Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I Went to College to....

Hang on... there's a back story.

I'm working out, minding my own business. It's finals week here in corn country, and the gym is full of students working out some frustrations. Healthy behavior. I glue myself to my iPod and slog along on the treadmill, trying to be invisible. Actually, at a gym where the average age is probably 19, I don't have to try to be invisible. I just am. When not invisible, I'm the recipient of fairly overt pity. By and large, I prefer invisible. But all that's another story.

When leaving the gym, I'm behind a young woman -oddly, perfectly blonde, oddly perfectly tanned, sorority letters on the butt of her size 2 yoga pants.... I'm busy thinking despicable beneath-me thoughts like "I hope you grow up and have triplets, and remember then that you thought my abs were horrible." Issues? Me???? Then she turns around and I see that her t-shirt says "I went to college to find my bridesmaids."

Sigh.... what does this mean? And bear in mind that I had no lofty goals when I went to college. I went to college because that's what you did; there was no more thought than that. I'm certainly glad I went to college, but for reasons I couldn't possibly have predicted. I surely can not get on a high horse about deep and meaningful reasons for wanting to hang out in the groves of academe.

And besides, it could be that the meaning of the shirt is that she's hoping to find her life-long female friends. That would be a true gift, and could well happen. Or it could be the 21st century version of going to college to get your Mrs. degree -with a disturbing switch of emphasis from marriage to wedding. Which is it? Or something else altogether?

I know she was just trying to be cute and gave no deep moral significance to her shirt. But she chose it, over others that said something else. She didn't (at least today) choose the Abercrombie&Fitch one that says "Who needs brains when you have these?" across the chest. Nor did she choose a plain gray one. This one was along a continuum of possibilities and she plunked down her $20 for it. Why?

And how could a grown woman -impossibly old, from her point of view- be some sort of witness to other possibilities? Without being a tiresome bore, I mean.

I should probably work out harder, huh? Then I wouldn't have the energy to fret about these things.

6 comments:

Lisa :-] said...

Don't sell the girl short. Out here in the non-academic world, the bar is set much lower. Today at work, I was having a discussion about a twenty-year-old (the twin sister of one of my crew) who is about to give birth to her second out-of-wedlock child (the children do NOT have the same father...) No money, no prospects...just mindless procreation. At least your little gym bimbo seems to plan on forming a legal partnership....

Laura said...

Obnoxious T-shirts and words-across-the-butt seem to be the latest in fads that, 10 years from now, people will look back on and say, "What was I thinking." As for your gym bimbo, I kind of feel sorry for whatever man she manages to trap and train.

emmapeelDallas said...

I linked here from Lisa, and I'm glad I did. Interesting post. I remember, in the late 60's, reading a college newsletter that talked about all the co-eds who'd returned from spring break sporting engagement rings, as if that were as important an achievement as making the Dean's List...and I was appalled, and I'm appalled by that t-shirt. BTW, there's counseling, now, for brides who get depressed after all the engagement hoopla goes away, and they wake up to simply find themselves married, like so many other people...I have a feeling anyone who would buy that t-shirt is a good candidate for that sort of counseling.

Judi

RJ said...

On the plus side...

could the t shirt be taken as a feminist response to comments one as blonde and buffed as she, that "you only went to college to find a husband".

And the answer is she was looking for intelligent female friends instead?

no, it's a bit of a stretch isn't it!

MissSheila86 said...

I have seen the shirt that says "I didn't come to college to find my husband, I came to find my bridesmaids," and thought it was cute. I think it is to be taken as, "I'm not one of those girls that goes to college to get my MRS degree and that's all." I go to Mississippi University for Women, and although we accept men now, we are still a very predominantly women's college. I find it enlightening that even girls who go to schools that do have guys are able to find lasting friendships in other girls. I don't think it's an insult to feminism.

Anonymous said...

I actually have that shirt.
It was a sorority recruitment shirt. It is to get possible girls to join a sorority saying that you will meet friends that you will want in your wedding.so i Just thought i would throw that out there.