October 3, 2010

Butt Pinching: The Ultimate Personality Flaw

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In case you were not aware, I am basically perfect. So I drive a clown car, I talk too much and I am prone to uncontrollable bouts of drunk-o text-o’s deep into the night … trivial, my dear Watson. Trivial.But I do have one flaw. (Shocking, I know.) Keep it on the down low, gentle reader, but I must confess that about 99 percent of the things that come out of my mouth are in some way, shape or form ridiculously inappropriate.Now, I’m not saying that I spend a good part of my time thinking about the best reverse-utilitarian way to offend the largest number of people in the quickest amount of time. After all, I am not evil, per se.But as chance has it, I like to talk. (A lot.) And when you increase the amount of word vomit you produce, chances are that something is bound to slip out. And that something is bound to profoundly offend someone.Take, for example, Cristina circa 2007. Beginning my senior year of high school, I considered myself a pretty wise individual. I could crack any joke, smirk any smirk and no one would be the wiser.After all, I had already gone through the “your mom” horror story. You know the one. You crack some lewd “your mom” joke and the other person responds, “Dude… my mom died last year.” Yeah. Happened to me twice (with the same person).So at this point, I figured I had solidified my one-way ticket to hell in the hand-basket express. First class. (It’s not something I’m proud of.) So why not live out the rest of my high school career to the fullest?Well, let me tell you: this was a poor decision. You see, my senior year in high school, I was particularly fond of ass-pinching.In fact, I was convinced that it was appropriate in nearly all situations. In photos, for example, it makes whomever is next to you smile just that much wider. And in some countries, I am almost positive that it’s an acceptable greeting.Well, apparently there is a line. And I crossed it. Not on purpose, mind you. But I crossed it nonetheless.I was walking down the sidewalk on my way back from chapel. (You know when any story starts off with “on my way back from chapel” that it is going to involve some mid-week repression.)And there he was. White flowing robe still on. Gray hair buzzed just so. I had to do it. It was the pinch that would end all pinches. I had to go for my headmaster’s bootay.Let’s pause here and remark at how genuinely moronic I am. There was absolutely no reason for me to do this. I was not about to publicize it to my friends — come on, if you’re pinching your headmaster’s ass, you’ve got to be stealth about it. Giggling hoards of your girlfriends “creeping” behind you is not a good way to go about doing the dirty deed.So I casually peeled off from my uniformed cohorts and went for the gold. I had to aim it right — too high or too low and my pincers would have been useless. It was hard to tell in the reverend’s robe. (Oh, did I mention? I went to an Episcopalian high school … that meant that the headmaster had to be a reverend. Minor detail as well.)I was so close to the kill, I could taste it. A little further … a little further.“Cristina.”I looked up, my pinching hand still extended. “Reverend Daniels.”Three hours later and I’m twittling my chubby thumbs in detention, seated next to my best friend (who had landed there for trying to skip chapel and accidentally almost running over a security guard during his escape attempt.)In between trying to sneak glances at my iPhone as the detention teacher was having a little chat with his mother on his cell phone, I had a little time to think.Certainly, there is no quota for booty pinching. There is also no quota for “retarded” jokes, racist jokes or “your mom” jokes. (Okay, so I like to set artificial ones. For the record, it’s one per month, unlimited as long as you belong to that race and about as lame as Chuck Norris jokes — unless it’s really nasty, in which case go ahead, respectively.)But what was the point? If it’s going to land you in a 10’ x 15’ room with the smelliest cohort of delinquents (besides my best friend and me, of course) that you have ever encountered, is it really worth it?I imagine that if you go somewhere when you die, that one-way trip I remarked on is probably a lot worse than that detention.For me, schadenfreude is definitely a weakness of mine. I understand it’s not the best of traits and that there is no real benefit to be had, besides a good laugh.Chances are, you’ve got a weakness that is similar. Don’t hide it. Brag! Sure, publishing it under your name may not be your shtick. It certainly does nothing for my political career.But if you’re willing to be open about your weaknesses, then you open yourself to fixing them.For the record, I’ve since relegated my happy-go-lucky pincers to my jean pockets. Most of the time, anyways.Cristina Stiller is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She may be reached at cstiller@cornellsun.com. Believe You Me appears alternate Mondays this semester.

Original Author: Cristina Stiller