Back in the seventies, the campus of Fairmont State had a student union building where everyone congregated between classes. It was called the Nickel, because we had nickel a beer night about every night. Ok, that’s a lie. But, you could buy a glass of draft beer for a nickel, and maybe once a week had “Nickel Night.” Or it may have been once a semester. I know it was more than once a year. Let’s just go with once a night. So, yeah, we were a bunch of drunks.
The Nickel had a little game room on one side people rarely used, and a snack bar on the other side. I ate a hamburger and french fries almost every day. My freshman year I ate in the cafeteria because I lived on campus, but the rest of the time I ate food clogged with cholesterol about every day.
There was a room in the back of the Nickel called, The Greek Room. Sounds a little politically incorrect, I guess, but this huge room was just for frat boys and the girls who needed fifty bff’s. I was one of those needy, goofy girls. You could not go into the back room unless you were a Greek. There were a group of football players who did not join a fraternity, and they called themselves, Group Five. I don’t know why. Maybe there were only five of them in the group, but they sat out in the front with the rest of the non-Greekers and made fun of those who walked through. Well, if they didn’t know you or like you. I thought it was sort of fun walking through them to get to the back. We strutted through between classes. Little did I know how much we were hated until I started hating us, too. I will save that for a later post.
I joined Sigma Sigma Sigma during the second semester of my freshman year. Or maybe it was during my sophomore year. I know that I sat out at least a semester because my friends and I were bombarded during rush week, or whatever the hell it was called, and we just needed to step back and take a look at each of the five sororities and to see if we even wanted to join. We heard terrible things about each sorority. But, the worst was reserved for the Tri-Pigmas.
“You don’t want to join them. Sure they are all beautiful, but they KNOW they are…… They are just a bunch of rich bitches…..They will love you to your face and then tear you apart behind your back…….Their daddy takes care of them and they all drive expensive cars…
Yikes. They sounded harsh. The present-day Mean Girls, College Edition. But, they seemed sooo nice and they really wanted us to join.
So, yeah, I was stupid and joined. It was fun, really. I had a blast the first three years. We weren’t mean or bitches. I even wore a t-shirt that read, “I’m not conceited, I’m perfect” to make fun of myself. All it did was make me look like a bitch. Some things always backfire. And my grades suffered too, because I wasn’t good at multi-tasking. I was partying and not studying. Something had to give. Goodbye 4.0, hello 2.6. Pathetic. I blame it on sorority life and the fact that I had no spine and would never say no.
“Sure, I’ll go with you.”……”Hell, yeah, let’s drive over to Ocean City on Wednesday,”…………………”I can’t believe I forgot to go to that class all semester”…..
I could also be a doormat. ”You need an abortion and need someone with a car to take you to Pittsburgh? Sure, I’ll take you.”……”Yeah, I’m going home this weekend. Sure, I can drive 40 minutes out of my way to take you home. Afterall we are sisters.” I was a no gas money given doormat.
So, back to the Nickel. Between classes, we headed for the back room. I had to get past the basketball players, though. I don’t know why, but several of the black basketball players liked to torment me. They at first, would say things to me when I would walk past. “Hey, Blondie, how are you doing today?” Well, I don’t know why, but the three of them scared the crap out of me. I don’t know if it is because they were so tall and I was so short and only weighed 98 pounds, or that they were black and there was only one black person in our whole high school and I was scared. Stupid, really, but ignorance leads to all kinds of fears. I feared the black basketball players. One day, I heard them laugh at me. “Look how fast she walked past us.” So, the torment began. They would block my path for a few seconds and just smile down at me. They were all tall freaking trees and I was walking through their scary forest each day. I was little red riding in the hood.
Once back in the safety of my frat boy and sorority bitch home, I would talk to my “sisters” and watch the TKE fraternity boys play Spades. Back in the mid-seventies, if you didn’t play Spades, you might as well just drop out of college.
I really don’t know how I learned how to play. I have horrible listening skills. Maybe someone taught me and showed me how to play while actually in the middle of a game. That’s the best way to learn. Just reading the directions would not cut it with me. The wikipedia rules that I just read made my head spin. How to Play Spades in 25 Easy Steps After I learned how to play Spades, I was pretty damn good. If you want to play with the boys, you have to know how to play. So, yeah, Spades was a definite game that was played in the Greek Room.
One game that three of the TKE brothers played on semester was called, “How Fast Does Vickie Eat?” Evidently, without me knowing, they must have watched how quickly I devoured my cheeseburger and fries. I was lucky if I weighed 96 pounds in college. I looked anorexic, but everyone knew that wasn’t true, because I could inhale food and never excused myself afterwards to put my finger down my throat. I could eat and not gain an ounce. But, I never realized that I was a fast eater. I guess someone noticed it one day, and so then they set out to watch me every day. I had no idea they were watching me. Until they brought me a homemade trophy.
I guess I was in the running for “Fastest Food Guzzler,” a made up contest that no one knew they entered. There were three people that they were placing bets on who could eat the fastest. They timed each person, me included. They had to wait until we all had ordered the same food. Dear God, did they not have anything better to do than to watch people eat?
I guess I won. Um, thanks? They told me that they timed me over and over again and that no one came close to how fast I ate. They made me feel like I should be proud. I felt like a pig. Thank God I didn’t look like one. I was a skinny piglet.
The next year I was handed another homemade trophey. Oh, come on now! I was so humiliated by the eating time trial that I learned to slow down and not eat like I had two minutes to live. But, this wasn’t another eating contest. This was a different kind of contest.
Looks like five of the TKE boys took it upon themselves to watch girls on campus. They gathered information and got back with each other and came up with a list. And I was on their list. Just great. What the hell did I do now? And these weren’t even the same goobers who gave me the first one.
The words on the homemade trophy simply read: BBOC Vickie Mendenhall
They handed it to me with big smiles.
“Ok, guys. What is this? What does BBOC mean?” I was semi-pissed.
“You have the Best Butt On Campus.” And with that said, they smiled and walked away.
I guess the TKE brothers found the best lips, the best bust, the best hair, the best legs, the best smile, the best eyes, and the best butt on campus. And of all of the butts, they thought my butt was best.
I haven’t won much after that. I won a jar of jelly once while playing some grocery store bingo. I won a $2 scratch off lottery ticket. I won a lottery for jury duty, but was told that wasn’t a good thing. Damn.
So, yeah, I have fond memories of the Nickel, that wonderful student union on the campus of Fairmont State College. I learned how to play Spades, how to eat quickly, and I learned that I had the best butt on campus.
Too bad that honor wouldn’t make a difference at the end of the semester when grades came out.
I guess I could have said, “But, Mom, I won a contest. See the trophy?”
Yes, I loved the Nickel. College would have been so much more fun, however, if there weren’t any classes.