A nonfat, decaf latte please. Is that a nondescript enough drink? Sometimes I just don’t want to stand out so much. Just blend in. Belong. Be like everyone else.

Jessi at 17 wearing a 1 of a kind grad dress with pride
Jessi at 17 wearing a 1 of a kind graduation dress with pride

I remember the date because it was the day I started dating my husband, Jeff. December 27th we were in a big conference center in Chicago for a teen convention. Thousands of teens were there and we were part of a singing group that would perform that first night. Jeff told me the other girls in the group were in their room and pointed the way to the elevators so I could join them.

You’d think that’d be easy but  there were escalators  that led up to the bank of elevators. Those escalators were the only way up and I am always terrified that I’ll miss the first step on those things and fall on my face or that my toes will get eaten at the top. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but it looks like the gliding stairs are just for the purpose of moving items/people into the steel mouth of the upper floor. I have had my flip flop get caught in one of these at an airport in Kenya and ended up with a bloody toe so I know what I am talking about.

I made it to the top with no carnage (though I will admit to causing a small traffic jam as I waited to get the timing of the movement in my head and gathered courage to step on.) The worst was still to come. You see – there were 6 elevators and only 4 sets of buttons with up and down arrows. There were no labels so I didn’t know which elevator went to which floor or which buttons ran which elevator. But, how hard could it be? I was sure I would figure it out – I’m a fairly smart girl after all. So, I stood and watched. Everyone else seemed to know just what they were doing. They would confidently walk up and push a button and a door would open. But there didn’t seem to be a pattern as to which one. I’d see the numbers changing showing what floor the elevator was on but I couldn’t see any consistency as to which elevator went to which floor.

I finally had to go get Jeff to help me. Me – a 17 year old young woman and I needed help  to get on an elevator. I’m sure it’s obvious to you  that any  button would run any  elevator and it would take me to any  floor. I bet there are lots of things that are obvious to you  that don’t know yet. But do you know the best kind of weather to catch flying ants in? Yeah – didn’t think so. Forget about being like everyone else. I’ll have a Mayan mocha with whipped cream.