Lacking experience in balancing dating, friends, school and co-curriculars, I didn’t see my friendships unraveling, not to mention, the perfect senior year. Looking back on it, I was a bit myopic.
When my parents were my age, they were living in married student housing. I didn’t expect to be married, but when dreaming of senior year of college, I did not expect my year to start the way it did.
I lost the majority of my small group of friends due to my commitment to school work, to “be the perfect girlfriend” to Comicbook Crook and my deep allegiance to select TV organizations. Interestingly, it is this involvement that kept my friendships within the TV community going. It is also through one of these organizations that I became acquainted with future roommate, SuperFoods. In the spring of my junior year, A&E invited me to join her and some other girls to request a suite of six single rooms. We were accepted.
Senior year. It’s not how I pictured it. Not only did I dump my first real boyfriend, my dancing partner left me for a college in Seattle, WA. Without Bedroom Eyes, who was I going to dance with?
I entered senior year, with no boyfriend, no dancing partner and living in a suite with virtual strangers.
In an instant all these problems were dwarfed.
Senior year was punctuated with the September Eleventh attacks.
It was Tuesday at 9:15am and I was brushing my teeth in preparation for my 10am sketch comedy class. I could hear my TV across the narrow hall. For some reason, Good Morning America was still on; I went to investigate. The reporters were trying to make sense of everything. Charlie Gibson was talking with Don Dahler, who was calling in from his cell. Dahler, a seasoned war correspondent was always rock steady. He was not rock steady that morning— The panic in his voice scared me more than not knowing what was going on. I was held captive by my television, listening to the conversation between him and Gibson. I needed to stay. I couldn’t stay. My studious nature went into over-drive and I went to class. When I arrived, we were trying to wrap our heads around a plane accidentally flying into the World Trade Center. As classmates trickled in there was another plane crash….
… And then another.
Classes were canceled.
Soon, the entire school, commuters and residents alike were in the commissary and dormitories. We gathered around each other, eating ridiculous amounts of the comfort food the kitchen was cooking for us. . . mac n cheese, tuna melts, ice cream.
The only thing that could silence a city so quickly would be a national tragedy.
This was it.
I walked through Boston in a haze with my suitemates and their friends. I have never experienced anything so quiet and hollow. The haunting silence loomed over the city from which American Airlines Flight #11 and United Airlines Flight #175 departed.
Senior year… It’s not how I pictured it. When a plane flew close to the ground, I ducked and covered almost all the time.
I was terrified.
I remained steadfast in my hyper-academic focus, but when tensions started to ease, SuperFoods insisted I have fun—
“It is your Senior year, you don’t want to study all the time.”
I have always studied all the time. I’ve done this since I started getting homework in the third grade.
But, I liked the taste of irreverence SuperFoods and her friends provided. Over the next year, her friends became my friends too. SuperFoods gave me a solid goal— DANCING. I studied harder during the week so I could have more balance and fun on the weekend. During senior year I gave Friday or Saturday to SuperFoods and the other evening was reserved for studying.
We tried to be normal carefree college kids. In the early months after 9-11-01, things weren’t normal. Nerves were exposed. People drank and danced in a fog. It was masquerade. No matter where you were, it seemed each evening ended with Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the U.S.A.. During one of these excursions we went to The Purple Shamrock. A guy I was dancing with had a connection to the bartender; I could have anything I wanted.
May I have some water please?
I told a group member where I was going. I learned a very important lesson that night— Assess how drunk your friends are and tell the most responsible one where you’re going.
I was at the bar talking with this guy and enjoying my water. I looked up and didn’t see my friends. I declined an escort home and resolved to walk back to the dorms by myself. I made it to the street, and SuperFoods and Mermaid Linden were there to rescue me. Thank goodness responsible R.A. Mermaid Linden had decided to join us that night. When she did a head count and saw I wasn’t there, she brought the group back to retrieve me. SuperFoods told me I should’ve never trusted that other girl. Going forward, I never allowed us to go back to The Purple Shamrock and if I had to leave the safety of the group, I made sure I told SuperFoods where I was going.
I missed Bedroom Eyes, his friendship and the rhythm we had on the floor. I carried his teachings with me. When SuperFoods, friends, et al would go out, I danced to the feel of the music. Guys. Girls. I didn’t care who I was dancing with as long as I was dancing. And, if I fancied the guy I was dancing with, I would break out the eyes. The first guy I did that to kissed me! Holy smokes, I was not prepared. But, I kinda liked it. When I felt comfortable with my dance partner, The Eyes became my signature move. I turned down each invite to “continue the party somewhere else.” The only person I ever went home with was SuperFoods.
I was regaining the confidence Comicbook Crook stripped from me and getting confidence that was akin to a better version of me.
Before a night of dancing, the girls would come over and pre-game. I had pushed myself so hard during the week, I was usually exhausted. My gaming started around 9pm.
It was coffee.
FAIL-SAFE PRE-GAMING RECIPE
You know that coffee pot that you’re not supposed to have in the dormitories? Yeah, that one.
- Brew yourself a full pot (two 10oz mugs).
- Have half a mug doctored however you want.
- Take a 20 minute power nap.
- Wake up and pound the rest of the now tepid/cold beverage.
- Splash some water on your face.
- Microwave the second mug of coffee. Doctor to your liking.
- Start drinking.
- Brush and style your hair.
- Apply makeup while finishing your coffee.
- Put on your club clothes.
- Grab money, keys and all necessary forms of I.D. (Due to my height and baby face I had to carry several as nobody believed I was over 21.)
- Go out.