Most of my closest friends are now back at Vassar. I’m not. So in order to relive the “good ‘ol days,” here is something I wrote over a year ago, after founder’s day. Some official Vassar website defines Founder’s day as, “the day each spring when the college celebrates Matthew Vassar’s birthday with a Saturday of carnival rides, live music, and fireworks. It is the oldest tradition at Vassar and started with a surprise birthday party for Matthew Vassar on April 29, 1866. Many young graduates come back to campus for Founder’s Day, and all alumnae/i are welcome to attend.” But really it just means that everyone on campus gets wasted or high or both starting in the morning, and remains so all day. This is not a tale of one of my finer moments. It is dark and desolate. Beware!
As I am writing this I am just recovering from one of the most intense hangovers I’ve had since New Years 2007, prompting the question, “WHYY.”
The day was founder’s day. A day when all the supposedly super intelligent students of Vassar College decide it would be a pretty smart idea to get drunk at 9 in the morning and stay drunk all day, while also enjoying a carnival of rides that spin in fast circles and fried food. Also hot dogs.
The day before I had been in NYC, enjoying the last day of my internship, and thinking, “wow adult life is so splendid. You get to work from 10am-6pm, pay lots of bills, use subways to get to work, and eat meals alone on most days.” Unlike most people my own age, or even those older than me; I was not being sarcastic when I said this. I really do enjoy those things. Thus, I was slightly disappointed to be returning to Vassar that night, and even more disappointed to learn that the next day was founder’s day.
I spoke with my mom on the phone and told her my reasons for believing why getting drunk very early in the morning and staying that way all day was a bad idea, “I don’t think my body can handle that,” I said, “plus do I really want to get drunk and throw up on spinning rides with the same people I get drunk with every week?”
My mom said, “oh well just enjoy the experience! This is one of the last times you’ll be able to do this sort of thing. Just have fun!”
She probably also said something along the lines of, “you don’t have to drink, just go and have fun!”
This is why Will Smith was correct when he said, “Parents just don’t understand.”
How could I possibly participate without drinking? That is paradoxical. No one participates without drinking, because to not drink would be to not participate on Founder’s day.
So anyway, listening to my mother, and knowing what it really meant to participate, I started the morning off with six shots. Later in the day I ended up finding out that this was a bad idea.
However, at the time it seemed like a generally great idea. After the first two I thought, “Hm… I’m not a fan of being in college. We are spending a lot of time being excited about drinking, which implies that we are really too young to be drinking. This in turn implies that we are somewhat immature still, I guess, since truly mature people do not get this excited about drinking at 9 in the morning, probably. Perhaps I should remedy this situation by having two more shots.”
After the fourth shot I thought, “Hey! This is alright. Alcohol is fun. But I sure wish I could be with a different group of people. Granted I am a cynical bitch who is up on her high horse. But I know that one day I will fall off my high horse and then will be no better than Christopher Reeves, and then these same people I am judging now will be the ones laughing at me, so maybe I should just try to enjoy their company, since they’re alright and they’re nice usually. But anyway, regardless of all this, I sure wish I could be with a different group of people who I got along with a little better.”
I decided after this to have two more shots. Then a little later a different friend of mine ran into my room randomly to whisk me away. At the time I thought this was an excellent development in my day’s plans. While this was happening my other friend who goes to Kalamazoo called me to tell me that, as a lesbian, it had been her duty to take a tampon out of some girl because it had gotten stuck.
My friend who whisked me away ended up whisking me away further than I had intended to go. We ended up at a park near the train station, which is actually quite far from my school. A taxi ride away, at least.
At the park there were a lot of “people of color” because the event was some sort of multicultural thing. This was fine, because it turns out multicultural people sometimes bring cornbread and rice to their picnics, and I am a huge fan of cornbread and rice, especially when drunk. I ate at least three or four plates of cornbread and rice, I can’t remember, because I was pretty wasted.
Then my friend who had originally whisked me away started to ignore me, probably because she was hitting on some guy who was probably also a vegan, like her.
My friend is a vegan, which is okay. I knew her back in the days when she ate meat. I guess she decided that the environment and animals were important at some point, so she decided to not eat meat. I respected this decision, mostly just because she still supported my decision to eat meat as much as possible.
But then she became a vegan. Ever since she has expressed quite a bit of interest in other things like “freeganism” (eating food that was left behind, an environmental pursuit I believe many homeless people take part in), “sustainability” (???), and “local foods”. I guess I respect the notion that protecting our environment is a good thing, but sometimes these vegan environmental types like to get up on their high horses in order to defend their beliefs. I have already been up on a high horse about my beliefs for years, so sometimes we clash because we both have opinions and all that.
So I was at this vegan multicultural picnic of sorts and decided that I had to go to the bathroom pretty bad because I had just had six screwdrivers.
“You know what, I think I’m going to go walk to the train station, because I really have to pee, and then maybe I’ll take a taxi back to school because I’m pretty drunk and I already ate all of their cornbread and rice so I should just go back.”
This upset my friend, but not because I was leaving her company.
“Why don’t you just use the portapotties!”
“Ugh no. I can’t use those, they’re dirty. I’m just going to go to the train station.”
“You’re so elitist!” she said, “Some people have to use those all the time!”
I found her comment to be ironic, so I went to the train station to use the bathroom. Once that was accomplished, I fished in my pocket for money. Only ten dollars. This meant that I could not wildly and impulsively get on a train going to Grand Central. However, this was enough for a taxi back to Vassar, so I decided this was the most acceptable plan I could come up with given my funds.
I would later discover, in the midst of a very intense hangover, that not going to Grand Central had been the best thing that had happened to me that day. I can’t imagine what I would have done in the city if all I could do was lie on a bench in Central Park and throw up everywhere.
In any case I found myself back at Vassar in the midst of a very large carnival that was filled with people just as drunk and fucked up as I was. This was briefly relieving.
Around two or two thirty I started to think that I might get a hangover soon. This concerned me so I searched for remedies. There was no water in sight. Only hot dogs. I knew this would probably not be the best answer, considering how much cornbread and rice I had already eaten, so I looked into my friend’s bag and found pot cookies. I have heard that pot sometimes helps a hangover, so I took out the last three dollars I had and exchanged it for a cookie. Then I got high.
When I was high I slept on a blanket for about thirty minutes or five hours, and then realized that I was at a carnival with a bunch of drunk college students. So I got back up on my high (tall) high (stoned) horse, and decided to leave.
Back in my dorm room I called a hair salon and made a hair appointment. I then realized that I had a pretty significant hangover so I slept in my bed from 4pm until 7pm feeling sick, but also high.
At 7pm, still being high and hungover, I decided I should eat food. I went to a small sandwich café near my school and thought that the least I could do for my vegan friend, if not use portable toilets, was eat a vegan burger. I ordered the burger but ended up spending my entire mealtime in the café’s bathroom. Somewhere deep inside of me a sober version of myself begged me to pay for the burger I hadn’t been able to stomach, leave, and go pass out on my bed in my room.
I did this but felt sad about having wasted ten dollars on something that could have been delicious under normal circumstances, but that was not so great this time around.
I then came back to my room and spent 8pm to 9am the next day sleeping, but sporadically waking up to give in to the demands of my hangover.
I am just now getting over my hangover. I don’t know if I learned a valuable lesson or anything like that, but overall I found the day difficult and challenging. I can’t say I was meant for this college lifestyle. I was really meant to be a grandma, sitting in flowery chairs, knitting blankets, watching The View, and not drinking and getting high all day.