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the dorms - a life made of machines

About the dorms

Previous Entry the dorms Aug. 12th, 2005 @ 01:11 pm Next Entry
Last night I went to karaoke with Leslie and Anne. Tod stayed at home because he wasn't feeling well. I've only gone out once or twice without Tod since I moved out here, and certainly not in some time. It reminded me of that scene in Garden State where he's sitting on the couch and everything was happening around him -- I couldn't help but watch all of the people having fun and asking myself why I couldn't just relax and enjoy other people's company in such a way. The obvious answer is the absence of alcohol (Tod and I aren't restraining, but we're not buying any until we move to help save a little extra money.) but it seems to be more than that: My negativity towards people and general ego keeps me from really having fun more often than not. This is a good safety net, and I can see where it is valuable, but on a night where I'm trying to have a good time, mentally judging everyone around me only hurts me.

A fine young gentleman (who is a regular and asked where Tod was) bought the three of us drinks. He and I spent most of the night chatting, and it was really fun to have a conversation with someone who was genuinely interested in me (not interested, just interested in what I had to say.) It was good conversation, and a good mixed drink, and the night picked up quite a bit. My naivety wins again, it seems, because at the end of the night Leslie commented that he only bought drinks for she and Anne so he could buy one for me. I realized then that he'd spent the night talking to me, while they retreated to the patio for a smoke (Anne.) An adolescene of harshly felt unrequited love and a post-adolesence spent first behind a computer screen and then in comic shops has given me a flawed self image, or at least a non-specific one. When I commented to a sleepy Tod about the situation, he said, "well, you're the most approachable, and the cutest." His bias aside, it's hard for me to consider myself "the cute one" in a group.

In the apartment days, I randomly started chatting with a girl I had gone to high school with. While we were never friends, we shared many classes together (I was in the "High Potential Youth" group, and the same 20 people were in the vast majority of my classes.) After catching up, we started talking about school and who had done what since, and revealing what we really thought of eachother in simpler times. She confided that she was jealous of me because "all of the boys liked your ass."

This was a revelation for two reasons: First, I had no idea any guy in high school found me attractive, even though I had relationships. I chalked it up to randomness, being at the right place at the right time, and finding someone who was desperate or foolish enough to want to date me. Add that to the fact that, with few exceptions, every guy I dated was at least a class lower than I was, and never "popular," even in his own class. The glaring exception to this rule was my first boyfriend who was a class older than I was, and a football player. (He was also in marching band, and would come on the field at half-time to play in his football jersey, sans pads.) I dated the football player for exactly one month, one week, and one day, which resulted in my first kiss, a travesty that I rushed home to cry about. A string of unpopular boys with questionable heterosexuality would follow, providing me just enough security to cheat on them.

The second part of the revelation was that I had an attractive ass. Raised by a mother who was constantly trying to lose weight, I thought my ass was "fat" and knew my hips only as "too big." I was a skinny 120 pounds for most of my formative years, with no breasts to speak of, and never once did I think this was a desirable body type. I was told by a boy in third grade that I had a "big butt" and had never let that go. Seventeen Magazine provided little help, as I was too busy rebelling against brand name labels to realize that more expensive clothes, for the most part, fit better. It wasn't until I met Tod that anyone ever told me that they liked my ass.

When we graduate high school, things are supposed to change. We're supposed to shed the person we were, as we go to college, live in dorms with people we've never met (sex) and find new ways of self-expression (drugs) and have fun (alcohol.) When Tod and I recount our pasts, we're pretty even as far as high school goes. We both shared the unattainable crush (though he got closer to his than I did mine) and the bus trips to band events spent exploring newfound sexuality. But when it gets to college, we veer. He went to the dorms -- at an art college no less -- and I to a community college with no semblence of a course of study. I took classes, he went to college.

Sexual freedom, keg parties and a hit of acid are not things I desire, but I somehow feel cheated. I wonder whether or not college would have provided me with the ability to have fun in a mixed group of people. Already feeling slighted by a stomach that can't handle beer, at parties I stand around uncomfortably, hoping there's something in the refrigerator to mix some rum into. Unable to take advantage of draft beer specials, Tod and I shell out more money so I can drink at social settings. No one says as much, but I'm certain that they're chiding me in their heads for not starting to drink sooner. Anne accuses me of lying when I tell her that I've only slept with two people in my life. I wish it were only one, but conversely fear that I may someday resent my husband for having a more expansive history than mine. Hangovers, bad trips, one night stands -- these are not things that people WANT and yet somehow I feel like I haven't gotten what's meant to be mine.

Meeting Tod was my dorms experience. I began drinking, I smoked and I had sex. I decided I wanted to drink coffee. I listened to new types of music. I found new ways to express myself. Incidentally, it was the first time I felt secure enough to not cheat on someone I really cared about. The relationship has also contributed to finally feeling more attractive, and coincidentally, taking better care of myself and dressing better. I (almost) like my ass.

One month, one week and one day remain and then I will be marrying him. The wedding has been meticuously planned together and we've been complimented for every detail so far. Everyone loves our invitations, and we think to ourselves, wait until they see the theatre. We've put together the mix of the music that best describes these last two years -- the work it took to be together, and how much it was worth it. We've carefully written our vows together, finding the perfect balance of God and our families to string the words together. In one month, one week and one day, we will stand, looking at eachother as we hear these very words spoken. We'll be frozen in time with everything around us happening.

If my relationship thus far with Tod has been my college experience, then this wedding is without a doubt graduation day. How lucky am I to have such a future laid out before me -- my career as wife and mother has already been applied for and approved. I will start immediately and can dress however I'd like for work. My boss suggest something that shows off my ass.
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: Neutral Milk Hotel - Two-Headed Boy Part 2
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Date:August 13th, 2005 12:38 am (UTC)

There is more to the dorm experience than sex drugs and alcohol. There is also DRAMA and social politics. And being your own taskmaster and keeping yourself fed etc. etc. Living in the dorms does not mean you'll become comfortable with mixed groups of people; it's likely that whatever social hang-ups you have will express themselves there just as anywhere else. You might learn new ways to deal with them, but you might do that anywhere with any group of people.

On the flipside, this is amusing because it was my dorm friends who first made me aware that I have an attractive ass. :)
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Date:August 19th, 2005 06:59 pm (UTC)
All I can say in response to this is -
Attractive ass = well-formed ass of whatever size
Attractive ass /= big ass
Dunno whether Corey would agree with me on that.

Also, Corey, I reread this post again and I must say that you strike me as an incredibly complicated and interesting individual. I'm glad you added me so I can view your posts and get to know my sister's best friend better.
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Date:August 15th, 2005 08:35 am (UTC)
Katie and I read this together. I'd like to talk to you sometime in person about the content of this post (I hope you got our RSVP). There's a lot of us in here.
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Date:August 22nd, 2005 05:26 pm (UTC)

a guy's take

The feelings I'm going to bring up here are history. Part of the past. I can recall them today though, and give you my own personal documentary on the romantic history of me as concerning you, since it's relative to your topic here.

Oh, and let me say first, *my* heterosexuality was never in question. I'm not sure how you felt at the time.

I recall senior year, 1997-98: I was not in the "popular" crowd, or as it was in ER, the prep & jock clique (as most schools, I'm sure). I wasn't in band. I wasn't a stoner. I was the only 4 year journalism student. Yet, I wasn't a complete outcast. I simply floated between all those types of people. My friends... my true friends, the ones I hung out with after school and on the weekends, came from every group. I found more public acceptance with the "unpopular" people, but that's not to say the few regular friends from the popular crowds were incapable of being accepting or truer friends. They just didn't show it in school, for whatever reputational reasons.

Now the stage is almost set, though I digressed. During high school, my love life wasn't expansive. I dated five people during those years, the longest was for four months. Though we were never offical, I'm including you in that tally.

ACT I: The Attraction
To be frank, Corey, I honestly felt you had everything I could have wanted when you and I went out. You had a wonderful & quick mind. Though I was a teenage guy and definitely highly aware of the female body, it was your mind that attracted me first. Really, no lie. It's also why I know my feelings were real. Crushes start with, and are only physical. Even then, I recognized that. You also had a body that attracted me, no doubt. That part of it just came second (a very close second). Oh, and yes, you have a great ass, as everyone has also stated. Hopefully not being too personal, but I'd also say, despite your negative comment, you have an attractive chest as well.

ACT II: Reliving the Past
I thought your body was very attractive... and I loved you in the Surge hoodie. I loved you even more away from school, where you really seemed to be "you", and I must say, the stronest feeling I had ever had in my romantic life came the night we saw 'Great Expectations' at the Jackson cinema. I recall telling you how I felt that night, opening up completely to you, and feeling totally rejected when you said you just wanted to be friends, at least for the time being. I hope I don't bring these things up in too public a forum, but it seems we all bare souls on here, so I shall continue on... we went out a few more times after that. I wanted simply to be with you, and to this day I'm not quite sure what you wanted from me. I do know what you wanted that night parked out in the country. Not sex (I think), but second base at least. We talked for over two hours... all you wanted was to do that... but I wouldn't. I couldn't. I was too "in" to you. My heart was attached and yours wasn't. I've never been the playboy type, I've never been the guy who loves and leaves, and that's what you were after that night. I've always been a one-girl guy, plain and simple. Finally, I gave in for one reason- I wanted you to have what you wanted, even if it hurt me to do so. At that point we only had ten minutes and a drive to your mom's house that could have earned me 6 points on my license, just so you would make curfew...

(I heard a year later that if my now ex-wife and I hadn't started dating, you thought we would have been together... and to that day, I had no inkling you even liked me in that way... to this day, I'm not sure you did.)
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Date:August 22nd, 2005 05:27 pm (UTC)

a guy's take (part II)

ACT III: The State of Affairs
I can't personally relate to how you feel about missing dorms, or really, feeling as though you missed out on something in life based upon choices. Maybe I'm lucky, maybe it's my take on life, but since high school, no matter how rough things have been I accept the place I'm in. I chose to be wherever I'm at. However, I also know you're not alone. Crystal said she felt as though she'd missed something, moving in with me shortly after she graduated. Not living on her own, or dating, or going out to parties, she felt slighted. You both had parents that were oppresive and both led relatively secluded high school lives. I was her first. She was my second, though since my first was at 14 (that's more than I want to go into here) and we didn't marry (or sleep together) until I was 21, she might as well have been my first. There's probably little I can say to change your thinking on missing things, especially if Tod can't. I can say you didn't miss much, and cite the reasons you gave, sex, drugs, alcohol, and crowded no-money dorm life, but you obviously have a handle on that. I can say, would you be the person you are if you'd lived it differently... or more importantly, would you want to be the person you'd BE if you'd lived it differently? Because you likely wouldn't have Tod. Anyway. All I can offer beyond that is what I've already said. You're not alone.

ACT IV: Requiem
Know this, and know it truly, from heart to soul: Corey, you're wonderful and Tod is an incredibly lucky guy. People may have berated you for actions in the past, but all I could say to them is, so what? Sure, we remember the past, but we live now. You've come very far since the days of me gusta and el cabro viejo. I'm glad you're happy and I hope my rambling rant here helps light something up to show you that.

(oh, and btw, I randomly ran into el cabro viejo about a year ago, first time I'd seen him since high school. he works at the Saab dealership in Lansing and is doing well.)
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