It’s odd to think about all the little habits that we humans pick up over the years. We receive such an immense amount of external stimuli, all laced with little pieces of advice, and for some reason some never sink in, and some do. One odd piece of advice that has always stayed with me I learned from a random roommate whom I’ve never seen since in a hostel thousands of miles away.
So alright, this cat has stayed in the bag in regards to my website for long enough. Some of you who read this already know this story, but I figured I better come clean and tell it to everyone.
Now one thing that doesn’t make this all that embarrassing is that no one witnessed it, so I could have let this just die with me. But as is my style, I prefer to be as painfully honest as possible.
So several years back (2001 to be precise), I spent an interim semester in Ireland. It was one of the more fun months of my life, and I have my absolute love of Irish culture (drinking and music mainly) to show for it. Me and my fellow classmates who made the journey over lived out of a hostel for the majority of our stay. Now the school we studied at (the Gaiety School of Acting) was also hosting a couple other schools, so we also met and spent time with students from NIU (Northern Illinois), Messiah College, and Gustavus Adolphus. The Messiah and Gus Adolph folks did the actual same program as us, so we were literally with them all the time, but the NIU kids were all doing a different program, but at the same school (what they ended up doing was putting on an “original” production, that was one of the most awful hour and a half long things I’ve ever seen, but that’s beside the point).
Now in our room we had four of us from Calvin and 2 guys from NIU (I think there was also supposed to be a girl there too or something, but she never showed up. Can’t say I blame her really). One of the guys from NIU liked to keep the temperature at about 110 degrees in the room, complained all the time, and was flamingly homosexual. We eventually nicknamed him “Pharaoh” for his claims that he was one in a previous life (not kidding). The other guy from NIU that lived with us was a total player and slept with at least three different girls during our time in Dublin (the last of whom basically lived with us the last week or so that we were there), however, he was far more tolerable to spend time with than Pharaoh.
One day while all of us were getting dressed to head out, roommate #2 (non-Pharaoh) asked me “why do white people always put on your pants before you put on your socks?” I had never thought about that before, but I realized that was true that I always put on my pants first before putting on my socks, and when I really thought about it, it did kind of make sense to put them on the other way around.
So I didn’t know what all this roommate #2 got into, and I wasn’t one to judge, but one night when I was alone in the room (a very rare thing), I noticed a small bag of white powder sitting under his bed. Now again, I wasn’t one to judge, but I was nevertheless a little taken aback. So “could it be?” thought I. “I should find out,” for some reason also thought I. Seeing as I had no idea how to tell if something is cocaine, I opened the bag, sniffed it a little bit, then modeling after what I’ve seen in the movies, I stuck a pinky finger into the powder, and sampled it, again ignoring the fact that even if it was cocaine, I would have no idea what that tastes like. Immediately when the powder hit my tongue, all of my naivete smacked me in the face, as I realized that the powder was not in fact cocaine, but bleach.
As I rushed to the bathroom to wash my mouth out, I realized that I had heard stories of people being poisoned by bleach, and I thought about how that would be an all too perfect ending to my life.
Fortunately it was not the end to my life, and I spent the good portion of a half an hour laughing on the floor of the bathroom, sobered by my own innocence.
So needless to say since then, I’ve always put on my socks before my pants.