Tuesday, September 29

Papa and co.

This past weekend was parents’ weekend, something I had been excitedly anticipating for quite a while. Why, you may ask, would I ever want my campus swarming with parents when I plan on drinking (in moderation) all weekend?

Because it was Papa and co. Because after years of being the partially troubled child I was eager to show my father my new life, in which I’m not a fuck-up in anyway shape or form. On the contrary, here I am a smart, well-liked, well-adjusted, and, dare I say, successful freshman. Because my first ever college newspaper article came out on Friday and Papa, regardless of the content, has always been one of my biggest fans. Because Saturday was a rugby day and I was guaranteed some playing time. Because I’m a daddy’s girl.

And you know what?

This weekend was great. A delicious dinner on Friday during which he found out about my tattoo and the Minimalist. An action packed rugby game on Saturday followed a while later by another dinner, in which I not only admitted to him that drink, but that my entire team “shot the boot*” out of my rain boot. Then breakfast Sunday at my favorite diner. Lots of eating during the weekend, and now my fridge is full of lots of leftovers.

Only two things could have made the weekend better and surprise surprise (maybe it is actually a surprise) they both involve the Minimalist.

One was start weeks ago, about the same time we first did the deed. I jokingly mentioned that Papa would be at my rugby game on parents’ weekend and that I would greatly appreciate it if, in his drunken state, he didn’t “lay claim to my vagina.” That quote was used several times in the weeks preceding the visit. So was a potential knife fight between him and Papa.

Neither came to fruition, which is usually a good thing. Except that the reason neither happened was because he didn’t meet Papa, or even see him. Considering we’re in no way committed, I shouldn’t be disappointed. I should be happy (almost). But as much as I’m afraid of commitment, I’m a daddy’s girl more. Part of showing Papa my newly acquired successful life is proving that I’m no longer dating fuck-ups. I guess he’ll just have to trust me on that.

The other less than favorable part of my weekend was Saturday night. Not only was I completely sober (which may have been a good thing because it counter balanced my rugby-drunkenness) and at two different parties that got busted, but the Minimalist was a drunk ass. And not in the cute way he was Friday night, where he kept displaying his affectionate adoration of me. He was showing his feelings for me, but these particular feelings were best kept secret.

No, he didn’t suddenly list off my faults. He just got handsy and aggressive and demanding and a bit too rough, all in public. His actions behind closed doors wouldn’t have been much better, except for the times he decided it was perfectly acceptable to get disproportionately angry at the belt that I was wearing with my high-waisted skirt and start yanking it (and me) around all the while sticking his hand down my skirt. If it was behind closed doors at least I wouldn’t have nearly died of embarrassment and been able to slap him.

Instead, I stood there and took it. I tried to laugh it off and gently scold him, but nothing worked. His ass-inine behavior continued for the rest of the night.

You’re probably wondering why I didn’t leave. Tell him to call me when he sobered up.

I have my reasons. Reasons I haven’t told a soul. Reasons that connect us in a way few could know.

Reasons or no reasons, I stayed the night. And as usual, the next morning (after I woke up, changed, ate with Papa, and returned) he was as adorable as usual. We laid in bed, kissing and cuddling.

And before you start thinking I’m martyring myself or that I’m setting myself up to be a battered not-girlfriend, know I won’t take it again. He gets one by, which he used. Next time I’m leaving till he’s sober. And you can hold me to it.

*Shooting the boot-in rugby, a term usually meaning someone drank beer out of a game cleat, but in this case, since I was wearing tall rainboots, it means we filled up one of my boots and the team all drank out of it.

Thursday, September 24

Humpty Dumpty Hearts and Thigh-Highs

The night started out like any 18th birthday party should-girls in black lacey underthings, thigh-highs, high heels and the birthday girl in a crown. We were on our way to mingle with some man friends and sip (sip being a relative term) champagne.

We quickly polished off our champagne and half a pack of cigarettes then we started in on the vodka. Surprisingly, vodka and ginger ale is delicious. During the time that I was nursing my second cup of gingery goodness and smooching with the Minimalist, most of the men and a few of the women decided to get a little herbal. By herbal, I obviously mean they flirted with Mary Jane; smoked some grass; toked. Whatever you want to call it, they did it. Inside their dorm, thus making the whole building pregnant with the pungent, yet delightful, smell.

Smoking inside is not an unusual occurrence for them. They’ve got systems and sprays to lessen the glaring obviousness of it. They open windows, utilize towels and have plastic bags permanently duct taped over smoke detectors. Moral of the story-they’re old pros. Having grown up around these particular men (by grown up I mean adjusted to college life) I wasn’t surprised when people started filing into Cesar’s room. Even though the little bit of green in my eyes was enough green for me that night, I still followed. Marijuana is a social drug, afterall.

After some time, when all the bowls and jars were empty, we filed back into the living room, where I proceeded to freshen up my drink. No sooner had I taken that first experimental sip than there was a knock on the door. Cesar was dispatched to look through the peephole and the moment he did a visible change occurred in his face. Always calm, always shirtless Cesar was worried. From my vantage point, when he stepped outside, I could clearly see the khaki pants and maroon shirt that brought fear into the hearts of many a students-P Safe.

Upon returning Cesar was waxing triumphant. He assured everybody that because of his smooth talking ways and thicket of chest hair he was able to avoid any trouble. Sure they would be back, he said, but just to make sure Mary Jane was gone.

Feeling reassured I continued sipping my concoction, but this time from the safety of Cesar’s room where Roomie-Dearest, two friends and I were instructed to wait until after P Safe had come and gone again.

Have no fear, I assured myself. They’ll enter the apartment, sniff for weed, smell none and leave. No harm, no foul. And I wouldn’t even have to put my clothes back on. I maintained that mentality until the Minimalist opened the door and told us to come into the kitchen because P Safe needed our information. At the time I was amazed at how calmly he delivered that statement. In hindsight, though, I could see the defeat on his face.

The four of us walked out of Cesar’s room and into four P Safe officers, all wearing khaki pants and maroon shirts, and all hurried taking information from everyone-student I.D. number, full name, dorm number, age. When they took everything they wanted from us, they dismissed those of us who didn’t live there, but not before asking me if I had any clothes I could put on. All I had was a yellow trench coat.

Later, Roomie-Dearest and I returned to the scene of the crime. What we found scared me. Their apartment was quiet, an occurrence saved for anytime between the hours of 7am and noon. Their collection of fallen soldiers was sitting unprotected on the stove. All the trashcans were emptied, their contents taken for evidence.

We found our men stooped outside throwing around words like “expulsion” and “parents.” I asked my particular man the one question that says it all-“Are you okay?”

When he said no my heart broke and it continued to break the more he talked about that night. The only thing that keeps me from becoming humpty dumpty is knowing that Saturday is a rugby day and there’s no way those guys, especially my guy, would ever be sober on a rugby day.

Sunday, September 20

Vengeance is Not My Middle Name

I am not an angry person. By nature I tend to be pretty levelheaded. It really does take a lot to get me angry. And it takes even more to get me really blood boiling angry.

Right now, I’m passed blood boiling. Hell, I’m way passed blood boiling. I’m practically to the point of being in the market for some thugs who are looking for a fight. And I rarely condone murder. I’m taking peace and conflict studies, for pete’s sake. But the circumstances might just call for a little old-fashioned problem solving.

My ass of an ex sold my camera. I’m not talking about a digital camera that I could replace at Walmart. I’m talking about an almost 30 year old Nikon that Father took all f my childhood pictures on. Taking pictures on that camera once it was passed to me is what made me appreciate photography.

After we broke up, as a show of good will and my desire to remain friends (as we lived across the street from each other and had a lot of mutual friends), I let him continue to use that camera until the end of his photography class. That class came and went and he still hadn’t returned my camera, despite several pleas for it.

Then one day, several months later, I’m innocently sitting in my dorm contemplating if I want to snack on SunChips or popcorn when I get a call from a friend suggesting that I check my FaceSpace. When I get on I’m greeted my a message from said friend with a link to another FaceSpace picture. (Isn’t it lovely how we use the internet?) In this picture was my ex-ass with the camera I love so dearly draped over his shoulder. At first I was relieved. I had heard rumors that he sold it, but this said to me that is was still in his possession. Upon further investigation, though, I learned differently.

He said, as plain as his lack of skills in the bedroom, that he sold it. For $15! An almost 30 year old camera that was still in perfect working order. For $15! Not only am I pissed as hell that he sold it, but I’m embarrassed at his stupidity for not getting more for it.

I’m furious. Beyond furious. Livid. If I wasn’t so angry I would realize how heartbroken I was. Every important moment in my childhood, from my trip to Disney World to my sixth grade graduation to the first and only horse show I ever competed in, is marked by Father pulling out that camera, posing me in front of a door or a tree or a Barbie impersonator and snapping picture after picture to be mailed off (snail mail, of course) to the relatives. I guess that explains my love of all things old-fashioned. From my small typewriter collection to writing postcards to newspapers and books over websites and Kindle. That camera was a part of it and now it’s gone.

I have a right to be angry, damnit! He stole it from me. He stole a part of my childhood. So I’m going to get it back. And while I’m at it, I’m going to hurt him just a little bit. Call me a vengeful bitch, but he deserves it. After this and all the other things he put me through since our break-up, he deserves a reality check.

Firsts and Hopefully Lasts

It’s 3 o’clock in the morning on what is now Sunday, the last day in a weekend of firsts.

This is the first time I’ve spent a weekend night sleeping in my own bed in a handful of weeks. What does that mean, you ask?

Let’s not beat around the bush. We’re all adults here. No, I am not a virgin. Yes, I am having sex. Before you get your knickers in a twist, allow me to assure you I’m not the pony-at-the-fair of College. It’s with one man and you’ve probably seen it coming.

The Minimalist and I are having sex. We’re doing the deed. We get carnal. We do the horizontal tango. Whatever you want to call it (besides bumping uglies). And you know what else?

I like it. And I like him. And I like waking up next to him. And I like the silly looks his roommates give us when we finally come out of his room. And I love the golf clap they gave me the first time I came out of his room. And I like spending hours in bed with him in the mornings (and into the afternoons), feeling skin against skin and kissing that skin softly. I even like being the big spoon sometimes. And I like it when he stares at my ass. And I like how he watches me get dressed in the morning. And I like the little hickies that now cover my arms and neck.

For whatever reason, though, we didn’t hang out tonight. Normally, I wouldn’t have thought twice about it. I was with him this morning, this afternoon, and this evening. Not consistently, mind you, but still a good bit of time. The only reason I’ve spent this much time thinking about it is because 1) I was looking really really good (super frilly panties, eyeliner, matching bra) 2) I have no one to cuddle with 3) campus was dead tonight, so his absence was highlighted.

It’s okay, though. Considering I met him the first weekend I was here and have hung out with him every weekend since, it’s not bad to have a night to stand on my own two feet. I need to remember my independence.

This weekend was also the first time that the beautiful little bubble that College and all of its inhabitants (including myself) exist in was broken. College is a liberal place. There are women with hairier legs than most men. Pride, the club for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, etc etc etc, is one of the most popular on campus. Only recently has nudity been against the rules. The dinning hall serves mainly local and organic vegetables and some of the best tofu I’ve ever had. If you don’t embrace that lifestyle, or at the very least tolerate it, then you made the wrong choice in coming here.

And this weekend a gay student was the victim of a hate crime. Maybe it wasn’t quite a hate crime because no harm came to him or his property, but it was definitely harrassement. The cowards taped notes to his door and to rocks they threw through his window saying that he doesn’t deserve life and that death would almost be too good for him and “his kind”.

This guy is a lovely, nice, soft-spoken, almost shy guy. Even if he was the biggest prick in the world, nobody has a right to say things like that. Nobody has the right to judge people like that.

They haven’t caught the guy yet.

I was also debuted to rugby society this weekend. By debuted I mean that the first women’s game was this weekend, not that I played. My reaction to not playing is another first.

Sports have never been my idea of a good time. Running, throwing a ball around, rules, formations, plays. All of that stuff bores me. And the idea that people, an entire team and all of the fans, are depending on me to remember how to do all of that when I get the ball is frightening. The idea of it practically paralyzes me with fear.

Not today, though. Standing on the sidelines, watching my team mates catch and run and tackle and be tackled, I wanted nothing more than to jump in there with them. I wanted to be part of the action. This is a new side of me, one I never even imagined existed.

When the game was over and I saw the glow of sweat and accomplishment on my teammates’ faces, I knew I would not settle for not playing next weekend.

Maybe next weekend will be another weekend of firsts, better firsts, though. Like first keg stand. Or first time I lead a rugby song at the social. Or the first time I actually do all my homework on Friday like I plan to.

Friday, September 11

Remembering the college experience.

Want me to tell you a secret? This is the dirty little secret of college that nobody wants you to know. You ready? Are you sure? Okay...

College doesn’t change anything. Just because you’re in college doesn’t mean you’re automatically more mature or capable or confident or out going or over your problems. On the contrary. Being in college, in a new environment where you don’t really know anybody or have your usual support system makes your even more yourself which means, yes, you’re flaws and issues and shit stands out even more.

Let that idea sink it. Let it marinade for a while. Does it suck yet? No. Okay, give it a few more minutes.

By the end of my summer I couldn’t wait to get out and away. I was ready to run and not just from my small southern town, but from the person I was in it. I was fucking up left and right. I had burned too many bridges, made too many mistakes and was generally disgusted with myself. Since all of these issues were new things (or so I thought), I figured they weren’t ingrained habits yet and a change of scenery would fix everything.

I was wrong. While I’m not making all the same mistakes, the potential is there. I see it, lurking in the shadows, just waiting. And that breaks my little heart, it really does. I want nothing more than to not fuck up so much, but it appears that’s a long-term goal.

There is one way I could fix it, maybe all of it completely. Okay, not all of it, but certainly a lot of it. To do that I would have to, at the very least, get a handle on my drinking or maybe even quit all together. This is not my way of saying that I’m an alcoholic or even that I have a drinking problem. It’s not that I need to drink, but just that I don’t know my limits so I drink too much. I don’t hook-up with random guys. I don’t take my clothes off and run around campus screaming about political conspiracies (it’s happened, they got arrested). I black out. I black out a lot. Before, when I was surrounded by people I knew in an environment I trusted, blacking out was not a bad thing. I would act like an idiot and hear the stories the next morning. Everything has changed now, and blacking out has become scary since I don’t know my way around off-campus, I don’t know most people, and there’s P Safe and RAs who could get me kicked out. Things are getting serious, so I feel I should rise to the occasion and seriously buckle down. At least for a bit.

Frankly, the idea of being completely sober for a while sounds about as much fun as oral surgery (and commitment), but it may need to happen. It’s an idea that I’ve been rolling around in my head for a while. And if I don’t think I can handle being completely sober (which should concern me, but doesn’t), I need to at least set myself limits. And not like when I set myself a bedtime and laugh as that time comes and goes. I need develop some will power right here and now.

And yes, I realize that’s counterintuitive if I want to get the full college experience. But if I want to get even a little of the college experience, I need stay in college.

*Update*-I spent the entire weekend exercising moderation. My total for each night didn't exceed one hand. So what if I had a beer first thing this morning or left a bar when it was still light out yesterday. The moral of this story is I had a good weekend. I was able to fully enjoy myself (and the Minimalist) without being shitfaced. AND I remember it. Score one for moderation.

Saturday, September 5

A True Gemini

Just like there are two sides to a coin and a gemini, there are two sides to Kara. It always amuses me when those two sides coincide.

There is the girly side. That side puts on make-up and pretty dresses and frilly panties even if no one will see them. She adores her curves and never wants to lose them. She walks with a certain sway in her hips and throws her head back as she laughs. She enjoys the company of a good man, loves a glass of something delicately bubbly or fruity and hates to sleep alone (regardless of sex), which is why I woke up this morning in the Minimalist’s bed with just enough time to dash to my room, change and dash out for a little pampering in the form of a much needed haircut.

Gasp! Did she? She did! She wouldn’t!

Yes, I did get a haircut. Ha! But enough of your gasping and scandalized looks. A lady never kisses and tells, but I can tell you there’s nothing to not be told. Every girl deserves a good man to wake up to and this morning (and hopefully many mornings to come) that man was the Minimalist.

Then there’s my other side, which I refuse to dub my boy side. No, that’s my more adventurous, low maintenance side. That’s the side that can and does go hiking through the many trails to be discovered and enjoyed around campus. That girl isn’t afraid of bugs or dirt or wet grass. She eats big, spicy burritos and scoops up the fallen bits with chips. She never turns down a beer or something stronger and knows how to hop a fence without any injury. She also plays rugby.

Gasp! Does she? She does! She can’t!

Yes, I’m a rugger. A rugger-in-training is more accurate. Regardless of what I’m called, I play rugby. How did little Kara, the girl without an athletic bone in her unintimidating body, end up playing the sport of European hooligans with drinking problems? For just that reason. Having gone through all 18 years of my life without actually hitting anyone or showing any true aggression, I’m tingling with excitement at the prospect of seeing what lurks beneath my soft, unbroken skin and bones.

And today, those two sides will coexist-a solar eclipse of Kara is on the horizon. After a thoroughly girl-worthy morning I’m going to be spending my afternoon watching a men’s rugby game with the Minimalist and a collection of my fellow female ruggers, all the while flirting with the Minimalist’s girlfriend, whiskey. That will be followed by a night with a bottomless cup and an untappable keg, the Minimalist and maybe some more frilly panties.