However, the thing with nerves, or my lifelong anxiety, is that it's kind of like stuffing a fat man in an ill-fitted t-shirt. You can yank on the fabric to hide is hairy gut, but then his moobs are going to be exposed. Or his butt crack.
Or maybe nerves are like a water snake. You can squish it down, but then it just kind of gets wiggly and you keep dropping it when all you want to do is get a sold squeeze, but by now the damn thing has fallen in the dirt so many times that it's gross to touch, and EW is that a PUBIC HAIR!? and it's just not fucking fun anymore because I DIDN'T WANT TO PLAY WITH IT ANYWAY!
Where was I?
Right, so I wasn't farting. But the nerves...you can't throw a napkin over those badboys and expect rainbows and lollipops in return. The moment I got in front of that podium (okay, there wasn't a podium...more of a computer station) to start my PowerPoint, I could feel the warmth rush through my chest, up my neck, and into my cheeks like the goddamn Andromeda Strain (or at least, like the TV version).
I was breaking out into hives.
While I think I managed to get through the presentation without saying "I'm so nervous" or "I know, I'm getting red, aren't I?! AREN'T I?!" I did do one of those awkward things (surprise!) where I realized I was relying on a nervous phrase. I've honestly already blocked the phrase from my memory, but this one will do well enough:
Me: So, I think that this finding kind of like tells us kind of like, not necessarily what is happening out, but it kind of like points us in the direction of where, kind of like, more research could be done. It's kind of like more descriptive, but kind of like, illuminating. Wow, I'm saying "kind of like" a lot...
Professor: Can we just give Kristine a hand right now?
Me: [AWKWARD SMILE, SHUFFLE FEET, FLUSH, FLUSH, HIVESHIVESHIVESHIVES]
It was amazing.
Afterward, a few of us went out for a drink WITH THE PROFESSOR. There's surprisingly not too much juice there, aside from the part where he told me that my paper sounded very promising an that he's pretty sure it's on the cusp of some groundbreaking shit and that maybe I should talk with him about it getting published. Except, that last bit didn't really happen.
But the hives. The hives totally happened.