On personal boundaries and going pantless

Oct. 10, 2018, 2:00 a.m.

One must adjust to many new habits in freshman year, including pole vaulting onto the bed, biking around electric skateboards, tourists, more bikes in the Circle of Death and shifting sleep schedules by three hours. Hello, 2 a.m. bedtime; good morning, 10 a.m. sun! (I anticipate that my sleeping hours will grow even more dire as the year goes on.) In my case, brainstorming thought-provoking, informative, charming pieces for The Grind to show that it is an esteemed campus publication. I’m afraid that this week my genius Stanford noggin cannot provide such a piece. But you will receive my more artful literature next week, I think. Well, I hope.

This week, I’ll tell you the tales of my having answered the door, pantless. It’s a bit jarring for me, I suppose. But following the optimistic, self-improving traditions of those before me, I take these clothing experiences as learning opportunities: I’ve been re-examining my mental assumptions, and I’ve discovered that wearing clothing around almost-strangers every waking and sleeping moment — top and bottom coverage — is not exactly a necessity.

The first time was as a fresh-faced freshman, only about seven-days-old. At 6:30 a.m., I heard a frightful banging on my dorm door. In the morning darkness, I kind of fell, kind of jumped off the mattress as one does with these skyscraper bed frames. Then I carefully turned the doorknob and curled my head around the door (after ensuring my scandalously bare legs would be invisible to those outside). Subsequently, I heard the most gorgeous rendition of “Hail, Stanford, Hail” and learned that I got into the Stanford Chamber Chorale! I squealed and leapt into the air, and it is plausible that the eight or so undergraduate and graduate students caught a very, very, very brief flash of my lower half. Not the most dignified behavior for an aspiring sophisticated, classical singer-to-be but what the heck, right?

On the path to my subsequent morning showers, I marched down hallways with merely a towel ‘round the body, remembering my friend’s story of suffering through a UC Berkeley morning fire alarm with only a towel. (Ha, Cal.)

Fast forward a week or so, and it’s a whole 14 days into my college career. It’s nearly 11 a.m., and I’ve already been awake for an hour. I’m involved in an intense but one-sided relationship with my bed, so I’m still buried underneath the comforter. I hear a polite knock on my door and think, Pants are overrated anyways, and standing outside the door is a member of the housing staff here to address the Fix-It Request I’d sent a few days ago. My brain subsequently states, Damn, I have no pants on, but my gut doesn’t ring any alarms. So I blandly (but politely) mutter, “Just a minute,” excusing myself to pull on some pants. Because I actually still have some class.

Thus, this tale happens to end with both halves of myself fully but apathetically clothed.


Contact Millie Lin at milliel ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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