Anyone who reads my blog even once in a while knows that I spend way too much time inside my own head. Always analyzing, considering, evaluating, thinking. What's much more unusual for me is losing my head, spacing out, forgetting to think,
The first time I had this experience I had an excuse. It was a boy's fault. I was home from college and visiting NYC with my mom and sister. What should have been a lovely day, however, turned into a complete mental mess for me. As was frequently the case in those days, I had had a fight with my then-boyfriend that resulted in a late night filled with lots of tears and little rest. Often I could recover from these emotional smack-downs with extra sleep, but our trip to NYC required an early bus departure and I had little time to pull myself together. The results were memorable and somewhat hysterical (only in hindsight):
- On the bus I realized I had on two different shoes. One had a heel, the other was flat.
- Getting off the bus I discovered my pants were on backwards. Honest to God.
- In one of the department stores I tried in vain to use what I determined was a broken escalator. It wasn't broken, it was just going down while I was trying to go up.
The highlight of the trip? When I pointed out to my mom and sister a worn out, extremely haggard and unattractive young woman...and then realized to my utter dismay that I was looking in a mirror. Seriously.
That was my ultimate BMIA moment (Brain Missing In Action), but this week I had another doozy for which I had no fight-with-my-boyfriend (or even my husband) excuse.
It was Monday evening around 6:20. I was 10-minutes early for my Beginner's Italian class at our local high school. This was the fourth week of the 8-week course. I walked down the hall to my classroom and noticed a young lady whom I hadn't seen in our class before. I kept walking, thinking maybe I had the wrong room, but each one after it was dark with a closed door. I returned to the original classroom and sat down at a desk. The young lady asked me, "Is there a class in here tonight?" I replied, "Yes, at 6:30. It's odd that there's no one here yet, I rarely arrive before the professor or any of the other students." She explained that she was waiting for her teacher. I learned she was on the high school volleyball team. They're having a great year, playing a post season clincher this Thursday. I asked her if she knew my exchange student to-be (a later post, I'm sure) or one of the girls in my neighborhood. She knew them both and we chatted for quite some time. I thought she was very mature and outgoing. I said I would come see their game on Thursday evening. I suggested the school do a better job of promoting these things.
Her teacher entered the classroom and greeted me. I told him how much I liked his room décor and art. But then I noticed it was different. Much more artsy and nature-oriented whereas last week it had a more radical and political theme. I asked him if he had changed it all. In particular, I noted that I liked the quote he had had on the far right wall. It had looked painted on, but I asked if perhaps it was one of those cling type images that you can peel and replace.
He suggested I might be thinking of his colleague's room. The one upstairs from us. On the third floor. Where my Beginner's Italian class was held.
"Oh,Later that evening, after a class in which I understood absolutely nothing and was only physically present, I reflected on my second significant BMIA moment:
- How did I fail to note that no other student or the Italian professor had come into the room during the 10 minutes I sat there?
- Why didn't the presence of a high school volleyball player waiting for her teacher tip me off that I wasn't in the right place?
- What made me think that the teacher must have changed every single picture or quote on his walls during the past week?
- Did I really ask if he "took down" what is surely a quote painted on the wall?
Let's just hope this mental escapism subsides real soon. I won't make a very good impression at Villanova if I'm found on the first day of my employment, sitting in the wrong office of the wrong building, wearing my pajamas and speaking unintelligible Italian.