Love, Sex and Dust

"I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, and at the same time. I hate you." As spring nears, this love note between freshman entry-mates reminds us that it's time to bring out the dead of past romance.

Yes, it's time again to drag the corpses of failed relationships out from crowded dorms and to exorcise ghosts from the dining halls. No more mourning over disastrous good-byes, it's time to do our spring cleaning.

But just because it's spring--with men and women's fancies turning wild--one cannot be so ingracious as to ignore old affairs gone awry. College romance may appear juvenile, carnal and hypocritical, but at least "it was real."

So before declaring open season for Cupid to unleash his darts through the Yard's warming air, let's take a moment and journey back to springtimes past.

At our first stop, we witness the slimed zombies of the "pond-scum" cycle. Here, intense fall passion throbs within the confines of the Yard, a house or--horrors--a single entry. However, such wild affection can often mutate into something unrecognizeable. In a matter of weeks, both parties are left shell-shocked, embittered and unimpressed at the range of derogatory vocabulary each other employs. Words to watch out for: you slimebag; you used me; or, worst of all, it was a misunderstanding.

Next, we see the bodies with pitchforks in their backs: victims of the "dosey-doe" move. These couples survived early burn-out to suffer mid-semester changes of heart, shifts in sentiment, hoardings of hormones. Soon, their attentions wander. Conversations trail off into silence. Fidelity means insurance. Euphemisms often heard now: It will be good for us; it will be good for you; so how's your roommate?

Now, we witness the ugliness of sudden death among the "disconnected." Summer arrives and the devoted twain have split for 16 weeks. But home is where the sweetheart is--phonecalls shorten and letters become scarce. Finally, at the advice of a high school friend, an ex-romantic just hangs up at the hint of a whining, "Hello?" Warning signs: click, buzzzzzz.

All right. Some never learn. Loneliness can motivate anyone to do most anything--this is Harvard afterall. But if you attempt to find a little romance, watch out for these dead-ends.

"I'll be fired." Don't develop a crush on your art section leader.

"I'm 27."

"I know." Avoid the embarassment of approaching the young assistant professor whose life history you've committed to memory.

"What's your name again?" Don't sleep with your friend's visitor, who returns to Cambridge every year on the same weekend.

"I told you never to speak to me here." Refrain from seeking romance anywhere you spend more than 10 hours a week. You'll pay dearly for any brief, shining encounter, after rumors fly and even you become sick of seeing yourselves together.

"Wish you were here." Don't think of being so foolish as to start something with someone who is taking a leave of absence for a year--say in France.

So welcome March, welcome Spring, welcome Cupid, Eros, Venus, Aphrodite and all the gang. But remember, no one knows what lies in wait in the future. It's no fun being a corpse. So ask yourself, "Is it really worth it?" Just say "No."