The thought of leaving my home under the Dome hit me the hardest at the last home football game of the season. Football is such a big part of what makes Notre Dame, well, Notre Dame. It was the last time for traditions and to see the campus crawling with children under four feet decked out in ND gear.
Before Gameday, there was one student tradition that I did not want to miss: Drummer’s Circle. Before senior night at Drummer’s Circle in front of the Dome, a group of friends and I, all freshly 21, headed down to O’Rourke’s on Eddy Street for a bit of fun. It was my first time at the restaurant, let alone the bar so hearing a shout of “Hey! Megan!” coming from a table was shocking to say the least. Fortunes turned out that the ND Club of Memphis was having dinner at O’Rourkes when we arrived! Though I did have to prove that I was from Memphis, answering questions about where I went to high school and where I go to church, it was an absolute pleasure to see some of the Memphis alumni up for a game. I look forward to joining them in the next few years for campus trips! My friends and I fit seven people into the “snug”, a corner of the restaurant next to the bar with windows on two sides. Cold air oozed into the room through the glass, but we did not notice.
I achieved something unexpected that night. I was getting a round of drinks from the bar and had to slip by a man perhaps in his early 30s to get to the bar. In hindsight, I see that he was purposefully taking up the space when he said something along the lines of “Don’t apologize, you can slide against me anytime.” While slightly disgusted, I laughed it off and his friend apologized for the man’s rudeness. In fact, he wanted to buy me a drink as an apology if I would slap his friend.
Despite my years of boxing, I like to think that I am not a violent person and with alumni from my hometown looking on, there was no way I was going to slap someone at a bar for alcohol. I’m not that desperate. I made up some farce about buying a whole round for all of the girls who had come with me and were huddled in the Snug waiting on their drinks and got out of range of the guys. While annoying, that was the first time someone in the states had offered to buy me a drink so…cheers? Regardless, the girls and I had fun with our second round but soon it was time to leave for campus. Drummer’s Circle begins at midnight, but if you want a good place to stand, you need to arrive by 11:30pm.
With a wave to the ND Club of Memphis, we were off. Despite a certain imaginary blanket of warmth, the temperature had dropped further than expected so we shivered-jogged-huddled our way back to campus. Half the group headed to Lewis for sweatpants, blankets, and scarves from their rooms while the rest of us staked out a section in front of the Dome.