Just Give Up

Erin Campbell Watson

For some reason, I find myself yet again advising those of the Lawrence campus on how to improve the abysmal nature of their love lives. I don’t know why I’ve agreed to this useless task again, for it requires conducting field research ALL WEEKEND LONG.
Field research is difficult. It requires me to attend parties, sometimes not of my own choosing, and observe the effect that certain behavioral choices have on attraction levels of potential mates. For instance, this weekend, I was forced to observe the effect wearing nothing but a pair of bikini-style underwear had on a freshman’s ability to attract potential grinding partners. My work is grueling and often repulsive, but I do it for you.
The beginning of fall term is generally a particularly awkward time for love at Lawrence. During fall term, many anxious freshmen and upperclassmen alike engage in posturing rituals that leave their friends doing little to camouflage their laughter and disapproval from across the room.
This same behavior that is endearingly tragic in friends only leaves those who do not yet know you with little desire to ever learn your real first name.
The beginning of fall term is especially difficult because of the number of new faces on campus. Upperclassmen are generally attracted to the new options because as students at a school smaller than most high schools, they have memorized every flaw on everyone else’s face by now.
Freshmen are appealing to upperclassmen because they have not yet abandoned personal grooming rituals and because they have not been engaging in awkward hookups with them for three years. This is probably their main selling point.
After three years here, most male upperclassmen couldn’t seriously give a damn what the fresh meat looks like, but they do know that freshmen know nothing of their awkward dating history and the really sloppy way they eat.
I’m getting sick of many of these same over-eager attention-grabbers showing up to “group hangouts” that are certainly different from “parties,” dressed in outfits that look like costumes, drinking maybe half a beer before realizing they aren’t exactly welcome and easing the tension by asking me what my major is.
Someone is going to pay for these sins. It will probably be the first kid who, seeing me hoisting a case of beer up to my room, gleefully asks me if I’m having a party. Little does this party animal know that after spending three years in Appleton, a case of beer indicates that I am probably planning to spend my evening writing a term paper.
This is not to say that freshmen are the only Lawrentians whose mating rituals are difficult to watch. It is fair to say that after several hours of sitting at the VR, most Lawrentians’ behavior becomes equally as tragic. This is also not to say that I am attacking this behavior at all. In fact, making these mistakes has created my most colorful Lawrence memories.
After three years of tragically attempting to make myself stand out as much as possible in order to date as many older “Lawrence celebrities,” as I could possibly encounter, I’ve realized that while they were busy wasting their time in the VR, I was wasting years of college I can’t get back.
Mainly, I’m bitter because three years of Downer and PBR pitchers has made me kiss my days as a size-two goodbye and three years of tragic co-op party appearances have assured that I will never successfully date in the Lawrence zip code. So good luck, kids. Don’t screw it up like I did.