Bridging the Communication Gap

We decided the University of Richmond Campus wasn't a large enough bridge.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

We Need to Talk: An Intimate Dive into the Gray Area (Published Feb 4th, '10)

The first few drafts of this article were about a variety of topics: how to treat girls badly and get away with it, why hitting on women should be honest instead of a “game” and finally, my theory on how to spice up your love life. However funny those ideas were, there was a disconnect between my writing them and how I feel about the communication gap.

University of Richmond, I think we need to talk. We are in the gray area Terance Trammell’s article from two weeks ago was dedicated to avoiding. “How? What are you and I doing that we need to talk about?” That’s the point. Neither of us knows what we are doing, but I am hoping to clear it up.

The spring (semester) is truly the time of birds and bees! Love (read: lust) is already in the air as seniors are hoping to get in as much of the college experience as possible, as underclass(wo)men are doing their best to savor the last of their older friends, and as we all wait with bated breath for warmer weather to bring less clothing.

“Is this what we need to talk about?” No! You are so impatient. Please endure. I swear I have a point. “But what is it?”

You see, this is why we need to talk in the first place! You never let me finish. You’re always interrupting with your small talk, your casual waves and your uncaring questioning of, “How are you?” Always. I’m sick of it. We never really talk about the problems in our relationship. We never talk about how we don’t even agree on an operational definition of a relationship.

That’s why we can never really talk about what you and I are going to do after graduation, or even what we are going to do for the rest of the semester. You just think it’ll all work out, don’t you? You just assume.

You are always assuming! Sure, they seem like small assumptions. It’s not too bad to assume that, because we made out once you have some sort of possessive claim to my body, precluding all my chances to hook up with anyone else.

It’s just a minor thought to assume that my Zizekian overidentification (love you, Jamie) with the game that gets me into so many pants is actually how I feel.

Wait, let’s digress. How exactly does this game keep working? If we’re going to continue whatever it is we have going, I need everyone to be a little more honest about what this game really is.

Why can’t we all just agree that sometimes we just want to touch each other? Why the shallow game? If I tell you that you have nice lips, it’s not just because I want to do things to you. Sometimes you just deserve the compliment. (By the way, you smell really nice today.)

Let’s get back to the point at hand: you and me. I really wanted to talk to you about your drinking. I’ve been worried for a long time, but now it’s affecting us. This is where I draw the line. You keep drinking until you are no longer in control. You make bad decisions and come back to me as if I were supposed to forgive every indiscretion … or care about any of them.

I stopped caring the minute you started using “I was drunk” as an excuse to have whatever sloppy hook-up without claiming any responsibility for the desire. If you want to touch someone, just admit it. In fact, just do it. But don’t talk to me like you can blame it all on the alcohol. Please get some courage without needing the alcohol to do it. The prescription on your beer goggles really isn’t that far from your usual vision.

The most important thing I need to say to you before we return to the usual routine of the casual wave and mindless small talk is about your manners. If I am honest enough to be upfront about how casual our “relationship” is, then you can be nice enough to casually make me a sandwich afterward. It’s not chauvinism, it’s hunger after hard work.

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