Change is in the air, a mysterious wind that brought with it the relaxation of Swarthmore’s mask mandate. As the post-prom condensation on the Matchbox 3rd windows dried and students awoke from their weekend-long hangovers to return to their shared indoor common spaces, many were faced with the unexpected reality of a mask-optional world: mouths. As we are forced to grapple with the fact that people other than our dinner partners have another half to their faces, it has become clear that some mouths, like some secrets, would have been better left hidden. In most cases this discovery can actually be for the best, as it could mean that you actually are the hottest person in your lab group, or you no longer have to worry about being attracted to your painting instructor. But for those of us looking for love, or at least hoping to fantasize about it for a few weeks, facing (haha) the harsh reality of a weirdly proportioned mouth or devastatingly bad facial hair on your crush’s face can really unsign your Garnet Pledge. But never fear, all those grappling with unexpected ugliness are not without guidance. What follows is a comprehensive guide to your next steps if the recent mask-optional shift has left you in such an unenviable position.
Step One: Take a moment to appreciate your own face.
In times of distress, it can feel hard to look for the good, which is why it is extra important to express gratitude for the joys you have been blessed with. Rather than letting yourself dwell on the absolute disappointment that is your crush’s mouth and nose, take a look at your own gorgeous face. Even if you don’t believe you’d win any “sexiest mouth” contests, you can still find gratitude in the familiarity of your own face. Take this moment in the mirror to also thank your mouth for all the great things it allows you to do, like successfully BS your way through multiple semesters of discussions you never finished the readings for.
Step Two: Submit a post to Swat Crushes.
Whether it’s to complain about your current circumstance, to ask the general public if they’ve ever experienced the same thing with little hope of any response, or just to be horny and sad, using an anonymous Instagram account can provide clarity, and more importantly, attention. Never suffer in silence when your suffering could instead be made into sweet, sweet digital content. And since you didn’t post it yourself, you can even like your own post to inflate the numbers. Score! Let those extremely temporary endorphins flow through you and ride that social media high for as long as it can possibly distract you from your beautiful crush’s butt-ugly face.
Step Three: Call a mom.
After the joy of hollow social media attention has faded (so about 3.57 minutes after the post shows up on your feed), you’re going to need some serious comfort to get you out of this post-crush funk. And what figure is more comforting than a mom? Granted, not everyone has a mom, and only the lucky few have good moms; but they are out there, and some of them do have phones. Ask around to find someone with a wise, comforting mom or maternal figure, and see if you can borrow their phone number and an hour of her time. Chances are your selected mom has seen her own fair share of disappointing faces, so feel free to ask for stories about former crushes that turned out to be real uggos, either inside or out. Now you can really start healing.
Step Four: Petition the school to require masks again.
If you’ve gotten this far and still can’t get over your crush and their silly little nose and mouth, it might be time to bring out the big guns: institutional change to facilitate denial. Start by amassing an army of either genuinely concerned students or others who have suffered your highly specific circumstances, and petition the administration to reverse their policy change. If you’re feeling extra successful, go ahead and ask them to require masks not just indoors, but outdoors as well. With any luck, you can get your crush to keep their offensive features covered up all the way through graduation and convince yourself you never opened that particular can of worms.
Step Five: Acceptance.
So your crush has a weird face. That’s just life sometimes! Their features may be uneven, but some of the best things are, like a Picasso painting or McCabe’s windows. And if Wharton’s eclectic doors have taught us anything, it’s that things don’t always have to match or make sense to be whimsical and useful. Some things are out of your control, but in this case you can control how it affects you. So just accept that your crush isn’t the hotty you were expecting and move on to bigger and better things, like that funny senior with huge tits (yes, I mean me). Or just take matters into your own hands and lower your standards as far as you need for your crush to lower their mask and stay your crush.
Life will always have its disappointments, like realizing you’ll have to eat pasta twice a week for four years of your life. But even in the darkest hours, remember that you have options. So whether those options are making an unsatisfying quesadilla or lowering your standards for a subpar jawline, don’t lose heart. Of course, none of this advice was actually relevant to me, because I will continue to cycle through crushes like this school cycles through RAs. But I hope now you can go forth, and stay horny.