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Pound 3: Of Me and Men, A Spring Break Story

Arianna Allen |
April 28, 2014 | 2:55 p.m. PDT


Swinging my legs over the bed, I feel my feet touch down on a sticky layer of residue from the night before. On the way to the bathroom, I kick a pair of boxers across the beer-drenched hardwood before proceeding to catch myself from plummeting rear-first in the toilet. I slam down the toilet seat.

And that’s not the end of it. In the living room, I walk into the scene from "The Hangover." Exhausted boys are sprawled out on the leather couch, sleeping upright at the dining room table and spooning bottles of champagne.

It is not until I am forced to resort to drinking water from a cereal bowl that I begin to wonder, “what did I get myself into?”

Allow me to start from the beginning.

Two of my best guy friends from high school joined the same fraternity at the University of Oklahoma, and were renting a beach house in Florida with the rest of their pledge brothers. After finding out that I still didn’t have spring break plans, they offered for me to join them. But first, of course, I had to get the rest of the guys’ approval.

Thus, I became a part of their pledge class group text to see if I could "hang" and, after sharing a few jokes, I received their OK. I think a playful jab at one of the brothers along with my general refusal to take shi* from my outrageous high school friends was the final factor that sealed the deal. Spring break would be spent in a small beach town in Florida with 24 college boys. I was in. I just didn't know exactly what I was getting into.

The group-text quickly transformed as the guys tried to catch me up on who they were. Soon, I became jokingly labeled as the house mom. Two weeks later, it was spring break and time to go to Destin, Florida.

So there I was, drinking water out of a cereal bowl since it seemed like the more appropriate alternative to using the “I Love [private female body parts]" red cups. After all, it was morning and I don’t love *** all that much. But there was something else about these not-so-glamorous mornings that made me never want to leave Destin.

Every morning, I’d go next door to Travis’ room and hop on the edge of his bed where the guys and some lingering shackers would all talk and bond.

On the first night of my trip, several of the guys took me aside in private and assured me that if anyone gave me a hard time in the house, he/she would get kicked out. Each guy was kind, attentive and compassionate. I missed that Southern chivalry more than I realized. But that’s not all I discovered during Spring Break.

Here are some lessons I learned:

1. Boys like late-night dance parties more than girls do. They dance on tables, give the air lap-dances, head-whip and employ makeshift microphones to belt out rap songs and old hits.

2. Guys (OK, maybe just Reed for this one) also need help picking out what to wear. But it’s a little different. Instead of inquiring how a dress makes your butt look or if the color of your swimsuit makes you look tan, boys ask about the level of douchiness of their attire. Holding up a neon green Celtics jersey against a man tank with painted fake chest-hair and muscles, my friend asked me which one he should wear.

“Depends what you’re going for, d-bag or delinquent,” I replied. Both shirts screamed douchiness. But apparently, this fact made them both solid choices.

3. Guys have the best friendships. They don’t stab you in the back or try to impress one another. Whether introducing one of their brothers as a leprechaun on a daily basis or mooning a guy when he was sleeping, these boys sought every opportunity to pick on each other. However, they possessed a true and undeniable sense of brotherhood. At the risk of making them sound less fratty, I have to say that these guys cared about one another and would go to great lengths to have each others backs.

4. Turns out ice cream trucks make excellent designated drivers. Enough said.

5. Five-star restaurants offer take-out. This enables you to eat a filet mignon with plasticware, a Coors light and Krispy Kreme donuts for desert.

My trip was an adventure.

Not only did I lose count of the number of times I laughed until I thought I’d pee myself, I lost count of the number of times Patrick pretty much did.

Admittedly, there were some awkward moments like hearing my friend scream after he found tampons in my dresser drawer. Sorry babe: they’re just for nose bleeds, I promise. But these moments were sparse.

I miss having pillow-talk with the bros, responding to “mom” and being surrounded by the best and worst people one could possibly meet. But I can comfortably say that I have 24 additional people that I can turn to, 24 comfortable sweatshirts I could steal at all hours of the day and 24 willing subjects of my photography escapades.

John Steinbeck once wrote, “A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike… We do not take a trip, a trip takes us.”

Perhaps you have to let a journey take you and trust that it will unfold beautifully, trust that the waves will take you for an amazing ride and return you safely back to shore. I wouldn’t trade the memories or the messes any day.


Arianna Allen's column "The Freshman 15" explores lessons outside the classroom in freshman college life. Watch your pounds: get more here. Reach Arianna here.



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