Becoming a platypus didn’t really seem like it was going to be that big of a deal. Sure I was coming to OSU for two years and I was already slightly in love with the college town where OSU sits, but I was still a Duck. I went to the University of Oregon to earn that masters degree that I still hadn’t figured out how to use and I was devoted to the yellow and green. But as the summer started to progress and I got the fellowship that gave me free tuition, I bought the t-shirts. There were three t-shirts for 25 bucks at the Beaver Store at Keizer Station. I bought them and started to wear them on occasion. The first time I wore my Beaver Nation shirt out, I was going out on the town in McMinnville with my best friend and some of our high school classmates. Both Nic and Garth had graduated from OSU for their undergrad. I didn’t want to give them the satisfaction of seeing me in a Beaver shirt so I kept my jacket on the entire night. In the elevator going to the Rooftop Bar of McMenamins, I revealed to Abby that, “I’m a closet Beaver,” which got the guys in the elevator with us chuckling quietly. Dorks…
When I came down to Corvallis to sign my apartment papers, I was wearing my favorite Oregon Ducks t-shirt. That wasn’t the smartest move, but my apartment manager was pretty cool about it, not really making a big deal about my choice of apparel. The server at McGrath’s Fish House, on the other hand, had a completely different reaction. “You’re wearing the wrong shirt,” she clamored. “Yeah, I know,” I said as I sulked into our booth.
Next came the Brews & BBQs night when I was hanging out with my brother in Mac. I had been lounging around the house in my Beaver Nation t-shirt knowing that I was moving down to Corvallis the next day. It wasn’t a statement; it was more that every other shirt I had with me was incredibly gross and dirty. So I wore it. And when I ran into two of my friends at the Blue Moon later on that night, Jennifer wouldn’t talk to me. Her husband, Adrian, was a bit of a turd as well, but I just figured, “what can I do?” I am moving there tomorrow and I sort of have to embrace the apparel.
My first day living full-time in Corvallis, I organized my t-shirts in my dresser. All of my Oregon Ducks shirts went in the bottom drawer. I’m still not sure if I can just not wear them for two years or if I have to save them for visits to my hometown. Later on that day, I went to the Beaver Store, wondering if I could invest in any more Beaver apparel. I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. It didn’t feel right. I just don’t look so good in orange.
I’ve been told that as I get into the football season and I start working and studying at the university, my biases will change. I know this is true. My biases have already begun to change. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t suck to be a platypus. I am a Duck, always and forever. But I am also a Beaver; I have the homework assignments to prove it.
As an Oregon girl, I’m ok with being a platypus. I don’t know how to respond to many of the questions people ask me and I often shrink when people assume I’m a die-hard Beaver football fan, but I’m ok with it. Because my confusion and my status as a platypus make me more mysterious, an anomaly to the prejudice crazed football fans here in Oregon and across the nation. I am both Duck and Beaver and I’m excited to see how this all pans out.
Tata for now.