Dinner can be a pretty traumatic experience as a freshman at college. You’re just starting to get to know everyone so you always need to go to dinner with friends. No way are you risking meeting people there because that could put you in the position of wandering through the commons with a tray of food, looking for your friends, convinced the entire room is watching you flounder.
God forbid if you get there last and find your friends already in line for food.
“Where did you put your stuff down?”
“We got a table in the usual area!”
Which leaves you to wander towards the general left side of the commons looking for coats and bags you recognize, praying you don’t drop off your stuff next to the wrong group of black North Faces.
But, after a few weeks of freaking out over that, most people get over it. You realize that not everyone is watching you frantically try to find your friends. If you put your stuff down at the wrong table, it’s no longer mortifying, but funny.
There are, however, some cafeteria experiences that are always embarrassing.
A friend of mine was kind enough to share one of those moments with me the other night. He was busy filling up a drink, balancing his tray of food on the counter and on his hip. Naturally, he turned to say hi to someone, causing the tray to go tumbling to the ground. The plate shattered, resulting in the entire kitchen turning to stare at him.
To make him feel better, I told him my own story of cafeteria catastrophe, which I shall share with you now per the request of my roommate.
Two years ago (when I was still a vulnerable freshmen no less), the day we got our costumes for Nationals, everyone sorta freaked out about how skin-tight they were and how un-bikini ready we all felt. One nutrition-savvy member of the team typed up food plans for all of us to try to follow until we left for Daytona. The very day we got these guides, they had a fried dough bar for dessert in the kitchen. No way was I passing that up.
I eagerly waited in line, ordered lots of gooey apple topping, and promptly showered my fried dough with confectioners sugar. YUM.
As I made my way to the cashier, who should I see walking towards me, but the very girl who just gave us our nutrition guides earlier that day. In a James Bond-like evasion maneuver, I ducked around the cereal to avoid her seeing my calorie-loaded dessert.
Miraculously, it was not this little move that caused my embarrassment. As I celebrated my sneakiness, I turned to make sure she hadn’t seen me. At this moment, my fried dough slid off my plate and towards the floor.
My instinct was, of course, to save the dough. Using my plate, I clapped the fried dough against the side of my leg, causing the confectioners sugar to explode in a cloud of sweetness around me (note, I was wearing my black dance team sweatpants/sweatshirt).
Determine to act unfazed, I casually peeled the fried dough from my leg, returned to the line, got fresh apple goodness to replace stuff now coating my right leg, and brushed as much sugar off me as I could.
I’d like to pretend no one saw the incident, but even if someone hadn’t, I still had to walk through the commons clearly covered in a light dusting of sugar.
I regret nothing, the fried dough was scrumptious.