Getting hit on in college

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)

*  *  *

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.

20 Responses to “Getting hit on in college”

  1. Sona responded on 09 Dec 2010 at 11:41 am #

    Great story, reminds me of my undergrad days.

  2. Jessi responded on 09 Dec 2010 at 11:45 am #

    Ha ha!

    i had to post a comment… because i’ve been in similar situations before.

    granted, i DID go to parties. hosted quite a few… drank too much from time to time… occasionally woke up having to pry some creep off of me. classy. i know.
    BUT, i’m glad that i had those horribly embarrassingly icky situations because it taught me what kind of girl i really am.

    i NEVER felt the need to sleep with anyone to prove how adult i am. the only person i have ever slept with is my now husband… (not that if you’ve slept with more than that you’re anything other than who you are. its just not for me)

    but it is amazing how many creepsters think they’re getting away with something… then are strangely drawn to you even more when you call them on their own bad behavior. :: sigh ::

    people… aren’t we all so bizarre?

    thanks, love your posts…


  3. Christin@purplebirdblog responded on 09 Dec 2010 at 12:19 pm #

    You are such a badass! ;)

  4. Ellie Di responded on 09 Dec 2010 at 12:20 pm #

    I must have missed out on some “important collage moments” like this, because this never ever happened to me. Maybe I just didn’t look like I’d put up with it in the first place.

  5. Cindy responded on 09 Dec 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    that was the most awesome story ever!

    so glad you called him out!

    that needs to happen to “handsome and charming” guys more often.

    de-throne them for a few seconds.


    I missed all this stuff (thankfully)

    off to Un-Schooled!

  6. Rosalyn responded on 09 Dec 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    I want to “subscribe” to your homeschool post, but it doesn’t look like there is a button for it. Fortunately I am subscribed to this one, and you are nice enough to let us know when there is a new post on the homeschool one – but it would also be nice to just have another subscription.

    I am a homeschool mom. My daughter is 17 and in her first full-time year of college (living at home still) and loving it. I am really enjoying your blog – you are an entertaining writer!

  7. Jess responded on 09 Dec 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    That is too funny. Good for you! :D

  8. Kate responded on 09 Dec 2010 at 5:18 pm #

    I’m sorry about Un-schooled being unfinished! (Sheesh, can I “un” anything else?) I’m hoping to work on it soon, and get it up to speed.

    I’m glad your daughter loves college!! Tell her to think about writing a guest post for me…

  9. Just Josie responded on 09 Dec 2010 at 6:24 pm #

    This is too funny, it made me grin like a total dorkasaur. It’s funny — although it makes total sense — how people always want what they can’t have. It’s all so sad and ironic, the whole vicious cycle of the older guy preying on the insecure underclassmen girl to get ‘laid’. Because, like you said, it’s pretty universal for girls, most of us, anyway, to feel that underlying pressure to say ‘yes’, no matter what we want. Because if we don’t, then we’re somehow a ‘bitch’ or a ‘prude’, both of which would just be AWFUL (?). And then if we do say ‘yes’, we’re ‘sluts’. Which is what society wants from us, obviously — to be sexual 24/7/365, even if we’re throwing our guts up or dying of breast cancer. Okay, I take that back — society has no idea what the hell they want from us. Which is why being a woman [can be] very confusing. I feel like I’m straying farthr and farthing away from the main point here, but I just feel like we have to be compulsorily sexy, or we’re not taken seriously, and then when we are sexy, it’s an excuse to not take us seriously. Especially if we dare to be sexy on our OWN terms. It’s completely and utterly illogical. And then, guys, I think guys get a pretty raw deal here too, because they learn that relationships are for ‘pussies’ and that the only way they can be a ‘real man’ is if they ‘get some pussy’, and are just generally taught not to feel “real” things and (just my guess) are probably so afraid of rejection (like from more confident girls, like Kate) that they go for the girls that should be ‘easy’. Youngs girls who are too scared to say no. It really throws ‘em for a curve when you unequivocally shoot them down without hesitation. Which is of course why this post made me smile so much.

    Obviously being a kid, you pick up no the subliminal mesages all around you. And the not-so-subliminal ones as well. Like, going into school as a kindergartener, I knew that girls were the objectified ones (although I for sure didn’t know that term at the time, ha). I think I understood this extra-well after I was sexually assaulted that year. I hate to use the term “sexually assaulted” here, because I guess I was too young to be scarred by it (I was at the time though), but being grabbed in the genital area is indeed sexual assault, so I will continue to use that term until I can think of a more appropriate one. ANYWAY. I picked up on the “boys desire, girls are something to be desired” harmful bullshit sexually-repressive message at a really young age. I’d like to think it was just ’cause I was a smart kid, but sadly, too many children learn this from the time they’re old enough to ‘get’ it. I’d heard all the things about teenage boys, but none of them seemed so real in middle school. When we had PEP lessons, our peer mentors would tell us that girls needed to be extra-careful because in high school they will inevitably be regarded as “fresh meat” by the older boys. I was like, “Me? Ha! I don’t think so, I don’t fit the beauty standards, no one’s going to try to get in my pants”. And yet here I am, halfway through my freshman year, with older guys… still trying to get in my pants. I’d heard the whole “guys like skirts because they make for ‘easier access’”, but I kind of thought it was just something feminists used as a more generalized but nonexistent form of patriarchy to make a point. Alas, it’s NOT. I didn’t realize the extent to which rape culture and masculinity fuck up boys. I ride a new bus this year. I wish I didn’t. They talk about curing little Sudanese girls are hunger by forcing them to give them head, because their stuff is “delicious and nutritious”. They throw around rape like it’s nothing, just because, being that they ARE in fact the dominant sex, it’s unlikely that they will get raped (although of course not impossible by any means). Rape is a form of punishment they wish to inflict on girls whose political views clash with theirs. “Girls are too whiny; they’re so wimpy — if *I* got raped, I’d be happy! They should just be happy they’re getting laid”. Girls are bitchy and not “girlfriend material”, but their redeeming quality is their fuckableness. And the word ‘no’ doesn’t exist in their vocabulary. As long as there’s an initial ‘yes’, she “has to do whatever I tell her…” Because partnered sex has ever been about just ONE person?

    So I’ve become a lot less naive about such matters. And I’m sure that by the time college rolls around for me, I’ll be having a lot more “Holy shit, people actually THINK like that, like REALLY?” moments.

    In short… Great post. :P

    Un-roast(s): I like my limbs. They’re all super-skinny, but not in the idealized way — in the string bean/reminiscent of a 12-year-old boy way. But they’re also really sinewy. I think I’ve finally regained all the muscle tone I lost after my surgery (and then some!). And I’m also glad that when a dumb conceited toerag of a boy tries to salvage my nerdtastic (nonexistent) dating rep with a pity date (“Look, I’ll go out with you… I know I make fun of your whole stupid little “atheist” thing a lot, but that’s only because it’s stupid. And also, remember studying ethnic cleansing?” “…Yeah? Why?” “Well, you’d have to be okay with that too, to be MY girlfriend — and you DO shave right? — it’s just something that needs to happen in the world.”), I have the compacity to reply with, “Um, excuse me? I will never even consider the possibility of dating a ethnocentric xenophobe like you who actually believes that “ethnic cleansing is something that needs to happen. Fuck off, dude.”

    ^Not particularly nice, I will acknowledge, but informing me that to be granted the HONOR of being HIS girlfriend I must 1) conform to American beauty ideals and 2) more horrifyingly, be down with him being up for genocide definitely deserves a “Fuck off” in my book. (Are people EVER going to learn from history?!)

    (Sorry that this comment is so long. I’m bad at conciseness.)

  10. Megan responded on 09 Dec 2010 at 7:04 pm #

    In college there are so many cocky guys with no game its sad. I went to Arizona State and that is filled with them. My favorite line some guy put on me was “i must be in heaven because you are an angel”. Then these guys like to brag about how they can get any girl. The said thing is this doesnt even end after college.

  11. Wei-Wei responded on 10 Dec 2010 at 12:42 am #

    So. Damn. Badass.

    I think I would have done the same thing, but then given him a chance, went in, and then ended up leaving crying or something.

  12. lyn responded on 10 Dec 2010 at 1:27 am #

    This was you at 18? This would have been me at 26. Maybe. At 18, I was that kind of girl this kind of guy could easily prey on. Guys hadn’t paid any attention to me in high school, so when they did in my freshman year of college I followed them around like a puppy. Ugh. I’m still ashamed of the way I didn’t speak up. I didn’t know how, then.

    Kudos to you for stopping him in his tracks.

  13. Kate responded on 10 Dec 2010 at 11:25 am #

    The truth is, I was more confident when I was 18, going into college, than I was coming out at 22.

  14. MWN responded on 11 Dec 2010 at 12:41 am #

    haha, Kate, you’re awesome.

  15. Claire Allison responded on 11 Dec 2010 at 1:08 am #

    I love screwing with those guys. I once got asked

    “So, you like music?”



    this kind of witty repartee, which mostly involved me fucking with him, went on for about an hour before I pointed out my boyfriend

  16. Piper responded on 05 Jan 2011 at 11:45 am #

    Dear Ms. Kate:

    You are my new hero. That is all.

  17. Nicole responded on 14 Jan 2011 at 11:29 pm #

    I love both of your blogs. I am a homeschooling mom- I was public school until my sophomore year and homeschooled for the rest of high school. I have 2 girls I am homeschooling now- we actually just tried a little 8 week stint in public school because my MIL planted the seed in my oldest daughter’s ear and so she started asking about it and I let her go. The things you talk about (self image) going awry once going to college- are the same things I saw my eight year old go through. For the first time ever in her life, she has started hiding when she changes clothes and asks me if I think she’s pretty. i’m so sad that such a short experienced jaded her so much. we are back to homeschooling now though, and I am happy to see someone so happy about their own homeschooling experience.

  18. MWN responded on 19 Jan 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    I was actually just remembering this story yesterday and thinking how great you handled it.

  19. Mandy responded on 22 Jan 2011 at 10:47 pm #

    I’m 44, and I’m not sure I’d handle him was well as you did!

  20. Phoebe responded on 10 Sep 2012 at 6:42 pm #

    I’m currently a freshman in college. All the things I have ever read about college talk about how you will party wildly (you will have alcohol!) and how to be careful at parties (don’t drink too much alcohol!) and what to expect at parties (lots and lots of alcohol!). They talk about it like it’s The Thing To Do At College. As if the only way you grow up is by consuming enough drugs to throw up on someone else.

    Allow me to submit that almost anything that could be genuinely fun could be totally fun without alcohol.