Many, many, many years ago on a small college campus in New York, a young woman set out to get a Bachelor’s degree in History. With her sights set on law school and armed a healthy obsession with all things historical, including bodice ripper romance novels, this exuberant young woman was eager to become the first kid in her family to graduate from college. Indeed, she would be the first kid in the whole family to attend. No pressure. As expected, she met many great friends; women that have now been in her life for 30+ years and who she still speaks with on a regular basis (here’s looking at you Murn, Marge, and Sharon!). She got a great education and made the dean’s list regularly, graduating with honors. And though she never made it to law school, realizing right around junior year that law school was actually the dream of her grandfather and not her, she did parlay that BA in History into a fruitful career in project and account management. That minor in English helped her hone her writing skills and she got high marks in her creative writing classes. Well, duh.
This is going to be a HUGE shock to all of you, but that young woman was me. I had visited the campus in advance of my acceptance and just knew it was home. I told my daughter the same thing when we visited campuses when she was applying. “You will know when you’ve found the right place; you will know when you find your home.” She did and though she didn’t follow in my footsteps to become a Blue Devil, she found her spot in the exact right place. This is a place I still call home and feel incredible nostalgia for. Some of the best years of my life were spent on that campus and I have long regretted turning down a job to return there post-graduation to finish my master’s while working for residence life. But that’s a story for another day. Suffice to say, never pause a dream for a boy. I learned that lesson the hard way.
I could leave this story at “well I sure did enjoy all four years to the fullest while I was an undergrad.” But you know damn well that I cannot. I suspect that many of you had a similar experience and hope that you will nod along and smile. If you didn’t have a similar experience… well enjoy these next few paragraphs of embarrassment, boys, beers and kissing.
I got a reputation early for being a bit of a beer goggler. Don’t know what a beer goggler is? You know what to do; it’s called GOOGLE, bitch. I did have to actually Google it just now, just to make sure it came up. I should not have doubted the gods at Google.
As underage girls, we hit up a lot of house parties back in the day. Pay $5 at the door to stand around a keg of not very cold Busch Light in a house that could only be described as utterly filthy. These parties were usually at the houses of upper class guys and they were not known for their cleanliness. AT ALL. It’s a wonder they didn’t require us all to get tetanus shots as part of our pre-college medical exams. If you found yourself needing to pee during one of these parties… well, you either held it or you went in at your own risk. If you were lucky, the worst thing you encountered would be a dog-eared copy of Hustler magazine while you hovered over the toilet.
Post house party, you found yourself at the local dance club, which let in underage kids after 11 to dance. And this, dear readers, is where you found yourself a boy to hook up with. Because the night is not complete unless you get to make out with some random guy on the dance floor, or outside the bar, or on your way to get a slice of pizza as a night cap. Sometimes you found yourself in his dorm room or sometimes he ended up in yours. Guys dorms in that era always smelled the same. It was a pungent combination of foot odor, fabric softener and Drakkar Noir. The foot odor was the strongest smell. The smell of Drakkar Noir will always transport me mentally back to this time in my life. Later, when we all moved into co-ed dorms, you would know in a heartbeat if the suite or hallway contained college guys.
Back in those days of limited technology, when you brought a “guest” back to the dorm with you after hours, you had to sign him in at the front desk. None of this anonymous key card business to swipe into the dorm. No sir… you had to display your conquest in the harsh light of the front desk to the RA sitting duty, You had to wait while that person sitting desk took all your companion’s information and entered it into a notebook, hoping to GOD that no one saw you. You might sneak that person up to your room the long way to avoid the gaggle of friends hanging out in the suite room playing euchre. Ahhhh, the subterfuge of young… hookups. Because this sure was NOT love.
So, admittedly, my hookups were not always, shall we say, the highest caliber males found on campus. One of my more notorious hookups was a guy fondly referred to by some of my guy pals as “Mutant on a Mountain Bike.” He lived in their dorm and was often spotted around campus on his bike, looking very “caveman-esque.” I have a type people, and that type usually includes the description “knuckle-dragger.” If a guy looked like he was one chromosome away from starring in a Neanderthal diorama in a museum, I was ALL IN. To be fair, they were usually pretty good kissers. Maybe it’s just nostalgia as well, but to this day, I love the taste of beer on a man’s breath when he leans in for a kiss.
The trouble with many of my hookups is that they were often fodder for everyone’s amusement the next morning. When the guys found out I had hooked up with Mutant on a Mountain Bike, they were MERCILESS. However, much to their chagrin, I was pretty unapologetic about it and more random, questionable encounters followed over the next four years. There was the guy in full-on gargoyle makeup one Halloween, the dude that legit looked like he was the model for the leprechaun from Lucky Charms, the incredibly dull guy that I impressed (and dated for the better part of a year) when I jumped off the dancefloor like I was jumping off a cliff (it was one step, don’t get too excited). The less handsome friend (who looked like a skinny drug-addled Greg Allman) of a hockey player that I actually was super interested in, the random guy in the do-rag who was sitting at the end of the bar one night, the townie bartender in his 30’s from a bar that didn’t proof which was a favorite haunt freshman year.
Now, make no mistake, there were some hotties in there too; more than a few. If any of you are reading this now, you know who you are; thanks for all the fun. But I must own up to the fact that I often made some very questionable choices in my search for love. Sophomore year, in honor of all my notorious love connections, my friend Shelly gifted me with the goggles she had used for racquetball. My “Official Beer Goggles” were never actually worn in public, but they kept a place of honor in each of my dorm rooms.
Here’s the thing though… while I may have been embarrassed about all these crazy hookups back in the day, I no longer am. This goes hand in hand with the one piece of advice I’ve given my girls as they have grown into women – Kiss All The Boys. Don’t let anyone tell you no. Don’t let anyone slut-shame you for having a good time and kissing as many guys as you can. Grab life by the balls and live the shit out of it. You only get one, so living with regret is a damn waste of time. If a Mutant on a Mountain Bike strikes your fancy, kiss the hell out of him. He’ll enjoy it and you will too.
Keep on resisting friends!