We may live in divided times, but if there is one thing we can all come together on, it’s to agree that middle school is a living hell. So today I share with you my most mortifying experience in middle school. I mean there were a lot, it was middle school. But this one was def the worst. In my 7th grade history class we had a weekly current events presentation. Basically we just had to find an article from that week, read it, and then relay it to the class. I really enjoyed this assignment and tried to bring in the most ridiculous stories I could find. I distinctly remember one week I found an article about a man who accidentally got superglued to a Home Depot toilet. Thinking about this now, I do wish I remembered more details because I have questions. Why in God’s name would there be superglue on the toilet seat? Also, was it a regular toilet or a display toilet? If it was a display toilet, why was this guy sitting on it? Was he taking it for a test drive? Hard hitting questions we’ll never have the answers to.
Anyway, that’s not the story I’m talking about. One week, I tried and I tried but there just wasn’t anything funny in the news that week. At least nothing funny that I understood/found funny as a thirteen year old. So I settled on a random boring story. I honestly don’t remember any details about it except that it took place in Titusville. That week when Mrs. Jenkins’ called my name, I walked up to the front of the class to give my boring let down of a presentation. I got through all of the facts we had to rattle off and was about to sit down when I realized I forgot to mention the location. “Oh and it took place in-” Now I’m going to pause right here to remind you that I was a thirteen year old girl, in front of a room of fellow thirteen year olds and Mrs. Jenkins, who was actually pretty cool tbh. But except for Mrs. Jenkins, we were all immature, insecure barely teenage people. Public speaking at that age was terrifying, especially when I had to talk about current events and I only kind of maybe understood a little bit of what was going on in the world. So there I was, at the front of the room, so close to my desk where I could sit and bring my heart rate back down. All I had to do was say the story took place in Titusville. Well, I got a little tongue tied and instead of Titusville, I said the story took place in Titsville. But wait, there’s more! I didn’t just say Titsville, I noticed my horrifying mistake while it was happening and tried to correct it. But it was too late and it kind of sounded like I was saying Titsville in an Italian accent. “Tits-a-ville!” So of course everyone started laughing, even Mrs. Jenkins. I mean I don’t blame her, I would too. Working in a middle school has got to suck so take the laughs when you can get them.
At this point I don’t remember anything between saying Titsville and sitting back down at my desk. All I did was walk back to my desk but I’m p sure I blacked out. I sat down, completely embarrassed because I just said TITSVILLE in an ITALIAN ACCENT in front of EVERYONE. I looked over at my best friend Kristen who was trying to console me but also obviously laughing. I was in shock. HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN TO ME??? ARE YOU THERE GOD, IT’S ME SARA… COMING AT YOU LIVE FROM TITSVILLE??! Ugh. Once everyone settled down, other people gave their presentations. I just sat there trying to time travel/disappear. When everyone finished, Mrs. Jenkins started to explain our upcoming assignment which also involved public speaking. Mrs. Jenkins went through all of the guidelines for our speech and finally arrived at the last one, saying “And be sure to use appropriate language.” Mrs. Jenkins paused, then smiled and looked at me and said “Sara, I’m looking at you for that one.” Everyone started laughing again, even me because damn Mrs. Jenkins can joke! She was v cool. And that, my friends, is a moment that has stayed with me for the past twelve years. It was the absolute WORST at the time but it is also hilarious. For the most part, moments like these tend to seem like the worst at the time but I usually end up feeling grateful for an opportunity to look back and laugh. So here’s to Titusville, here’s to Titsville, and here’s to moments that make us laugh.