I’m sure you read that title with a bit of eye-rolling. Saying the word “idiots” usually involves some high-and-mighty, Hermione-Jean-Granger-level eye-rolling and maybe a holier-than-thou hair-flip. But, as with my last post’s title, this word has a much different meaning to me.
This weekend was Chapman’s Homecoming, and there was no way I wasn’t going to attend. Everyone who’s anyone in the Chapman community was in attendance: undergrads, alumni, parents, even some YOUNGER SIBLINGS WHO WERE FORCED TO CANCEL THAT SLEEPOVER BECAUSE THEY BARELY GET TO SEE JULIE ANYMORE, SO PUT YOUR SUITCASE IN THE CAR, TIMMY, WE’RE DRIVING TEN HOURS TO GO SEE YOUR SISTER POSE IN FRONT OF SOME GLITTERED, WOODEN LETTERS/SYMBOLS WE DON’T UNDERSTAND WHILE SOMEONE SHE KEEPS CALLING “BIG” HANDS US HOTDOGS (OKAY MAYBE JULIE’S IN A CULT). So obviously I was there. My Little housed me because she kind of has to at this point since blood is thicker than water, and by “water” I mean “sleeping in the student union.” I got to break my diet for a little over forty-eight hours and make my own mixed drink at the island in Fort Knox again, so it was like I was twenty-two all over again! Like, you know, newly twenty-two. Not twenty-two and 3/4ths like I am now. It was magical.
I got to see my girls: my Big, my Little, and Alex, who just rolled in from Vegas Sunday night and stayed with her Little (MY GOD-LITTLE!!) (ARE YOU SICK OF HEARING SORORITY WORDS YET??? WE’RE ONLY 255 WORDS IN) for the night before flying home this morning. So, as one does, I picked her up and drove her to McDonalds. We sat in the parking lot with fries and spilled our respective stories. I’ve got to say, talking on the phone is nice, but it’s even nicer to be able to randomly grab her nose/cover her face with both my hands in person. It’s just not the same when I do it to my iPhone. It usually just ends the call. I also got to have a full-on, high-school-esque sleepover with Charlotte and Jackie, and we did all of the usual teenage girl things: exchange stories about the night, dance around the bathroom whlist brushing our teeth and washing our faces, and then promptly passing out before anyone could ACTUALLY initiate a pillow fight. We also talked about boys, but the law of the sleepover states that I cannot reveal any further information regarding said alleged discussion. But anyway, Charlotte got to do all of her Chapman bucket list things: go to the D, go to Paul’s, play rage cage, get mimosas at brunch, and eat Persian food. Her bucket list is only ever food and alcohol. I got to see the niche that Jackie has made for herself in our absence: walking up to an undergad Beta party and knowing exactly one person standing on the lawn was enough to make me high-tail it to the D. Jackie waltzed around, hugging everyone, knowing all the boys, and setting herself up to be invited to the next, like, 25 fraternity date parties and formals. She’s all grown up. Mama, she made it.
But back to the whole title thing: though I see them all sporadically, having the weird little group together was heart-warming. It was also terrible for the liver, but I digress. All those boys and their reluctant-yet-tolerate friendships make me so happy. Like, they’re dumb. They’re so dumb. They do stupid things all the time. This weekend was no exception. But being around them is never boring. Even watching the play Smash Bros, but only for the first hour. After that it’s kind of redundant. Matt is going to win 93% of the time. But they’ll call rematch after drunken rematch. Because they’re dumb. They’re the Idiots.
I don’t know where that name originated from. I mean, I know where it came from, I just can’t pinpoint who attributed that word to that group first. But for at least a year or two, that’s the collective group title that everyone has just individually agreed to use.
“Where are you?”
“Ugh, I just found Chu, he was with the other Idiots. I should have guessed.”
“Who’s house are we pregaming at?”
“The Idiots’ house.”
“The usual Idiot pregame house.”
“Who’s gonna get the uber?”
“We’ll make one of the Idiots pay.”
There are many, many real-life examples of that word being used to describe the group of guys, mostly made up of Betas, though sometimes we’d throw Christian and Austin in there because it was easier than saying “The Idiots and then the Fiji roommates of two of the Idiots.” See, that’s a mouthful. That’s why “Idiot” is all-encompassing. I’ve been lumped into the Idiot category multiple times (about 50% of those we’re me calling myself an Idiot), and I consider a lot of people honorary Idiots. Slowly but surely, our stupid group is changing the definition of that word. It’s not a noble cause, but it’s a cause. I guess it’s not really a cause, as much as something we’re just doing. Though I guess I could make that argument for most things our group does. Like screaming during an intense game of rage cage isn’t so much an anger issue as much as something we’re just doing. See? Doesn’t that make it sound so much better?
The Idiots keep me grounded. By that I mean that every time my ego is getting a little too big, one of them will yell at me for being lazy for wanting to take an uber to a BBQ that’s four blocks away. They do not let me get away with anything. They let me make my own decisions, because they want to be able to make fun of the results. But I just called them dumb for an entire paragraph, so you could say the feeling is mutual. This weekend was just the kind of love-fest I’m used to: a lot of video games, gossiping, sleeping places that are not my house, and drunk-hugging. I will never get tired of being asked “What’s our plan for tonight?” by twenty different people from the hours of 9am-9pm and then getting into a courtroom debate about the option the boys choose last-minute and the rational decision the girls made twelve hours ago. It’s good to know that, even post-grad, my most overused phrases when I’m anywhere near Chapman will always be: “Will they only have beer or will there be actual hard alcohol there?” “No, that’s a terrible idea.” “Conner. Stop.” and “This group never has plans. We like to figure it out well after people have become unable to drive anywhere.”
My friends are Idiots.
As Kristen Schaal once said, “1st Valentines Day: 200,000 BC men and women congregate on opposite sides of Pangaea, waiting for someone to make the first move.”