The night was filled with promise. Bugalooing in my revealing red dress and high heels, I felt euphoric amidst the throng of BU freshmen at orientation week September, 1966. The dorm dining room had morphed into a dazzling disco complete with strobe lights and DJ. Never had I felt such delicious possibility in the moment. I embraced the opportunity for a clean slate and a brand new image. Heady stuff for a dreamer ready to split the parental coop….
Determined to undo the damage Westchester County and my parents had inflicted upon my self image, I had big plans for the upcoming semester. My cubicle at West Campus Dorm became the base of operations for the staging of what I hoped would be a dramatic transformation. Hanging in my closet and neatly folded in my drawer were those items of clothing that were sexy, flattering and bold. The rest remained stowed away in the brand new suitcase purchased for “Marshy going to college. “Sensible oxfords, drab crew neck sweaters, dowdy woolen pleated skirts and baggy button- down shirts would never see the light of day.
Make up and hair would play a huge role in my makeover. Eye makeup was critical as was an iron for straightening my long, dark and unruly hair. Cigarettes and diet pills were also essential for keeping weight down and easing me through the anxieties of Freshman year. My goal was to resemble a bohemian Twiggy doll. My eyes boldly outlined in black eyeliner and pale glossy lips gave me a surreal almost ghastly look. I weighed 115 pounds and strove for the starving poet look. I stopped smiling and practiced the art of pouting.
On that night of delicious promise I cashed in my wild card for one disheveled, blue- eyed, lost soul from Rye Neck, NY. He was a year ahead of me in his own personal redemption and transformation project from football quarterback to screen play dabbling pothead. Stu found me and laid down a stake. A charming masterful power monger, he put the brakes on my ambitious plans by becoming ” my man.” As Stu became my world, lover and best friend, I silently slipped from one captor to another. Stu was my mother in drag.