Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lesson Learned

Little red plastic cup. innocently stacked in a pile.
"Here" he says, "It's for you. I take care of my freshmen". Into each hand, he places a red cup.
"Enjoy" he continues, as he walks away, leaving us alone. A sea of unfamiliar faces look as we hover in the doorway.
I feel like I don't belong here.
I'm not this type of girl; not the partying type. Not the girl to be holding a cup at a fraternity party.
I'm a good girl,
But no one knows this.
We are virtual strangers, the girls and I. Barely do I know their names, their stories have yet to be revealed, as we have only met a few hours before. Since we are all collegiate athletes to be, we have been grouped together for Freshmen orientation class.
It is his idea, our peer mentor, an upper class man, to come out to this party this night. We later discover, that he is pledging this fraternity and so his actions may have ulterior motives.
In the doorway of the large white house we cling together, our shared naivete, our bond. As one unit, we walk to the kitchen, and discover a blue plastic tub filled with a purple punch.
"I guess I'll just try some" I say.
I'm a good girl, not the partying type.
It appears I am alone in my inexperience, as they quickly empty their glass.
Bottoms up, I suppose as I join them back at the rubber tub.
The little red plastic cup holds another glass of the purple punch, and then another. (and another?)
Our inhibitions begin to fade, as the liquor takes hold.
I'm a good girl, not the partying type.
I find a seat in the living room, and sit.
The room begins to spin as my stomach churns.
Purple liquid splashes onto the white carpet as I drop my little red plastic cup.
"Who's ready to head back to the dorm?" the familiar voice asks. I look up to spy my peer mentor.
I walk to the car, and crawl into the back seat. Two of my new friends, sit next me.
"Can you open the window a bit?" I ask, my stomach continues to churn, as I attempt to hide my intoxication.
"Of course" he responds, as the car takes off back to the university. I feel the cool air on my face as the window rolls down, then I hear the lighter click. He places the cigar between his lips, and immediately the smell overcomes me.
"Pull over! Pull over now!" I yell.

It was that early night in my college experience that I learned to be hesitant about those little red plastic cups.
Lesson Learned.

*Sorry mom & dad! I know you thought I was a good girl, and I was, most of the time! :)

What we finally landed on? Is this:
Write a post that either starts or ends with the words "Lesson learned." Word limit: 400 words


  1. Oh boy...I had a few of those nights in college myself!!

  2. It took me a couple years and being single, but I had some college nights like that.

    I wonder if they ever got the purple out of the carpet? Hmm...

  3. Oh boy! LOL I love your note to your parents at the end. And I love your constant disclaimer throughout that you're a good girl. :) Well written.

  4. Oh so very relatable! I loved how you got into the head of new-to-college you.

    This line -our shared naivete, our bond- read perfectly.

    And of course, I loved the note to your parents!

  5. I like how the red plastic cup is a symbol woven throughout the piece. That is so true to life as shown by many a facebook photo!

  6. "my stomach continues to churn" its no wonder that stuff is like draino- OMG!

    I don't know many people who haven't drank it at least once; that's usually enough!

    Glad that you decided to put the your experience to words; enjoyed it.

  7. The famous purple punch. A disaster waiting to happen, that's for sure. You did such a great job of taking us back there. I liked the "not the partying type" woven through the story.

  8. What an evocative post! I had forgotten those red plastic cups and they did always contain the sweetest high octane mix.

  9. Been there. Done that. Not fun...at all. I was a good girl, too, but I had one or two of these nights, and I always regretted them completely. Love the repetition of "I'm a good girl"; it really hit home your discomfort with the entire situation. Great job!

  10. I can only confirm what others have said before. I love the note at the end to your parents and the repetitve use of the line that you're a good girl. The story is well written in an easily relatable way - loved it!

  11. The punch was called Pink Cadillac, and my friend made it from a secret recipe. She also made it in a trash can. One specifically purchased for the punch, but a trash can nonetheless.

    Those red cups do bring the memories back!


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