Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I'm Pretty, I'm Cute, I'm Popular to Boot!

Today was my first REAL day of grad school. Until now I've been taking general, online education classes. Those days are over. I'm in my Art Education Methods class-the real thing. Since I've barely spent any time on UNCC's campus (due to the online-ness of it all), it was like being eighteen all over again as I sped my way to class (was I supposed to stop for pedestrians? Sorry, dude), pulled into the first parking garage I could find (maybe they won't give me a ticket if I park in a really cramped spot?) and walked around with my nose firmly planted in a campus map. (Suck it, haters. All those buildings look the same.)

Except when I was eighteen I had gross frizzy hair, a BMI of YAF (You Are Fat), and stuck in a temporary triple with a girl who had just arrived from Columbia. The country. (I don't really know who the third girl was, since she thankfully spent most of the time at her boyfriend's place. That left me alone with nothing but the Colombian and a language barrier.)

So, luckily, times do change. I have no idea how a sorority let me in looking the way that I did, but I thank mine for realizing that with some highlights, a gym membership, and a whole new wardrobe I, too, could be worthy. (The social awkwardness was a bit more uh, lofty of a challenge.)

So here I am, six years later and walking into a college classroom again, firmly gripping the campus map in my white-knuckled hands. I'm pretty sure I had pit stains while my mind was racing: "Will they like me? Where should I sit? Am I late? Is everyone talking about me and the fact that I'm late? Did I forget pens? Did I forget paper? Am I in the right class? Is my dress tucked into my underwear? Am I even wearing a dress? I have on pants. Is there a rip in my pants? Was there reading assigned? Did I print out the syllabus? Am I the only one who sweats excessively when walking across campus? Do I have pit stains? Don't check, don't check!"

All of this in the 3.5 steps it took me to walk from the door to the first available seat. No one stared. No one pointed. Instead, the girl next to me sweetly introduced herself and struck up a conversation. I felt comfortable asking the professor questions. A strange, peaceful feeling washed over me. I was prepared. 

 Who the hell am I and why did I not notice when an alien invaded my body? 

Of course, now that I've conquered that mountain, another one is before me. Tomorrow will be the first day of school here in Charlotte. I just spent an hour trying on "first day of school" outfits only to wind up choosing the dress I had picked out to begin with. I'll get up early, put makeup on (not always essential when you are surrounded by people who wet themselves) and at 8:45 am I'll be watching my kindergarten and 1st graders parade down the hallway. 

And the whole time I'll be thinking: "Is my dress tucked into my underwear? Did I remember my ID badge? Do I have food in my teeth? Will they like me?"

Monday, August 23, 2010

Don't Tell Nobody...

But I hate “Girls Weekends”.

(As well as “Girl’s Night In, Girl’s Night Out, Girl’s Night Out and About…you get the picture.)

Don't get me wrong. I love my girlfriends. Never one of those women who claimed that she “I just doesn’t get along with girls” , (translation: “I’m a heinous bitch”) I’m 100% a girl’s girl. My favorite conversation topics include (but are not limited to): the most recent US Weekly, Khloe and Kourtney Take Miami, shopping, tiny dogs, working out, and Real Housewives. (I have, on two separate occasions, made boyfriends watch Real Housewives with me. Do I even need to reiterate that I am single? Didn’t think so.)

But facts are facts. I am single. I am a female. It is redundant for me to designate any part of my life for “girl time”. Any way you slice it, all I have is “girl time”. Girls night in! (Elise and I watching the Bachelorette.) Girls Shopping Getaway! (Me circling the parking garage at the local Target.) Girls Night Out! (Wait, is this what I call a weekend in which I don’t meet any boys? Duly noted.)

This bag is stupid.

More than anything, I think it’s the Girls Night Out that seems like the most complete waste of time. You better believe that if I’m shaving my legs, slathering on self-tanner, and stuffing my feet into torture devices  high heels it’s sure as hell not because I want to TALK TO GIRLS ALL NIGHT. If the point of the night is, in fact, to catch up with your girlfriends, why not do it in the peace and quiet of your own apartment? In pajamas, nonetheless. And maybe a face mask? I’ve never heard of Guys Night Out, but that’s because guys (rightfully) deny the validity of an outing where the goal is to not meet chicks.  

This wasn't even a designated girls night

Here’s where I get hypocritical: I actually just got back from an extremely fun and relaxing trip with two of my closest girlfriends. We spent an amazing three days catching up, browsing through sale racks, and seeing movies like Eat, Pray, Love. (Ok so my friend Caroline gave me a bit of a guilt trip on that one. But only because there was a microbrewery that she wanted to take a tour of instead. FYI Caroline? That’s what vacations with your
boyfriend are for. Now stop whining while I put more butter on my jumbo popcorn.)

However, I refused to let anyone refer to it as any sort of female-oriented getaway, even though both of those friends are in serious relationships. Plus, calling it a girls weekend would have been pointless since my friends had to call/text/sext their boyfriends with every detail of our whereabouts. The low point was when Caroline made me take a photo of her to text her boyfriend while we were drinking beer in the hotel room. (Does he not know what you look like while drinking beer? Stop interrupting my happy time.)

Maybe when I’m married I’ll stop being so bitter overanalytical. But (surprisingly, right?) I’m not married. And as of now I live with women, hang out with women, and (being a teacher) work with women.  So save yourself the postage and don't invite me to your estrogen-fest. Know of anyone who's planning a guy's weekend? Sign me up. Please.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Gator Done

After reading this post from Puttin’ on the G.R.I.T.S yesterday, I was reminded how quickly football season is fast approaching. Less than a month until the Gators start the season against Miami of Ohio. It seems like yesterday that Tim Tebow and I were crying together over the loss of the SEC Championship to Alabama. (And for all you Gator haters: your quarterbacks don’t cry because they are used to losing. Put a lid on it because I’m busy polishing my National Championship rings.)

One of many Phi Mu family tailgates. I had just learned to shotgun a beer...oh, the memories.

While loyal to my Gators, I’ll admit I haven’t always been the most fervent of fans.  In my early years it was hard for me to focus on football when surrounded by beer bongs, mimosas, and an abundance of handsome fraternity gentleman. Tailgate cheeseburgers were so delicious that they caused me to end my six-year vegetarian streak. (That and the fact that, morally, I’m weak.)

Freshman year game day. Feel free to mock the bangs, body fat percentage, and horrendous T-shirt.

Senior year. Can we say improvement? Thank you, thankyouverymuch.
To my fat wimpy freshman self, game days in the Swamp were hard to bear. They usually involved sunburn, dehydration, and a bucket of back sweat. (Sick.) I was extremely jealous of the alumni side of the stadium, who were not only allowed to sit down, but were in the shade as well. Pansies.

By my senior year I was way less lame more hardy.  A few years of sorority sisters inundating me with stats and scores rubbed off in a good way. Plus, I had learned to defend myself against my dad’s side of the family, whose alumni were equally split between Georgia and Alabama. The only thing they had in common? Hating me.  (Family reunions were a barrel of laughs, let me tell you.)

Now that I’m residing a good eight hours away from the Swamp, my pride in my team and the SEC conference has never been stronger. Especially since all anyone wants to talk about is Duke/Carolina basketball, and I could really be more entertained by paint drying care less.

This year, while my baby Phi Mus are sitting in the fraternity block and reapplying SPF 80, I’ll be (responsibly) pounding some cold ones in the air-conditioned comfort of a Charlotte Gator Club viewing party.  If I happen to meet some fratty Gator gentleman, all the better. At least I won’t have back sweat this time.

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