Minus The City: Spring Break

Elisa Benson

With a million suggested timeframes in the phoning, boning, and booty-calling waiting games, relationship rules are of undeniable consequence. I tend to avoid these absolutes since a blanket ruling on whether it’s better, say, to extend a dinner invite via text-message, instant-message, or voicemail often downplays the crucial nuances of the situation (not to mention that the relationship is probably doomed if you can’t solve that one for yourself). But regardless of your stance on romantic self-governing and regardless of how many knock-offs of “The Rules” you’ve read, everyone subscribes to a few fundamental relationship norms.

So I thought.

Grapevine gossip over the past several days had made me question everything I consider “normal” couple interaction. Granted, it may not be fair to draw data from a time period that includes Spring Break – the unofficial holiday of sexual anomalies – but the faster these relationship faux pas are exposed and set straight, the better for all of us. Please, feel shameful if you haven’t already internalized the following:

Norm #1: Spring break is for flings. Nothing ruins a vaca hookup like getting all Freudian on your fling. Spending even a nanosecond of your temporary coupledom considering “what this means” is a nanosecond less for canoodling. This day in age, it seems incredulous that anyone would assume a spring break hookup meant something more than brunch stories. I wouldn’t believe it either if not for the guy my girl friend hooked up with on our recent trip to the Dominican. They were beach-walking well into the wee hours of the morning on our last night on the island, and suddenly he turned to her with hopeful puppy dog eyes. “So,” he begins slowly, the tears welling up, “is this just a spring break thing?” Not okay.

Norm #2: Don’t get it on in an occupied bed. Bringing a drunken hookup back to your hotel room – if said hotel room has only ONE BED and you’re already sharing it with your travel bud – gives whole new meaning to the phrase “three’s a crowd.” Unfortunately this is a true Colgate spring break story: one room, one king sized bed, three people. And three nights in a row! Not only does this violate relationship norms, but basic principles of personal space. Please, get a room – or at least some kind of rollaway cot.

Norm #3: There is a time and a place for PDAs. It is a very small place and a very small timeframe. It is definitely not at the COOP. This is not a spring break story – it’s even worse. I returned to my room a few nights ago to find this note from my roommate specifying a potential column idea: “Yesterday I saw in the Coop a couple sitting on each other’s lap – passionately caressing and kissing. But the kicker was when the boy removed the girl’s shoes and socks, gave her a massage, and – I kid you not – sucked and kissed her toes. People eat here!”

Please, take a second to vomit. When my roommate returned she tortured me with a verbal account of her first-person witness. The best I can do is hope this was one of those intro psych experiments where they purposely try to violate social norms, because that’s just not acceptable public behavior. What happened to getting your kicks from standing the wrong way in an elevator?

Being in college doesn’t mean you can forget that we’re living in a society here, people.