Friday, July 27, 2007

Karma's a bitch

Yesterday on Faster Thank Kudzu, Joshilyn related an event where this jerk almost ruined a lovely evening for a friend of hers. In my comments I said "Karma's a bitch. He'll get his." Well, that made me think about the time Karma got me. It's an incident that I'm not proud of at all.

In the summer between eleventh and twelfth grade, I attended a 6 week summer program that we in this state call Governor's Honors. I was selected for the English program, although they call it Communicative Arts, for some reason. I guess it sounds more, I don't know, communicative or something, than just plain old English. I arrived on the college campus and checked into my dorm at the exact same time as the girl who turned out be my roommate and who also happened to be a Comm Arts major. Amazingly, fortunately, we hit it off.

Now some of you may have attended a program like this yourself and perhaps you'll understand when I say that there was a representative there from every level of the nerd spectrum -- from the super nerdy to the not-very-nerdy-at-all-but-came-from-a-wealthy-family-and-was-probably-the smartest-kid-in-their-school kind of nerdy. I probably fell somewhere in the middle.

On our first day of "classes" we were divided into groups of about 15. We had to collectively pick a name for ourselves -- we tossed around all kinds of literary ideas (being the English nerds that we were), but somehow we ended up being the Screaming Aunt Jemimahs. Don't ask why, because I don't know. There was this guy in my group named Owen. I can't even remember his last name but I always think of him as Owen Fox because we had to associate ourselves with some kind of animal during our goofy get-to-know-you exercise and he chose the fox. And that's exactly what he looked like. He was very thin with reddish hair and ears that stuck waaayyy out. But the most distinguishing characteristic about Owen was his acne. It was bad and it was all over. You could even see it on his back. But I was friends with Owen. He was a good kid, if a little naive.

I don't really know how the bad thing happened. During this time "Grosser Than Gross" jokes were popular (like "What's grosser than gross? You just finished eating a bowl of cornflakes and your brother comes to tell you he's lost his scab collection.") My roommate and I, in the privacy of our dorm room, came up with a joke about Owen. Originally I was going to retell the joke here, but I asked Mr. Daddy and he said he thought I shouldn't. I think he's right. Anyway, I don't remember telling anybody else the joke. I only had 3 really good friends the whole summer, my roommate being one of them. But one day my roommate and I were sitting with some dormmates and THEY told US our Owen joke. I was mortified. I couldn't believe that it had gotten around. I don't know for sure that Owen ever heard it. I deeply, sincerely, hope not. Because, you see, that wasn't like me. I've never set out to hurt someone's feelings. I've always been supersensitive and I've always stood up for the underdog, been nice to the new kids. I had even defended Owen many times to my Comm Arts classmates. And now I had taken part in something that would be extremely hurtful if he ever found out. And since I never found out if he heard the joke, I never apologized. That was 17 years ago and it still bothers me.

But Karma's a bitch, see. She got me and she got my roommate. When we returned to our senior year all was not perfect. I gained 20 pounds and was absolutely miserable for most of my senior year. My former roommate developed the worst case of acne I've ever seen outside of Owen's and it was months before she found medication that would work. Coincidence? Maybe. Owen, wherever you are, I'm sorry.

1 comment:

Lulu said...

Um, yeah. I think that I'm a little worried about that Karma thing myself.

Read here:

I am scared.