Mar 23, 2010

Ode to Tampy

Do you have that one person you see on a regular basis that just intrigues you beyond belief? Someone that you catch a glimpse of and think "Today's gonna be a good day." Like a lucky rabbit's foot--in human form. 


I had one. Her real name can't be revealed because well...she doesn't know who I am. Reading that back I sound like a legit stalker. 


To clarify--this person was not someone I followed around or chopped locks of hair from. I don't have that kind of time anymore.


We had some classes together...don't judge me. 


How did she become the shining star in my people watching sky? I'll tell you...


I first saw her in my Phys.Ed 101 class freshman year. She was real skinny, wearing a matching red crew neck sweatshirt with the same color red sweatpants, Keds, a red scrunchy, glasses that turned into sunglasses in the light, and carried a purse that looked much like Indiana Jones's satchel (other days she switched it out and it looked more like a clarinet case, and would occasionally rock the mom-jean.) 


Anytime the professor would ask if we had any questions her hand shot up faster than Hermione Granger. (Harry Potter reference--you're welcome.) She asked what to do should she ever develop elevated blood pressure, how to properly exercise, what she should tell her mother about hypertension. It.was.amazing.


I never really talked to her, mainly because I was a little bit afraid. She spoke so sternly to people I was afraid she would yell at me. 


Turned out I was right. 


One day the class was told to show up at the pool for water aerobics. Clearly a dream come true for me. The thing I wanted to do most in my life freshman year of college was to get in a bathing suit in front of my peers. So naturally I threw on bikini and hopped on in. 


In the bleachers I could see Her sitting all by herself. It kind of bummed me out. How sad to be sitting in a muggy indoor pool area all by yourself for 90 minutes. Granted she wasn't alone she had a her well read copy of Star Wars at her side. (No really...she did.) 


I thought I would go make a little small talk with her while drying off, just to be friendly I guess. That's when things got dicey. Gentlemen this may be too much for you to read. 


I said : "You didn't get in the pool today. That's a bummer." 
She locked eyes with me and said...more like yelled: "YEAH. WELL I'M ON MY PERIOD AND I DON'T KNOW HOW TO USE A TAMPON." 


Needless to say I didn't know where to go from there. 


I think my response was something like "That sucks," and then walked away as fast as I could. I remember thinking to myself, "What the hell just happened? Did I provoke that? Are we friends now? Who can I tell this to?"


Somewhere between me exiting the gym and walking across the street to my residence hall I blacked out from horror/ shock. I just met this girl and she revealed a very personal none of my business statement. I didn't remember anything of the event (literally nothing about it) until I saw her in the dining hall later that night. I was with my roommate at the time and just stared frozen in fear about what else she would reveal to me should I go any closer. It was like I was having flashbacks to 'Nam. My rooms, seeing my terror, and also knowing that the closest I'd ever come to Vietnam was the number of times I'd watched Forrest Gump asked me what was wrong. It was then that I first uttered this story. I then realized how literally insane it was and decided to tell numerous people. (Much like the wing story.) 


It was from telling this story that I learned not only did she have the nickname we had given her (Tampy in case you were wondering), but also Pencil Girl (as she claimed to have a severe allergy to pencils), Sailor Moon (she was a big anime fan), etc.


From there I realized what a true gem she was. She wasn't someone I would taunt or make fun of --just someone that fascinated me. She was so different than me and though it may seem malicious, I merely just found her entertaining by her quirks. She had a group of friends, a boyfriend, an executive position in the Anime Club. She found her niche in the LU community. 


I can honestly say for the rest of my life I will never forget that day. It was literally the most awkward, horrifying, weird, crazy statement to make to someone that you've just met. After I got over my initial terror seeing her became kind of a game. My friends would text me when they'd catch a glimpse. She was like the Where's Waldo of Brock Commons. 


My roommate and I thought of her a little bit as a good luck charm.When she looked happy and chipper I knew it was going to be a good day. I swear to God one day before a test I saw her looking pretty pumped about life. I went into that test and I'm proud to say got a pretty solid grade. I'd like to think it had a little to do with her. 


It was then I started to really realize the other people that LU had to offer. As a matter of fact a guy we used to call "Dragon Ball Z" and another girl named Pepper Anne were two others we kept our eyes peeled for. I would sit in D-hall and people watch for hours with my friends. The things we would hear and see were truly fascinating. 


Though none will ever be as fabulous as the OG --Tampy. 




--Jones

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