A few days pass and our habit of hanging out at our friend's dorm until 5am, making the sock-footed trek across campus to our own beds, and then sleeping until my 10am Music Appreciation class caught up with me and took its toll hard. I came down with the "college student bug". That one that comes with a sore throat, body aches, snot, and no desire to bathe or put on any clothing that isn't 100% cotton and 10 sizes too big, which can only come from too many late nights, early mornings, and lack of nutritional intake that comes with being in college. At the time, I would say that I was proud of the fact that my boyfriend lived 2 hours away- nobody to impress or judge me when I graced campus with my haggard, rumpled, sweat-panted presence.
I'd just finished making myself a huge mug of tea for my throat one afternoon when Kayla called and asked if I'd like to keep her company in the Grill under the UC for an hour before her next class. Relying on my usual comfort-bubble of invisibility, I grabbed my tea and put on the first shoes I could find- practically 85-year-old Birkenstock knock-offs- to complete my hobo-esque "I feel like yuck" ensemble, and begin my trek to the University Center on the other side of campus. As I bear right on the sidewalk and round a corner behind the auditorium building- I see him.
Even more handsome that the other night, now wearing blue jeans and a simple black t-shirt- coming right toward me on my sidewalk. Now, I usually believe that I'm quite the "blender". I'm usually fairly certain that although I always happen to remember names and people that I meet, or even people that I've just seen this one time in line at Wal Mart, I always assume that anyone who meets me, particularly in a large crowd of people, forgets my name and face upon turning around. I'm hoping so hard that this has been the case, and that he won't remember me.
But now he's 20 feet away from me, and I can see that hint of recognition in his eyes- and I am SO PAINFULLY AWARE of my "situation". My giant sweatpanted, birkenstocked, bra-less and hoodied, makeup-less, unbathed, unbrushed hair "situation". I avert my eyes and start to slow down to asses my escape route options. On my right- some convenient 8-foot tall bushes. On my left- the too small gap of socially acceptable escape options is closing. Quickly. I really felt like time slowed down in my moment of panic while I had an inner conversation with myself about the possible pros and cons of taking a sharp right and casually disappearing into the bushes, but my moment was gone. The distance between us and the time frame for Operation:Bush Diving had closed. At first, I see if a shifty eyed, tight-mouthed smile and nod will be sufficient, just in case, if by some act of God, he doesn't remember me. But then the eyes lock, and he says, "Hey! How's it going?" Mortified, and you? I quicken my pace and mutter "Good, you?", trying to sound less awkward than I feel, then avert my gaze and keep on shufflin'- hoping that I look super focused on my destination, which must be important if it dragged me into daylight looking as I did. He laughs and says, "I'm good", but by this time, I've passed and take the next few steps with my eyes closed mouthing "Oh. My. God. WHY." and willing myself not to glance back, and also willing HIM not to look back either and witness the empty giant sack of mush that is my oversized, sweatpanted butt, while I'm trying to figure out if I should stand straigher as I walk, or if that makes the flappy fabric effect even worse. Note to self- Mom was right. "Throw the man repellant saggy diapery-butt sweatpants AWAY."