April 24, 2011

The Me Behind the Moniker

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You know, I’m really tempted to copy and paste two pages of the massive research paper I have due tomorrow and call it my article.

And though I’m sure you’d all love to hear what I have to say on the late William F. Buckley, Jr., I feel that you, gentle reader, deserve some original material for my last column of the semester. And so original material you shall have.

My second-semester junior status at Cornell University suggests three things: I have a limited amount of credible experience I could cite on my resume; my income is nonexistent and thus my stress level relatively tense; and I have few consequences that could possibly arise from my unabated openness.

Or so I would like to think.

It has dawned on me that if you Google “Cristina Stiller,” three things come up: Believe You Me, my Facebook page, and an art project I did when I was thirteen.

As you can see, as soon as I embark on my forthcoming political career, these three may not be the best character references.

So let’s try to paint a picture, future contributors to the “Cristina Stiller Presidential Campaign,” of your faithful columnist, the real Cristina Stiller behind Believe You Me.

First, dear reader, you must know that despite the endearing picture that accompanies my column every other Monday, I am not, in fact, a supermodel.

On the contrary, I have a real Napoleon complex when it comes to my below-average height. Now I’m not trying to say that small is bad, but I am trying to say that I will, at all costs, refuse to admit that I am shorter than you. (Note: This argument quickly falls apart around men six feet and taller, but when have I ever let a little physics stop me from winning a debate?)

Recently, I was walking down the Engineering Quad when the most beautiful sight I have ever beheld shuffled quickly by. There, in a tiny black coat, scampered a girl no more than 4-foot-11 and she was wonderful.

Best of all, this girl was wearing some no nonsense flats, not some tomfoolery six-inch heels to class that make her chicken walk all over the place like a rent-free hooker.

So I did what any insecure squirt would do: I relentlessly pursued her to wherever she was going (incidentally the exact opposite direction of where I was headed). I puffed my chest out, held my head high and paraded like a stupid peacock to try and get her to notice me.

Why did I do this? Because for the first time in my life, I was actually able to look somewhere other than up when I make eye contact with another human being. And I felt that she should know it.

One thing you may not realize is that though I hyperbolize quite a bit in all my columns, when it comes to my reputation for repeated disasters with men, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

The other day, for example, I went out to what can only be described as a night of polar opposites: I started out black tie and ended up at a pledge party. Enough said … almost.

At the swanky half of the evening, I managed to chat it up with a guy that, in my mind, was the son of an oil-baron. I was an instant sucker for his Hermes tie and his well-tailored suit, so I was instantly on my best behavior to try and impress him.

One problem: I didn’t realize until much later that the man was under the influence of copious amounts of … bad things.

How could I be so naïve, you ask? Well, to be honest, I thought that the compulsive twitches, sniffles and darty eyes were really just a result of him being a little bit nervous around such a hot piece of mamacita as myself.

But when he fell on top of a table and knocked down the beautiful flower centerpiece, I had to admit that while I may exude foxiness 24/7, this man was high off of something other than me.

It was about that moment when I decided that, for the evening, the pledge party next door would bring more luck in the man department. Let me just preface the rest of my anecdote by saying that that was about the stupidest conclusion I have ever made.

But here was my train of thought: if you aren’t assaulted from behind by at least six pre-frosh during a pledge party, you’re doing something wrong. And frankly, after the baron’s sloppy performance, some casual and anonymous dancing seemed like a pretty good alternative.

To my surprise, I was not only assaulted copious amounts of times but was actually asked to dance. Let me tell you, this is an honor indeed.

One guy approached me to dance and I made the freshman mistake of going for it without getting a closer look. We were getting down pretty smoothly and despite the insatiably hot and sweaty room, I could tell the man had rhythm.

I felt it enough that it was time to face him. Lo and behold, the boy was shorter than me and barely 18. Need I go on?

I guess when it comes down to it, the “real” Cristina Stiller and the one portrayed in this column are not too far apart. But the truth is that as much as I focus on the farce that is my college life, my column would be nothing without the amazing people I’ve met these past three years.

Because the truth is that Believe You Me is nothing without you, Cornell. I don’t really make these stories happen — I just kind of watch them unfurl around me.

So you keep reading, and I’ll keep embarrassing everyone I meet by eventually initiating them into the disaster that is Believe You Me.Cristina Stiller is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She may be reached at cstiller@cornellsun.com. Believe You Me appears alternate Mondays this semester.

Original Author: Cristina Stiller