Today is Valentine’s Day, which means that love is in the air … whatever that’s supposed to mean. Each year, Feb. 14 is the day when all the couples out there get to celebrate their love for one other with little chocolate hearts, adorable kisses and candlelit dinners. It’s also the day when all the singles out there get to look on in disgust and die a little bit on the inside.
As if Valentine’s Day wasn’t enough of a struggle for those of us who don’t happen to be madly in love, being at Malone makes things even worse. You can’t walk ten feet on campus without seeing a smiling couple walking hand-in-hand. It seems like people are getting married everywhere you look. And with the whole “ring before spring” thing, you start to feel like you almost have to get married.
Can a single man or woman survive on a campus where Cupid shoots his arrows like an indiscriminate madman? Here are several rules you can use to avoid getting married before you graduate. Think of it as a survival guide for singles, written by someone who has attended Malone for four years and remained single to tell the tale.
Rule #1: Cardio
This one is simple, and yet foundational: When you see a member of the opposite sex, run. If someone approaches you on campus with a smile and says “Hi,” beware — he/she could easily have a dark and sinister ulterior motive. Rather than just stand there and run the risk of unwittingly falling in love, extract yourself from the situation, preferably by dropping anything you’re carrying and running away screaming.
Rule #2: Don’t get a life
In order to have a completely airtight marriage evasion strategy, it’s best to just avoid interacting with the other half of the species altogether. Instead of having a social life, try developing a hobby that takes up loads of your free time. Collect stamps, write fan fiction or become a hardcore gamer. If you’re not putting yourself in harm’s way, there’s no chance you’ll ever get ensnared in a relationship at all, let alone an engagement.
At this point I must note that, although completely isolating yourself from the opposite sex is is the most surefire way to avoid marriage, this is simply not a realistic strategy for most college students. With that in mind, here are some additional rules to help you get through your college years without tying the knot:
Rule #3: Don’t flirt with danger
If you intend to get out of Malone without a ring on your finger, you need to learn how to recognize flirting before it’s too late. Unfortunately, flirting is such an inexact science that it’s impossible to define. (To quote the Supreme Court, “I know it when I see it.”) Sometimes simply talking to a member of the opposite sex and being a nice person can be construed as flirting. To be safe, you have to approach all communication as flirting.
With that in mind, there are two basic strategies you can follow to ensure you don’t accidentally engage in flirting and attract unwanted romantic feelings:
Strategy #1 – Be as awkward as possible. For some (such as myself), this may come naturally, while others may need to develop these skills. Avoid eye contact at all costs, mumble frequently and perhaps even develop an unusual nervous tic. If used wisely, these are all sure to be turn-offs.
Strategy #2 – Be as overt as possible. This is a more counter-intuitive approach. Instead of seeking to avoid social interaction, take it to the other extreme and become utterly obnoxious. Use the most clichéd pick-up lines you can think of (i.e., “Is it hot in here, or is it just you?”), develop a strange alternate persona (such as a pirate) or become a “close talker.” [Note: Use this strategy with caution, as it may backfire and inadvertently be perceived as “charming” … you never know.]
Rule #4: Arm yourself with repellants
No, I’m not talking about pepper spray. But there are some practical things you can do to repel members of the opposite sex (and perhaps everyone else in the process), such as not bathing or eating large amounts of garlic. Follow this rule at your own risk, however.
Rule #5: Be on the lookout for “friends”
Having a “friend” who’s a guy or a girl can seem innocuous enough at first, but before you know it, that friendship can quickly mutate into something else entirely. If the goal is to graduate without getting hitched, then this is a risk that you simply cannot take. Refer back to rule #3 for strategies to help you escape potentially volatile situations such as this one.
By following these rules — especially rule #4 — you should be able to escape Malone marriage-free. This is only meant to be a basic list, however; you’re sure to discover strategies of your own while you’re out avoiding marriage like the plague.
So take heart, Malone singles! Armed with this knowledge, you now have what you need to make it to graduation day without succumbing to the Dark Side. After that, though, you’re on your own.