I was an angel in high school.
Ahem. Yes I was. Mostly. Mostly because no one was particularly interested in getting my wings dirty and giving my halo a tilt. Mostly.
And then I got to college, where I continued the tradition, mostly, except for that one time, and then there was that other time, and, well . . . mostly.
But by Christmas of my freshman year I was finding my way, stretching my angel wings. The big Christmas party that Cricket and Judy and I planned, along with some other South Hall, second floor girls, put a good dent and some scratches in that halo. (Now Mom, if you're reading this, have no fear: we're talking about UNDERAGE DRINKING here, and nothing more. At my age I don't need to add a therapist's bill to my debt load.)
Drinking of any kind was forbidden in the dorms (yes it was, but this rule was also the spark for President Clinton's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy). We figured, and we were right, that what the Resident Adviser couldn't see wouldn't hurt her, so we kept the drinks flowing and the party from overflowing out into the halls by creating party rooms. Cricket and Judy's room was the bar, Mary and Cathy's room was the dance floor, and there were probably more dorm rooms pressed into service for other activities, but I wouldn't know about those.
As one of the hostesses I took my turn monitoring the bar. We served hurricane punch, which is one of the four food groups in college, and mulled wine, which is one of my biggest mistakes of college life, or any other life. I took my turn pouring.
It was a very long turn.
Did you know that mulled wine is a lot like hot sangria? Neither did I. Did you know that sangria and mulled wine are both registered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as lethal weapons?
I know that now.
I was serving up the hurricanes and the mulled wine to beat the band, of which there was none, but there was plenty of loud music. I know because I could hear it thump-thump-thumping through the wall-wall-wall of the bar room that was my prison. Well, a prison that served endless and unregulated lethal weapons mulled wine, anyhow. So it wasn't all bad.
Until it became all bad. That was the point at which the noise curfew had been reached, then ignored, then enforced, and we all said "Merrrrrry Chrishmish" and stumbled back to our own rooms, or for some their closest equivalents on the boys side of the dorm. I fell into my dorm bed, which immediately levitated and began spinning like the Teacups at Disneyland. Yes it did, and I did what any reasonable college student would do: I threw up on my art supplies.
Well, they were there in a convenient cardboard box under my window, so why not? The bed finally quieted down, and I fell into a deep slumber.
Until about 6:00 a.m., when I awoke in dread of the coming day. The room smelled strongly of sour grapes, oranges and horse hair paint brushes.
I staggered to my feet which were inconveniently pointed in opposite directions but which somehow got me down the hall to the communal bathroom.
The damage to my makeshift art supply box was indescribable -- now, and certainly then, in the predawn hours of what would come to be an epic hangover. Everything was . . . purple. I dumped the aerosol cans and paint tubes and brushes and trays into the sink and began scrubbing them to get rid of the evidence before --
Too late. Terri was already up.
Terri was the closest thing I had to a nemesis in college. She was a tiny thing, definitely under 100 pounds, with the voice of Cinderella and the tongue of a serpent. Sort of like Angela from the TV show "The Office"
(Photo stolen from these guys)
only crabbier, and with a teeny-tiny baby voice and hair like The Church Lady.
She smiled a withering, tight-lipped smile at me , wrapped her baby pink quilted robe around her even tighter, and stared at my sink full of soapy art supplies. She looked at me warily. Did she guess the truth? It seemed unlikely, since how many people have barf-covered art supplies?
"They needed a washing. I wash them sometimes," I said. I didn't add, "before dawn on a Sunday morning when the rest of the world is up setting its hair in hot rollers and glaring at its dorm mates." I should have added that.
I never volunteered to watch the bar at a Christmas party again, and I never got that wasted again, no matter what Gubby -- whose ISP will be blocked from commenting today -- may try to make up about me. Back to being an angel. Mostly.
(Photo stolen from these guys)