Real Madrid really appreciates what I did for them that day.
This Futbol Cup is different. I’m with my mom, and we’re in bed at ten pm. And we went to Auschwitz today. I DID want to puke when I saw the 80,000 pairs of shoes collected from Jews in just one day, but it was a different kind of puke.
In studying this parallel of pukes, I can see how much I’ve changed since I was twenty or ten or ever. I’ve done a whole bunch of stupid shit that I wouldn’t do today; I guess that’s what they call life.
I let a girl in college call me Kim for four years. I NEVER corrected her. I “felt bad.” I didn’t want to make her feel wrong. WHAT? We’re not friends anymore.
Once I gave my mom the exact same birthday present two years in a row. THE EXACT same one. It was a homemade plate on which to place perfume bottles. I grabbed it off her dresser and re-wrapped it the next year. And then I was shocked when she said, “Oh, thanks. But didn’t you give this to me last year?” I guess I thought she was not that observant or just really dumb. Whoops.
Once on a date I blew my nose into a guy’s hands. I didn’t really like him, I guess. I had some very overactive sinuses then.
When I got my first credit card, I immediately booked a big vacation because I didn’t have to pay for it until later!
I’ve taken drugs from strangers.
I’ve lost all my money to gypsies playing that stupid game in the street with one pea under three potatoes.
I let a neighbor on meth cut my hair at 3am.
I let a boy bring me to an abandoned house in the middle of nowhere in Sicily where I couldn’t escape or even speak the language to call for help (I just kept talking until he was so annoyed that he took me home).
I sat on the roof of a car and let a boy speed until I fell off. That really impressed him.
I went alone to the most dangerous city in the world where the signs in the hotel read, “Tourists must NOT go outside.”
I’ve put myself down many times to make others feel better.
I rode my tricycle down the stairs when I was six because I saw it on TV and I thought everything on TV was real.
I just recently learned that Auschwitz is in Poland.
Now that I write these out, I see they don’t sound soooo bad. Each is only a learning experience and a way to realize how much I’ve grown. But I have no doubt that I will look back in ten more years and wonder what the hell I was thinking as I let out all my secrets for
the world all ten of you to read. Or why I streaked through the leaning tower of Pisa (haven’t done that yet, but I’m on the way). Or why I spent all my savings to spend two months in Spain doing nothing (also on the way!). These are the best kinds of mistakes. Or maybe just learning experiences. Or maybe just living.
What are the stupidest learning experiences you’ve ever done?