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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

All for Naught?

"College is the best time of your life. When else are your parents going to spend several thousand dollars a year just for you to go to a strange town and get drunk every night?" ~David Wood

I found myself making the very poor decision to leave the Hill around 5:45 PM on a weekday to get to Tenleytown by 6:30 PM, via Rock Creek Parkway*. You can start laughing now.
Imagine someone having a noose around your neck and slowly tightening it for 40 minutes while another simultaneously plucks each hair from your nether regions. Meanwhile, people sit and stare in their Mercedes whilst twiddling with their crackberries.
There was nail biting and teeth grinding and the feeling that my life was slowly slipping away. Though tempted, I managed to not run my car directly into the Kennedy Center.
I drove in desperation to Tenleytown.

Think of the most beautiful person-both inside and out-that you could ever possibly meet and multiply that by 457. That is who I had to go see by 6:30 and if I didn’t get there by then, she would go back to Spain and I would be left saddened that I missed that one remnant of my final semester.

When I got to campus this feeling, that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, swept over me. I’ve been there over the past 10 months** numerous times, but this time it just felt different. Was it the disappointment of speeding to this place that I had previously dreaded and winding up there and not feeling any differently about it? Was it that I missed it?

I don’t feel like I miss the place, but more of the idea of it all. That feeling of being independent though not 100% responsible. Knowing that after a delectable (and by delectable, I mean vomit inducing) meal at the Terrace Dining Room, that I could head back to Anderson Hall and drink my way through a bottle of Tenley Vodka, not caring that Grey Goose was so much better. The thought of staying up until 4AM-it was a Tuesday after all-to smoke and drink and really contemplate going to class in the morning.

I finally parked-giving no thought to adding to my collection of unpaid parking tickets-and ran into the wrong dormitory. Am an idiot. Then ran into the correct dorm and she had left. I was saddened and realized that I had rushed across the city to see someone just to get back that part of my life.

You know how in a crowd, no matter what, or in the dark or from afar, the one person who will be able to positively identify you is your mother? It doesn’t matter if you’re in a crowd of thousands, but she will always recognize you. Well, that’s what happened. MariCarmen-academic advisor/professor/giver of copious free food and wine/pseudo madre extraordinaire- called my name and came running up to me. “I saw you running in, and I told them to stop and I rushed out to come see you”. I got two besos and a hug. She kept saying Que tal? And I was too tongue tied to speak in Spanish-hell, English for that matter-but she kept hugging me and telling me how happy she was to see me. I felt loved and missed and rushed, but like I had come across the city with good reason and I was genuinely happy to see her and that feeling that everything was perfectly ok.

There are the days that I seriously would go back and do every minute of the past four years over again. I could spend my evenings in my dorm room smoking, drinking and talking. Funneling beers and drinking boxed wine and playing Kings. Completely unsure of my grades, pretending as if I didn’t care, but I really fucking did. Knowing that Professor Wisman held the key to my Economic grade and future; because obviously my entire future is based off of one ‘C’. The other days-a majority of days-it’s nice to know that there are no midterms or homework or dorm rooms and communal showers where people puke and have sex.

I’m just sitting here hoping that one day I’ll find some happy medium. I’d really like to be sure that everything is perfectly Ok and that there is some sort of method to the madness.

* While in the car, I heard a commercial that said “Beltway; it’s from the Latin for Parking Lot”. Made me laugh
** Exactly 10 months ago today. And yet very little has changed. Hmmm…


Anonymous Melissa said...

You must have been listening in on a conversation I had with my friend the other day over this exact subject matter. I too would go back and do those 4 years all over again in a heartbeat I think, and yet at the same time, looking back at the place that was home for so long (that will always be a "home") it all feels so different. And unknown.

Love the blog by the way. I think you are living the D.C. job/life that I at one time longed for.

12:55 PM  
Blogger RoarSavage said...

Who was this MariCarmen in relation to you? Teacher? College buddy? What?

Cool story. Can totally relate.

1:23 PM  
Blogger La Spano said...

For what it's worth, this is beautiful writing!

2:37 PM  
Blogger the belligerent intellectual said...

I've been out almost four years and I still feel that way sometimes. But drinking the better vodka really does give you less of a hangover. So technically, it's healthier to grow up.

3:53 PM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

Melissa: this is a conversation that my friends and I have like every single day. Never gets old; does it?

Roar: Made the changes. She was my academic advisor/professor.

La Spano: Thanks! and Welcome to the blogosphere.

TBI: So very very true.

4:30 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

I agree with belligerent. ;)

It's nice that you have such fond memories of college...

4:34 PM  
Blogger Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Wait, were they puking and having sex at the same time in these showers? That could get messy. I don't mind some bodily fluids, but stomach fluids are not welcome . . .

5:03 PM  
Blogger Pink Lemonade Diva said...

question - is it true that good vodka doesn't leave you with such a hangover, or is it really just that I should drink less.

6:01 PM  
Blogger Pink Lemonade Diva said...

oh and plese feel free to email me privately if you don't want to respond publicly and appear the expert on the topic. S'just I know you likes the vodka.

6:02 PM  
Blogger Tanisha said...

That is so sweet Suga!!.. I know that feeling. I feel that way about my psychologist. Some people leave that impression on you and you never forget them..

7:39 PM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

Liz: yes, fond memories of girls puking in the showers. How I miss it... ;-)

DKN: I mean one girl might be puking in one shower and the other girl might be having sex in another shower. I pray that it never happened at the sametime, but you never know with those girls in the Lett-o.

PLD: Tis true. I've tested it out personally. Grey Goose gets me drunk and in the morning I'm right as rain. And yes, I do love me some vodka; mix it up with some redbull or tonic and I'm good to go.

T: That's exactly how I feel about MC. She's just fabulous.

9:15 AM  
Blogger RoarSavage said...

Why can't I scroll down on TBI's blog??

10:05 AM  
Blogger Betsy & Arlene said...

I graduated in May too... things are crazy when you look back on them like that!

PS. Who doesn't love Pam Grier?!


12:29 PM  
Blogger Marci (aka Baby Banana) said...

So sad that you missed your friend. You make me want to cry a little.


1:09 PM  

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