Like most students at this school, I’m an addict.
Drug of choice: caffeine.
Recognizing the signs of withdrawal one afternoon (the shakes, blurred vision, foaming at the mouth … wait, that might be rabies), I decided to head to Starbucks for a hit.
(I know, I support the evil corporate conglomerate. Send hate e-mail to: email@example.com.)
I managed to stumble through the excruciatingly heavy glass door, narrowly avoiding a collision with surly grad students wielding Macs and Chai, and dragged myself to the counter, practically catatonic with need.
“Tall … soy … latte,” I croaked.
I heard a snicker.
I turned around, suddenly snapping out of my Courtney Love-esque haze.
The pseudo-hipster listening to his iPod behind me (I checked his screen — Gwen Stefani — poser) murmured a derisive, “Soy …” and rolled his eyes at me.
To my astonishment, the cashier behind the counter locked eyes with my Converse-clad hater and echoed his snicker, repeating my order to the barista with such derision as to emphasize its “high-maintenance” lack of lactose.
Wait … a … minute.
“I’m not that girl!” I wanted to scream at both of them, “Stop judging me!”
You know which girl I’m talking about — the “soy” girl. The girl who eats stuff that looks semi-normal except that the consistency is weird and it’s made with impossible-to-pronounce ingredients that smell funny. The girl who took a semester off of school to chain herself to an oil rig in Alaska to prevent companies from drilling and destroying the Arctic habitat. The girl who has her hair in dreads to conserve water and also because it’s hard to find shampoo that doesn’t test on furry little bunnies.
I’m not that girl.
I wanted to rip the Starbucks apron and the Z. Cavariccis right off my judges and tell them exactly what was up with my soy choice: Maybe it has nothing to do with my politics at all.
Maybe it’s about phlegm production. Did you know that dairy = mucus factory?
Maybe I had chronic sinus infections for eight horrible months, known as my “Anne Frank” period because of my inability to leave my room and because my friends identified me from several hundred yards away by my hacking cough, a condition only recently rectified by massive bloody surgery and thus dairy = mucus factory = death!
If I had said all of that, I know I would have rocked out of Starbucks triumphant, soy latte held high.
Instead, I’m writing it here, rendering myself dateless for the next six months. Did I mention I’m kidding about the phlegm? Heh heh …*cough*.
But then I got to thinking: I’m not the “soy” girl. But I have a lot of respect for her: anyone with that kind of commitment and passion is doing something right.
And I realized, if I don’t like being judged, then I shouldn’t do it.
Except for beauty contestants on TV.
This occurred to me as I walked through Commons a few weeks ago and was semi-assaulted by a woman wearing a large poster of mammary glands and yelling, “Ask me about my breasts!”
“What a complete psycho,” I thought to myself. “Who screams about their boobs?”
But then I remembered not to judge — at least not yet.
It turns out that she was just passing out some information about breast self-exams, which are important in detecting breast cancer in women and are rarely done correctly.
I felt like a boob.
Then she offered to “give me a demonstration,” and that was going a little too far.
Because I’m not that girl either.
Susan Posluszny is ‘that girl’ who you can take home to meet your parents.