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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Making the natural summer transformation

    Marah macrocarpus, otherwise known as the wild cucumber or “”manroot”” in its vernacular manifestation of humanly affection, is a bright green gourd with spines that resemble a torture device from the Middle Ages. The specimen is said to explode rather randomly when it dries out, causing a loud gunshot sound that has been known to make hikers scream. This occurs so that it may better spread its seeds, which you can find floating downstream. When it falls off the tree, the wild cucumber is very painful to step on, but much of the time after its initial explosion, the skeleton remains clinging to the vine throughout the rest of the summer.

    When studying this, one can’t help but draw certain comparisons to the stunningly decisive summer transformation found on this campus directly after spring break. The wild cucumbers in mini-dresses around the UA did not physically explode, but almost instantly shed their outer layers as soon as the weather dried them out, in a massive cult-like consistency that could only be attributed to natural causes.

    The change just might have been gradual, but I guess I didn’t notice because I was hanging out downtown all spring break, where specimens regularly ignore nature and act like they’re constantly in the vicinity of New York. The fact remains that once you find a way to get around the North Fourth Avenue underpass construction famine, you enter an entirely different habitat of year-round skinny jeans and turtleneck sweaters.

    But it was just getting too hot for that, and tramping back and forth between the Modern Languages building and my house three times a day was tiring, if not torturous. I needed some new clothes that would help me to walk around, and help me fit in as well. I also needed a shower.

    In a moment of self-congratulatory epiphany, I realized last week that I could buy a specific type of outfit that would be easily transformable from day to night. I already had the tights; all I had to do was buy a short dress to wear alone during the day. I first scoured the depths of the Internet and the American Apparel Web site, only to find that even duel-use clothing is especially expensive for the expendable.

    So I went over to my favorite thrift store: the Savers on East Fort Lowell and North Oracle roads, in search of the perfect summer dress. Even though it was 8 p.m. and the store closed at 9, I was so excited that I spent 20 minutes scavenging through the racks of old women’s flower muumuus and ’90s prom dresses, until an intercom informed me that the dressing rooms closed in 10 minutes. I was carrying 11 hangers, which obviously wasn’t allowed. Dress No. 1: A green business casual dress that could double as a hipster vintage piece with its intricate design and retro look, but didn’t because it didn’t fit. Dress No. 2: A pink Mary Tyler Moore dress with a floppy collar. Made me look like a gothic Lolita. Dress No. 3: A cheap black thing originally from Forever 21. Probably the same price new, didn’t fit and made me look like a raisin if it did. Also, it was made of that cheap fabric which is kind of see-through on fat people. Dress No. 4 through 10: Slightly frumpy and also didn’t fit. Dress No. 11: Clowny.

    It was 9:30 and all I had in my hand was a American Indian-looking necklace made out of fake painted wood. Maybe I should have given up and gone to Urban Outfitters, but I was determined to find a good deal.

    I continued the voyage the next day by trekking over to the other Savers, my second favorite thrift store, on East Broadway Blvd. and North Craycroft Road. I’m not really sure why the corporation aspect isn’t so evil when it’s a used clothing store and not a restaurant at the mall, but who am I to question the unconditional acceptance of ratty old socks?

    Unfortunately, this cadre of events played out in a similar manner to the former, and thus didn’t end entirely well. After wasting 20 minutes by pining through shelves full of decorative dried weeds on boards and traditional Hispanic dolls with sloth faces (I’m not sure why), I realized that all the dressing rooms were taken up except for the handicapped one.

    This was a bad idea. Taking up the handicapped space or bathroom or whatever always seems excusable at first, but once you’re in there, you spend the entire time hoping that a disabled person won’t come around and have to wait for you, making you feel like an asshat. Fortunately, there was no disabled person lurking around during my Savers visit, but a lone little kid standing less than two feet behind my door, toes poking in the entire time. Since I couldn’t see him, with every dress I tried on I became more horrified that this was a little child with Down’s syndrome or whatnot, and that I was further oppressing him into minority status. Luckily, when I came out I realized that it was just an anxious little boy with a cycloptic old stuffed frog in hand, dried spit clinging to the fur.

    But I had found it: my summer solstice. A bold red thing with those triangle boob holders on top instead of a collar. I would wear it over T-shirt, so my tits wouldn’t fall out.

    But I guess after all that I wasn’t really prepared for summer, because my legs still looked like hairy chalk. When I went to put on my wonder-dress, I realized for the first time that it was unbelievably short, and that I had razor burn. I wore it out Monday anyway, and spent four hours pulling it down so nobody would see my ass, and searching for myself in distant mirrors to check the stomach bulge. About 20 minutes in, I began to run into a more pressing obstacle than the white legs and unattractive demeanor: my undershirt kept pulling itself up to my boobs. You could tell from looking at the folds on the outside, and it was getting extremely uncomfortable. But there was no way to fix it without pulling the entire dress up and exposing myself. When my friend invited me to scope out the summer clothes at American Apparel with her, instead of looking I spent the entire time hidden behind the wall in the woman’s section, pulling my shirt down.

    But I haven’t given up. It’s not easy to live the life of a “”manroot,”” and I will continue trying. I’ll never give up, even if my body explodes and I become a skeleton and someone steps on me and gets sent to the emergency room. I will never surrender. Unless, of course, it gets to be fall.

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