Learn From My Mistakes: Over the Moon
Published: Thursday, September 6, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2012 00:11
Like many first years, I had my share of cringing, noob moments that I’d like to tuck away and never see again. Until recently, the anecdote I’m about to tell had fallen under that category. Over the past few months, however, it has become a fairly excellent weird-brag, and Kenyon College is a great place to collect weird-brags about yourself and other people.
The first couple of weekends at Kenyon, you will hear the same lie echoing throughout the first-year halls: “I heard New Apts is happening tonight.” When you hear that sentence, you should immediately pull out your handy dandy notebook and figure out the following: “Do we know which New Apt?” “Who told you this?” “Were we actually invited?” Maybe there is a party going on in one of the 20-something New Apts, but the people in that New Apt probably didn’t register “parade of randos” on their party registration form. I may or may not have done the following dance a few times in my first semester: walked to the New Apts sober (cause there would be beer there right?) with a minimum of 10 kids, realized there was nothing “happening” and walked back to the first-year quad feeling awkward and lame.
Then, one Friday night, it happened: the New Apts party was real. Conditions were perfect: the Chasers had performed their fall concert, Motown was playing at the VI, and my friend’s brother was the person hosting the after-party, so I had a tenuous but still valid invite. Obviously, this was going to be the greatest night ever.
I arrived at the New Apts party with a couple of friends, but within five minutes I’d lost them. Suddenly, I was in a New Apt filled to the brim with upperclassmen I didn’t know. While part of me was terrified and wanted to make a break for it and go back to Norton, the other part of me, much like Charlie Bucket in the original Willy Wonka movie, wanted to face the craziness head on. As I walked through the New Apt trying to appear cool and totally unfazed, a cute guy began chatting me up — and not just a Kenyon guy, but a recent Kenyon alum!
I tried exceptionally hard to be really normal and mature. I nodded in an “interested but not over-eager” way as he told me about how he graduated last year, how he used to be in the Chasers, how he’s living in Cincinnati now, how he came down for the weekend to see the Chasers concert and play a show at the VI the next night and how I should definitely go to see his band. We talked for a while in the middle of this party, and I thought I was doing a pretty good job because he says to me: “Frances, I think you are really cute and I would like to kiss you, but I should tell you that I have a girlfriend back home in Cincinnati.” Wait, what? Exactly.
I have studied that sentence many times, and I am still not sure what the phrase “but I should tell you” means: was I supposed to translate that to “I want to kiss you but I won’t” or “I want to kiss you but you shouldn’t want to kiss me and if I do cheat on my girlfriend it’s officially your fault since you were warned”? To this day, I have no clue what the truth is, but I do remember my response: “That’s very nice of you to say. I don’t think it’s a good idea to cheat on your girlfriend. It was nice to meet you, though!” And it had been! I had totally Charlie Bucket-ed the crap outta that party! Talking with him and flirting had been like drinking Fizzy Lifting Drink: it was bold and fun, until it got a little too real and then I had to figure out how to get down and join the rest of the party again.
The next day, I recounted my “wild” and hilarious night to a couple of my friends and I got kudos all around for not being a homewrecker. Later that night, though, we went to the Village Inn to see a band play, and … Hey, wouldja look at that! Hey you guys! The lead singer! He’s the guy from last night! That’s the guy I didn’t kiss! Guys, that’s the guy!
Three years later, he would be singing the same songs on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and MTV Unplugged, playing at major music festivals, and interviewing with every music and pop-culture social media outlet in the country. Since his rise to fame, my friends have given me a hard time for turning down my supposed opportunity to make out with a rock star, but I think that just makes it a better weird-brag. I could say he’s “the one that got away,” but in this story, I like to think that I am.
Frances Sutton is a senior from Red Sox Nation. She is majoring in Middle Path Chats with a concentration in Winning Peirce. Her column runs monthly, and her email is firstname.lastname@example.org