The vision of the bus came to me when I was walking down Sixth street in Austin, Texas when a friend came to visit and I was showing her the sights. If you haven’t been to Austin then you won’t know that this street makes Sodom and Gomorrah look like Mayberry and Vegas look like Disneyland. There was something so blatant about the hunt for sex on this street that it brought out a maternal/Gloria Steinem/bus driver part of myself that I hadn’t previously known.
I saw the boys boozing it up in the bars and CLEARLY wanting one thing and the girls acting/drinking/dancing on stripper poles like they only wanted that one thing too and yet, I could see in some of their eyes, their laughs, their self-consciousness, and body language,that they were likely wanting MORE than just sex. The problem, I think, is if I say I want x and I really want y and the next day after x is over and then I want y and then I am surprised that he isn’t up for y. Or, when I give x hoping that means it will make him y me.I just want everyone to be on the same page and to be making choices they are happy with.
As I walked down Sixth Street I didn’t judge. I understand why college boys are doing shots and hunting for sex on a Friday night in Austin, Texas. I get it. I just felt sad when I walked by these clubs and looked into the windows to see an 18 year old college girls dancing on stripper poles at an ordinary night club, where they weren’t even working or getting paid for their antics, ( even if I didn’t blame I did wonder if their parents had learned about Sixth street before signing their children up to attend University of Texas. Because let me tell you if I had children and they were considering U of T, Sixth street would be the deal breaker for me. Yes, I am a hard-ass imaginary parent).
What I decided that night in Austin is that I needed a bus and that I needed to paint it bright pink and cover it with glitter and marabou and I would call it The Pink Cosmo, Cupcake, and Marabou Self-Esteem Express. I would fill the bus with cupcakes, Cosmos and beautiful shoes. I would have songs that girls love to dance to blaring from the buses impressive sound system. Then I would drive the bus up and down the streets where “Girls Go Wild” like in New Orleans, Ft. Lauderdale or wherever it is that college age kids go on spring break and drink to excess and make choices that they would not otherwise make if they weren’t drinking huge vats of Long Island Iced Teas. I would tempt the girls on the bus with promises of free shoes, cupcakes, Cosmos and iPhones .
Once the party-girls were on the bus and the doors were closed and their seat belts were on, I would whisk them away to a self-esteem seminar and FAR-FAR-FAR away from “Coyote Ugly”(nothing good can happen at a bar that is named, according to the Urban Dictionary for a “A situation encountered after a night of consuming alcohol whereby a person, usually male, wakes the next morning in a strange bed with a sexual partner from the previous evening who is completely physically undesirable and sleeping on the man’s arm. The hapless male would rather gnaw off his own arm than wake the woman and have to face the ills of his intoxicated choices the previous evening. Originating from a phenomena whereby a coyote captured in a jaw trap will chew off its own leg to escape certain death.”) There would be lots of gift bags from Sephora and Juicy Couture and trays of cupcakes to distract them until they arrived at the self-esteem express boot camp of self-love.
There is no morality or religious overtones to my Pink Cosmo, Cupcake and Marabou Self-Esteem Express. I am all for a cocktail or two and I am certainly a fan of sex. However, I am not a fan of people engaging in behavior that they wouldn’t do if they felt better about themselves or if they had drank less.
Maybe I am just old and antiquated and all of the young girls of today are Samanthas and they don’t really want love and they just want no-strings sex and they all have somehow magically overridden biology or hormones or cultural myths that have long made women more prone to craving commitment after sex than men. It could be and if that is the case I will keep my pink bus in the garage and rent it out for Bachelorette parties or for groups of ladies on their way to Chippendales.
That said, every time I see a group of adolescent girls I have the strongest urge to go up to them and tell them how beautiful they are and how awful adolescence is and how not to spend all their time on guys but to study and know their worth and love themselves. This is one of many reasons why it is best if I stay away from “Forever 21”. I have never actually done it but every time I see them I am tempted. I just wish that they had some idea how beautiful they are. I want to stop them and tell them that this will pass and things will get better and they will be loved and happy and successful and that all will be well. And I want to tell them that nothing gets better from sleeping with guys you don’t like or from drinking Jell-O shots and that I wish someone had told me that when I was young. Yet I know my well meaning attempts at acknowledgem
ent would be met with eye-rolling, “whatever” and judgments about me being wackadoo, so I bite my tongue.
I wish the Pink Cosmo, Cupcake and Marabou Self-Esteem Express would have come for me the night when I was 17 and Billy Blonde-hair talked me into too many shots of tequila and then talked me into having sex with him by reading me his CV of past conquests. He had had sex with the Who’s-who of my high school and that, paired with the tequila shots, made sex with him seem like a good idea even though everything about it felt so very wrong. I wish that I could, in my Pink Cosmo, Cupcake and Marabou Self-esteem Express, travel back in time and save myself from that moment. I wish that the me of today could go to the me of 16 and tell myself that I didn’t even like Billy Blonde-hair and how bad the sex was going to be and how much better I would feel if I just would walk away. Sadly I can’t do that. However every time I see a young girl on the border of a Billy Blonde-hair moment I want to give her a place on my imaginary pink bus and transport her to a self-esteem seminar in which she is taught to see her real beauty and value and give her a cupcake along with a life-lesson.