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 striking and exquisitely curvaceous student body of Swarthmore College:
With Valentine’s Day a safe month and a half behind us, we find this the ideal time to engage with the topic that feverishly consumes your every thought. No, we’re not telling you which PokÃ©balls Ankhi used to capture Entei in PokÃ©mon HeartGold today (Get your own strategies, you strategy-knapping knaves). That other topic – you know, the one you’d like to forget along with those piles of rotting, festering candy hearts you’ve stashed under your bed. But you can’t, because, like those other unfortunate consequences of VD Day, Valentine’s Day crushes leave you burning all year round.
We are not Nurse Joy; we cannot take the pain away. But we do find it appropriate to direct our column to serious matters of the heart: most specifically, the universally relevant Epic Saga of Le Sharples Hottie. We dedicate this week’s advice to anyone who has ever felt their very beings ignited (figuratively or literally) by a devilishly sexy man, non gender-conforming individual, woman, or bagel toaster during their hours in Ye Olde Skie Lodge.
Question: Hey Ankhi and Lang,
I read about your longing for a special someone in Sharples, and I have to admit that I myself am guilty of similar yearnings. I know this sounds absurd because it was months ago, but on the evening of Valentine’s Day I saw the most beautiful being I have ever beheld walking up from Sharples in his worn out jeans. Now wherever I go — McCabe, Sharples, Parrish — I end up seeing him and my god, he’s got a smile that could light up this whole town. My heart screams for him. Should I…”Say Yes?”
We wish we could paint you a rosy picture. We wish we could smother you with sparkling hordes of unicorns, unicorns of a special breed that radiate optimistic joy and defecate lusty sunbeams. But all that we can offer you is the broken-backed, fly-ridden nag of Truth. Many Swatties are very familiar with the first glimmerings of finding someone attractive, but love involves a bit more than angsty daydreams and BBC Jane Austen reruns. There are often tears. And (legal?) consequences.
So, we offer you the following cautionary tale of a (hypothetical) lovelorn Swattie who suffered the tragic effects of applying country-pop romance narratives to his/her real life. Take heed.
This ain’t a fairytale. It’s a Swat story.