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Don't Judge Me, But...

Recently I was in North Carolina for a conference and was able to spend some time with my family. As is a standard summer tradition we all woke up early one morning and drove out to Wilmington to spend the day at the beach. No matter how old we get one of my favorite past times with this group of cousins is to swim out into the ocean and ride the waves. We play games, talk about our lives, and try not to get knocked over by the swells.

On this particular Sunday we wound up playing a new game. A variation of 'Never Have I Ever' called 'Don't Judge Me, But...'. As opposed to saying something you have never done, you say something you have done and anyone else who has done it as well has to fess up to the group. It ranged from winning pizza eating contests to misdemeanors and other non mentionable categories.

It was enlightening, to say the least. But it definitely got me thinking about my rather large collection of embarrassing stories. As I began to share some of them my cousins couldn't help but chime in with all of the embarrassing tales that they had of me. You know, just in case I forgot. So rather than drum up all of the silly, ridiculous, and embarrassing things I've done I decided to ask for a little help with these weeks post. I sent a text to about 30 different people asking for any embarrassing, stupid, or funny story they might have of me. The results did not disappoint.

Below you'll find a collection of some of my shining moments provided by friends and family. So don't judge me, but...

Maria G.

The summer I studied abroad our final flight home landed in Washington DC when our actual destination was Raleigh, North Carolina. My cousin Maria and her best friend offered to drive up to get us rather than take a train. At this point we had been traveling for about 20 hours, and by the time we got in the car we were looking at another 4 hours before getting into a real bed. My travel partner, Hania, and I were sprawled out in the back seat. Delirious and having freshly feasted on fast food we were hoping to sleep the whole ride there. Fun fact about me, I really don't sleep in cars. I can close my eyes but will never actually fall into a full sleep. This has led to many embarrassing sleep deprived declarations over the years, but this one was by far the worst.

We were making our way towards the highway when I saw the moon through a group of trees. "Guys, GUYS! LOOK AT THE MOON! I've never seen it that close before. It's huge!" It was getting closer and closer and the trees were starting to clear. I was getting so excited and frankly a little nervous to see the moon THAT big. "Mel... That's a Burger King sign...". The car fell silent as the recognition settled on my face. They spent the next 15 minutes laughing at me. To this day I can't get in the car with Maria without her reminding me that I was dead convinced that a Burger King sign was in fact, the moon.

Kelly NH

I've never owned a cat before. I've never even really taken care of one before. Having only experienced dogs it was a scary adjustment for me realizing just how low maintenance cats really are. In preparing to get our kitten I read countless articles on what to know, how to prepare, etc. All of my cat owning friends though assured me over and over that it would be easy and not to worry.

I had been hyper vigilant with food, water, toys, kitty proofing the house and was watching him very closely. All of the websites said that you should clean the litter box every day. So each morning I would lift the lid and it was perfectly smooth, untouched. Like it hadn't even been stepped on. At first I thought maybe he was just nervous and adjusting to his new home. But by the second day still nothing was happening... My mind was racing with possibilities. Bowel obstruction? Some kind of infection? I just knew that this beautiful new little kitten must be broken somehow, and I began to prepare myself for the possibilities.

By the Fourth of July we had had Captain Spaghetti for about three days. My friend Kelly was coming over to hang out and meet the new addition. After about 20 minutes of playing with the kitten I couldn't take it anymore.

Me: Kelly, I think something is wrong with him...

Kelly: Why what's wrong?

Me: It's been days and he still hasn't gone to the bathroom. I see him go in and then there is nothing inside. I keep feeling his stomach to make sure it's not getting hard from some kind of obstruction, but I just know somethings wrong.

Kelly: Mel... you know they bury it right?

I ran into my room, ripped off the lid, and began furiously scooping.

Me: Omg... OMG IT'S EVERYWHERE! KELLY WHERE DID THIS COME FROM THERE IS SO MUCH!

Kelly and my roommate Michelle proceeded to laugh at me while I aggressively cleaned the box and thanked God that my cat wasn't about to explode. Who knew, right?

Meghan R.

In high school and college Meghan and I got up to all kinds of shenanigans. Most of which will absolutely not be blogged about, but this one story is something we will probably never live down. When I'm with her family it is like clockwork that this gets brought up, and given that my parents have never heard this story I suppose it's about time we passed the baton.

It was the winter of our sophomore year of high school. Finals were around the corner and somehow we convinced our parents to let us skip the day of school and study together (which made even less sense because we didn't even go to the same high school, go parents). My dad dropped me off bright and early and Meg and I sat on her bed, books sprawled everywhere and began working on our individual study guides. Now part of the bargain on her end was that if she was going to stay home to study that Meg also had to keep an eye on her 4 year old brother, Andrew.

He was pretty low maintenance, checked in for food, and watched his cartoons while we did our homework. The day was going smoothly, and around lunch time Andrew came to ask for a snack. We went through the whole fridge and pantry and nothing was to his liking. There was no combination that we could present that he was willing to accept and just kept repeating that he wanted Jack in the Box. At the time neither Meghan or I had our drivers licenses, but it didn't pass our notice that there was an available car in the driveway...

Meg's step father sold cars for a living. I'm not talking used Camrys. He sold Denali's, luxury pick ups, monster trucks. Cars that were very valuable, and not to be left in the hands of two 15 year olds. At all times there were trucks and cars in their driveway that he was in the process of flipping, and as a general rule the keys were on the counter.

We weighed the options. We had both driven before, and the Jack in the Box was only down the street, we were hungry too, and no one would know... Together we sat Andrew down.

"Drew, if we take you to go get Jack in the Box you can't tell anyone you got it? We'll buy you whatever you want, but do not tell mom or dad."

He rapidly agreed and we got to work. The truck in the drive was missing a license plate so being a genius I found one in the garage and screwed it into place. Meg grabbed the keys, we buckled Andrew in, and we made our way to the Jack in the Box. I volunteered to drive there, and Meghan would drive back so that she could park it exactly how it was in the driveway. I clicked the parking break into place, turned off the car, and we all went inside to eat. All was going according to plan.

After many many french fries we got back in the car. Meghan put it in reverse, and nothing happened. She pushed down on the parking break again to release it, but the thing wouldn't budge. Uh oh...

Meg: What are we going to do, the car wont move?!

Me: I don't know?! Why won't the parking break go back?! Your mom is going to MURDER us!

A siren started to wail in the distance and panic really started to sink in. We stole a truck, we were harboring a 4 year old, and we were basically ditching school. This was NOT good. We were freaking out, Andrew was freaking out, and time was running out.

After about 20 minutes of losing our minds we found a hand release under the steering wheel and made it home. We parked the truck, made sure the tires were lined up how we had found it, I put the license plate back, and took a huge breath of relief. We'd had a pretty major moment of panic but had so far gotten away with it.

Hours had passed when her mom finally came home. We'd studied as much as we could and all decided to play a game with Andrew. He grabbed a deck of cards and the four of us began a game of go-fish. I'm not generally a good card player, but for some reason I kept winning. Several rounds in a row I out go-fished the group, and it didn't take long before Andrew was not enjoying watching someone else win. He stood up, walked right over to his mother and said, "MEL AND MEG TOOK THE TRUCK TODAY AND TOLD ME NOT TO TELL YOU!"

Queue the atom bomb...

Turns out, the truck had already been sold and the owner was coming over that day to pick up his $65,000 Denali. Oops...

If I wrote down all of the stories that people sent me I could literally have written a book. And now that I know how much material there is I intend to. So if you read this and think of a story that you know please please please send it to me. They won't all get written at once, but believe me when I say you'll see it in print some day.