I’m sitting in Klekolo World Coffee—home to comfy chairs and a group of eccentric Italian men, who, I know, have cool stories—trying to casually watch the couple sitting at a small table to my right. I’m trying to get through my international politics reading with the help of a mint chocolate steamer but using the window reflection to watch their conversation, like I’m in a James Bond movie is far more fun. The boy is leaning back in his chair with the calculated casualness of someone who has more limbs than they know what to do with, and the girl is holding her fidgeting hands in her lap. They’ve been chatting for a while now and pouring over a crossword puzzle together. The boy gets up to go to the bathroom, and I immediately rush over.
“So…how’s the date going? And, can we leave soon because I’m almost done with my homework, and our friends really want to start the second “Kingsman,” but they say they’ll wait for you to be done.”
Now I hear you asking: Kat, why are you creepily third wheeling your friend’s date? Practically speaking, it was dark out; the date was with a Tinder boy she’d never met before, and the walk home was over 10 minutes. With overall high serial killer potential, I offered to come along and sit quietly at a far away table. But honestly, it took all my self-control to not show up in a trench coat, sporting a newspaper with peepholes cut out and a fake Groucho Marx mustache.
But, what made the entire evening worth it was the very end of the date. My friend waves me over to their table, and I hesitantly join them.
“Hey what’s up?” I ask.
“We can’t for the life of us finish this crossword, and we need a third person’s brain. Can you help us with 18 down?”
— Katarina M. Grealish
What’s my idea of a good time? What makes all the boys and girls say, “Ooh, that’s Meg. She’s a lot of fun”? Well, I’ll tell you. It’s Benadryl. I love the stuff.
My love affair with that little, pink pill began two years ago when I got stung in the eye by a wasp, and my face blew up like Violet Beauregarde in the chocolate factory. I took two Benadryls to ease the swelling, and I discovered the bliss it brought. It’s like a biological weighted blanket. It feels like the warmest hug from Clifford the Big Red Dog, like sleepy euphoria after a fulfilling sexual encounter, except you are alone in the comfort of your own dorm room on a Sunday morning. My chemical romance isn’t just the name of some absolutely banging New Jersey based band. It’s also the title of my new memoir about my experimental drug use with over-the-counter antihistamines.
Things tend to stay in my system for a long while, so even now, 14 hours after popping that happy little pill, I’m still experiencing a kind of artificial serenity. By nature, I’m a pretty anxious person, especially on the weekends. Anxious in a cool way, though, don’t get me wrong. I’m awesome. But sometimes, I wonder what it would be like to be on Benadryl all the time, taking deep slow breaths and making my way through the world, not feeling like I constantly have to vocalize my desires, needs, fears, and insecurities. Is this how some people feel all the time, quietly content with themselves? There has to be a way for me to experience calm without medicine intended for insect bites and poison ivy.
But for now, after a long night out, after sending a few completely normal (but in my head, totally risky) texts to some guy I won’t end up seeing that night, after chatting with Frank from WesRides about his trip to Aruba while he drives me back to Westco, after making sure to complete my entire skincare routine (including a double cleanse), I am not worrying about the steps I should take to improve my overall quality of life. I just want to go to bed with good ole Beny.
There is one problem with Benadryl that I’ve noticed. So, proceed with your own caution. Sometimes, after taking it rando, body parts just decide to fall asleep whenever they want to. For instance, I am typing on my computer right now, but my pinky, ring, and middle fingers on my right hand are just dead. The right side of my right hand is completely limp, just gliding along my keyboard while the rest of my fingers are hard at work.
Also, to be noted, I’m not some Benadryl addict. I don’t advocate for self-medication of any kind. It’s just something I do once in a while. Benadryl fiend is a cool epithet though. I hope people call me that behind my back. “Who’s that?” “Oh that’s the Benadryl fiend. Don’t tell her I called her that. Her name’s Meg. She’s an anxious person by nature but has a great heart.”
— Meg Sullivan
Ever since I’ve gotten back on campus from winter break, I’ve been sick. I’m pretty sure I’ve had every illness that one possibly can have during these past few weeks. It began most dramatically with the stomach flu, which made for an eventful move in period. Then came a virus, which kept me bedridden for a few unfortunate days. Then, with wonderful serendipity, my wisdom teeth decided that it would be the perfect time to come in. And finally, most recently, I have come down with the common—albeit horrible—cold.
When one goes through all of these things in the span of only a couple weeks, one begins to look at campus in a bit of a different way. For example, it becomes reasonable to complain about the lack of tomato or chicken noodle soup in Usdan. Short distances, like the trek across Andrus field, become odysseys which necessitate several breaks. And, forget about going out! There’s nothing more exciting than coming back to one’s bed at the end of the day, so much so that one doesn’t want to leave it at all.
There is one thing that has saved me though: my fantastic roommate, Talia Eligator. Aside from providing me with a variety of medication to aid my midnight sniffling, she has become the human equivalent of matzo ball soup. (and sometimes she even brings me soup too!)
To all you sick people out there, I feel you. Big time. Rest up and feel better soon!
— Annika Shiffer-Delegard