I donated blood today. It was great. I felt great. Everything was great. For the 26 minutes during which I reclined and gave my blood to an ALYX machine, all was hunky-dory.
After the procedure, I headed over to a loooooooong table that provided drinks and snacks in order to avoid, well, passing out. I sat, whipped out my phone and started reading an article from the AV Club. I assumed that one of the thirty-or-so female (all apparently in a sorority) volunteers behind the table would approach me and offer a drink like they are supposed to. I was wrong. I sat for about a minute, and decided I would have to initiate something in order to get a drink. I politely signaled towards a group of girls behind the table and asked for a bottle of water, and one of them complied. Thank god.
Not a big deal, I know, but what happened afterwards really got to me.
A man, let's call him Handsome Fraternity Dude, takes a seat next to me, pulls out his phone just as I did, and intently starts reading something.
"Can I get you anything?" asks Sorority Girl #1.
"I'll just have water, thank you," replies Handsome Fraternity Dude.
Sorority Girl #1 immediately gets him a bottle of water.
"Do you want anything?" asks Sorority Girl #2. Handsome Fraternity Dude replies with an "I'm good."
Sorority Girls 3,4 and 5 all ask the same general question over the next 2 minutes and receive the same response from Handsome Fraternity Dude. All the while, I sit there without a single one of the volunteers even looking my direction despite my being positioned in the seat directly next to Handsome Fraternity Dude.
"Okay," I tell myself, "I get it. I'm sitting next to a muscular, polo-clad man with perfect hair and a jawline sharper than the knives in my kitchen. Meanwhile, I'm over here losing my hair by the minute, pushing big glasses towards the bridge of my nose and wearing an old t-shirt that's probably a size too big. I understand why he deserves more attention."
I'm used to this type of thing, being ignored and whatnot. It's been a part of my life for a long time. But the kicker during my 10 minutes at the snack table was when one of the girls, I think Sorority Girl #4, took my trash away without saying anything and without looking at me. She made an obvious effort to fulfill her duty of taking my trash without making any sort of human contact with me.
Frustrated with this whole situation, I get up to leave, and as I push in my chair and put my phone in my pocket, Sorority Girl #1 asks, "Oh, do you need anything?"
"No thank you."
I was invisible. For ten minutes I sat at that table, and I was completely invisible.
Today I did something that I love: giving blood. Every time that I go and donate blood, I leave feeling great about myself and about my life. The ability to help others is something that simply makes me happy. Today, however, something that typically raises my self-esteem ended up making me feel like the most worthless piece of trash in that room.
I'm not trying to bash the homecoming blood drive, nor am I trying to bash the whole Greek system at MU. I just want to point something out: I'm a person too, and I did something I was proud of today. The last thing I expected was to leave the blood drive feeling horrible about myself.
This has been a problem since I set foot on campus at MU. I never feel like I'm worth anything. Nobody treats me or anyone else with respect. The only way you can expect to get a friendly smile or the occasional "hello" is if you adorn yourself with pastel colors and Greek letters. I'm sick of it.
If you require me to be good-looking in order for you to talk to me, you're out of luck. If you expect me to be part of the Greek system and resent my existence upon realizing that I'm a "god damn independent," then that's just too bad.
The social rift at MU is absurd, and frankly, it makes me sick to my stomach. I've learned, however, that there is absolutely nothing I can do that will change the way things are. I will forever remain invisible, and I will never be as good as Handsome Fraternity Dude.
I've given up on trying to fit in and be cool, but to avoid being further degraded as I was today, I do have some Greek if anybody were to ask me my letters:
γαμώ τo σιήστος σου Translated: FUCK YOU
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