As I compulsively click on CNN all day long to watch hurricane updates, I am reminded of something from my first semester at Texas A&M, back in '88 (gulp). One weekend that fall we were supposed to play Alabama (I think), which was a big game (I think), but there was a hurricane hitting that area and the game was cancelled. Which is a big deal in college football. In Texas. At Texas A&M. Anyway, so what did the students do instead? Why, they threw hurricane parties, of course!
The one I went to was with some of my Fish Camp friends. It was my first official "college party." My [older, wiser] roommate had gone home for the weekend, so I had the apartment all to myself. I went to this party and played drinking games and laughed with new friends, giddy with the possibilities spread out before me in this exciting new world. It was raining, but I don't remember any of us registering any fear or concern for the hurricane, wherever it was hitting. I have fond, although slightly vague, memories of this party, because I met a super-cute boy who liked me and we spontaneously made out in the backseat of a car stuffed with about six other people. Driving somewhere. Intoxicated (although I have no idea who was driving or whose car it was). Crammed in the back, I turned my head and there he was and we just casually made out for a few minutes. Then that was it. It was all very exciting, and I remember feeling wild and free and having it sink in just a little bit more that I was truly On My Own now and could Do as I Wished. His name was Kevin and he was H.O.T.
The notable part for me was how okay I was with just casually making out one night, then just being friendly after that and never even dating – and that was perfectly ok. This was a new way for me to feel, sans burning jealousy. I still had that when it came to my boyfriend back home, but this carefree attitude was new for me and I felt very empowered. Ahhh, youth…
Anyway, it was a hurricane party and I don't even remember the hurricane. And in light of what's been going on lately on the Gulf Coast, I kinda doubt there are any hurricane parties still going on these days. Maybe I'm wrong, but it just seems scarier and more real now than it did then – maybe because I'm all "grown up"? Sometimes I wish, though, that I could revert to that time of innocence and the naiveté I had back then. I felt so worldly and so free and believed the future was mine – I didn't know yet that the world is smaller than it seems, that no one is free once they become a slave to Uncle Sam, and that hurricanes are nothing to party about.
I highly recommend kissing a strange boy every now and then.