I was a volleyball walk-on in college. I’m not talking intramurals here. I’m talking division 1A women’s volleyball. I make that distinction to provide a portrait of my teammates and friends. They were tall, thin, fit, and beautiful. Thankfully beauty wasn't a prerequisite to be a scholarship volleyball player, but these gals were abundantly blessed with stunning looks and athletic talent. Five of us piled into my Chevy Citation to costume shop for a Saturday night Halloween party my sophomore year.
They wanted to go dressed as 1920’s flappers. Of course they did. They would make great flappers. I longed to be part of their crowd, but I just couldn’t see myself donning a skimpy dress, gaudy jewelry, and trashy makeup even if for a night of costumed fun. I was uniquely comfortable in my own skin, and sure as hell knew I wouldn’t be comfortable going to a frat party looking like an olden-days call girl.
The cost was also causing me hesitation because it was earmarked for the night’s low quality refreshments. I separated from the gang and began to explore the store alone.
I found the packaged costumes aisle and was contemplating a jailbird, a cow suit, or beer while I could hear them a few aisles over. My pals were giggling and gasping and shouting handfuls of, “You totally need to get that! It’s so tacky.” I peeked my head around one of the end caps to see if maybe I could pull off one of the dresses they were looking at renting. Negative.
There was a lot of flesh, fake gold rings, bracelets and necklaces, and heaps of shiny, flowing fabric. It wasn’t nearly enough fabric to convince me to join them. They laughed and pointed and took turns doing the mirror-and-dressing room two-step.
In addition to my aversion to dressing up like a floozy and parting with my cash, I didn’t want to go through trying on rental costumes. I wasn’t built like these girls, and had recently tested with the highest body fat percentage in our preseason assessments. I was horrified at the thought of being in the middle of a modeling hot seat. They gladly took turns in the center of the appraisal circle. I’d feel like a piñata waiting to be struck down with verbal blows of “your chest isn't big enough” and “Oh weird. That dress totally fit me.”
Nope. No way. I slunk back into the packaged costume aisle to resume my beer versus farm animal deliberations.
My teammates found me moments later with their shimmering decor draped over their arms and ready to check out. They were kind in not giving me too much grief for wanting to do my own thing, but some were leery when I showed ‘em the udders. (They are quite shocking at first glance.) I never dressed for the masses before and wasn’t about to start now. Then when one of them mentioned the party had a free keg, my choice was made.
You make some choices during college that you expect to follow you, but I had no idea that was to be the first of many Cow Suit Saturdays.