Minus the City: Characters Wanted

By this time I’m sure you’ve all heard about the Duke alumnae who created a faux-thesis detailing her conquests in college. If not, Google some keywords and I’m sure you’ll find the story. I’m not going to talk about whether what she did was wrong and demeaning to the men featured or no worse than what the average guy does. While that is a worthy debate it’s not what I care about right now. What I was most intrigued by was her ranking system. Miss F*ck List’s partners were evaluated on the following categories: physical attractiveness, size, talent, creativity, aggressiveness, entertainment and athletic ability. There was also a bonus category for items like cool accents. What really struck me when I first read about this case was the real­ization that everyone’s evaluations of others really differ. I’m not going to pretend that we don’t all have them. Weighing the boys and girls we’ve crushed, kissed, dated, whatever-ed on an informal scale in our minds is natural. And as I read the categories important to this woman, I couldn’t help but think about how different my own assessments are.

Physical attractiveness is basic, sure, and snagging a super hottie is always a bonus. But I’m pretty pleased with the looks of everyone I’ve whatever-ed and as we go to a pretty attractive school that category doesn’t have as much variation as it might at other places.

What stands out far more for me, are the stories that I know I’ll never forget. Not in a weird way, but in a I-can’t-wait-to-write-the-story-of-my-life-and-dedicate-a-chapter-to-this way. And so, I die (that’s a Rachel Zoe AND a Shakespeare reference) for a character. Yeah, eye sex with a gorgeous bro can get me going, but I honestly cannot get enough of a truly stellar personality. I don’t just mean that I like boys who are nice, polite, etc. I mean, I do, but that’s not going to make me weak in the knees. What I need is pure individualism. Give me hilarity in human form.

Keep a fish in a water bottle on your desk, I’m intrigued. Feed it protein powder, I’m sold. Hang a birdfeeder on your window and I eat it up. Drape a sheet over your bunk bed and refer to it as the cave and I’ll be confused, but I’ll love it. Keep me entertained and I’ll come back again and again. (Note to boys who want to get rid of me: dull it up!) You’ll be the topic of the next morning’s debriefing over breakfast anyway, so you might as well give us a great story to tell.

Hanging out with a boy like that makes me feel that it’s okay to let my freak flag fly. I don’t feel like I have to plan out every word I say and repress the urges (that I will certainly have) to reference sociology texts and pop culture factoids. I’m not embarrassed about falling down a flight of stairs in front of someone who I wouldn’t be surprised to learn has done the same. Having fun in the sheets is a lot easier with someone you just have fun with in general.

I know my kind of weirdness isn’t for everyone. Some of you reading this are probably total squares or truly perfect (although somewhat frigid) Barbie dolls (although Colgate has a lot fewer of both of those than you’d expect). In that case, just be you. There are undoubtedly tens of people out there looking for perfectly perfect, safe people to whatever. And when you meet them, I’m sure there will be fireworks.

It’s annoying to hear and I know if I have to read it in Cosmo one more time I’ll rip my eye­lashes off but it’s true that being yourself is crazy sexy. Own up to who you are and it will make a huge difference. At Colgate, a campus full of beautiful people, you have to do something to stand out, and in my experience, the best way to do that is to just be you.