October 22, 2010 - 2:16 PM
Early last November a photo of my friend Lizzy and I smiling joyfully and walking down 13th Street was posted on the University of Oregon homepage. Over night we became the poster children of the university.
I wrote a post about it last winter. It was fun for a while. I enjoyed being a recognizable red head on campus. My friends liked being able to say that they know "the guy on the website." After a while, though, the novelty wore off.
I couldn't walk around campus without someone looking at me quizzically, wondering why I look familiar. I couldn't introduce myself to somewhere without having them say "I feel like we've met before. Do I know you from somewhere?" I could barely order a pizza without having the delivery guy say, "You probably get this a lot, but are you-" "YES! I'm on the homepage, and no, this doesn't mean you're getting a bigger tip."
Well, my friends, it's all over. Nearly a whole year after the fact - 348 days to be exact - our photograph has finally been replaced. As of Tuesday morning, I'm no longer "that guy on the homepage." No more puzzled glances. No more inquiring strangers. No more nothing. I can finally walk the streets of Eugene in peace!
You may not think this a very big deal, and to be completely honest neither do I. My friends are the ones struggling to cope with this sudden change. Just yesterday my roommate's friend (someone I'd never met in my whole life) came up to me and said, "Oh my god, they changed the picture. You're not on the webpage anymore. I pretty much applied to Oregon because you looked so happy in that photo. I'm not even kidding you." It was the first time I've been both flattered and annoyed at the same time.
My old roommate, Cam, started a Facebook group called "Put Trafton and Lizzy Back on the UO homepage!" And apparently there's a new feature on Facebook that allows people to be added to a group without their permission. Facebook has trapped me in hypocrisy!
I will say, however, that despite my joy in not being the homepage guy anymore I'm not impressed with my replacements. Before we had rotating pictures of smiling students and people repelling down mountainsides. Now there are photos of a grad student creepily smirking next to a tree, a mother and daughter awkwardly laughing and some confused-looking kid walking in front of two blurry figures in the background. The only one I actually like is the one with two people fixing a bicycle, and that's really only because I like bicycles.
Oh well, I guess I have no control over it any more. I never really had any control over it in the first place actually. They never asked my permission before they put it up there in the first place. I wonder if these new people are feeling the same way I did last November. I wish them the best of luck on their journey of local stardom and I hope they are up to the challenge.