Tuesday, October 04, 2005

two outta three ain't bad

I had a major epiphany late freshman year in college, and it had nothing to do with mind-altering substances or any part of Aeschylus's oeuvre. During some unremarkable gathering of troglodyte boys and large-sized girls who rowed boats, someone mentioned the Rule of Two-Thirds: of the three things you can do with yourself in college--have a life, play a sport/do a time-consuming extra-curricular, get good grades--you can only have two, sucker. I realized immediately that this person with overly developed back muscles was correct.

For the first time in my life, I regularly went out and partied and hooked up went to museums and for long walks in the park with a range of different and awesome friends! For the first time I was not terrible at a sport and was motivated to actually, like, practice! And for the first time since that D- in eighth grade religion class, my grades were bad ("bad" like I'm "fat" right now, that is) and I didn't really care. Okay, that's a lie, I did care (and I want to lose five pounds,) but not enough to do anything about it (ditto.) Upon examination of my peers--the kid who went to the bars, kicked big league journalism's ass, and was on academic probation; the kid who was class president, slept in the library, and, presumably, never got laid; the hordes who partied their asses off and got straight A's but didn't do much else--I knew that I was normal. The Rule of Two-Thirds validated my existence. Looking back, I know my life now would be no different had I graduated cum laude. If I'd thought about what to do after college and gotten the requisite internships, then yes, things would be a little different. But that's not the point.

The Rule of Two-Thirds, while at first disconcerting for your standard ambitious, upper middle class kid, is a reasonable standard for college. Do a couple things well, get as much as you can out of them, and do what's necessary get by in your chosen neglected area. (Actually, just get a couple of internships. Nothing else really matters. Anyway.) Upon an IM conversation with Expat Perplexa this morning, I realized that the Rule of Two-Thirds is also relevant for 20-somethings. If you keep "have a life," replace "sport/extra-curricular" with "emotionally and sexually fulfilling relationship," and replace "good grades" with "job you might not kill yourself for still having in five years," you have a nice little Rule of Two-Thirds paradigm. While we all want all of those things, after being chewed up and swallowed and puked back up by life after graduation, we are not deluded enough to expect the whole kit 'n caboodle. We just want our Two-Thirds, damnit! But with friends coming and going, confusion and lingering immaturity hindering the relationship thing, and minimal career preparation, it seems like One-Third is the word for now. And it sucks!

Alright, I suppose it's not that bad, even though we're all dirt poor (again, not the point.) I've had some awesome and awesomely-bad experiences in the last two years and have more social engagements than I can handle, Perplexa has a wonderful relationship with her Deutschem Mann, and Drone is well on his way to job nirvana. I'm guessing that the next two thirds will come along for everyone, slowly but surely. And we should all just love ourselves unconditionally anyway, because my favorite psychologist says so.

9 comments:

P/O said...

right there with you, g. could not agree more.

Robo's Drone said...

Awesome, G. You are right.

Fat Asian Baby said...

hmm. i think i only have one half (like one third plus half of one third which i guess would be one sixth which added to the one third i have would be three sixths which i guess would be one half and i really had to think about that one pretty hard. oof.)

Gina said...

one half is good! better than me at least.

calvo said...

"...replace 'sport/extra-curricular' with 'emotionally and sexually fulfilling relationship'..."

so it's probably not a coincidence that I row *and* I'm not in one of them-thar relationship thingies, huh? damn...I've chosen the wrong two-thirds!

Gina said...

heh, yeah i had both of those for a good two years, and let's just say i became close personal friends with the letter "B".

Andrew said...

Haha I remember you finding about about the 2/3 Rule... and the sage of prosaic wisdom who told it to you. He's still full of gems, FYI.

Gina said...

was it your roommate?? ugli?? i seriously cannot remember. fucking beer.

Andrew said...

Oh it was the roommate of course. Ugli had a 2/3 Rule, it wasn't quite as philosophical; "When drinking, it's ok to hook up with a girl so long as she has two out of three in face/rack/body. Sometimes one. But only when drinking lots."