September 7, 2011

Practical Polyamory

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I feel safe in my Cornell bubble. Even though I’m always meeting new people — drunken pong table introductions on Saturday followed by awkward hallway eye contact on Monday seem second nature now — they’re the nonthreatening kind. But once in a blue moon, I make a genuine connection. Luckily, I’m here to keep you from making that mistake too. Don’t make any connections. Seriously. At least don’t make the kind that can lead to something more than a dirty picture text (it really doesn’t get better than that when you’re in a functional college relationship).

The reason I’m warding you all away from meeting anyone you may think is special faster than Gannett could quarantine swine flu victims is that humans are damaging. We don’t mean to be that way, but we are. Let’s say that you meet a great guy. He’s surprisingly good with the witty banter, dresses well (which in my book means he wears button downs and Sperry’s, just saying), wears cologne and actually calls when he says he will (sorry, I think I may have just described a deity of some kind because you can’t expect that much from the average male). You think to yourself, “Winner, winner, chicken dinner.” Wrong.

You’ll watch a movie or have lunch. You’ll kiss, maybe even hold hands (oh god). You’ll send cute texts (yep, I’m gagging) and eventually work your way up to taking a picture together. You won’t realize what’s happening; if someone points it out, you’ll deny it. One day you’ll realize you like him as more than just a casual hook-up. He might even like you too, who knows? And maybe it’ll go well for a while. Hell, it may even go great.

Don’t pat yourself on the back just yet though. Hurricane Irene is headed for you and you don’t even know it. What I mean is that he’ll break it off (or maybe you will. Regardless, it will suck). He’ll turn the words “Let’s see other people” into a vulgar phrase. It’s the kind of moment that you’ll set on replay (memories are, unfortunately, much higher definition than TiVo).

There’s a cure though. It’s a game called 1, 2, 3. Basically, I’ll point out a guy (1) and if my friend likes him, she can settle for him and (theoretically) go talk to him. If she doesn’t like him, I’ll pick another guy (2). If she passes on him too, then she’s stuck with specimen #3. The best parts of 1, 2, 3 are the drunken variations you’ll discover. For example, instead of talking to the guy, you may go buy him a drink or make-out on introduction. Or, if you’re anything like my good friend Mary Sue, you’ll go right ahead and forcibly touch your victim (but hopefully not in the way that will result in a crime_alert fit for Sam Dean’s column).

What I (along with my convoluted logic) am getting at is that most animals don’t mate for life (didn’t see that conclusion coming, did ya?). They get in heat, lay some eggs, give birth or what have you and move on (I’m obviously not pre-vet). They don’t have inane notions of life-long partners. We should all be taking notes on them and living our love lives accordingly.

If you don’t, however, feel that following the habits of a wombat (or any truly cool animal) will come easily to you, then follow the footsteps of the greatest human beings to have ever lived. No, I’m not talking about the Greeks or the Romans; I mean the ladies and gents of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. These men and women date 20 or 25 people at a time and get away with it. They even broadcast it on national T.V.! Sure, they do some weeding out, but can you name a single couple (other than Trista & Ryan) that has stayed together after meeting on that show (and to answer your question, yes, I’m embarrassed that I know anything about Trista & Ryan)?

Please date 25 people at once. Please meet them after a semi-forcible ass-grabbing incident. Please don’t get the idea that you’ll live happily ever after (your life is NOT a Disney movie). If you must disregard my unsolicited advice, then at least remember to try out 1, 2, 3 — as far as I’m concerned, it’s the best way to meet your next beau while in the confines of your own Cornell bubble.

Hazel Gunapala is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She may be reached at [email protected]. Appropriately Cynical appears alternate Thursdays this semester.

Original Author: Hazel Gunapala