Ashley Rae Berken: The Grenade

As I may have noted earlier in my blog, I have a bit of a temper. I have never been in a physical altercation, but, this may be because my blood boils so quickly that no one really wants to go toe-to-toe with this lunatic. But today, my pride suffered a blow thanks to my hair-trigger attitude.

I was shopping with a friend at Best Buy this afternoon. After picking out a delicious scary movie for All Hallow’s Eve, we headed back to the car. As we are getting in, Cassandra notices something in the minivan ahead of us and moans. I look and notice two teens playing one vicious game of tonsil hockey in the front seat. I mean, this girl’s esophagus got a thorough once-over by that pubescent boy. Instantly, I said “Holy disgusting!” After the words leave my mouth, I notice the girl’s window is open and the two awkwardly compose themselves. Attempting to wipe the horniness off their faces.

As they back out of their spot, the boy stares vehemently at me. I mean, death glare. He backs the minivan up and stops, but continues to stare at me. The awkwardness builds for probably 10 seconds of this showdown before I reach up and flip the little cocky brat off. I hold my hand up like it’s a Colt 45 and he flinches a little bit. He slips the van into drive but as he’s rolling by, he ferociously waves his arms in front of him. At first, I thought he was mimicking my large chest, but judging by the bulging vein in his forehead, I gathered he was mocking my weight, not complimenting my rack. He then followed up with screaming, “Grenade! Grenade! GRENADE!” Which is a nice salutation to MTV’s Jersey Shore meaning I’m not exactly the cutest pickle in the jar. Cassandra says she’s convinced he said “Look away,” but I don’t agree.

The rest of today, I have been licking my wounds. I almost feel like I have time traveled back to fourth grade where I fell victim to bullying as the chubby ten-year old in not-so-flatting stirrup stretch pants and over-sized sweaters. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. At least I cock-blocked the little fucker.


I have always been good at making friends. Ever since school began, I have always had gaggles of friends. For crying out loud, my grandma still talks about Grandparents’ Day when I was in third grade and was BFFs with every little girl no matter how much she looked like a ragamuffin.

I do have to say, I am now much more picky about my posse, but I still have lots of friends. I have rules with friends: they must be pretty and they must be funny/get my sense of humor. I don’t go whoring my friendship around. This is a priceless commodity people.

There are plenty of people I consider “friends” that aren’t exactly spectacular. But those are friends by default. What I’m talking about are people who you just know upon the first couple minutes of your interaction that you’re going to be friends. It’s almost like you’re on a date. Instantly your gabbing about your inner quirks, sex lives, secrets, dancing to the Cupid Shuffle, etc. You just know.

But, I guess my point, being the horrendous dater I am, is why can’t actual dating be this easy. I would rather gnaw off three toes than be completely myself with a guy that fast. As soon as testosterone hits the room it’s like my inner dating representative comes out to play. There’s no mention of sex (not classy). I all of a sudden cook every night, have a gym membership and only listen to Led Zeppelin. When in reality: macaroni and cheese instructions send me into a panic, I had a membership at the Y for like two months because it was free and went twice three years ago and my iPod is full of gangster rap and bubblegum pop music.

The funniest part of it all is I am willing to give pretty much any thing with a pulse and a penis a fair shot at love. If I won’t even do that with my friendship, why am I so willing to do that with my heart? I guess my inner spinster/grandma bubbles to the surface whispering you’re going to die alone and your cats are going to eat your body and nobody is going to care…and I, naturally, grasp at straws.

I say all of this like I’m a sideshow, but I actually am well aware I am not the only one with this problem. There are millions of relationships that start this way. I would even venture to say all of my friends’ relationships started all Leave it to Beaver and then after two months they let the act fall to the wayside. But, who has that kind of patience? Or better yet, who has that much faith? Really, if I’m lying about my love of the oven, what is he lying about? It’s like that complex cheaters get that they immediately assume their spouse is cheating and become psychotic and dig through their belongings searching for a clue just because they are dishonest.

I guess there’s no solution but to just jump in with my freak flag flying and hope that there’s someone out there who’s quirks (defects?) match mine.