Today Michael and I celebrated/mourned the failed rapture by purchasing Lady Gaga’s new album (released today!), Born This Way. It seemed absolutely appropriate, especially with these song titles: “Government Hooker,” “Judas,” “Bloody Mary,” and my personal favorite, “Black Jesus + Amen Fashion” with the lyrics, “On the runway, work it like Jesus.” With over a hundred books to photograph and edit for our new catalog, I’m definitely grateful to have Gaga’s support in the background (something that Lorne won’t allow in his presence; too bad Michael and I made the executive decision that the entire album is the store’s new theme song).
In more serious news, I was admitted to Rare Book School in Charlottesville last week! I will be taking G10 – The Principles of Bibliographical Description, and its reputation precedes itself as one of the most difficult courses available. I’ve already gotten to work on the reading list, but I’m going to have to pull a Billy Blanks and go double time to get it all done before the end of July. Ever since I was in high school and took the college tour of UVA, I’ve always dreamed of living on the lawn, and now I’ll finally get that chance! But, I can’t help but feel a little deceitful in doing so.
I’m a graduate of William & Mary and some of you may know the rivalry between my alma mater and UVA. For those of you who don’t, I’ll explain. W&M students consider the Cavs (it’s sad, really, we don’t even have a good nickname…the Tribesmen? I hope we aren’t called the Griffins now that we have that new pants-less mascot) to be dreaded enemies, and to most UVA students, we’re not even on the radar. But we do have the prestige of turning down an Ivy League request on three separate occasions. Oh, and we have that joke: “Why did Thomas Jefferson found UVA? Because his children couldn’t get in to William & Mary.” Both of these statements are proudly spread by all W&M students, not because we couldn’t get in to UVA (who are we kidding?), but because we chose to join the elite ranks of a college where students hold their education over anything fun, where libraries aren’t open 24 hours a day because everyone gets their work done before 10PM, and where social ineptness is not only accepted, but enabled. The last bit I can certainly attest to (even though as I write this I’m proudly wearing a green and yellow W&M tee shirt); the four years that I spent in Williamsburg definitely took a toll on my charisma and charm. You think I’m outgoing now? You should have seen me seven years ago.
So, yes, I’ve always had a slight distaste for UVA, despite always wanting to live in Charlottesville and receive an invitation to a secret society (unfortunately I learned too soon in life that since I have no money, I will never be invited to such an organization). I don’t know if my love-hate relationship with that gorgeous nook of Virginia is because most people recognize the name UVA more than William and Mary; or that in addition to several more options of bars (and I mean several−Williamsburg has a good 3 bars to Charlottesville’s 20), and I’m jealous of the much higher rate of successful fake ID usage; or maybe that every spell check I’ve ever encountered ALWAYS underlines Williamsburg in red, but never Charlottesville. Whatever the reason, and yes I have more (don’t even get me started on football game attire), I’ve decided to throw all preconceived notions to the wind, and fully embrace my animosities. I’ve always been a fan of fads, and as Lady Gaga says, “Jesus is the new black,” and, well, he forgives everyone, right?
*My apologies to all graduates of UVA if I offended you. Let’s be friends, OK? Just don’t talk about how college was the best four years of your life.