Let’s start this story with the funeral.
Last week my friend Ari texted me and said that a friend of hers died. He was a little older than us. She knew him for a summer. She needed someone to drive to Georgia with her for the funeral. I love road trips, figure any adventure is a story, and so I said yes.
Friday night I made a playlist and we drove through the most beautiful Georgia countryside you can imagine. I saw my first cotton field. There were horses and hills. We talked about life on other planets, and what existed before the Universe sprang into being 14 million years ago, and whether or not we had this conversation before in a different lifetime. And then we got to the funeral.
I won’t bum you out with the details. There were hundreds of people and one casket and a crying fiance. We cried in the car and the rain pounded on the roof. We went out for drinks, because it was the fiance’s birthday, because of course it was.
I wore a black dress and we drove to Steak and Shake and ate our feelings and I stole Ari’s pajamas and fell asleep in her bed under piles of blankets. For some reason, neither of us could get warm.
Saturday morning I was at Ari’s house. She made me breakfast and we chatted with her roommate and they complained about their thesis. I promised to be an extra set of eyes for Ari, and I’d swing by the film school on Sunday. But first we had Game Day.
If you didn’t go to a big Southern Football school, then I don’t know if you can imagine home football game atmosphere. The game was at 7:30 and there was no parking by noon. You could hear the game from half a mile away, which is where we were to “watch” the game.
It was raining or else we would have gone in person. We thought we could stream it, but apparently there’s a blackout of the game if you’re in the same city the game’s being played in. Which meant we could see the stadium but we couldn’t watch the game on ESPN. Whatever. We were playing Citadel and it was a boring win.
Pause for Feminist Stuff: (skip ahead if you’re not in a feminist mood)
We were at our friend Jules’s apartment. She was excited to have us over, so she could set us up with these boys down the hall. She met them at a bar. One was “nice.” The other kept hitting on her after she said she had a boyfriend.
They came over during the game, with Cards Against Humanity. And one was nice. Intense, maybe, but generally harmless and occasionally funny. The other was not harmless.
It’s strange to see harassment acted out in front of you. This particular douchebag zoomed in on our friend Erin (only after he hit on Jules so hard core she had to actually push him away from her, and remind him over and over that she was in a serious, committed, long-term relationship.) So this guy started pushing drinks on Erin, who had gone to the game and was in that post-game flush and drank one shot, two, and when he handed her a third and she said no, both he and his friend said, “go ahead, you know you want to, don’t be that guy.”
To which me and Kat immediately responded, “you don’t have to drink anything you don’t want to.”
Erin put the cup aside.
We played the game. Kat and I had stopped drinking hours before, but the others were “drunk,” which is of course no excuse for this guy putting his arm around Erin, even though she scooted away, and telling her she was cute and pretty and he could walk her home even when she had made it clear she wasn’t interested.
Anyway. They left (after giving out hugs and soliciting our numbers and generally being slimy) and Jules turned to us. “What do you think?”
“They came on strong,” I said, diplomatically.
“I didn’t like it,” Erin said, and now with the lights on and just us it was obvious she was drunk, too drunk to have been able to string the right words together to have told the asshole no any more firmly than she had.
“You should have kicked them out,” Kat said.
“I didn’t want to make a scene,” Jules said defensively. “You should have said something. I thought you guys wanted boyfriends.”
I won’t go into the long conversations we had about this. It may not sound too bad when you see it written down, but seeing my friend be made so uncomfortable, to see this guy call and text her, to see how persistently he was pushing drinks on her, made me sick.
End Feminist Rant
On Sunday, as promised, Erin and I went to see Ari’s short film and gave critiques on it that were apparently “helpful.” More on that after the film airs in a couple of months.
On Monday, I decided to apply for graduation. Because I have to apply before the 12th. I wanted to see if there was any information on my Disney College Program Application. They said they’d be making most decisions in late October, but I thought…hey. Why the hell not.
So I checked my dashboard and my application is gone. The 2013 application (which says “no longer in consideration” which gave a heartattack) is still there, but 2014? Gone. After an hour or so of freaking out, I found a phone number to call and was put on hold. The hold music? The Twilight Zone. Do do doo do. For someone who’s already feeling incredibly anxious, you can imagine how this made me feel.
I finally talk to a person and they say, “don’t worry, this happens all the time.”
All the time.
(turns out I had the wrong username. Oops. My application now says “in progress.” When I know, you’ll know.)
Also on Monday, we had people over to watch the Giants play the Lions. I’m a Giants fan, and I made food to bribe people to watch it with me. Because I made a big deal out of it, of course they lost. We drank beer and ate chicken dip and Girl Talked through the evening. Patricia met Liz. Everyone gave opinions on the Asshole. It was a good night.
And then I had to go get workshopped. Basically, someone who isn’t emotionally attached to the story (or, in this case, seven someones) reads it and then rips you apart. “We’re not saying it’s bad, it’s just not good.” Unfortunately, they’re almost always right. Points can be belabored. Things can be repeated. Overall, you get the idea that you’ve written the trees and forgotten about the forest. Back up and try again. Always a useful and humbling experience.
So now I have to stop talking about myself and start getting my characters in order. They’re more interesting, anyway.