Many thanks to all who entered — I know you wanted to win, but I think you’ll agree that this is one hell of a story. *wink*
When I was a junior in college, my roommate Sara and I sat around talking — and drinking. We were enjoying the quiet conversation as much as the relaxed mellow feeling so much that we wondered why we bothered to go out to bars at all…
Sara said, “Why do we go out to bars, anyway?”
“Because everyone begs us to go — especially Candy,” I replied. Laughing I added, “And apparently we are spineless creatures.”
Sara laughed too but then she got animated. Gesturing with her hands (including her drinking hand, which threatened to slop wine on me), she said, “Well, why do we listen to them? These women who are only here for their MRS degrees anyway, with their continual bullshit about how fun it will be, why do we even bother to listen to them let alone fall for it and go?”
“I don’t know… Unless I cop out with the ‘we are spineless’ thing again.”
Long story short, that night Sara and I made a pledge. No longer would be be deluded by these women. No longer would we let the Candys of the world convince us we needed men to have fun, men to relax, nor men to take care of us. Instead, we vowed, we’d pick them off, one by one, and get them to stay ‘at home’ drinking with us.
The next Thursday, the biggest drinking night for this campus full of students who went ‘back home’ to party on the weekends, we had our opportunity.
Candy knocked on our door after her 3 O’clock class ended. “Coming out tonight, girls?” she cooed.
We nearly dragged her in our room, poured her a glass of wine, and began our work. “Candy, why would we go out when we have everything we need right here?”
She smiled, not taking us seriously, as she sipped her wine. “There are no boys here,” she giggled, “and unless you want to provide booze for 20 boys, I doubt they’d show up. Where the boys are, that’s where the girls will be.”
This drove Sara nearly insane.
“Why are you here, at college, if you’re only after a man? Isn’t there some Stepford community you could join? Or a nice boy your parents could set you up with? Some boy who is happy to have you launder his work shirts and make him a pot roast?” (I truly remember the spittle at the corner of Sara’s mouth as she spat out the words ‘pot roast’.)
Wide-eyed, Candy turned to me for help, “How much has she had to drink?”
“It’s not the drink; it’s feminism which has got her so riled,” I said.
Now Candy, normally a giggles only kind of a girl — most often of the giggle hair-flip variety, let out a hearty guffaw. “Feminism? You think I’m not a feminist? Well, honey, why else do you think I’m hunting here at college? A college man’s going to make me more money than any boy from my parent’s set of friends,” she said.
“Are you serious?!” Sara foamed.
“That’s not exactly feminism,” I ventured.
“Sure it is,” Candy responded. “I want things and the quickest way to them is a man.”
“That’s not being a feminist,” I said wryly, “that’s a gold digger.”
Candy straightened up, threw her shoulders back, and said, “You want facts? Let me educate you ladies.” She sat down on the bottom bunk and patted for us to join her.
“The facts are that women do not make the same wage as men for the same work. In order for a woman to make the same amount of money, she’s going to have to work harder and longer hours. On top of which, men do not need to worry about what happens to their careers if and when they become parents — nor do they need to plan about when to do so because their sperm doesn’t have the lifespan-issues eggs do. When I have children, I will have less say or influence on their lives because I am a woman — “Daddy” will have more authority with schools, doctors, etc. than I. If I want to make any headway at all, I’m best off taking what he has and twisting it into power for myself, and my children. Used properly, the MRS degree you mock, can have more power than your BA, your Masters, or any other degree. I intend to take my MRS degree and muscle myself into the PTA, then the school board — and once my name’s a winner on that ticket, leverage name recognition into a state senate seat. From there, who knows?”
I must say, our jaws dropped. Silly giggling Candy was much more hardcore than we knew.
But we still were uncomfortable with her definition of feminism.
“So, girls, mock my silly MRS degree if you want. But my MRS degree comes with a diamond — one look at me, and folks see my power. Will anyone notice your degrees? Just pieces of paper hidden away somewhere, really.”
“So, to you the engagement diamond is a symbol of power?” I asked.
“Sure is,” Candy smugly replied. “Want proof? Flash that ring-finger with a diamond in a bar and watch men back-off. Giving them the other finger just gets you more trouble. Plus diamonds are pretty.” she giggled.
“You don’t need a man to get you one of those,” Sara said.
“Need one? No,” she said, “but a man’s a faster way than on your own. Like I said, I’d have to work a lot harder and longer than a man to be able to buy myself one.”
“OK,” I said, “Whoever gets their diamond ring first, wins.”
“Huh?” both Sara and Candy said in unison.
“I propose — pun intended — that we each pursue our own diamond rings via the methods we believe in. Candy, you go after the MRS degree diamond; and I’ll earn my own diamond ring.”
Candy was giggling again. “Honey, even if I didn’t already have a head start, that would hardly be fair!”
“I’ll take the disadvantage. I’m that certain I’ll beat you.”
Sara was doing the math in her head — our small stipends for tutoring others in accounting barely kept us in wine. She shook her head slowly at me.
“OK,” Candy agreed, “I hope you like eating crow… Oh, and it must be a real diamond. No fakes.”
“No problem,” I said smiling.
“Well, thanks for the wine, girls, but I must get dressed for the night — will you be joining us?” she said, mocking us I do believe.
“No, thanks,” I said as Candy swept out the door.
“What have you done?” Sara whispered.
Three days later I was working with an escort agency. (I’d been toying with the idea anyway; this just gave me the incentive to follow-through.)
At $200 an hour, it took me about 20 hours (over roughly a month and a half) to buy myself a rather grand diamond ring.
Of course, the look on Candy’s face when I showed it — and the sales receipt — to her was worth even more.
She, of course, asked me how I’d got it.
“Whoring,” I said.
“No, really,” she said.
“Whoring,” said Sara. “I start on Saturday.”
“Fine, don’t tell me,” she whined.
“So, I win?”
“Yeah. You win…” she said quietly.
“Let’s go out and celebrate — my treat,” I said triumphantly, “Candy’ll need something to wash down her crow with.” Ushering Candy to the door I added, “Hurry up now — I can’t wait to flash this baby around.”
“Now there’s a reason to go out,” said Sara.