Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
To the Duchess of Swarthmore, Esq., PhD, OB/Gyn,
Weekend after weekend, I get all dolled up, put on my sexiest clothes, and go to Paces. I do my best to flirt and show that I am single and looking. Yet, weekend after weekend, I strike out. Sometimes I think someone is interested, but…I still walk home alone, self-esteem in the toilet. What does a girl have to do to get someone to be interested in her?
-Hankering for a Hookup
First of all, define “all dolled up”. Do you mean you actually put on makeup? If not, please do. The rest of the week you probably look like some unwashed miscreant with unshaven legs and armpits because you’re subverting the patriarchy or something. If you want someone to look at you without throwing up a little bit in his/her mouth, you’re going to need to put on hold your subversion of the gender norms that dominate our society and shower, shave (all those parts), and brush your hair every now and then. Put on some whorish makeup (you know, the heavy eyeliner, vibrant eyeshadow, preferably glittery, and some really shiny lip gloss. ) You have to put some effort in. Seriously.
Clothing wise, I am going to make some assumptions here. You go to Swarthmore. You probably don’t own any clothes that are actually sexy (only the girls in LaSS actually know how to dress to impress). Let’s be honest with each other. If you’ve got a hot body, you’re going to have to show some cleavage. Wear something low cut (or, as my dad used to tell me to wear when I needed to get the car inspected, “something feminine”). If you don’t, please don’t flaunt it. Please.
I don’t really know what to tell you about dancing or anything. Think of how low your self-esteem is when you leave alone. Dip it lower than that. Don’t make eye contact. Other than that…I mean, you’re a Swattie, you can’t really help your awkwardness. It happens to the best of us. The alcohol helps a little, but when it comes down to it, everyone’s awkward out there, swawkward, if you will (actually, I won’t).
The last thing I will say to you is this: do you really want to hook up with any of these people? Seriously? As I tell the children I work with, stop and think, and make good choices. Or get your eyes checked.
-The Duchess of Swarthmore, Esq., PhD, OB/Gyn
To the Duchess of Swarthmore, Esq., PhD, OB/Gyn,
I have a problem. This is a small campus with an even smaller student body. With one solitary dining hall. There lies the biggest problem. How on earth do I avoid someone I’d rather not run into in Sharples?
-The Elephant in the Small Room
There are several simple solutions to your problem. The first is to just stop eating. You won’t have to go to Sharples, thus, you have a significantly lower chance of seeing that certain someone (and after a few weeks of this plan, you know for sure that you won’t see him/her at all because you’ll be in the hospital with an IV in your arm). Or, you know, go to Tarble or make mac ‘n’ cheese in your room or something.
Of course, a more practical approach is to figure out a way to go to Sharples while avoiding said person. In Sharples, as in the game Assassins, you always have to be on your guard. The Swat Swivel should be utilized. Peek around corners before you walk around them. Hang out at the deli bar (where no one ever looks unless it’s Cajun bar and there’s nothing else to eat) and scan the serving area before committing to a line. Even then, be prepared to cut and run. The serving area is the biggest risk. We all know the sinking feeling that comes when you are serving yourself some mediocre Greek food or whatnot and that person that you really just don’t want to be around comes up next to you. And then they notice you and then there’s that…..yeah.
As far as seating, if you normally sit in the small room, don’t, because everyone that walks through you sees you, and vice versa. Your best bet may be to hide out in one of the booths in the middle room, or in the back corners of the big room, where you really have to look to see someone, and that someone really has to look to see you.
Disguises are fun too. So are funny accents. Do with that what you will.
All that said, you could just man up and be the more mature person. And if it’s awkward for the other person, that’s their problem. Even if it’s awkward for you still, pretend it’s not. Seriously, there comes a point when you just have to remember that you are in fact twenty or so years old and stop acting like middle schoolers.
– The Duchess of Swarthmore, Esq., PhD, OB/Gyn
Got any burning issues that you need answered by someone who obviously knows best (if only by his/her/hir’s prodigious amount of honorifics)? Write to the Duchess of Swarthmore, Esq., PhD, OB/Gyn at firstname.lastname@example.org!