A little more Grace, please
A encouragement to maintain some female dignity
I am completely guilty of being a first class offense people watcher. By this, I mean I unfortunately enjoy offering my quick two-cents to people I observe doing silly things.
I would like to take this moment to formally apologize to anyone touched by the harshness of my offhanded commentaries. I don’t know you personally, nor you me — and that’s probably a good thing. My offenses are almost like purposefully pretending to hack up a lung when someone smoking a cigarette walks by. It’s subtle advice, right?
Let me back up and explain. The following are some of my favorite people watching locales on Grounds.
1. Rugby road, Friday night
It goes without saying this particular spot is teeming with juicy people watching. There, I impulsively and verbally share my thoughts with passersbys in the heart of fraternity central — hence my former sweeping apology. There are just certain instances when I feel people could use a little advice — nay, input. They never ask for my opinion, but I offer freely. It’s like charity.
Let me paint a specific scene to further my point. It is 11:30 p.m. on any given weekend here at Mr. Jefferson’s University. Due to some misunderstanding about what defines “cute,” the night welcomes scores of the miniskirt/tight shirt combo. The fatal flaw of these tube skirts? Their tendency to ride up as you walk. Given how walking is the modus operandi of transportation, it should not surprise anyone that Rugby Road sees a lot of this problem.
How these brave females can bare their legs from their ankles to the very tops of their thighs, revealing what I like to call the “under-butt,” I know not. That requires a level of confidence — arguably synonymous with drunkenness — of which I do not share.
As I brush past these women in their saran-wrap skirts, I feel the need to step in and share my charitable words of wisdom. Never breaking my stride, I take a passing moment to kindly remind them they have forgotten to wear pants by saying something mature, like, “I can see your butt,” or, “That’s funny, she looks naked.”
2. Fraternity basements
Ah, yes. Fraternity basements: the crème-de-la-crème of people watching and goodwill sharing. As I descend the stairs into a cloud of body odor and beer mist, I observe a crowd of happy people enjoying their friendly environment. Packed like sardines, these folks move as a single, cohesive unit in a short back-and-forth swaying pattern that stems from pelvic gyrations — some call it “dancing.”
Unfortunately, the bar and — more importantly — the door to the porch (my escape to fresh air), are on the opposite side of this sea. Plunging into the crowd, I move like a pinball bouncing to-and-fro against obstacles. I see girls making faces as if they just smelled something foul, but, judging by the rest of their movements and their side swept sweaty hair, it appears as though they are into their partner. I am left to assume the face is indicative of a good time.
I loudly — and not at all sarcastically — excuse myself past and tell these women they are very good at dancing. They never acknowledge me — which is probably better for the sake of preserving my reputation. But my hope is they realize their pelvic action on the dance floor is not very Grace Kelly.
If I were to use a cop-out, I would say the reason I feel compelled to share my thoughts with these girls is motherly instinct. I want them to present themselves well to society. But that’s not it entirely.
I make snarky comments without thinking in the heat of the moment because I’m genuinely appalled. These sights are nothing new to me, and yet every time I bear witness, I gawk at the lack of poise. We are women here at the University, and as silly as I admit that phrase can sound, it packs a punch of in-your-face dignity.
Shameless actions are just that —shameless. Shamelessness can indicate confidence, but it can also indicate ignorance. Trust me, there’s something sexy about not bearing it all and sharing it all. Just try a little harder to be like Grace Kelly, and have some, well, grace.
Kate’s column runs biweekly Thursdays. She can be reached at email@example.com.