Saturday, March 20, 2010

the Luck of the Irish

In honor of St. Patrick's Day last week, I baked these adorable cupcakes that I copied from a cute blog I follow.  She copied them from here.  They were rainbow-tastic and delicious.  I tinted the frosting purple to sort of complete the rainbow, but in retrospect, I wish I had left it white. But you know what they say about hind sight.
I was really happy with my decision to mix the colored batter in disposable bowls.  It made clean up much nicer.  The batter reminded me of Hook.  You know, when they have the food fight?


Also in honor of St. Patrick's Day, I'd like to talk about the Luck of the Irish, which seems to have missed my branch of the family tree.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining!  I don't have particularly bad luck in general, but I am often followed by embarrassing and awkward situations AND I am horrifically clumsy!

I submit to you an example of one of those embarrassing and awkward situations.  I'm not sure what about this post is womanly, but it's a pretty amusing short story. You decide whether you think I've inherited good luck from my potato farming Irish ancestors...

When I was 21, I had the fantastic opportunity to teach English at a boarding school in Austria. It was a dream come true!  Not only did I get to live in a castle on a lake in the Alps, but I got paid to do it!


(I know at this point you are not seeing the lack of good luck, but it's coming!)  The kids in my class were all a lot of fun, even if they were spoiled, little rich kids, and I loved the other teachers.  I especially adored the sports teacher.  By "especially adored" I sort of mean "was madly in love with."  We often stayed up late together talking and on one memorable night,we laid out on the castle lawn and watched the stars until we both fell asleep. 
One weekend, we took a school hiking trip.  Unfortunately, I am not very good at walking, even on flat, smooth ground, so I fell and twisted my ankle.  It was pretty dramatic.  I managed to limp down the mountain, but had to go to the emergency room.  After x-rays and lots of conversations in German that I did not understand, I ended up on crutches and in a hard, plaster cast. The plaster cast in conjunction with the fact that I had no idea what the doctors and nurses were saying leads me to suspect that I may have broken something inside my ankle, but to this day, I have no idea what really happened.
When I got back to school, the principal decided that I had to move out of the castle and into the boys dorm.  The castle was just too far from my classroom for me to have to navigate on crutches.  All the other teachers, including the love of my life -the sports teacher- were super helpful and supportive and offered to wait on me hand-and-foot.
Wrapped in a cocoon of their love and support and possibly a little high from European pain meds, I accepted the devastatingly handsome sports teacher's offer to move all of my belongings from the castle to my new room without even thinking.  As he started to walk away, the wheels in my brain began turning and I remembered back to the previous week, when I had lead a group of girls on a raid of the boys dorm.  Maybe it was all the teen-age-hormones floating through the air, or maybe it was a fleeting moment of insanity, I'll never know what made me do it, but in the confusion of the raid, I had stolen a pair of the sports teacher's boxers.  They were currently sitting smack-dab on the top in my underwear drawer.  I would DIE if he found them!
"Wait," I called after him.  "You don't have to do that.  I can move all my stuff."
The sports teacher came back and looked right into my eyes.  "Awe, you're sweet,"  he replied patting me on the head.  "But it's no trouble for me and I don't think you could carry all of your stuff on crutches."  He turned and bounded away again.
"No, I have personal stuff in there!  Somebody stop him!"  I guess all the other teachers thought I was being overly modest, after all I am a puritanical American.  Nobody stopped him, and when I tried to get up and follow him, I was pushed back into my easy chair. 
So, there I sat, blushing deeper red every second, while the amazingly sweet sports teacher boxed up all my possesions and found out just how much of a stalker I was.  He returned with all my stuff in one big box, with his green, plaid boxers sitting right on top.  He set it on my new bed and walked out; he did not awknowledge the fact that he had found his boxers mingling with my undergarments.  Maybe I dodged a bullet, I thought.  Maybe he didn't see them and he doesn't think I'm a lunatic.  He would have said something, right?
Throughout the rest of my time at the school, my love for the sports teacher grew.  He was amazing and lovely and adorable and as far as I knew, had no idea that I secretly had a pair of his boxers. 
When school was out, he graciously agreed to drive me to the train that was the first leg of my trip home. I stood crying on the curb while he pulled my backpack out of the car and set it on the sidewalk next to me, then pulled me into a tight embrace.  "I'll miss you," I said between sobs.
He leaned over and gave me two quick, European-style kisses on the cheeks.  "I'll miss you too. You can go ahead and keep those boxers as a souvenier."  With a mischievious grin, he hopped into his car.  I stood there mortified.  He'd known?!

See?  Awkard.  And embarassing.  And not very lucky, well except living in a castle on a lake in the Alps part. 

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