By Emily Palm
This installment of Poignantly Pathetic Moments comes courtesy of my friend whom shall remain unnamed. I must preface it with the fact that she is one of the, strike that, the most beautiful, eloquent, humble and intelligent people I know (let alone fortunate enough to share a number of adventures with).
If someone asks her where she went to school, she’ll say, “The Eastcoast.” The inquirer must pry to discover she graduated from an Ivy League undergrad to then attend one of the USA’s oldest medical schools (with an MBA thrown in there to assist in saving the world).
Ask her what she did in South Africa for a year and she’ll say “Research.” A few more questions in and, what’s that? She’s a Fulbright Scholar. Then to ice the cake, she is drop-dead, stunningly, strikingly gorgeous.
Why the unnecessarily long intro? Because if my brilliant bosom buddy can have a poignantly pathetic moment, isn’t that a bit of redemption?
The story begins.
After an epically awful winter break during her junior year of undergrad, followed by a cross-country travel day bursting with late flights, missed connections and an obscenely early start, she finally arrives back at school. Completely exhausted and emotionally frazzled, she accepts an invitation to go out that evening with some ladies in her class.
Being a laid-back, albeit high achieving, Westcoaster—possibly the only Oregonian amongst this group of demandingly competitive young women—she effortfully puts herself out there.
After sharing her story, the newish group of gals suggests they all do a shot. You know, one of those, “I’m Carrie you can be Samantha moments.” The selection? Chocolate Cake.
So my weary friend takes the shot and it promptly comes out her nose. Her “friends” proceed to look the other way, faces flashing “eww.”
In addition to the fact that it was of course a creamy shot (that happening with just a straight shot of gin would be too painless), is the humor I find in these girls’ lack of humor, classic examples of those who take themselves far too seriously.
On the one hand I feel sad that there was no one to burst out laughing with my compassionate friend at that miserable moment, but on the other, it’s such a poignant scene. The only consolation is the laughter among friends after the fact at the preposterousness of people and that sometimes in life we will be surrounded by pretentious jerks.