This is a little story that makes me proud of myself.
I only went to one party in college. It was a “welcome freshman” barbeque at the campus Hillel. (What could be more bangin’?) I don’t remember eating anything. I was standing in line to get something to eat when a boy materialized in front of me and said, “I like your shirt.”
I looked down. It was pink. Salmon, really.
(I don’t know why I find that funny. I’m really sorry. Source)
“Thanks,” I said.
He grinned slyly. It was actually sly. He said, “So you’re a freshman?”
“Yup,” I said. “You must not be.”
He laughed. “I graduated last year. Just got some buddies here. I’m in med school. In New York City.”
He said New York City like that meant “The land of sexy grownups.”
“You have a really nice smile,” he said. “Are your eyes green?”
I couldn’t remember if I’d smiled recently. “I guess they’re green. Maybe hazel.”
I couldn’t believe this was happening. Here I was, at college, and an older guy was hitting on me. I’d been there for about ten minutes, and all of these stereotypes and clichés were playing out, right in front of me. Someone was going to offer me a beer in like three seconds, I could just feel it. Someone was going to do a keg stand. And we’d all play beer pong. And stay up all night partying just because we could.
He kept talking. Smiling. Flashing even white teeth designed to lure innocent girls to their brightness. He was very handsome. Dashing, even. A mop of curly dark hair, broad shoulders, six foot two or so. He looked comfortable, standing there, gesturing with big, tan hands. His face was expressive and his eyes didn’t stop sparkling even when he tried to look serious.
Somehow, we were walking. I didn’t want to stay at the party. He was taking me back to the bus, or to my dorm. And then we were stopping in front of a house that looked like every other squat, faded house on the block.
“Come up with me,” he was saying. “This is my cousin’s house. Let’s go in.” He looked at me with his warm, dark, playful eyes.
I burst out laughing. He was startled.
“Are you kidding me?” I said.
“What? Why would I be kidding you?”
“You’re trying to get me to come inside with you. So you can try to have sex with me. This is the most stereotypical thing ever.”
He gave a little, confused laugh. “We don’t have to have sex.”
“But you’re going to try.” I faced him on the sidewalk, crossing my arms and finding everything hilarious. “I met you like an hour ago. It’s my first week of college. And you think I’m going to sleep with you, just because I’m a freshman. Just because I’m young.”
He looked slightly guilty and didn’t say anything.
“You probably pick up freshman at these events all the time. And seriously, I can’t believe that they sleep with you. I can’t believe this ever works.”
“Why not?” he said. And then, and I give him points for this: “I’m good looking. I’m charming.” He flashed a grin that looked ironic now.
“Yes, you are,” I said. “But what else are you?”
The grin slipped. “What else do I have to be?”
“I don’t know.” I didn’t know. I just knew that I had won and he had lost. That this was all a part of a big game that was always going on.
“You’re a funny girl,” he said. “I’ve never met anyone like you.”
“Bet you haven’t,” I said, feeling powerful. “I’m leaving.”
“Can I have your number?”
“Your screen name?”
“OK.” I couldn’t resist. It was too much fun. I gave my screen name to him. I walked away. He didn’t follow.
This was college. I was laughing in my dorm room. It was just like everyone said it would be. Completely predictable. I felt like I was completely prepared. If everything was this easy, I was going to be great at it. Forget that I hadn’t ever gone to school. That I’d never encountered a guy like that. I felt better prepared than I imagined my peers must be (school kids seemed all the same to me). I already knew that who I was didn’t include sleeping with random guys I met at parties. Apparently, according to the gossip and a few panicked articles I’d read, girls my age often felt like they had to sleep with guys they met at parties, to prove that they were grownup and cool. I had no impulse to be cool, or to prove that I was cool.
So I didn’t go to any other parties. But the guy with the sparkling eyes wrote to me almost every day until finally I blocked him.
(I imagine that all the parties I missed featured one of these. Source)
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Un-roast: Today I love the random tan birthmarks scattered across my body. They look like a map of some secret, ancient land. Also, I LOVE this un-roast, from Just Josie: “I kind of like that my back is a little fuzzy. I like to think it’s slightly endearing, that’s all.”
Thank you to Sophie from Vienna for spontaneously creating favicons for this blog in her spare time. So nice. This is her project, called Appducted. (She makes apps.)
New blog post over at Un-schooled, because I know you guys can’t get enough of me. This one is about why homeschooling rocks. Pretty basic, but, you know, important.