The first Thursday of every month is "Too Real" Thursday here at The Contemps, when YA authors share embarrassing moments from their teen years--moments when life got a little "too real." Today's "Too Real" story comes from debut author Angela Cerrito. Angela's novel, THE END OF THE LINE, about one boy's struggle to survive in a school for troubled youth, comes out this spring. Details are at the bottom of this post, but first, let's enjoy the story of Angela's most embarrassing Thanksgiving.
My university was small, super small, smaller than my high school. At just over 1,000 students (including grad school students) everyone knew everyone.
I spent many weekends my freshman year with my grandfather who lived over an hour away.
We went to his work events. Dressed up, wearing heels, sipping alcohol-free cocktails, I tried to make pleasant conversation. It was fun, even though it felt a bit like acting.
My favorite times with Grandpa were hanging out at his place watching horror movies and pigging out on junk food. (Blood and guts + chocolate-cream pie = fun!)
One Thanksgiving we went to an event – an early champagne brunch at a big fancy place. When we rolled out of there we were so full we didn’t think we’d ever eat again.
At home I changed into comfy clothes—faded sweat pants with a hole in the knee and a baggy shirt. We watched horror movies until early evening and only stopped because we were hungry again. Grandpa’s bachelor pad had no food. There was a two-liter bottle of strawberry 7-Up in the fridge and that was it. No frozen pies. No ice cream. Not even a box of crackers.
So we went out. But this was the olden days, so there wasn’t a 24-hour super market.
“I know a place,” Grandpa said. He parked behind the gas station. I was still dressed in my worn sweat pants and baggy shirt. I’d added torn up sneakers and topped off the outfit by pulling my long frizzy hair into a pony tail. Gorgeous! (Note: I searched long and hard for a photo of me in such a state, really I did!)
Inside the gas station we searched for food. Neither of us was in the mood for sweets (probably the only time ever). Grandpa found a big can of stew. “How about this?”
Perfect. I grabbed a loaf of bread to go with it and we marched to the check-out.
Behind the register was an upperclassman from my school.
We were over an hour away from the university. And I was just an unknown freshman.
But….he recognized me! “You go to Pacific, right?”
I froze thinking of my uncovered zits, frizzy pony-tail, knee sticking out of the tear in my sweats, shoes ready to fall apart. Why did I think it was okay to leave the house like this ---ever? (Oh, how I almost wish I had a photo to share!)
We mumbled a conversation. Grandpa headed outside.
Just as I pulled open the door to leave, the guy said, “Happy Thanksgiving.”
Thanksgiving!!! It was still Thanksgiving!
I walked to the car with the food, certain he thought that we had just gone shopping for our Thanksgiving dinner.
For those who'd like to see what Angela (and her sister, and her grandfather, Kenneth J. Kelly) looked like during Angela's high school years, here's a pic!
Want to know more about Angela and her book, THE END OF THE LINE? Check out her website: www.SeriousSubjects.com
You can also read her blog, and find her on Facebook. Thanks, Angela!