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From you to me

All right, I'm a little miffed, you know, like Duke students at a T.I. concert. I thought the school knew the meaning of a standard bartering agreement, but apparently I was mistaken. This isn't an eBay transaction where you are under no obligation to give me that which I have paid for. I was OK with waiting patiently for a while, but now my miffedness has reached its limit.

I want my Senior Gift.

Or else give me my $20.07 back.

Under the circumstances, I feel that I am entitled to something in return. I was a victim of the most aggressive marketing campaign since Talladega Nights. Buy the Senior Gift, or else we'll be miffed. Essentially, open your pockets, donate 1/10,000th of your Wall Street signing bonus or 100 percent of your annual Teach for America salary. But they tried to cheapen it, diminishing my perception of the actual amount. "$20.07? That's pocket change.. Seriously, look in my pocket." "$20.07? I've wiped my ass with more money than that." "$20.07? That's no more or less than the GDP of East Timor."

At first I resisted their sneaky marketing of questionable ethics. Me and my pal Ben Franklin know what's up: a penny saved is a penny earned, and a penny spent is a penny burned. But these guys know how to spread a brand name. I saw banners during my weekly trip to class. They paid my friends to throw it around in conversation. I think someone leaned over me while I slept, whispering, "Senior Gift, Senior Gift, Senior Gift." It worked so well on me that I am now convinced it's a proper noun. And I started thinking, reflecting, discovering.

20.07. 200.7. 2007. Oooooohhh. that's genius.

So now I'm $20.07 poorer, but so much richer. Or so I thought.

What the hell did I buy?! A Duke Class of '07 coozie? Keep 'em coming. I'm going to take all the Duke coozies I've procured over the years and make a collapsible 50-foot-high statue of Washington Duke. I'll even donate it to Nasher for their coozie modern art collection. A priceless gift, right back atcha.

Dinner with President Brodhead and family? You can't put a price on good company, but I thought I was buying something you can put a price on.

Ticket to the Senior Prom? Just like the High School Senior Prom and the Nursing Home Senior Prom, it's all glamour and all capitalized. Four years ago and 60 years later I would be down, but again, I didn't know I was paying for cheap liquor and a teen pregnancy. I feel I could get that for cheaper.

No, the Senior Gift is greater than that, so much as to be legitimized by an authoritative commission, the Senior Gift Committee, also capitalized. This is going to be on par with that fat envelope I received four years ago. I have the feeling I'm in for something amazing, like I just bought stock in the next Google, or had intercourse. This isn't going to be a first-day-of-Hannukah gift. This is going to be an eighth-day-of-Hannukah gift. With my name on it.

But alas, I suffer from premature speculation. Instead, I must be still and question my fate. Where is my Holy Grail? Where is my Trojan Horse, gift of gifts? Where is the self-respect I used to possess? My anxiety skyrockets with my blood pressure, and I wonder if I await Pandora's Box. I won't even know it when I see it, will I?

Who knows what will happen to me..

Perhaps the real gift will be sweet release, and my epitaph:

Duke Class of 2007

I'm still waiting.

Ashwin Bhirud is a Trinity senior. His column runs every other Friday.

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