Category Archives: storytime

How I Managed To Ruin Someone’s Life (A True Story)

If you know me, the title of this blog might frighten you. Did Taylor really seem like the type? Before you jump to yes, Mom, rest assured that I didn’t realize I had ruined someone’s life until today. I was not hiding in secrecy. There was no way for you to see this coming. You are a wonderful mother, but your daughter did successfully (and unintentionally) impact someone. Sorry bout that.

 

2003 (I’m pretty sure it was 2003)

Eighth grade was the year I changed the most. I went to public school for the first time and broke out of my shy shell. Fourteen years of miming my way through conversations were over. I was a new talkative woman! As I say this, I do want you to realize that I went from being silent to being able to hold a normal conversation without a panic attack. It was BIG!) Within the eighth grade hall, there were teams. Dependent on what team you were on showed you where your classrooms were located. I was on the Blue Pelican Team!. The exclamation point was part of the team name. I don’t know why they had to make them blue, there was not a Green Pelican Team!. Nor do blue pelicans actually exist… right? Anyways, The Blue Pelicans! were at the end of the hall. You see, my script went slanted because that was the coolest team. All of the popular kids in eighth grade somehow were always on the Blue Pelican Team!. And so was I!.

Also on the Blue Pelican Team! was.. Well, let’s call her Annie. Little Annie was part Indian and American, which really did her justice. She looked like that girl from Slumdog Millionaire. Anyways, Little Annie was also painfully shy. She had just moved from somewhere foreign and had zero friends. I was not threatening, was nice, and didn’t say much so we stuck together. I started to make other friends, which made Little Annie mad. At one point I had three separate groups of friends. Apprehensive Annie and a kid that looked like Donnie Darko, my punk-goth friends (who I unfortunately started dressing like) and my friends from another team. They were The Green Seahorses! or something like that. I tried to bring them all together, but it was impossible. Everyone became socially inept as you would expect awkward middle schoolers to.

Angry Annie stopped talking to me. She was furious that I became really good friends with a goth girl, but goth girl was SO NICE (and she liked to watch really bad movies with me!). I tried to make up with Appalling Annie, but she was so far gone with unexplainable anger. Literally. I don’t know how to explain how mad she was.

Then one day it happened. One of the most popular boys, Justin, said to Abominable Annie, “You know, now that I think about it, you’re actually pretty.” I remember these words because I expected her to lash out at him, as she did me. Instead, hearts replaced her eyeballs and she glued herself to his side. Algae Annie (I’m running out) had found an in and wasn’t ever letting go.

I remember one day Atrocious Annie came into Social Studies, stopped in front of my desk and stared at me. She then looked up to Justin and asked, “Would you still like me if I was fat?” To which Justin replied, “Nope.” I wasn’t mortified. I was hurt. I was also surprised that she liked someone so much who only liked her because she was thin. Welcome to the real world, Taylor.

In middle school, that was the only time I can think of when someone made me feel less than who I was. Antagonizer Annie would go out of her way to call me fat or “unpopular skank.” No one else made fun of me because I had nice hair and was about 5’7. That means I was taller than most of my teachers. Side note: my science teacher used to spell my name Taelour. She will probably be the worst speller I will ever encounter. I hope.

In November of what I think was 2004, I was diagnosed with arthritis. I was in and out of school and on a handful of medications. When I was in class, I was so tired that it was all I could do not to fall asleep right there. I remember my English teacher trying to tell me it would be okay and instead, she started balling about my situation. It made her so sad to see me like this. I remember consoling her that I would be okay. That only seemed to make it worse.

After Christmas, my mom decided to pull me out of school and have a tutor from Wake County come to my house and teach me nothing. That’s not true. She taught me never to be a chain smoker because your voice will drop and the smell will never come out. Anyways, on my last day of real school, Awful Annie decided to attack me one more time in class. My teacher yelled at her and told her that I had just been diagnosed with a crippling disease (thanks). I turned to Atrocious Annie and said in a whisper, “You did this to me” and I walked out, never to be seen again.

 

November 3, 2011

I am sick. I stayed home from class today because I was in between wanting to throw up and pass out. However, my phone is broken and because the state of my phone triumphs my health, I took it to the Sprint store. I was explaining to the Sprint man how my phone was broken when I heard the sound of a phone hit the floor. We all looked over and saw the white iPhone 4s on the ground with a brand new broken screen. It’s owner was: Alarmed Annie.

She was looking at me as if I somehow had been raised from the dead. I pretended that I didn’t recognize her and gave her a sympathetic look about her iPhone (of course she’d have my dream phone…) She followed me out of the store, unnecessarily introduced herself, and went into a shpiel about how awful she felt. I realized that this was my triumphant moment. My bully was apologizing! Nerds win! But then she asked about the arthritis she caused. Aw..

Annie had been eaten up with guilt and carrying this weight that she had caused someone to become a cripple. She had been praying for me relentlessly for years and, once a year, donates to the Arthritis Foundation. I’m not joking.

I informed her that it is, in fact, impossible to bully someone into having arthritis and that all she did cause me was grief during a hard time. I forgave her and thanked her for the donations because that benefit us cripples more than you know. I gave her an update on my condition and told her what I was doing in my life. She asked if we could be friends and I politely declined. You are, after all, as smart as what you Google.

 

Not going to proofread this post,

Taylor

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Why My Dog Is Better Than Yours.

I have only grown up with dogs. First we had a cockapoo, Chester, who was probably the dumbest dog I have ever met (he used to burry pancakes in the dirt… or if he was inside, behind a chair). Then we had Chrisy, properly known as Lady Christmas given her birthday, who was a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Chrisy was the smartest dog we ever had. She figured out that when people ring the doorbell, we answer the door. That’s a genius epiphany, even for a smart dog.

Our third dog was a black teacup poodle, Snack. His official AKC name was Lord Samuel Snackwell. I don’t know why we had such royal names for our dogs, but it is Pierce tradition. My only memories of Snack was that he was a nervous pee-er. If you yelled at him… puddle. However, his life was cut short by a tragic death. He had jumped off of our kitchen counter and broke his neck. And thus was the end of poor Snackwell.

Winter 2009

Two years after the loss of Snack, Chrisy had the chance to be tortured by another puppy, Duchess Sydney Grace. Sydney is a miniature pinscher and was the scariest puppy I have ever experienced. She was so tiny (fit in your hand tiny) and had so much energy that I did not know how to play with her for a while or how to walk without stepping on her. She would run and growl until passing out. I thought she had narcolepsy for the longest time. Sydney was so crazy that we enrolled her in two obedience classes, canine good citizen, and then through therapy dog training. All in the name of getting control of this wild animal. Every dog in therapy training was a lab mix who only wanted to take naps.. and then there was Sydney bounding from wall to wall, excited to be breathing the same air as me. We finally made it through all of the training and she is a great dog now. I still wouldn’t recommend this breed to anyone. They are insane.

Fall 2011

I know I have rambled about our past dogs, but Sydney is the dog I want to talk about. She is nine years old next month and has completely changed my life. We have an unexplainable connection from what we have gone through together. Or rather, what she’s helped me get through. I’ll explain.

I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in the fall when I was fourteen. I lost my ability to ride horses or play outside with my friends. I had to give up a lot. So at Christmas time, my parents gave me little Sydney. This cute little bundle of nuclear energy kept me from getting depressed about my lack of a social life. It was impossible not to be happy around her.

Fall 2010

When I was seventeen, I started having episodes with my heart. I would get a racing heart rate and then chest pain. Like a heart attack, but backwards. I would be in and out of the ER weekly because I couldn’t stand the pain. Nothing seemed to slow my heart rate and there was no drug that could cure the pain. I would have these episodes three to four times a month, each needing a week of recovery afterwards. It was a wreck.

The whole time I had to barricade Sydney away from me because she wanted to get so close to me. I knew she could sense something was wrong and wanted to be near me. My chest was so sensitive from months of pain and all she wanted to do was sit on me! An extra twenty pounds was not anything I could handle.

Spring 2008

One morning my mom came upstairs to see me and forgot to put the barricade up so Sydney quickly followed her. Sydney jumped on my bed and hurriedly laid on my chest. My mom and I tried to get her off of me, but she wouldn’t budge and that’s when I felt it happen. My heart was slowing. My dog was slowing my heart down.

Ever since then, I haven’t had an episode. When I feel like my heart is racing, Sydney is already close to me and knows what to do. She lays on my chest and my heart rate normalizes before the pain can start. I told my cardiologist this and he told me that there are medical journals (Sydney, of course, is now published) showing dogs doing miraculous things for their owners without any training.

Currently, Sydney is laying in a soft bed on my bed, heaving huge sighs that I haven’t turned off the light yet. She has no idea the impact she’s had on my life. Nor is she aware how she has inspired me to help others with their illnesses. Sydney is just annoyed we are not sleeping yet.

Good night!

ohheytay

The Only Time My Mother Humiliated Me & When I Met Nicholas Sparks.

When you live in North Carolina, you are aware of the existence of Nicholas Sparks. For those of you who are not avid readers, he is the author of The Notebook, A Walk To Remember, Dear John, etc. He lives in one of my favorite cities, New Bern, and bases all of his novels in NC. I think it is safe to say that if you live in North Carolina, you are separated into two groups: those who have met Nicky Sparks and those who know someones who has met him. However, I haven’t researched this so it isn’t 100% proven. This is my story of when I met Nicholas Sparks.

It was a Thursday, years ago, my dad picked me up from my riding lesson and drove to the Barnes & Noble in Cary. There, my mom had been waiting a couple hours to get her book autographed by it’s originator. My dad dropped me off at the entrance and promised me dinner if I ran inside to wait with my mom.

As I entered, I was shocked to see that the line wound around the store all the way to the entrance. I followed the long line of middle aged women, who were all staring at me (some scowling, some smiling at my riding gear), to near the front of the line. Finally, I made it to my mother and she was BEAMING. She was so excited, it was as if she had been waiting in line for Jesus to heal her. I remember this because she didn’t pay any attention to me, which caused me to get bored of this “exciting” book signing..

When it was our turn, my mom gave me her loot of cameras and went over with her friends to talk to The Nicholas Sparks. I was not amused. I remember he was smiling and completely gracious to my mom and her friend. Everything was going well. We would be out of here and getting dinner in no time. But then it happened..

My mom and her friend walked behind Mr. Sparks for a picture. I had three cameras in my hand so it was a process for me to get everything straight. The first two cameras were fine, but I had a hard time with the last one. I was trying so hard to do everything efficiently and quickly. Finally when I got it to work, I looked in the viewfinder (see? this was a long time ago) and that’s when I saw it happen: my mom was playing with his hair. Not touching, playing. Before I could stop myself, I yelled at her and the roll of laughter started. Seriously, everyone was laughing. The line of women surrounding the store, my mom, her friends, this random author I didn’t know. I was absolutely mortified and my face was the color of a tomato.

To summon up the story, I quickly took the picture and we left. I didn’t look at anyone on the way out, just the carpet. It may not seem like a big deal to have a Barnes & Noble full of people laugh at you when you’re a little kid, but it is. On the bright side, my mom has never embarrassed me since. Well, except the time she proudly told me in public that she didn’t understand how a USB drive worked.

Nicholas Sparks’ new novel, The Best of Me, came out today. Pick one up! I bought my copy at that very same Barnes & Noble this morning. The clerk asked me if I was going to be around on the fourteenth for his book signing and I politely declined..

 

Be kind to one another,

ohheytay