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Earmuff Girl

Jess Shaffer | Tuesday, February 16, 2010

 Here at Notre Dame, there is a league of students that exist in a league that is all their own. They walk among us, and unlike snobby secret societies, they march boldly to and from DeBartolo and in and out of the dining hall. We all know them. Notre Dame people-watching is defined by them. They are our beloved campus caricatures.

You don’t know what I’m talking about? We’ll that’s just a problem of terminology. A campus caricature is someone who has so perfectly and (relatively) eccentrically defined their external behavior that they can be universally recognized and identified on campus.

You may know them as Tex or Daisy Duke. Or you may know them as “the chick that always wears cutoffs” and the “the guy in cowboy hat.” And these are just a few. The point is, you might not know their name, dorm, major or hometown, but you undoubtedly recognize them. And everyone else does too.
While I always had a fond appreciation for my favorite caricatures, I never aspired to their lofty heights. But as Shakespeare wrote, “Some men are born great. Some achieve greatness. And some have greatness thrust upon them.” I guess the same goes for women.
This Christmas, everything changed. When I unwrapped a small sparkly bag from my grandparents, I didn’t think this present was going to have such a profound effect on me. But then I pulled out a pair of earmuffs.
These are not just any earmuffs. These are earmuff that accidentally got dropped into radioactive waste and came out three times as large, and three times as cool as your average ear protective gear. Essentially, they are superhuman earmuffs.
Warm, inordinately fuzzy and furry and amply disproportionate to my head (granted, I have an abnormally small head), these earmuffs are now on my list of favorite things. Yes, they are indeed worthy of a song sung by Julie Andrews.
Well, apparently these earmuffs, and my frequent use of them in this frigid winter months, qualifies me to join the special league of campus caricatures. It honestly never occurred to me that they’d be noticeably eccentric on such a wide scale. Not until a fortuitous night, where an (albeit slightly drunken classmate) exclaimed “It’s Earmuff Girl! All my friends, we call you earmuff girl!”
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am worthy of my own caricature title — Earmuff Girl. Of course, the consequential jokes of “huh, can you hear me through those?!” and Princess Leia references follow. But tease and joke all you want. At least through March, I will proudly be Earmuff Girl! And admit it — you’re a little jealous of my coolness. Don’t worry, I’m humble enough to admit my surprise at the situation but am more than happy to embrace it. Because as Bill said sometimes greatness if just thrust upon you, or in this case gifted to you.
So thank you for nominating me to join the illustrious league of campus caricatures; I proudly accept. I would like not only to thank the academy, God, my friends and family, but most especially my grandparents. Best. Christmas Present. Ever.