Condoms Galore: Tales from the Thurston stairs

Guilty Pleasures | Ally Barbaro | October 30, 2015

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Is that body fluids, food, or mold? The correct answer is: all of the above! You never know what you will encounter when climbing the stairways of Thurston.

Ah, Thurston. A lot of GW students see living in Thurston as a right of passage. Others, so scarred from their experience, refuse to speak of it. As part of the current freshmen living in Thurston, I love it and appreciate it for what it is.

Do I wish my floormates listened to more than the same three Drake and/or Fetty songs? Sure. Have I forgotten what fresh, weedless air smells like? Absolutely! But hey that’s what makes going home so special. Regardless of your opinion of Thurston there is one universal truth: the stairs are unusual at best.

Most of the time the stairs are just plain dirty. There’s a layer of dirt and grime over every surface from floor to ceiling. There’s garbage thrown everywhere, as if there’s not a trash chute on every single floor. Sometimes you get lucky  and find some gems that renew your faith in mankind. The most frequent find is a condom. Or multiple condoms. Condoms, condoms, condoms.  Of every shape or size and stage of use.  Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you’ll even see an accompanying thong! A condom on the stairs is the kind of thing that you add to your Snapchat story with the Thurston geotag and the caption “so college.”

As time passes, trash and condoms on the stairs becomes the norm. This does not mean the weird finds come to an end. I once happened upon a freshly made cup of tea. By freshly made I mean a still steaming, cover off, full cup just sitting on the stairs all by itself. How did it get there? Under what situation did someone JUST make this cup of tea and then leave it behind? Did they put it down to tie their shoe and forget it? Or maybe someone was offering it up to some sort of hot drink god.

Whatever the circumstances, I was glad I saw it, and I have learned that sometimes in Thurston, it’s better to leave your curiosity at the door.

But back to the garbage: it’s everywhere. And it’s still funny, just not as much. There’s certain levels to the garbage issue. There’s singular pieces such as wrappers, papers, or bottles, which is what you would expect to find in a building with 1,100 people living in it. Then there’s the more concerning trash: things like pizza boxes, cartons of milk, J Street containers, and tampons (unused… thank God.) The final and most annoying level is full bags of trash.

I am an optimist and don’t think anyone intentionally dirties our beautiful home, so I have my own ideas as to why this happens.

I assume this is how it goes down: as someone is innocently trying to make their way to the trash chute to dispose of their garbage in the proper way, a Freaky Friday-esque transformation occurs in which they switch bodies with some lazy douchebag. I naturally assume this douchebag would  look like a mixture of Dennis from It’s Always Sunny and Jerry from Tom & Jerry (the two biggest douches on TV.) This douchebag in his new Thurston resident body decides he’d rather leave the bag in the stairs than walk another 20 feet to the trash chute. The thought of actually throwing it down the trash chute probably never crosses their mind. Why would it? They probably have more important things to be doing like ironing their Ed Hardy tee shirts, or washing their Hummer, or maybe they’re running late for their Segway tour! I know what you’re thinking. The people that live in Thurston are probably just lazy douchebags themselves. Well…

I personally think the Thurston stairs are a thing of beauty; a true testament to the human condition. The stairs serve as a medium through which distressed college students can express themselves. Students display their interests through fliers for upcoming events on campus. They start old-fashioned food blogs by leaving pieces of their every meal on the stairs for all to see. They test out their artistic and/or comedic careers through poorly drawn penises. It’s truly incredible. And if you don’t like it: take the elevator.

Unless you live on the third floor.  Don’t be an asshole.