Volume XVII, Issue 27 # July 2 - July 8, 2009

Seven Things I Wish I’d Never Done

When I share parts of my life with the general public, I often suffer from foot-in-mouth syndrome.

After a year in the real world, I figured I’ve learned enough to offer advice

by Ariel Martinez Brumbaugh

This is the abridged list of things I should never do again. The unabridged version is much too long to print. I wouldn’t do any of them again, and I advise you against all of them. After a year out in the real world, I figured I’ve learned enough to offer advice.

1. Start a Virginia Woolf novel

I know she’s a classic. That’s why I started reading To the Lighthouse in the first place. But wow, her writing is thick, and I’m an English major. It has literally taken me months to get through the first chapter. And I’m a fast reader. The problem here really isn’t Virginia Woolf’s writing, it’s my stubbornness. You see, I have a whole pile of books I’m waiting to devour but I promised myself I’d finish To the Lighthouse first — 356 pages left to go.

2. Arrange a date with my ex-boyfriend

This one is just as crazy as it sounds. I decided it would be a great idea to get in touch with my boyfriend of two years, though I haven’t talked to or seen him in four. When he agreed to meet with me, I looked around helplessly at my friends and pleaded that one of them hit me over the head with a large blunt object. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. We went for drinks and walked around downtown Annapolis and remembered how incompatible we are.


3. Leave Australia

I left Australia almost two years ago after my junior year semester abroad. The fact that it has made my list should tell you something about how much I regret it. Nobody in their right mind would leave Australia, especially after living for six months with beautiful beaches, sub-tropical trees, exotic birds, sun-tanned surfers and the best party scene in the world. Australians are a friendly group of people, always looking for a good time, particularly on the beach. I fit in well there. Give me a Bay Breeze, a lounge chair and a good book (not Virginia Woolf) to read, and I’m set.

4. Apply for a minority scholarship

Being a quarter Mexican hasn’t gotten me very many things in life, but it did give me a nice minority scholarship in college. But I didn’t think to read the fine print that said I needed to attend a support group on campus every year. That meant grueling hours sitting in a circle discussing how my heritage has affected my life. It hasn’t — except when I had to go to Wichita, Kansas, for a Martinez family reunion. But that’s another story. No, I don’t speak much Spanish. No, I didn’t run across the border. And, no, I am not one-quarter more susceptible to the swine flu.

5. Turn down a date with a med student

This particular med student was tall, handsome, funny, had dark penetrating eyes and was going to be a doctor. I know it’s shallow and it doesn’t make a lot of difference now, but in 10 years he will be making a lot of money while I will still be paying off school loans. I can’t say it wasn’t tempting, but a smile from my boyfriend, Pat, made me change my mind. The nameless med student will have money, while Pat will have a degree in science and I will be a poet. You see my point?


6. Go to student night at Camden Yards

Student night is fun and cheap, but I realized two things as I sat in the nosebleed section among a million college students. First, I am no longer a college student. Second, I am not drunk.

As the night progressed, I became more and more aware of both those facts. College boys were drinking rum and coke mixed in water bottles, and girls were hanging dangerously over the railing. I wasn’t too concerned until the Maryland student on my left leaned over me to make empty threats to the guy on the other side of me wearing a Yankees jersey. His threats were empty, but the contents of his stomach were full, as I discovered when he threw up in my lap. Next time I’ll pay the extra 20 bucks and sit in the normal-people section.


7. Publish seven things I will never do again.

When I share parts of my life with the general public, I often suffer from foot-in-mouth syndrome. This will be no exception.