Sun. Jan 23rd, 2022

Today’s forecast: freezing. Yesterday’s weather: bitter. Tomorrow: chance of storm. Yet we keep going outside and entering into the cold world. If it weren’t for the layers we put on, I don’t know how we would even make it out of the house. Sometimes I wonder about the comedic relation between the clothes we wear on the outside and what we hide on the inside.

When you first meet someone you don’t usually bare all and open up…revealing layers. Sometimes we actually meet someone and put on layers. Sometimes we put on masks to hide our expressions, and other times we put on wigs to disguise our looks. And then there’s the occasional ‘lose of layers,’ when it’s just too hot to keep your clothes on. Not here, not this time of year, not in West Chester.

And what about baggage? When you are standing in front of the mirror ready to go out to the bar for a few drinks you realize something is missing. Your bag. And in that bag we keep our lipstick, money, ID and mints, seems harmless. However when entering into a relationship the bag we carry seems to be a lot heavier. Including family issues, ex-boyfriends, addictions and failures. Not exactly the type of bag you want to brag to your friends about. So here we are dressed in layers, wearing a mask and wig, carrying our baggage. Do we ever relieve our real selves?

While at the bar with Shaun Paul Costello, after what I remember to only be a few drinks we sat down for a long overdue talk. With things starting to get cluttered due to my ‘gray’ bag, Shaun Paul opened his- and to my surprise I wasn’t as scared as I thought. Turns out, when someone willingly shares, things don’t seem as frightening.

“It’s been a long time since someone looked at me the way you do. I like it,” he said as we drank our drinks.

So why do we tend to keep our past tucked away? Open communication with Costello has lead to many hot nights, no cold feelings and plenty of fashionable evenings on the town.

Now back to class on Monday, the bag on my shoulder seemed a little bit lighter, and I thank him for that. It’s nice to know someone will help you carry your bag- even when not asked.

As it is still painfully cold living off campus makes walk to the apartment miserable. Even with her Uggs and North Face Noel was freezing. Fifteen minutes later she arrived. Finally she went inside to warm up with a nice hot cup of cocoa. As she sat down, things began to get chilly again.

On her laptop, a Facebook message appeared from the one and only Jeff. The message was warm-explaining how sorry he was, how she was the best thing that had ever happened to her, that she was the single greatest influence in his entire life.

Nothing but sweet words for Noel. After what Jeff did to Noel I thought sending a response was way too kind. That is until I heard exactly what it was she said. No layers there, she put it all out for Jeff to see. And just like that, she cleaned Jeff out of her bag.

Carrying her newest Coach purse, Michelle decided to walk with her baggage out front. So when she went to Kooma on Friday night she came back with a number. His name was Ken Telluride. He was a fun guy, handsome, smart, great dancer – a real gentleman. Of course, he wasn’t single. His boyfriend also has those qualities. So instead of sharing baggage Michelle and Mitch went shopping for bags. While Michelle was making new friends Amber was confronted with old feelings.

Amber had one only enemy on this campus. She knew how to make Amber’s blood boil even on the coldest of days. Her name was Natasha Perkins. She walked around campus with a high nose and a big head. Spending all her time dissecting frogs and picking apart human hearts. Natasha was the other woman in the only real relationship Amber was ever in. As tough of a female as Amber appears, under her Marc Jacobs wool trench coat she had anger and pain towards Natasha. And when they passed each other outside of Anderson Hall they exchanged baleful looks that could freeze the warmest of climates.

Later that evening Amber relived the event over Chinese dinner. A cup of noodles and venting. In my apartment, for the first time in a long time Amber took off her mask and showed some emotion. “Why I let one women get to me I’ll never know.”

Why is it that we sometimes let women get to us more than men? These layers we have, the bags we carry, who are we really dressing for? When we put on our skirts and stocking in January are we freezing for fashion or for impressing?

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