ELEVENTH IN LINE
About This Blog
A blog about my life, universe, etc. At any given time you might find something endlessly interesting or just me ruminating on something else, which no one (not even myself) finds interesting. That's the way blogs go, I suppose. Anyway, I was eleventh in line, and you weren't. Hah!
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Ohio State University
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My mom is a lawyer in Pickerington; my stepdad and dad are computer guys, and my stepmom (who works with my dad) is an engineer. My sisters are, in order of age, a photographer, an artist, and a person too young to have her own website. My brothers are, in order of age, living up north, and again, a person too young to have a website. At some point soon I'll be collecting links for my aunts, uncle, and cousins. ^_^
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Saturday, August 21, 2004
It's a social life, not a science experiment... Which is what I try to remember when I go to things like the thing tonight (a church dance for young single adults, or YSAs). Which I went to, of course. It was weird, on multiple levels -- I haven't been to that building since December, 2001 (maybe even earlier than that, like July), and EVERYTHING in the campus area has changed since I was attending full-time at Ohio State. The Chik-Fil-A is long gone, replaced with under-construction-ish junk. Same with a used CD store and a music store and a coffee shop and a lot of other places I never went into but liked to walk by. It's all part of the Gateway Project, which was started my junior year. I have to go back to the campus area during daylight/sunny hours (it was a dark and stormy night today) to really find out how much has changed. It makes me sad, though. Come to think of it, I'm not sure whether the law school is still there. Heh.
Anyway, it was also weird because I didn't know anyone there. I mostly attended that ward regularly in 1997-1999; all but a few of the folks I knew as a freshman are LONG gone. Most people in the ward now probably don't remember when OSU's star quarterback, Joe Germaine, went to our church. And none of them know me, since I stopped attending when most of them were still in high school (and yet, I'm AT MOST two or three years older than most of the freshmen/sophomores -- the average freshman at OSU is like, 19.8 years old, and we have bazillions of returned missionaries who are 21 or 22 when they get home). Some of them probably THINK they know who I am, since I look a lot like my sister (if you discount my height, hair, and facial birthmark), but that's another issue altogether.
So I was sitting outside the church, trying to decide what time it was likely to officially start (in retrospect, I think the official time was 8:00pm -- I got there at 8:25, and sat in my car until 8:58), and realized that I was rather severely overdressed, at least for an "early" person. Most of the people who arrive on time (that is, within the first two hours of the event starting), know what's going on -- and tonight was a "Stoplight" dance, meaning that you were supposed to wear a t-shirt that was red, yellow, or green, depending on your personal and relationship boundaries (if I'd known, I would have gone with a yellow-green -- green was defined as "hit on me" and yellow was defined as "be cautious"), and so everyone was in t-shirts and jeans instead of the usual dressy stuff. It was okay, because as the evening progressed more people who dressed up showed up (some got creative, and had yellow, green, or red nylons), and I looked cute. Nonetheless, I hate not conforming. It draws undue attention. I considered going home, but decided that would be lame, and pressed forward. Unfortunately, I waited so long to go in that the rain had REALLY started, and I came in wet. Fortunately, not THAT wet; it wasn't a disaster.
The next part is the part I always hate, when it comes to how I personally deal with these situations. In terms of comfort, I was at a 2 out of 10 -- and at that point, I fall into Mission Critical Analysis and Tactical Planning Mode. I spent thirty minutes walking around, reading every piece of writing on the walls, and attempting to observe the behavior of the participants (who was dancing, who they were dancing with, what color their shirt was, etc.) I identified everyone who was trying to help, the folks who seemed more content to play foosball or pool in the next room over, the folks who were glued to their chairs, etc. At 9:35 I made myself promise that I'd spend a FULL HOUR in the dance room before leaving, but decided that trying to convince myself to be more proactive would be... beyond pointless. I might humor my friends in these situations, but I don't tend to be able to push myself into really breaching my comfort zone.
Anyway, at like, 9:40, a guy named Adam (if you're reading, Adam -- hi!), who is majoring in Finance, asked me to dance. Which was swell, as I haven't danced with a guy at a dance since, well, probably late 2000. I deliberately exclude in this all gay men, married men, and relatives (sorry guys, but you don't count). I'm not sure that excluding them is necessary, though.
In any case, after that I was approached for conversation by a girl named Amy, and then by another girl, and she introduced me to a third girl whose name I never got (sigh), and then the second girl introduced me to some guys, and then she and I had a serious conversation about the advantages of ambiguous black shirts (and skirts, and grey tights -- hey, I like my dark colors) in a situation like this. She encouraged me to test the ability of black to serve as red, yellow AND green at various times, but I declined. We later played pool, after I was coerced into dancing to "Cotton Eye Joe" AND "YMCA" (the second far more regrettable than the first -- at least "Cotton Eye Joe" was a learning experience).
Overall, I think the experience was beneficial, but I am reluctantly forced to conclude that I need to be more spontaneous in these situations, and more self-promoting, I guess you could say. I almost (though not really, in case anyone from the stake is reading this!) wish for the pressure of a Sadie Hawkins dance. I feel like I turned too much of the event into a chore, or observational exercise, than a pleasant excursion. In the past I've relied on a friend to force me into enjoying-things mode, now I have to try and do it for myself. Grr.
Incidentally, I want to say that I ADORE non-comogenic (or whatever it is) makeup, and astringent. I sit here in Mickey Mouse Americana slippers and random pajamas, with my hair tied up and my pores completely clear of toxic stuff. Normally within about six hours of putting on makeup, my face breaks out into a rash, with a few zits for fun. But I got some "Clean" makeup from CoverGirl, and took it all off with astringent, and put on moisturizer -- and I hardly even feel itchy!!! It's a miracle of modern science, I tell you. The dance gets a 7.5, the drive home (in the rain, in the dark, over freeways and streets I barely remember) gets a 2.25, but the makeup gets a 9.75 (I still can't find a tone that's right -- "Ivory" is too light, and "Natural Ivory," the next one up, is too dark!)
So ends the account of Sarah, on the occasion of her first YSA dance in three years. ^_^
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Because only so many people can be eleventh in line.