Three of my housemates are in long-distance relationships. This column is for them. I have done two separate stints of distance and still have not recovered. This column is for me. You most likely are in, or know someone in, a long distance relationship. This column is for you. What’s that you say? This is the Humor section? Well a famous person once said something about humor and sadness being linked in some way or another. Now fill up your flask and batten down the hatches. It is time for the saddest article in the history of the Humor section.
Before we begin, yes, a TA-to-TH relationship is considered long-distance provided that you do not have access to a car. Both of those paths look like what would happen if Hannibal Lecter decided to create his own version of the Yellow Brick Road. The easiest way to send me into cardiac arrest would be to creep up behind me on the TH path and whisper “Why hello, Clarice.” Anyways. Long-distance relationships. In short, they are the worst. We all know the timeline, the slow degeneration of what is considered “normal social behavior.” It starts off okay. You Skype each other and maybe even send a letter or two if you’re one of the few of us left who actually has legible handwriting AND knows how to address an envelope.
Then your housemate enters a relationship with someone who literally lives next door. Every time they cuddle your stomach feels like you just ate two helpings of “beef” from the Deece. You wish unspeakable things on your friend when they complain that it’s tough to cuddle on Vassar beds. You make voodoo dolls of these two people who insist on flaunting their love and affection, and within 36 hours, they are riddled with toothpicks. Next comes the body pillow phase. You tell yourself you bought it for lumbar support, but within a few days you’ve named it Gosling and provided this inanimate object with an intricate back story.
We all know what comes next. You go to a TH party and sing along to Miley Cyrus, although if anyone asks you don’t know the words. Before long you head home, hoping for a quick Skype sesh to alleviate the loneliness. No one is online because it’s 3:30 in the morning. Without hesitation you kiss Gosling with the blinding passion of one thousand suns, but your pillow just stares back at you. It too has succumbed to the ennui of TH life. You kiss it once more, but again you are rebuffed. You look Gosling in the eye and whisper “Are you not entertained?” before drifting off to sleep.
Right before your eyes, your lifestyle starts to change. You go to Dormal Formal wearing jorts, Birkenstocks, and a Hawaiian shirt. Your outfit is not ironic. You start reading Nicholas Sparks. Your choice in literature also is not ironic. You begin to hope that How I Met Your Mother ends with Ted never finding true love. At this point all four of your housemates are in relationships. The sounds that emanate from their bedrooms are the anthem of your unending solitude. You begin to siphon gas from their cars and dump it into Sunset Lake when no one is looking. It is now September 14, exactly two weeks since you have seen your significant other. Your second body pillow is named Natalie Portman. You start describing your life as Kafka-esque to strangers. You have never read Kafka. Above your bed hangs a framed photo of Cory and Topanga. Hope springs eternal in the human breast.
You are pretty sure Alexander Pope is the protagonist from the Nicholas Sparks novel where the handsome and mysterious man’s dog runs away only to be adopted by the prettiest girl with the darkest past in the smallest town in the most rustic seaside village in America. They end up meeting at an independent book store and raising the dog together under the umbrella of matrimonial bliss. More tears. You rip another page from the calendar: September 18.
Now even the Daddy Long Legs spiders that nest in the corner of your bedroom have names. They are all named Clive. You call yourself the Mother/Father of Spiders. Your housemate is pissed because his girlfriend can only go apple picking for an hour this Saturday. You don’t give a shit about his problems.
September 24: that same housemate and his girlfriend have hand-written a 75 page recipe book called ‘Love’s Nourishment.’ You draw phallic-looking objects on every page. October 2nd rolls around. You Skype your significant other, lick the screen and marvel at the rainbow colored residue left by your tongue. Finally, a shred of happiness. Over October break you see your significant other and it was all worth it. Aww. The End.
P.S: Following up on my last column, I want to make one more confession. I once jammed twelve cookies into an old VCR I found in my basement, whispered “F— you, Buddy the Elf, and walked away. I was in a long-distance relationship when this happened.