>>> The Rollercoaster of Drama
By staff writer Simonne Cullen
February 26, 2006

Within the first two weeks of arriving at your university, the ladies are all looking for one thing. Some of you may be surprised to find out that it’s not the right boyfriend or the right group of friends, but the right hairstylist. The task of finding a hairstylist who understands your hair’s tone and attitude is imperative. No one wants to spend the entire first semester with bad roots or a bad dye job, but no one wants to go to just anyone either. Normally, in every town, big or small, there’s an Aveda salon which, like condoms, has a 97% success rate. Beware of that 3% that encourage you to experiment with some “light, auburn tones” when you’re clearly blonde. There’s nothing like going in Paris Hilton and coming out Kathy Griffin to give you some real perspective.

In order to make the salon trip a little cheaper, some girls go to places where cosmetologists are still in training and have them highlight their hair. Some girls dye their own hair to save them money. Some girls throw hair-dying parties in the communal bathroom. Some girls walk by and pass out from the chemical fumes. I let my friends dye my hair once. I ended up with orange hair and the title of “Simba” for a week until I got it professionally redone. I never went back to pharmacy store hair dye ever again. Just spend an extra 80 bucks. It’ll save you the humiliation of being nicknamed a cartoon character.

“I once fell asleep in a supervolt tanning bed with my hand on my stomach. The discoloration was visible to aircraft hovering three thousand miles above our heads.”

Guys take note: Brazilian bikini waxes are incredibly painful. If your girlfriend gets it done regularly, consider yourself incredibly lucky. If there are some guys out there who don’t think it’s a big deal, do me a favor and take a piece of masking tape, wedge it between your ass cheeks, and pull. Now multiply that pain five times, and that’s what we experience. So if you leave this article right now to buy your girl flowers, well then I completely understand.

But before you go, I have a question I’d like answered. Guys shave their crotchal region in order to make their prize possession look bigger. The only problem is there is such bad razor burn that it makes the area look like a big rash. No self-respecting girl is going near anything that looks potentially contagious. So why, guys, can’t you just moisturize? You already use lotion on it for other reasons. Just spread it out a little more. Believe me it will help.

Why are some guys so uncomfortable being seen at a tanning salon? Is it that big of a scandal? You’ve been spotted there just before closing time by some girl in your class who you have friends in common with, and now you’re worried you’re going to be known around campus as Malibu Ken. But honestly, she doesn’t care that you tan. It’s not like she’s going to get back to campus and tell all of her girlfriends she cracked the case! She’s solved the big mystery why you smell like a pina colada. I mean it’s the middle of winter, if you’re sporting a tangier skin shade and have a thin line of white color across your nose where you’re tanning glasses lay, people are going to know it’s not your natural color. No point in hiding it.

Some guys who are too insecure to tan usually find themselves experimenting with self-tanning products. This is true not so much in the rural colleges but definitely in urban areas. And if I had to choose between having skin in my sixties that looks like leather or plastering pictures of myself on Facebook where I have orange streaks from the waist down, well then I welcome the luggage look. Not to mention my face being completely discolored from the rest of my body and reeking of day old uncooked chicken with a hint of vanilla.

I have a long history with the tanning beds. In my high school physics class we had to do a huge presentation on an invention that involved physics. Some girls choose stun guns. Others attempted to figure out how the Downy ball knows when it’s the rinse cycle. My group chose a tanning bed. We went into our tanning salon with a video camera and had the manager tell us how the bed worked, how many volts of electricity it took, blah blah blah. Then afterward, we all went tanning so we could get the before and after shots. And to this day all I can remember from that project is the beginning of the tape where Jamie got into a standup tanning bed and told the camera she was going up into space. I think I’m still the only one who appreciated that outtake.

Some girls try to get deals and go to tanning salons where you can tan all month for five bucks. But cheap rates come with cheap beds, lousy coverage, and occasionally, a skin rash. One friend who insisted on going to one of the cheaper tanning salons came back to campus with ringworm on her arm. She didn’t know what to tell people when they asked how she got it, so she invented a wrestler boyfriend from the next town. After that, everyone we knew on campus was very cautious of St. Norbert’s guys. Even to this day, when she gets hammered, her skin gets all red and blotchy, and the circle where the ringworm used to be turns a unique shade of magenta. That will forever serve as a reminder: don’t go tanning in the bodybuilding part of town.

Not to be outdone, I once fell asleep in a supervolt tanning bed with my hand on my stomach. And ringworm girl made sure to point it out every chance she got that summer. As if the discoloration wasn’t visible to aircraft hovering three thousand miles above our heads.

I have a friend who would get airbrushed with tanner every time there was a big event. It was kind of on the pricey side, but in the end, really worth the money. She was tan for the event, saved her skin from UV damage, and as a bonus, for 24 hours she couldn’t shower and had to bum around all day in sweats. She didn’t even smell like salmonella. On the downside, she did have to watch a guy airbrush her groin area. Tanning in a bed doesn’t seem so bad now does it, guys?

Girls that tan too much, to the point where they look like they've crossed over into another ethnic group, really bug me. My friend’s sister tanned so much she would spend a majority of her day outside tanning, then scrub her face with a brillo pad, and go to the tanning salon. She came back with her face looking like it crossed some serious racial lines. People didn’t even recognize her, and for the life of her, she couldn’t figure out why the waiters at El Azteca were addressing her in Spanish.

Once you start tanning, it’s really hard to stop. It was easy to get away with it in college. Now that I’m still living at home, my grandma, who at 80 still has flawless porcelain skin, asks me if I’ve been out in the sun. I keep telling her it’s windburn, but I think she’s slowly catching on. Probably because I’m more of a bronze tone than beet red. But I only go once a month now, partly because I know it’s bad for me and partly because I can barely afford it. I’ve been saving up for medical insurance since the statistics say that it will be a much bigger priority down the line.

Workisms

I’ve thought about taking up a smoking habit just to get a few more minutes of peace during the day. The smokers in the building have their own lounge with their own computers and their own outdoor area. What do non-smokers get? We have no private lounge with cans filled with fresh air for the taking. We have no extra acceptable time away from our desks for our addiction. Sure we get clean lungs, and the keyboards in the smoking lounge are tinted a unique shade of brown. But for every smoking break a smoker gets, I say the non-smokers get to hang out in lounge chairs and get a five minute back massage from hot, shirtless, tan men named Ricardo.

Everyone has a bad day at work. The toner in the printer leaks, or the fax machine eats every fax that goes through, or you have to stay late. But regardless of how bad your day is going, never fuck with the person who books your flight. This woman should be held in the highest regard in the office. You never want to piss her off, because if you make her day a bad day, she’ll make sure you’re sitting in the back of the plane by the bathrooms, in the middle seat, with a complimentary low sodium meal, next to a screaming newborn. And if you really piss her off, she’ll go after your rental car. “Hi Hertz? I know the company normally goes with the Volvo, but this time we’re going to have to settle for the Dodge Neon.” Administrative assistants don’t have a lot of power, but in the areas we do, we are not meant to be trifled with.

Then there are days when your acts of rebellion aren’t a hundred percent satisfying. Like one day I found myself aggravated, but had limited outlets in which to unleash my rage. All I could do was print out all the documents in Book Antiqua instead of Times New Roman. And I’m not going to lie, even though it had to be done, it really wasn’t that fulfilling.

Well we have that Flavia (not to be confused with labia) machine, and I’m in charge of ordering all the teas and coffees. One morning I entered the office to find a note on my desk telling me I had ordered the wrong green tea. Apparently the one we had not only looked, but tasted like Martian Piss. What really concerned me was the fact that later that day, I was asked by the same person what color green tea was supposed to be. I responded, “Uh, let me get E.T. on the phone and double check.”

The other day we had a client coming in so I went downstairs to the lobby and purchased some candy for the candy dish. It was running on empty as usual. The selection was limited so I bought Rolos, Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and Mini Butterfingers: pretty good candy in my opinion. As I was filling it, my boss came out and told me to purchase corporate candy and not college candy next time. I was firmly insulted. Who doesn’t enjoy a Mini Reese’s? Later that day, he started going through the candy dish, and I told him that the college candy was for not for the corporate body. It was slightly unprofessional, but I could have easily pointed out that the client didn’t even glance at the candy dish once, and if he had, probably had bigger things to worry about than the atrociousness of a York Peppermint Patty in a corporate office.

A friend and I debated if we’d continue working should one of us come into an obscene amount of money, and if we wouldn’t, how we’d leave the workplace. So I started playing the lottery a couple weeks ago, and every Tuesday night I catch the last bit of the news to see if my numbers came in. I’m not a big gambler. When I go to Vegas I spend most of my time seeing the shows or at the clubs. When I lived in Wisconsin, I went to an Indian Reservation Casino only once and spent all of my time at their indoor water park. My friend said that if she won she’d give the customary two weeks notice. Fuck that! I’d give my two hours notice. Two hours after the time I was supposed to be there when I woke up covered in a money blanket.


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