At NYU, I was friends with a woman who had issues about purity. She insisted that she could only wear white underwear and sleep on white sheets. Colored linens and underthings were scandalous, Mary explained. She didn't mind if other people wore them, though, since she didn't care if they were trashy whores. Mary lived with my friends Madison and Dr. P. One night Mary arrived home rather late. Madison and Dr. P, sinners that they were, had already gone to sleep so that they would be fresh for their classes the next day. When Mary turned on her desk lamp, it shone directly in Madison's face, waking her up. She was very surprised to observe Mary stuffing a lacy black bra and matching underpants into her desk drawer. Maybe it was just shadows or her sleepy, slutty eyes playing tricks on her? She mentioned something to Dr. P the next day, and they chuckled, but forgot about it.

Not long after that, Mary had a meltdown while Dr. P and Madison were studying. She accused Madison of breathing too hard, which she said distracted her from her own work. Dr. P and Madison were puzzled. This enraged Mary further. "Damn it, I admit it!" she yelled. "I do not wear all white underwear! And I dye my hair blond!"

This was an early lesson for me: the people who yell loudest about purity and "values" are usually the people most guilty about not following their own moral guidelines. Also, they may be unstable, so it is best not breathe too loudly in their presence.

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