So, when I was in college, I learned early on that a hallowed sorority sister tradition is to attend Fraternity dances. One of my friends from my pledge class was dating a Sigma Alpha Super God and I was kinda dating another, so those guys all got together and with a few other of my sorority sisters we all went to their Sweetheart Swirl or some such thing that happened after the holiday season. Winter quarter at the university is the longest, and of course during the dreariest season in the Pacific Northwest, so these social “do’s” add a burst of light in a dark time of the year. Yay, us.
Another tradition of these events – one that I’ve adopted into my life, today – is the party-goer pre-function. OMG, these are like the hors d'oeuvres of a meal if applied to the concept an event. Meaning that sometimes the most fun and the best conversations happen at pre-functions, just like the truth that some of the most unique and delightful items on a restaurant menu are offered in the appetizer section.
And well, that was indeed true at this Sigma Super God Sweetheart Swirl event. The group I was part of, well, we held our pre-function in a very non-descript location…hilarious fact of pre-functions, they do not need to be held in fancy digs.
With that in mind we all gathered in one of the frat rooms, wearing our finest dresses. There we were, sitting on desk chairs or bunk beds, sipping cocktails and trying to play it cool. It was awesome. One of the frat guys was fully intent on being the star of the show at our-affair-before-our-affair. Of the frat guys, he may have felt he was in the lower position – he was amid a pretty stellar crowd. One guy was president of the fraternity, another a captain on the football team, and another was a Brainiac. All had bright futures – at least at the time we all thought so.
So, this guy made it his mission to steal the show. He yammered on about this or that and, as these types of guys find out, people started drifting away from him on center stage. We all talked among us girlfriends and got to know each other’s boyfriends. He did not like it one bit.
Reminds me of the story of the Cat in the Hat, funny. Remember, he stole the show by saying to the boy and girl, “let me show you another good trick that I know…” Oh, well, the road to Actual Hell is paved on good intentions. This guy decided to drive there with his foot on the floorboard, driving a ’69 Camaro full of specialty race fuel.
He whips himself over to one of the bunk beds and pulls a photo Christmas card off a corkboard. It featured one of his roommates’ grandmothers; she’d had professional portraits done and then turned one of them into a photo greeting for the holidays. Well, this frat guy...yeah, no.
He’d taken the time to draw a tiny little penis on a post-it note, then cut it out so this anatomically correct little penis, complete with ball sac and pubic hair was strategically placed next to the woman’s mouth on the photo. This guy had even made sure to draw his teensy, little penis on the paper over the sticky part of the post-it note so that it would press-apply to the picture.
He reiterated (for the third time, mind you) that the imagery was, indeed, correctly drawn. From my seat on the bunk bed, I could see the poor fraternity brother whose grandmother’s image was now marred by such vile graffiti. He was nearly chartreuse from embarrassment…or true rage. I’m telling you, if that were me, the only thing that would have kept me from actually decking the guy would have been the fact that there were lovely women present and those women were all dressed in their finest, excited for a fun night, ahead.
In a moment of what I’m sure was inspiration from someone’s guardian angel, an epiphany struck like a tuning fork. Ding. Ding. Here we go.
The words were out of my mouth before I realized they left the thought bubble.
“Well, of course he drew it perfectly,” I blurted out, as if what I were going to say next was a blinding flash of the obvious. “He just traced it.”
Drinks were spilled. Backs slapped. Omigod, the laughter was so raucous, loud, and spontaneous that some present asked for tissue because liquid was snorted up into sinus cavities rather than down the throat. As people mopped up and hiccupped in laughter, it was obvious the entire energy of the room shifted.
The frat boy who did the drawing slinked away. In the appetizer-portion of our night – at the height of our pre-function – this dude was served up his just desserts.
The anatomically correct penis drawing disappeared into thin air. Laughter echoed down the hallway while the frat brothers reveled in re-telling that little scene to those who heard the commotion and burst into the room. Everyone on that floor of the frat house knew the story in about five minutes, flat.
Meanwhile, the other frat brother held onto his grandmother’s photo, now completely penis-free, and quietly slid up to me.
He winked at me. I winked back.
I will go on record as saying that might possibly have been my first official Feral moment. And as we know from the Feral Glossary of Terms, 1st edition, it also marked my release from captivity. I had officially flown the nest. I was just waking up to my own, individual self and identity. It was my second year of living away from home – after that second year at school, I never went back, except for short stays. I was no longer simply a pretty face and Miss Perfect Princess.
I’d entered into the sullied world of well-earned revenge. And, fuck yeah, that felt good.
It still took another twenty years to figure my shit out and fully become my authentic self. However, there were bright moments, like this one. Every once in a while, I would experience brilliant inspiration, interspersed throughout my long gestation to awakening. Only eventually did it lead to pulling up my big girl panties and growing the hell up.
If you’re not there yet, throw a lot of grace around yourself. It’s totally okay. You’ll figure it out.
And it’s important to note that at least for a while, I could NOT take credit for these moments. I’m pretty sure that these were offered up on a silver platter by some guardian angel, spirit guide, or long-gone ancestor who used me as an all-too-willing pawn to mete out their moment in some form or another…even (or especially) at my own expense.
Looking back, I’ve learned that while there are times to bite one’s tongue, to bide our time, and to play the long game, some things just need said – or done. In the moment. Right-the-Hell-then. It’s a mark of true maturity to know the difference in timing of when to shut the fuck up and when to say what needs said or do what needs done, plain and simple.