The Hotpants Chronicle

I posted that blurb on Twitter a few days ago. I’ve gone back and forth about writing this because it is unbefitting, and what if some school official were to come across it somehow (though I don’t see how it would get him in trouble, it certainly would be deathly mortifying for me)? But in the end I decided it was more innocent intending than inappropriate (by my calculations, kind of 60/40). Also I thought it would be interesting to chronicle how I lose all sense of propriety and morph into the likeness of a 16 year-old who’s been away at an all-girl boarding school and is inept regarding all things of the male persuasion. But if you think that’s pitiful, then I take it all back and I’m only doing this because I need something to write about. So there.

First let’s backtrack to last August. My “regular” advisor wasn’t available (really just a woman I met with once, and who was a bit rude anyway), so I scheduled with the first available one. The following week, signed in and seated, I spotted a guy walking out of his office and to the front desk. My first thought–He’s cute–was immediately followed with, Please, please, OH PLEASE don’t let it him be my advisor! (I get really nervous when my first assessment of a guy is his physical attractiveness, and when I’m nervous I consequently become flustered and say stupid things.)

He called my name. Sonofuh! Be cool, just be cool, I pep-talked myself as I walked over. Maybe he’ll be a jerk. Please just be a jerk. Be rude like the other lady.

Just my luck, he wasn’t. Stuttering aside (on my end, of course), he was nice and really easy to talk to. Yes, I definitely liked this advisor. But it wasn’t until I walked away from our second meeting that I decided I kinda-sorta-maybe had a teeny-tiny-little school girl crush. And it was on the third session that I remembered to look for a wedding band (none, YESSS!) and scanned the room for any evidence of a girlfriend (again, none, but when I brought up the fact that his office was sparse, he replied that he didn’t like clutter, which means the absence of a framed gorgeous model wasn’t duly because she didn’t exist, but simply because he doesn’t like picture frames).

I met with him a total of five times last semester, more than all my other advisors put together (though let it be known those appointments were all valid and necessary–give me some credit). And before each meeting I’d tell myself, Get it together. Whatever. You’re  over this. Of course this was always after I’d already done my hair, applied the make-up, and chosen my outfit with care. For crying out loud, I accessorized!

I saw him last in October to select classes for Spring. When I walked out of that meeting–Oh, I should mention he’s always sitting behind his desk when I leave, and as I’m walking out, says something like, “See you” or “Bye,” and then I’m doing that awkward walking away/looking back dance (once I was thisclose to walking into his doorframe), and it’s bothered me that that’s always the last image he has of me, though I probably couldn’t do better if I tried–I thought, Well, there it was–the last meeting with Advisor Hotpants.

And it should have been. There really was no reason I should ever have to go back there to see him, or anyone else for that matter.

Except that there was.

Early this year I had some trouble adding classes, so last Friday, with zero credits to my name, I called the advising center and asked to meet with Advisor Somebody Else-Anybody Else. (It was a new year after all, why should it have to include sweaty palms and stammering? Also, I didn’t want Advisor Hotpants thinking I was irresponsible, and was determined to uphold whatever shred of self-preservation I might’ve had left with him.) I was told if I wanted to see Somebody Else-Anybody Else, all I had to do was show up between certain hours and ask for him. No appointment was necessary. Yes, things were looking up.

With Hotpants out of the picture, the pressure was gone. Still, I decided to dress up a little. I mean, if I wanted Anybody Else to take me seriously, shouldn’t I try to avoid my everyday look of “Overslept Frenzy”? That was so last semester.

So when I showed up this week to ask for Advisor Anybody Else, GUESS WHO happened to be walking out of his office? Not like he’d remember who I was or anything, but I still willed myself to be invisible. As Hotpants wandered out behind me, I tried to make like a violet and shrink. And when he stood at my right, I stared to the left. When we crossed paths, I watched my feet with gusto. All those careful and clever calculations only to turn around and find him looking at me, “Hey, how’s it going?” (HOLY BATTLESHIP, BATMAN, HE REMEMBERED ME!!!)

As painfully obvious as I must’ve just looked, I still played the “I had no idea you were here” card and sang the “Oh, heeey! How are yooou?” song. I know, I’m an idiot.

I guiltily explained to that Anybody Else was available without having to make an appointment, and this way I wouldn’t have to bother him. Then throwing a curve ball and completely foiling my game plan, Hotpants told Front Desk Lady it was fine, that he’d be able to see me instead. This produced an unusually odd combination of Seventh Heaven, and the feeling one might get when being called to the principal’s office.

I did the usual scanning (still no ring or photographed beauty), then I acknowledged the usual advisory flag in my head, Only talk about school stuff!, and then a nanosecond later I was asking him about his winter vacation. He listened to my class dilemma, and I was sent on a professor scavenger hunt–including one that had him and me strolling through the building. Now I know that’s barely noteworthy, but that didn’t stop me from trying to hide a grin the entire length of it and thinking, Oh my gosh, we’re walking down the hallway together! (Seriously, how old am I?) And when I met with him again a few hours later, we took a second walk. I had to turn away and literally bite my cheeks to keep from smiling.

We didn’t get everything done in that second meeting, so I met with him again the following day, where it took all of two seconds to tie up some loose ends, but continued for FORTY MINUTES(!) with talking and laughing until his next appointment arrived.

So there it was: my perfect last meeting with Advisor Hotpants. He even stood up instead of sitting behind his desk like he normally does when I leave; and while still encumbered with my trademark walk-away awkwardness, this time there was bounce in my step.