Ella and the Time a Boy Gave Her a Drawing of the Chemical Structure of BenzaClin

I thought that I might tell you a funny story tonight.

When I was sixteen, I was taking a lot of medication, and one of the requirements for it was for me to take a class about the side-effects, managing it, and related topics. And it went like any class like that would go. We all got sheets about what the medication was doing, complete with drawings of cells and extensive descriptions of the pharmokinetics. I, of course, was fascinated by by the hard science and kept asking questions about chemistry.

(At some point, I will tell the story of the time I accidentally kept over twenty people from eating dinner for close to half an hour because I was interrogating a geologist for a coal mining company about the adverse effects to the environment.)

We learned about all the things we couldn’t take with the medication, which included being told at least three times a session that under no circumstances were we to miss a dose or take birth control pills without informing every doctor and their second cousins. And at the beginning of each session, we were asked about what other medications we were taking, including things like the last time we took Motrin, and about how much alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, et cetera we consumed. On the first day I said something about how I don’t consume any of the three because I like clear cognitions and a body entirely devoid of anything mind-altering, which led to me being gently reminded by the amused nurse that if I really felt that way, I probably shouldn’t be sitting in a class teaching me about a medication that would be changing how my body worked, just like how acetaminophen works on a fever.

Most of the other people in the class were nice, but there was this one boy who was my age who seemed fixated on me. But it wasn’t a good type of fixation. He was very socially awkward, had the habit of–perhaps innocently–insulting people, and would do everything he could to sit as close to me as possible–something I stopped by waiting until everyone else was seated and then choosing a seat between two other people, thus forcing him to be at least one chair away.

One day during the class, I noticed that he was busily drawing instead of staring at me. Naturally, I was ecstatic. Being uncomfortably stared at non-stop for forty-five minutes on a weekly basis is not anyone’s idea of a good time. Then, after class, he very proudly presented me with his drawing. It was–and I kid you not–a drawing of the chemical structure of the acne medication I used occasionally at the time. He had gone home, looked up the chemical formula and the structure, and drawn a picture of it for me. It was an alarming incident to say the least, and most certainly did not have the romantic effect he had intended.

So boys, let this be a lesson to you: Never give a girl a drawing of the chemical formula of her acne medication unless she very specifically requests it.

And that, my fine feathered friends, is the story of one of the many weird things that happened with me and boys that year. Maybe tomorrow might be a good day for the story about the very creepy boy who once ate Purell and later tried to lock me in a supply closet with him. I’m never quite sure why I seem to attract the strange ones.

And as always, you can also find me on tumblr at http://emleng93.tumblr.com/, if, you know, you’re into that kind of thing.

2 thoughts on “Ella and the Time a Boy Gave Her a Drawing of the Chemical Structure of BenzaClin

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