On Not Having a Valentine (and not looking “like a grad student,” apparently)
Tonight, my phone conversation with my mom went something like this:
Mom: So you’re just working tonight? That’s what happens when you have no Valentine on Valentine’s Day.
Me: Valentine’s Day is tomorrow.
Mom: Ah, yes. Well you still don’t have one.
Isn’t she sweet. It’s funny, because “Valentine” in Chinese translates to “lover”. I was just following a thread on Yelp about casual dating and read some pretty interesting posts. I never used to think that dating around was okay; I thought it was so typically American — which, to me, always meant “bullshit”.
Dating around? Really? How A.D.D. are you?
Now that I think back on it (it’s been years since I first decided that it wasn’t an ok-thing to do), I suppose there’s nothing wrong with it. But maybe I should explain my previous point of view: I always thought that people who dated around were only playing a game (the dating game? “back in the game”?) and had no real interest in being committed (by that I mean an exclusive relationship — not “love and marriage”). I used to say that I would never be okay if the guy I was “going out with” was seeing other people, because, well, *I* wouldn’t do that.
When faced with a problem, there usually are more than one way to approach it, right? Do you try all of them at the same time? No, you don’t; you try one, you chuck it if it doesn’t work, and you move on to the next one.
But what the fuck do *I* know? You can’t actually use that model for dating. People come and people go; you can’t acquire several potentially datable (also: dateable) people, and try one out while you shelve the rest. Who’s gonna wait for you to come around? That’s the main “danger” of serial dating (as opposed to multi-dating), I guess: if you date exclusively (but not “seriously”) and it doesn’t work out, it might take a while to find your next date. Sure, freedom is nice, you get to have some single fun, spend some “you” time. And then? How long is that gonna last? How long until you get tired of being free, having single fun, and spending time ALONE?
I’m not saying everyone should go out and collect phone numbers from everything that moves (and has a phone), but if presented with the option to date several different people at one (not literally “at the same time,” people) you should do it. It’s all about maximizing your chances and using time efficiently.
I could talk about dating for hours; what to do, what not to do, blah blah blah… it’s too bad I don’t have anyone on whom to test my theories.
The other thing I’d like to discuss tonight, before I retire myself, is some nonsense I heard about “looking” like a grad student.
Well, “heard”; I had lunch with a very nice sophomore today and she told me that I didn’t “look like a grad student”. Then we took the Metro, going in opposite directions, and I was left wondering what the fuck she meant by that.
That was at 4pm, it’s now 2am — officially the next fucking day — and I’m still wondering. Any ideas?
What she could have meant was that I don’t “act” like a grad student. From my observations of other grad students who have been and currently are in my classes, I can deduce it to mean one of two things — or maybe both: that I am not silent in class, or that I talk and socialize with undergrads. Now, let’s be honest: most grad students probably don’t think much of undergrads, much like undergrads don’t think much of high school kids, and so on and so forth. With that in mind, being “stuck” in a class with 95-99% undergrads is probably not the ideal situation. And so, since undergrads aren’t technically our peers, we see no reason for befriending them. Or talking to them. Or you know, looking at them. I mean, some grad students are TAs, they have shit to do, places to go, people (who are more important than undergrads) to see, etc.
Newsflash: so do undergrads.
I don’t get the whole I’m a grad student attitude. I see it all the time, but I don’t get it. It’s oh-so-serious and important. But, o, venerable grad student: you KNOW damn well that when you’re with your friends you act like a silly little freshman does with his or hers.
This just in: your shit doesn’t smell any better than theirs.
You should see me in class; I’m a fucking ray of fucking sunshine. The undergrads love me — those who aren’t intimidated by my being a grad student, that is.
But what I think she meant was that I don’t look my age — I literally don’t look like a grad student. Some would agree, some wouldn’t. But honestly? I’m 24; there isn’t much of a difference between someone who’s 21-22 — e.g., a senior in college — and someone who’s 24. Maybe it’s my clothes? Am I supposed to change my wardrobe suddenly? Wear dress pants and blouses instead of jeans and t-shirts? Maybe a pair of heels would do it? Some lipstick? Bullfuckingshit. That’s just like the attitude thing and the whole taking-yourself-too-seriously act.
I’m only talking about clothes here because I refuse to think that people could ever come to the conclusion that a particular individual could not be a grad student — no way! — because their FACE looks young. Or because they’re short. Or because their face looks young AND they’re short.
Ahhhhh, but what do they know? They’re undergrads.