Walking up three flights of stairs, Lily could already hear Callie’s music playing from their dorm room. Lily prepared her invitation before entering, trying to make it sound as natural as possible.
“Callie! Hey, I heard from a friend that MIT has a party tonight. Did you want to go?”
“WHAT. No way. Everyone says that MIT throws the most insane parties. I have to text Chris - he’ll be super chill about it. We have crazy strong trust in each other. Oh my god I have to figure out what to wear!”
Lily was relieved to know that she would now have someone to go with. Callie always talked a lot, so it felt easier to let her continue on with all of the details she knew about MIT parties. Lily had often been quite proud of her English skills back in Shanghai but having to hear and use it 24/7 was starting to tire her out. She laid back in her bed, ready to close her eyes for a quick nap when Callie’s question made her tune back in:
“Do you already have something to wear for the party?” This puzzled her. Were her current clothes not suitable? Apparently Lily’s reaction said enough, because Callie immediately responded with, “No no no you can’t wear that! Come on, get up. I’ll help you find something.”
Callie said that all college girls dress up for parties - but not the guys. It’s ‘just a thing’ she explained. “It’s more fun for us, anyways, and guys usually don’t care what they wear.” That’s something Lily had been hearing quite often since she arrived. Whenever someone did not have a real reason for something, “it’s just a thing” became the default answer. Callie eventually helped Lily pick out a green skirt with a black crop top.
“This is the best I could do. We definitely need to go shopping later.” She pointed out that Lily did not own a mini black dress, something that apparently should be in every girl’s wardrobe. When Lily pulled out one of her black dresses, Callie laughed, telling her that this looked too much like something for some kind of church function rather than a party. Lily was not sure what this meant but felt a little insulted and decided not to comment.
Eventually, they were both ready. Callie helped her put on eyeliner and mascara and when Lily looked in the mirror, she was shocked by what she saw. The makeup looked so heavy! Still, Lily was not ready to offend her roommate, especially after the numerous compliments she received from her, and reached to grab her sweater.
Finally satisfied with their party looks, Callie declared, “Alright, let’s call an Uber.”