Thursday, April 1, 2010

What to Wear to a Frat Party

In my second year of college, there weren’t enough dorms to house all UW–Eau Claire students who wanted to live on campus, so the university worked a deal with a nearby Ramada Inn to accommodate several students, two to a room. So began my memorable nine months at the Ramada.

I gave myself a lot of exercise that year. Ramada was quite a distance from campus, and the Board of Education administration building where I worked was even farther away. I chose to use my Motob├ęcane more than my geometric form (Opel sportwagon), so I became thin.

Marcia, my roommate, an English major with a theater minor, was a stitch, literally. She was a seamstress. She and I would come home to the motel from class, sit, and talk in those ubiquitous ’70s green vinyl arm chairs next to the usual motel round table beneath the typical wall mirror. She liked having the TV’s picture on while wearing headphones, listening to music. She’d puff a cigarette, sip on Diet Pepsi, and occasionally fire up and inhale smoke from her one-hit bong. Then she’d just grin and try to think, all pink-faced and squinty-eyed, giggling her high feminine giggle.

Marcia had a way of making me feel wanted, no, needed as her leader. She’d ask me childlike questions, appearing inquisitive, holding her breath awaiting my sage advice. “How do you think I’ll be as an English teacher?” Or, “Do you think green or pink ribbon would look good on this character’s little armor skirt?” I still don’t know if her questions were genuine, but I ate it up, even if I did roll my eyes.

During the first couple months I knew her, Marcia discovered she was attractive. She had long, sort of wavy, dark blonde hair she loved to brush while listening to Eric Clapton sing. “And brushes her long blonde hair. And then she asks me, ‘Do I look alright?’ And I say, ‘Yes, you look wonderful tonight.’”

Staring into the mirror, never taking her eyes off herself, she would talk to me for an hour, stroking her hair, smoking her bong, uttering sweet nothings in her soft, breathy, high voice.

I remember taking her to frat parties, walking with her, but always following so I could watch the swarm of guys turn and watch Marcia wiggle. She had a body guys loved: perfect breasts, not-too-thin waist, and wider hips. And though I could have felt insecure, given all the attention she garnered and receiving none myself, I got a kick out of it, because later I would tell her what the guys did, and she ate it up. I crack up thinking of those days.

At one frat party, the guys lit the room with black lights, probably so we couldn’t see how disgusting the place was. Marcia had worn a semisheer blouse that probably had ruffles on it, just to slather her soft, sweet femininity all over the house. When she stopped and turned around to ask me where I wanted to go next, I saw her bra all aglow in the black lights almost as if it were protruding past her blouse.

“Look down,” I gasped at Marcia. “You can see right through your blouse with these black lights!”

As much as she liked to flaunt what God gave her, she started giggling embarrassingly and pulled me aside. “What should I do?” she breathed in her cute, spacey way.

“Enjoy the attention.” I suggested. And she did.

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