It’s a Long Trek To Class — Solicitors Still Welcome

I’ve never been one for promptness (that pasty-white out-of-breath guy who shows up to lecture 10 minutes later, Perks cup at hand? That’s me). So — to shrink the window of my late arrival — I’ve mastered the art of Library Walk promoter avoidance in my time here at UCSD. Eye-aversion, curt head-shake, tight-lipped thanks-but-no-thanks grin; these are all hallmarks of my daily mad-dash to Center Hall.

But last week was a little different.

I set out on my normal path with the same objective as always: to shove my way to class as ruthlessly as ever. By the time I made it safely past the bookstore — still unsolicited by InterVarsity groupies and sorority girls alike — it occurred to me that I wasn’t the only one pulling the eye-aversion maneuver on Library Walk. They were.

Maybe it’s the fact that I’m no longer a slow-paced, doe-eyed freshman. Maybe sporting skinny jeans and a pink polo distinguished me as an unlikely TKE pledge. In any event, the Koreans and the Greeks had spoken, and their message was clear: You, cardigan-wearer, are unworthy of my flyer. Try Greenpeace.

While I’ve never been too keen on renewing my relationship with Jesus Christ, the fact that their offers were once on the table was a source of amused annoyance — maybe even subconscious flattery. It’s sort of like the feeling I’ll get during “Gilmore Girls” commercial breaks. Perhaps I’m not Playtex’s real target demographic, but the cloying offers inevitably remain.

The difference now, though, is that those former objects of my annoyance have been muted. It might seem a relief to have finally rid myself of their attention, but the sting of rejection never hurts so deep as when it’s from someone you didn’t want in the first place. (Sorry, Chess Club — but I guess it’s really not you, it’s me).

It’s funny: looks like one spoonful of Korean Club rejection is enough to make me long for the more bothersome days of yore.

As fate would have it, the next day, the reverse turned out to be true with — surprise, surprise — gay-marriage cheerleaders. Evidently, the American Civil Liberties Union, for one, doesn’t discriminate against the cardigan-outfitted men among us. Or was it the carelessly unbuttoned polo?

Whatever the case, I suppose my student-org discriminators can pat themselves on the back for successfully judging this book by its cover.

But even if they’re spot-on in their judgment, and the bookstore’s trash bins are one InterVarsity flyer lighter for it, a part of me — a small, shamelessly attention-starved part — sort of wishes they’d still hoist their little promotional scraps at me anyway. Because as much as it may suck to be halted six times on the sprint to Pepper Canyon Hall, there’s no downer quite like being greeted by a Korean barbequer’s furtive glance at his feet.

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