I have now started my second year of University!
For my re-emergence into social youth culture, my family and I went shopping for clothes. Sad to say, the majority of shopping trips made with my parents have ended badly. Before I was self-conscious about what I wear (which is to say, while I was still in elementary school), I frustrated my mother with an impressive display of complete apathy when it came to clothing. "Does this look good?" my mother would ask. "I don't care. Get it if you want." I would say. At that point, I was going through my "stubborn individual" phase, in which I could go around wearing a paper bag and would be as happy as a clam. During this phase, I wore mostly sweatpants and patterned turtlenecks.
Needless to say, after junior high (during which I particapated in gym classes in said turtlenecks and sweatpants) I grew to appreciate the simplicity and cultural-friendliness of bluejeans. And Gap. During this phase, the stress of shopping drew mainly from my mother's disapproval of what I wanted to wear. I would choose something I saw the popular girls wear, or something I saw on TV, or something that was just so pink and frilly and skintight that it had to look good on me, only to have my mother insist that the popular girls were thin and flat-chested, so that their clothes would never look good translated onto my voluptuous figure, because they either showed too much of the bra it was absolutely necessary for me to wear, or they made my breasts look even more exaggeratingly large than they already were, or they were extremely unflattering to my round belly. She was right 80% of the time, which was why, even through the fiction between us, I usually went with her choices.
This time, however, went so smoothly as to suggest the aid of divine intervention. While the fiendish fad of low-rise jeans and low-rise trousers in general is still alive and well, this year the majority of teenage girls and style-makers suddenly cued on to the fact that round bellies (not fatness, mind, but bellies less than flat) + tight, low-rise jeans = the "muffin top" effect, namely, the flesh of the belly bulges unflatteringly over the waist of the pants. To compensate, the style this year included long tanks and t-shirts, tunics really, that descend half-way past the rear end and completely cover the belly, and short jackets and shoulder-sweaters (that cover the shoulders and can be knotted just below the busom -- a look, I might add, that is much more flattering on proud-chested women then on the skinnier, flatter girls). Due to my slight incompetence in laundry skills, most, if not all of my shirts from the year before shrunk to the point where they could not cover my round belly, giving me no little embarassment. The mix-and-match quality of the sweaters, tanks, and tee-shirts not only gave me endless combinations, but also made it possible to redeem the shrunk sweaters and jackets, because the layering effect of short shirt over long shirt is very "in" this year.
With the once-in-a-lifetime miracle of a fall style that actually flattered my own figure, the shopping trip went rather well, and we all left with our tempers intact.
The first days of University went well. I wandered the Club Fair with the intension of acquiring a few pens and a bushelful of free candy (see post "Whoring for Candy", and imagine that situation, but even more intense), and ended up signing up for a Sorority house tour (where you gett a free tour of all four sorority houses, to see which one you'd like to join, with free food included), and arranging an audition to join the University's Mixed Chorus (where you got a sweatshirt! With the name of the university club on it, and your position in the choir! Like an athlete!). I have the feeling that I'm going to be hopelessly busy this year.
My Japanese class was a little intimidating, but became much more fun and easy once I read the textbook, which offered a useful trick to remembering which syllable was attached to which Hiragana symbol. Film studies was a bore and an enormous disappointment--from the way the teacher described it, it seemed to be very political, with very little actually having to do with film. My English seemed interesting - it's Victorian Literature, so I get to read my favourites Jane Eyre and David Copperfield over again.
I made lots of friends in Classics, and Symbolic Logic seems harmless. I have the feeling it's going to be a very hard year, in which I will have to go without a great deal of TV. A shame, really.
Also, today I was offered a coupon for the new Coca-Cola energy drink called Full Throttle. I got a can and took a few gulps - it tasted like lemon-flavoured window cleaner. Reading the can, I noticed they had a different list for the Non-Medicinal Ingredients (sugar water with some citrus flavouring) and Medicinal Ingredients (a wack of caffeine and riboflavin, and some other "medicines" I couldn't pronounce). They also had things on the can that said Adult Dosage: No more than one (1) can a day, taken as needed and Consult your health professional before drinking if you take these medications... They didn't have any warning about Consult your health professional before drinking if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, but I think they are only one lawsuit away from putting that on anyway.
So, basically, they're being remarkably open about marketing a caffeinated drink like a drug. Caffeine is a drug, but you don't see warnings like that on bottles of Barq's. I didn't finish the can. I took one more gulp (just to experiment and see what would happen) and left the can on an empty table.
Nothing happened after that - except for the Student's Union. They've now acquired pink elephants and dead presidents to wander the Student's Union Building, throwing leprecaun gold at all the good little boys and girls. I caught a few coins, but now I can't find them, and my head feels funny.