April 30, 2012

After Graduation, Keep on Keeping on

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For the past three years, it has been my pleasure to assume the position, faithfully on top of Judah Bellin, every other Monday. But for my final column, I’m coming a little late.

Forgive me gentle readers. And allow me to explain.

This weekend, my brother-from-another-mother was celebrating his upcoming birthday. Any other year, this kind of event would probably warrant a phone call and perhaps the promise of a gift delivered by mail. But when he called me up last Thursday inviting me to his party, I heard those three faithful words that can put even the most self-respecting girl at a man’s beck and call the second they are uttered: “Anything But Clothes.”

Like Carly Rae Jepson’s “Call Me Maybe,” fat-free Froyo, and J. Crew’s Semi-Annual Sale, there is something about an Anything But Clothes party that makes the ladies go wild.

With Target’s entire supply of snakeskin-print duct tape and the trusty roommate in tow, we loaded up the bug, put the top down and made our way down to Philadelphia.

But somewhere in between my first and third Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich pit stop of the four-hour car ride, it hit me: In one month’s time, I will have graduated from Cornell University. Could this really be my last Anything But Clothes party … ever?

Certainly, there are parties to be had after Undergrad. But these parties tend to involve mid-level champagne and Frank Sinatra lookalikes, not 40-second keg stands and one very admirable, hand-painted latex body suit.

All of a sudden, what had started out as a promise for a seriously eventful weekend turned into a rather depressing affair. After all, if growing up means a life without an endless supply of Lil’ Wayne on the radio and Pink Panty Pulldowns in my cup, then frankly I want no part of it.

But just as I was about to hit full quarter-life crisis mode and veer the bug off the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the trusty roommate chimed in: “But isn’t your friend a third-year med student already?”

As I pulled the bug back away from the sheer cliff we were about to hurtle down, it started to make sense. All those graduation cards people send you, the embarrassing banners your parents hang on your front porch, they never once read: “Our Deepest Regrets,” with moping long letters mourning the death of life as you know it.

No, they’ve got generic cartoons of smiling personified diplomas that scream “Congratulations!”

Your whole family doesn’t show up to graduation in all black and then silently hand you a tax form to start filling out. Your uncle shoves a Red Solo Cup in your face and the whole friends-and-family clan serenades you will a slightly off-key, “Proceed to party!” (Okay, maybe that’s only my family — we do things a little differently down in the Florida swamp.)

And I mean sure, things are going to be a little different.

Your walks of shame will probably involve wearing a wrinkly suit after spending all night sleeping in your office chair, rather than an inappropriately short dress (which, let’s face it, in no one’s mind could be considered formal wear) while stumbling down the slope in your six-inch heels.

But if you’re anything like me (and I’m excluding you lazy people who decide to spend all four years living in the dorms), then you already have to pay your bills on time, buy and cook your own food and scoop your cat’s shit on a semi-regular basis. Add a few tax forms to fill out, and I’d say that’s the picture of responsibility.

Seriously, I cannot wait to graduate. I can’t wait to stop people from dancing on the tables at office parties as opposed to frat parties. I can’t wait to have work with people in real suits as opposed to class with lazy girls in tracksuits. And I can’t wait to one day come back to Cornell and be the hot Alumna everybody tries to hit on as opposed to, well, I’ll let you figure that last one out.

It’s been a real pleasure writing for you these past three years.

I’ve had some people tell me they love me, some tell me they hate me and one person who expressed his desire to have a hit placed on me. I’ve someone offer to buy me a beer after complimenting his gorgeous butt in a column (although we never did get that beer). I’ve also had one editor never realize I wrote column about him at all.

But most of all, I’ve had a great time sharing all of my Cornell debauching with you guys. And while it may not be the same after graduation, I hope it never, ever stops.

Cristina Stiller is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She may be reached at [email protected]. Believe You Me appears alternate Mondays this semester.

Original Author: Cristina Stiller