Bridging the Communication Gap

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Birds and the Bees (Published April 15th, '10)

So the weather gets better. The birds chirp, the bees buzz, the pants start coming down and the the shorts keep rising. Spring is in the air. There is not only the change in weather, but the change in demeanor of everyone and everything.

Relationships that bloomed in the cold enthralls of winter wither away and die in the warm openness of spring. For many seniors on this campus there has been the experience of the transition to spring four times.

This final stretch brings with it the promise of future seasons without the familiar confines of a lodge, the Cellar or University Forest Apartments.

We are all a part of what I call the Richmond Zone, almost akin to the Twilight Zone because it is so different from the way the rest of the world works.

Though one thing that holds true here, and almost everywhere else, is the notion that with the warm weather the percentage of single people propels to heights only Zeus on a space shuttle could imagine.

Now it is quite simple to try to diagnose the phenomenon as people seeing the grass getting greener; they want to see if there is better grass to be claimed.

That is fairly reasonable, but I would like to take a deeper look into the intriguing occurrence that seems to always happen around this time of year.

I will start with the breakdown of the seasonal make-up of this phenomenon. First, there is fall, when everything is cooling down and getting chilly. In the context of Richmond, it is the time of fresh faces and new beginnings. The whole school year is ahead of you and you want to see what relationships you could build and which ones you can make stronger.

Now, my theory is that this is the time when people begin the process of scouting out who they have potential interest in and who may have interest in them. This period of time is littered with parties and other modes of social networking to see what connections can be built.
Interestingly enough, this is the season in which single life is highly coveted and valued by many.

Fall is the time for growing familiarity and the realization that soon the weather will not allow for short skirts or short sleeves, bringing to a close the physical, attention-grabbing period and bringing in what I will term as “Cuffing Season.”

By Cuffing Season, I first mean winter, but its other meaning is that relationships become as popular as mullets were in the ‘80s.

I believe the average person notices the increase in relationships during this period, as to be expected. The partying has now become more group-exclusive, so people are regularly surrounded by the same people; mixing alcohol with familiarity and a batch of sexual tension is a concoction for repeat-offender hook-up sessions, which in turn could lead to becoming comfortable. When people get comfortable they usually end up in a relationship. I may be wrong, but check the stats.

At this point, Cuffing Season is in full effect because the chill of the outside necessitates consistent warmth, and what’s better than another person to help with that? Furthermore, all the other potential body warmers are now bundled up and probably cuddled up because of this unbelievable predictability of human nature.

The point is that Cuffing Season is the calm before the storm of scantily clad women and dudes with their shirts off.

That first 70 degree day is when all the cuffing gods unite and try to figure out how to make sure those handcuffs can weather the perfect storm of sunbathing and volleyball-playing.

It’s as if people come out of their comfortable relationship hibernation and see a whole campus out there ready for a new single member. The warmth brings people out whom you may have never seen before while also opening your eyes, which may have been sleeping, to the attraction you may have for a person but didn’t notice because they were bundled up.

With that in mind, the season of spring is when flowers start to bloom and relationships start lacking nutrients. People with strong relationships may be able to sustain through the temptation, but if the roots of the relationship are lacking, death is on the horizon.
The on- and off-campus parties increase, groups start to overlap because of campus-wide events of the season, and single life’s appeal becomes ever so hard to resist. The spring season is “Open Season.”

There are possibilities of the old, the new, the current and the future. For the cuffing gods, Open Season is sort of like tax season: you have to evaluate what cuffing has done for you. The summer needs no explanation, but for those interested, I will just say it is what you make it, and usually what you make it directly correlates to how you spent your Open Season.

I have gone through all the seasons and applied my social theory. I fully grant that I could be grossly far from the truth, misinformed, or my judgment of people is just lacking, but this is my theory.

There are many relationships on this campus that fully portray my theory while there are some that do not at all. From my interactions with men and women on- and off-campus it seems that the winter is a time for loving, and the summer, a time for humping (for those who just read that and were in shock, yes I said humping. It rhymed, I used it).

I personally believe if people are in a committed relationship, seasons should be irrelevant. But for most people, from my observations, seasons can play a big role, especially on a campus such as ours, with the temptation of tanning on the green and the possibilities lifting in the gym.

So all I want to say to the readers is: look outside, it’s spring, isn’t the grass gorgeous?

Let’s just say “‘Tis the Season.”

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