Recently, I checked the dinner menus and shrieked with delight, because the dessert offering for the evening was dirt cake. Dirt cake night is probably the most exciting night of my life, second only to the night of the Final Rose Ceremony on The Bachelor. I live for dirt cake. Seeing it on the menu is a stop, drop, and roll thing for me. So naturally, I sprinted to the nearest dining hall, bypassed the hot food line entirely, and shimmied over to the dessert bar. I was going to fill a massive, planet-sized bowl with dirt cake and eat it all. I deserved this. And that’s when my life came to a screeching halt.

There was no more dirt cake.

This was a DEFCON 1 situation, people. I blinked, pinched myself, and trembled. I checked the giant pan once more: empty. This simply couldn’t be. Dirt cake? My one true love? I fell to my knees and let out a bloodcurdling scream. My life was over. Images from my childhood flashed before my eyes. I would have to be buried under the dessert bar. I envisioned the headstone: Here lies Olivia, heart broken by dirt cake (or lack thereof).

As I writhed beneath the empty basin, it occurred to me: you know what? No. They don’t run out of dirt cake until I say they’ve run out of dirt cake. So, with a new fervor in my step, I planted my feet into the floor and began to wait. I grew roots. I would not budge. This was a stand-in, folks, and I wasn’t moving a single muscle until I was presented with a new bathtub quantity of dirt cake. My friend Faith massaged my back to keep my strength up. This was war...well maybe not war, but you know, a skirmish. 

A half hour passed in this way, and then, he appeared. An angel, if you will, bearing a brand new container of dirt cake. Someone in dining services had driven to Thorne, snatched one from those greedy bastards, and driven it back for me. I had half a mind to take the entire cake back to my table, but no. I am a martyr. I stood back and smiled, arms crossed, saying, “Oh, you’re welcome. Really. No need to thank me” to every soul who scooped a dollop of glorious dessert. I filled my bowl with a heaping portion of dirt cake, even though I wasn’t hungry anymore. I was high on adrenaline and full of victory. My friend approached me as I marched back to my table, bowing to the uproarious (okay, it might have been a smattering of) applause.

“Olivia,” he said, having witnessed the whole spectacle, “I cannot believe they just brought a pan of that stuff back for you. That’s impressive. You’re the kind of girl that those things just happen to.”

I maniacally giggled, licked my spoon, and dug in.

His words didn’t really kick in until a week later, as I sat in a dull economics lecture about consumer power or something with no relevance to my life, obviously, and I got to thinking: what did he mean, that those things just happen to me? Am I some kind of special person, who has the stamina to wait for hours on end? I mean, clearly we would all put our lives on hold in the name of dirt cake, but what more did this say about me?
It feels like lately all I do is wait. I wait for class to be over. I wait for the light to change on Maine Street. I wait for that one boy to text me back. I have waited at the C-Store, at the printer, and in the crowded downstairs Smith Union bathroom by the mailboxes (people, that’s my bathroom. Please find other places to do your business). 

I don’t think the phrase “good things come to those who wait” is relevant anymore. Sure, it worked in the context of dirt cake, but I think it’s outdated, garbage, and a useless filler phrase that people throw around to condone laziness. And I’m sorry to say I think I’ve fallen victim to it. Not to mention that it seems to me like every time I wait around for something, it ends up being not so hot. I waited around in my house during a party, thinking some strange and attractive boy with a mysterious Scottish accent would round the bend, knock into me, and call me Lassie, but no, I ended up blow-drying pee off of someone’s sweatpants (long story). 

I waited to do my laundry but the one machine we have broke, so I had to haul my basket across the quad and do it in Coleman. A few weeks later, after complaining repeatedly about my lack of socks, I stumbled upon a collection of wet socks by the Chapel. They had fallen from my basket as I lugged it back to Helmreich from my Coleman laundry trip, and they had since been nibbled on by squirrels. Maybe if I had jumped on the opportunity to do my laundry earlier, I wouldn’t be sockless and widely known as the Weird Quad Laundry Girl. All I’m saying is, they tell us that patience is a virtue and that waiting is a good thing, but when you really think about it, they’re wrong.

I don’t want to be the girl who waits anymore. I want to stop biding my time. What are we all waiting for? If Jillian on The Bachelor would only just tell Farmer Chris she loves him, (and that she’s ambidextrous to boot!), maybe she wouldn’t still be waiting to get a rose (she could really help out with the crops with both her left and right hand, I think). It’s time to finish that dirt cake, to do our laundry, to get moving, to start farming, to jump in. I don’t really know what these metaphors mean, but it will give you something to think about the next time you’re waiting.

Just kidding. Because you’re not going to wait anymore. And neither am I.

-Olivia Atwood is a member of the Class of 2017