As Halloween creeps up on us, it’s natural to think of the things that scare us most.
While vampires and midterms are both frightening, the scariest thing I have ever seen roaming the streets of Foggy Bottom was a former flame.
It was a Wednesday night. I was walking out of Whole Foods with my friend. After about an hour of eating too much mac and cheese and swapping gossip, we left the store only to run into a guy I was rather comfortable with last semester.
I immediately stopped talking mid-sentence. At that point, I did the only logical thing. I avoided eye contact while pretending to text someone and walked away.
About halfway down I Street, I looked down at my outfit and shuddered. Why was I wearing brown shoes with a black belt? Could I have chosen worse fitting shorts? Did I spot a stain on my shirt?
In short, I was a mess.
But then I examined the male in question as he crossed the street. He had gotten a haircut that looked like it had cost him approximately $5. His shorts were awkwardly a few inches too short. And don’t even get me started about his sandals.
Seeing him inspired a spurt of narcissism. But when I got back to my room, I spent about 10 minutes looking at myself in the mirror. I discovered that my mascara was running, my lip gloss had faded and my hair was super frizzy. Neither of us looked good.
This year, I have made a conscious effort to avoid such a debacle by straightening my hair, scrutinizing my outfits in the mirror every 12 minutes and obsessively checking that my mascara was evenly applied. But that day, I felt like more of a failure than I did in my freshman year astronomy class.
As Halloween approaches, I cannot help but think of how I have been haunted on campus. Flames will spark and burn out, but the guys will be around until they graduate.
Whether they are reminders of years, months, weeks or even one sloppy night – hey, it happens to all of us – we will never be able to escape the ghosts of our bad decisions.