Private School Student at a State School Party

In my increasingly old age, sometimes I don’t find myself as fun as I used to be. And by fun, I mean reckless and willing to consume immense amounts of alcohol. So, I guess by fun, I kind of mean stupid.

Correction: In my increasingly old age, sometimes I don’t find myself as stupid as I used to be.

Tonight, I went to a wedding, had a couple glasses of wine, then I came home. However, every once in a while, a little friend sneaks up on me. I like to call that friend, tequila. Most of the time, that tequila comes in the form of margaritas. On Cinco de Mayo, or the English translation: Day of Thanks for Tequila, I decided that I needed give my dues to Montezuma and all of the other Mexican gods. Considering that the apocalypse is coming up in just six months (mark your calendars!), it is important that we make what we have left of 2012 the best year that we can.

Even with my dedication to the drink that evening, there’s always a special piece of me that remains in control. I don’t like being that girl at the party; no one enjoys the one girl that takes shots of Malibu because “it’s, like, so tasty” and then demands her keys to go home at the end of the night. Just drink your Mike’s Hard and stay where you are. But, I digress. As I was finishing up my second margarita at El Jimador, or “The Jimmy” as Maryville College students have come to know it, I was contemplating how I wanted to ring out the end of the Mexican New Year.

Upon unconscious advising from the tequila and very little convincing from my friends, it only seemed logical to visit a small subset of apartments that contained mostly UT students. As most Tennessee coeds know, UT is a “dry campus.” At one point in the Old Testament, I’m pretty sure there was something said about not mixing your fibers. Think of that when you put on your polycotton blend tee shirt tomorrow. Sometimes, rules just end up getting broken. At first the party was just a small group of college friends, but eventually, someone decided that the night was not interesting enough. We relocated to the adjacent apartment. We needed new friends.

Upon inviting ourselves into what was, by no surprise, a toga party, I immediately felt out of place; one reason was because I didn’t know any of these people, but the main reason was because I know as an experienced soiree planner myself, I would never mix cultures by having a toga party on Cinco de Mayo. Why not just dress up as witches on Christmas? It makes no sense. That could have been why I instantly felt so abrasive to everyone at the gathering, but I wouldn’t let it stop me. Cinco de Mayo is, after all, the holiday of my people. I would not let some party planning faux pas stand in the way of that.

I scanned the room looking for someone other than my own to talk to. My friends already know that when I “scan a room,” that it’s never with the same intention as other guys. To reference the new Rihanna song ft. Chris Brown, I am not looking for the “cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake.” That’s not my M.O. I don’t like predatory actions, and that’s a big reason that I usually do not attend these kind of events with other gentlemen. As I searched the room, I sifted through a sea of Bacardi Breezers and girls holding other assorted wine coolers. I wanted a different kind of conversation that didn’t involve a slang term for the word vagina or a recap of this week’s episode of Gossip Girl. I saw her, sitting there, over on the couch. Like Meryl Streep in The Devil Wear’s Prada, I said something similar to “Go ahead. Take a chance. Sit with the smart, weird girl.” Soon, I would find out that this girl had a voice similar to all of the other sorority girls in the room. However, she had me at “English major.”

In a weird turn of events, she said that her favorite area of literature was Early American lit, specifically the sermons. This also happens to be the area of literature that most English majors detest… most of them, except for me. In the midst of this state school event, I had found the bright light sitting in the corner of the room. I immediately came alive with knowledge announcing at an extremely inappropriate volume, “I LOVE SINNERS IN THE HANDS OF AN ANGRY GOD!!” I was embarrassing, but not nearly as embarrassing as her response. She looked at me and announce, “OMG. I LOVE WINTHROP!”

I was done. I will explain why in a bulleted list.

  • She pronounced Winthrop’s name as WHEN-THRAHP. It’s WHEN-THRUP.
  • She casually used the letters OMG in conversation, like that’s an okay thing.
  • John Winthrop did not write Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God. Jonathan Edwards did. Any self-respecting English major knows that.
I couldn’t control my face, a recurring problem in my life. I pursed my lips together in absolute distain. This is what I got for taking a chance. She began talking about something else, but my ears were ringing with private school pretension. How could she not know? How could I, a consistently good judge of people and intelligence, have made such a fatal error? I shook my head quickly to bring myself to and interrupted her mid-sentence. “Brittany, it’s been so good talking to you, but I have to go find my friends.” I even did the non-invasive knee touch to let her know that I was sympathetic. As I began to walk away, she announced, “Um, it’s Brandi.” I quickly turned around and retorted with a closed-eye-smile, “Whatever.”
After rethinking the night, over and over, I guess most of all I feel ashamed. I just expected too much (a common retort that I hear at the end of most of my relationships). I guess I only expected out of her what I would have expected out of myself… a correct answer. I’m sorry, Jonathan Edwards. I’m so sorry for the people of the world who claim to know you but live in some kind of sham covered up by the subpar writings of one, John Winthrop. I’m sorry other partygoers for being the elitist English major that my private school education has bred me to be. And most of all, I’m sorry Brittany for coming off so abrasively at what should have been the best Cinco de Mayo toga party of your undergraduate career.
Brandi. Damn it. Did it again.

2 thoughts on “Private School Student at a State School Party

  1. I just read all of your recent narratives and I went through several different emotions before coming to this conclusion: you have a beautiful gift of taking any situation and seeing it's importance to the development of your life. I hope you always cherish that gift, but never let it become your weakness. I honestly miss and I'm so proud you for not just going to D.C. but go everything else you've accomplished.

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