Columns, Opinion

SHEA: Helen of Troy

In middle school, the kids would play a game not unlike the story of Helen’s capture by Paris in which one girl (usually me) was pursued by two enemy camps. I loved this game, but have always been sympathetic toward Helen because she was in a difficult situation during the Trojan War, torn between two suitors and setting the Trojans and Achaeans at war with one another. You really can’t please everyone.

A similar experience happened to me this weekend, but first, some background information is necessary.

My friend and I decided to go out, but after visiting four bars, we were totally disheartened because no one was taking interest in us. We went to a dive bar in Beacon Hill and some guy started doing a line of blow right next to us, which was our cue to leave. Talking to people high on coke is like trying to talk to a squirmy, hyperactive puppy that is constantly scratching at its neck and sniffing around for residue.

“Are we ugly?” we kept asking one another. Maybe people thought we were a couple? I’m not quite sure. It was just one of those unlucky nights.

The next night, we said, would be different. We were determined to meet some nice guys in our own age group who weren’t into hardcore drugs. This should have been a relatively reasonable wish.

I remember before coming to Boston University my relatives would always tell me to stay away from Mary Ann’s, a bar in Cleveland Circle. For one thing, it’s in enemy territory (Boston College), and besides that, it looks and smells like the basement of an Ashford Street fraternity house, something I like to say I graduated from after freshman year. But we were feeling bold, and as much as I love BU more than anything, I really don’t like the guys here, so off we went on the C Line.

It is a rare occurrence for a BU student to see so many good-looking guys in one place, and yet as soon as were got past the bouncer in this window-less bar that hasn’t updated its décor for decades, we were overwhelmed. There was a sea of Vineyard Vines, Polo and Lilly Pulitzer: my kind of thing.

Since we didn’t want to reveal our enemy status, we lied and said we went to Wellesley College. At first, everyone was intimidatingly good-looking, but before long we had multiple guys buying us drinks. There were a lot of shenanigans, but overall it was a memorable experience.

Afterwards, we went over to our new friends’ house, and my friend accidently blew our cover. I was so scared they would be angry and kick us out, but they simply replied, “It’s alright, we love BU girls!” They even gave us chicken nuggets.

I felt so sacrilegious having this much fun at our rival school, something of Helen’s guilt at enjoying her time in Troy, but at least I found my new favorite bar.


Sydney L. Shea is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at[email protected]

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