Issue #54

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Sociology 301: Introduction to Interpersonal Relationships

Class Meeting Time: March-June                                                      Office: HUM 242

COURSE DESCRIPTION

In this course, you will closely examine the inner workings of interpersonal relationships by finally asking out that cute girl from work. You will decide to date despite knowing that she will be moving across the country in a few months. You will accidentally fall in love. The events of the quarter will culminate in the question: “Was it worth it?”      

TEXTS

Required

Hannah Montana: The Movie

Text Messages by that cute girl from work

The End Credits of Thelma and Louise

Menu from Victoria’s Diner

ASSIGNMENT DESCRIPTIONS

Ask Her Out                                                                                                                            You’ve never really talked to each other. How are you supposed to ask her out? Start off slow. Eavesdrop on a conversation she’s having with one of your coworkers. “Coitus is definitely my least favorite word,” she’ll say. Think of a witty comment to insert yourself into the conversation with. “Coitus is definitely my favorite word.” When she laughs, glance at her and smile. Let the conversation change. Remember everything she says. Remember the Hannah Montana karaoke machine she mentions her younger sister having as a kid. The next morning, send her a Buzzfeed quiz about Hannah Montana. Jokingly, make fun of her for not getting a very high score. When she texts you later that night and says she’s wine drunk and watching the Hannah Montana movie, start watching it too. Overanalyze the fact that she is messaging you while wine drunk. Ask her if she wants to go to an open mic. When she says yes, overanalyze whether or not she thinks it’s a date. Bring some friends along with you, just in case. This will make her confused as to whether this is a date or not. Keep finding excuses to talk to each other until she gives up on you making the first “definitive” move and decides to ask you out. Make it up by initiating the first kiss on the drizzly beach she introduces you to. Don’t pull away until the rain stops.

Dates

Dates are the practice of getting to know someone intimately. While some date activities will be similar over time, no date will be exactly the same. Acceptable dates include, but are not limited to: meals (primarily, dinner and morning-after breakfasts at the diner she’ll introduce you to), sunset gazing at various beaches and overlooks, museums, and used bookstores. Tell her how beautiful she is in the colors of the sunset. Read her books that remind you of how you feel about her. Order for her while she’s in the bathroom because you’ll know her go-to breakfast is always either French toast or pancakes (the eggs included in the meal are scrambled hard and she’ll want Earl Grey tea) and her go to dinner is a pulled pork sandwich, with coleslaw on the side.

 

The grading rubric for Dates is as follows:

ï 1 pt. for originality

ï 1 pt. for polish (excellence in planning)

ï 2 pt. for depth of over-analysis

Saying “I Love You”

At this point in the relationship (one month in), you’ll almost tell her you love her every time you speak to her. You’ll both go from saying “I like you” to “I really like you” to “I really, really like you.” When she gets the flu, bring her soup. Ride the bus for an hour to get to her house. Lie in bed with her while she eats. When she’s done, she will put her head on your chest. Fall asleep while Thelma and Louise is playing on her TV. She’ll notice but not wake you. Wake up as their car falls into the Grand Canyon. During the end credits, adjust so you’re both on your sides looking at each other. Embrace the silence. Put your arm around her waist. Notice that she’s still running a temperature but is cooler than she was before you fell asleep. Break the silence by asking how she is feeling. “Physically or emotionally?” she’ll ask. Say: “I guess both.” “Physically, I feel a bit better. Thank you for the soup,” she’ll say. Ask: “And emotionally?” “I think we’ve both been trying really hard to avoid saying something.” Sit in the silence she has provided for you at the end of that sentence. Sit in the silence for a while. “What do you think about that?” She’ll eventually ask. Say: “I mean, yeah.” You are not quite the master of words or grand gestures. Eventually, she will say it. Before she can even finish the last syllable, open your mouth to say it too, and once the floodgate is open, don’t stop saying it. Even though she’s sick and you don’t want the flu, kiss her.  

Anniversary

Buy her flowers. Tulips are her favorite flower and orange is her favorite color, so buy her orange tulips.  Take her somewhere she’s never been before. Take her to the town your dad used to take you when you were a kid. Walk along the boardwalk and point out the boats that have funny names. Knotty Buoy. Buoys of Summer. No Buoys Allowed. She’ll point to a waterfront cafe. “Lunch?” she’ll ask. Say: “They have the best pulled pork in town.” She’ll decide to not order the pulled pork. “I want to try something new,” she’ll say. Give her the earrings she offhandedly mentioned liking months ago. They’re in the shape of the Earth. “You’re giving me the world,” she’ll say. “That’s cheesy. I like it.” Take pictures with each other and of each other. This is one of those days you’ll want to remember in as much detail as possible.

Decide What Comes Next                                                                                                        You’ll come to realize your time together is nearing an end. Lay next to her in her bed and contemplate asking her to stay. Look at the picture of her childhood home and understand that asking that would not be fair to either of you. You’ll realize you’ve been quiet for a while. “What are you thinking about?” she’ll ask.  Say: “Nothing.” Your voice will crack as you say this and she will not believe you. She will ask again. Muster up your confidence and say it firmly this time. “I can see in your eyes that you’re lying,” she’ll say. Move your head so she can’t see your eyes anymore. Allow them to fill with tears and then blink them away. Say: “I hate that you’re leaving.” That is the closest you will get to asking her to stay. “How do you feel about long distance?” she’ll ask. Answer: “If we were going to end up in the same place someday, I wouldn’t even hesitate.” “But you are hesitating,” she’ll say. Ask: “How do you feel about long distance?” “The same,” she’ll answer. Say: “And we won’t end up in the same place.” “Nope,” she’ll say. Ask: “What are you thinking?” “I would stay if you asked me to,” she’ll say. Say: “I don’t want to be the only reason you stay.”

Final Project                                                                                                                                Your final project is to get over it. She will leave and you will be left to move on. This is a process that will take longer than you can predict. Make a new Tinder profile. Delete and reinstall the app a few times. Like her pictures on Instagram, so she knows that you’re fine. Avoid watching the shows you watched together. Avoid the Hannah Montana movie. Avoid the places she showed you. Just avoid leaving the house for any reason really, except to go to work. Be happy that being single means you aren’t constantly broke. Throw away the toothbrush that you bought her. Let your bedroom get disgusting. Fill the space she used to lay in with McDonald’s bags and candy wrappers and dishes crusted with Pizza Roll crumbs. Cover the ground she used to walk on with dirty clothes and Red Bull cans and any garbage that doesn’t fit onto the bed next to you. Wake up one morning and decide to clean it because at least that is something to do with your time. Clear off your desk and start writing. Write and rewrite your relationship as many times as you can, in as many ways as you can, until it starts to become less fact and more fiction. Hide your phone so you can’t text her how much you miss her. Talk yourself in circles, trying to convince yourself that it wasn’t worth it. “I’m worse off now than I was before we dated,” you’ll tell yourself. Believe the voice that says you would do it again. Give yourself time. Like her pictures on Instagram, so you know that you’re fine. Leave your house. Go to the beach she introduced you to on your first date. Watch the sunset alone. Know that you’ll never be completely over it, but that that was also kind of what you signed up for.

The Lighthouse Keeper

Truth or Dare