The benefits of forward-thinking

The “spring” semester. What a cruel joke of a name. I don’t know about you, but when I think “spring,” I think bright sun, blooming flowers, budding relationships, romping through fields of daisies hand in hand with Prince Charming—okay, maybe that’s taking it a bit too far, but you get the point. Wasn’t I taught that the birds and bees return in the spring? At Yale and in New Haven, this doesn’t seem to be the case.

In the midst of the “welcome-back” storm that hit New Haven, the only thing that seems to be returning is my leg hair. These days its hard enough to avoid falling icicles, let alone find a boyfriend. Getting someone’s attention is a lot harder when its 14 degrees outside. No one wants to get with a girl in a thermal onesie. But who says that relationships can’t bloom even if the weather does not permit? We just need a change of attitude. How do we get our flirt on when the casual linger could lead to hypothermia? It’s called being forward, ladies and gentlemen, and it’s the one area in which we all could use a little more studying.

For better or for worse, I’ve always been inclined to lay it out all on the line. I am notorious among my friends for sending certain “provocative” text messages, a Facebook message here and there, and for generally lacking any internal filter when it comes to guys. I am often introduced as Marissa, the girl who once told a guy…. I’ll let you readers imagine the possibilities. I am that girl who looks last night’s Toad’s flirtation right in the eye and says, “Hello.” I’m the type of girl to ask a boy if he would like to “make out for a bit” (and perhaps the one to get the response that he’s staying at DKE for now…). Hey boys, does any of this ring a bell?

Some people might call me obvious, inept at flirtation, ballsy, or without normal inhibitions (all of which are, to a degree, true). But really, I just hate the game. The drunk DFMO leading to someone’s room, leading to a phone number, leading to texts exclusively on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights after the hour of 10 p.m. (and maybe Sunday morning if an article of clothing is left behind). And maybe, just maybe, after a few weekends of this, there might be a meal to actually talk to this person for the first time, to see if this could be more than just a Wednesday/Friday/Saturday-type thing.

Now I could pontificate about why we seem so attached to this game. Maybe we are scared of being vulnerable. Maybe we are scared of rejection. Dare I say, most of us have not had much experience interacting with the opposite gender. Or maybe we play the game because everyone else is too. I have done some casual research, and there seems to be a consensus: No one likes this game. If everyone could get over their insecurities and be forward about what they want, we would know who is interested and could stop wasting time pining over people who are just being nice. How else would I have found out that the first two Yale boys I liked were just not that interested in me (or anyone else lacking a penis)? This is my call, boys and girls, men and women, to lay your hearts on the line. And as a bit of inspiration, I will tell you a story:

This past weekend I found myself at a party far far off campus. I was breakin’ it down on the dance floor, when out of the corner of my eye I spotted a guy who I had seen many times before. When I say many times, I literally mean I had seen him everywhere: in the library, in the gym, in class, on the street, talking to my friends. One might say I admired him from afar. I knew who he was, name and all (thank you, Facebook). I doubt the reverse was true. In any case, I was dancing, minding my own business, determined to say nothing. When I found myself shoulder to shoulder with him, however, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I turned around, tapped him on the arm, and said “Is it me, or do I see you everywhere?”

I have to interrupt and warn you—this is not a foolproof method (see: turned down for DKE). Expect text messages ignored, Facebook messages unanswered, and, yes, the far too common revelation for Yale women that you are just not your crush’s type, anatomically-speaking. Most people, however, are just not used to someone actually saying what he or she wants. But sometimes it pays off. The guy from my story replied, “Wow, that was a good introduction.” Who knows where this will go. Maybe he’ll run for the hills when he reads this. The point is, I would never know what could have been if I hadn’t had the balls (figuratively speaking) to say hello.

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