Tuesday, October 26, 2010

For The Times, They Are A-Changin'

I had my 10 year college reunion this past weekend. People from big universities probably never have reunions, but if you went to a small college, as I did, you can expect organized reunions every 5 years. The last time I was on my college campus was 5 years ago, and there were major changes at that time, primarily a whole new student union. Now, another 5 years later, there's a brand new athletic complex, complete with an aquatic center, climbing wall, and state-of-the art weight room. As a former collegiate athlete, I can say I sure wish we had that when I was there! There are also new, much nicer dorms to live in than were available when I was there. These are all big changes, for sure, but possibly the biggest shock my girlfriends and I were faced with was what the students were wearing.

The guys' style hasn't changed much in 10 years- basically still t-shirts and jeans. Probably the biggest change amongst guys is that they don't curve the bills of their hats so much anymore. It was the girls who really shocked us. So I've decided to take a little trip down memory lane. I went through my old photo albums and scanned in some photos from my college years, starting with my freshman year and ending with my senior year. These are not necessarily my favorite pictures (especially the earliest ones, where I think my face looks fatter than it does now when I'm 7.5 months pregnant- thank you, freshman 15!); rather they are pictures that illustrate the point I want to make. In all of the pictures I've scanned in, my girlfriends and I were in "going out" attire. The small town where our college is located used to have basically one bar, for ages 19 and up, and it was a stone's throw from campus, so that was literally THE place to be on Saturday night.

So, freshman year- 1996-1997- this is me, Katrina, and my roommate Sandy. Notice the big flannel shirts.

This is also my freshman year- Sarah Freed, Sandy, Katrina, Britt, and me. Mostly big, baggy clothes. Clothes I wouldn't be caught dead in now, and clothes that totally were NOT flattering on me! Baggy AND horizontal stripes? Where were Stacy and Clinton then? (If you have never watched What Not To Wear, that may not make sense to you.)

Sophomore year now- 1997-1998- not as baggy, but just casual. This is me, Kristi (apparently the birthday girl), and Kat. Sandy, my roommate, was actually in the picture, but when it got scanned it made her face all white, so I cut her out of it. Sorry, Sandy.

My junior year- 1998-1999- mostly t-shirts and jeans again. Starting in the back left- me, Freed, Sandy, Cristy, Michelle, and then in the front- Britt, Emily, Angela, and Kristi. As a side note- all of these girls except Freed were at the reunion this past weekend, and that seemed to be about it as far as people we (Sandy, Britt, Kristi, and I) wanted to see. It was a pretty poor showing, really.

This was Halloween my junior year, the year my friends and Mike's friends started really hanging out. We had a big Halloween party. The dresses that Britt and I wore (we're on the left) belonged to my roommate Sandy's mom, and this is probably about the most "dressed up" I ever got for a night up at Joe's. These are the 3 girls that I went back to campus with this past weekend.

Finally, our senior year- 1999-2000. We were still doing the tank-top-with-a-shirt-over-it thing then. Those are candy necklaces, too, just in case we needed a snack while up at the bar, I guess. This picture also shows the girls from this past weekend- Sandy, me, Britt, and Kristi.

This last picture is taken a couple of days before our graduation. This is actually at the bar, and we are all up on "The Ledge" for this photo. Again, notice that we're mostly in jeans and cute t-shirts (as opposed to grungy or baggy t-shirts). These were my closest college friends- Heather, Britt, me, Freed, Sandy, Kristi, and Katrina.

So you can see from all of those pictures, that we dressed pretty casually for going out. It's small-town Iowa- we didn't need to get too fancied up. There's nothing like being up at Joe's Knighthawk this past weekend and seeing the current style to make me realize that 10-15 years ago, we dressed WAY differently, and that yes, I am indeed getting old. It seemed I was constantly picking my jaw up off the floor at the outfits I was seeing. Maybe it didn't help that I was already feeling old and out of place as the only pregnant lady in the bar (I realize I don't look like a college kid anymore, but if I hadn't had this big belly sticking out, at least I would have felt like maybe I could have passed for someone in my mid-20's or something), but man, those outfits were unreal. I tried to be real sneaky and used my phone to snap a few photos of some of the co-eds. Unfortunately, I'm not quite at the paparazzi level, so my photography skills aren't great. I was not able to get pictures of the most atrocious outfits, or if I did, the pictures just really don't do them justice.

This one (girl in the white shirt and black skirt) seemed somewhat modest, to be honest.

This girl's dress, while very short, wasn't horrendous, but it was northern Iowa in late October. She, like many other girls, probably had on high-heeled sandals with this dress.

All three of these girls' dresses were extremely short. In real life (as opposed to this dark and blurry picture), the one on the far left barely was covered, and that is no joke.

The blonde girl in the forefront of this picture seemed like she got her dress straight out of Robert Palmer's Addicted to Love video, minus the sleeves and high neckline. Definitely gave new meaning to the term "little black dress," that's for sure. I mean, I don't know how she'd sit down without showing her butt. And then the girl on the right has a very short little skirt with those high heels.

This is just a slightly better pic of the blonde in the little black dress.

So remember that ledge that my girlfriends and I were on in the one picture? Well, people still dance on that ledge. Girls in their tiny dresses dance on that ledge, and I can only hope they have the dignity to wear underwear under those tiny dresses. It really was disturbing to my friends and me to see all these outfits. I had to ask at one point (aging myself that much more), "What would their mothers think?!" Many of the dresses were also very low-cut and revealing up top, and it just wasn't good. It makes me thankful that fashion trends rise and fall, and I hope that by the time my kids are in college, this tiny-dress trend is out and jeans and t-shirts are back in! It also makes me a little relieved to just have boys (at this point, anyway), seeing as how they still wear basically the same thing. But it brought up a couple of interesting and also annoying questions that I posed to my girlfriends- why is it that the guys still just throw on a t-shirt, jeans, and a hat, and the girls go to such extreme lengths to get attention? Don't they realize the kind of attention they're drawing to themselves? Is that the kind of attention they want? Maybe I should suggest that some prof at the college teach a class based around that. I'm not saying these girls shouldn't dress in cute clothes or anything, but I guess I'm wondering if any of them ever wonder if they've crossed a line of sorts.

So, aside from the disturbing outfits, the weekend was really fun. It was great to see Sandy, Kristi, and Britt again, and to be back on our old stomping grounds, even if we felt like old ladies. We did make it out to the dance floor and we did stay up way too late, but it was all worth it! Thanks, Sandy, Kisch, and Britt! You my friends!!!


zinncaulfield said...

Wow, you weren't kidding! Couldn't see any of the photos you scanned in. Glad you had fun

Jen O said...

My only thought while reading this post.....THANK GOD I GRADUATED WHEN I DID! My Iowa roomies and I had the same conversation at the Iowa / Iowa State football game. These girls are more dressed up to go bar hopping than I am at a wedding for crying out loud!

On a side note, hope you're feeling good Zinner! Can't wait to meet the newest Zinn-Burggraaf!