May I have a mentor who wears clothes?
We bonded over being black women at a PWI but definitely not over fashion
My college mentor had been calling me and emailing me to hang out with her. I joined the mentoring program to be able to bond with other black women and black men, along with other people of color at our PWI*. But I preferred to separate academic mentoring from college friends and partying. Still, she seemed OK so I gave in and scheduled a time when we were both free to go bowling.
I showed up at her off-campus apartment one evening, and she yelled out that the door was open. I walked in and admired how cute she’d decorated the place. I daydreamed of the days when I could also leave the chaotic dorms and 12x12 spaces (even before I knew my roommate snuck two cats and two guinea pigs in our room). I hopped up onto her dining room bar stool and gazed out of a nearby window.
Shortly after, she strolled out of the bathroom completely naked with a string hanging between her legs. I averted eye contact, thinking she assumed I was in a different part of the house and would head back to her bedroom to change. Nope, she flopped right down on her couch to have a chat.
“Punk’d” didn’t release until three years later, but I kept looking around for the equivalent of Ashton Kutcher. Do mentorship programs have mandatory practical jokes? Was I being hazed?