My first crush on a boy was in the first grade. The playa that I am, I’d obviously had boyfriends before, but there was never an emotional connection—a trend I would carry into college, but that’s another story. Then, at age 6, I met Zach (I haven’t changed Zach’s name, so if he happens to read this … hi, Zach, I had a crush on you in first grade). Zach was the hottest boy out of pre-K. He was tall and blonde, and he ate considerably less crayons than the other boys. One day in class, I was contemplating Zach’s round, child-size jaw and sculpted baby fat when I realized that I was a little chilly. So I did what anyone would do: I put all of my limbs inside my shirt. I’d never attempted arms AND legs at the same time before, but it was really cold and so I went ahead and shoved all my appendages in. Two seconds later, the shirt popped off my head, exposing my baby boobies to the entire first grade. And that is the story of how I first got to second base.
This was the start to my long saga of having absolutely no game. “The Game,” as many of you know all too well, is a prolonged foreplay to hookups, relationships or awkwardly over-sexualized friendships. The main goal of The Game is making other people feel what you want them to feel by pretending that you feel the exact opposite of what you feel (say that 10 times fast and tell me if it makes sense). Basically, The Game starts every relationship on the exact right footing: manipulation. Like any good game, it is laden with candy cane forests, sugary gumdrop mountains and pretending to be a lot more prudish than you actually are.
Sometimes, I wonder what The Game was like in the 1800s. Teasing a little too much, playing coy, flirting with all the suitors in town—all while wearing glorious, giant skirts that hide your out-of-wedlock pregnancy and knowing that, at the end of the day, The Game doesn’t matter because you’re probably going to die of yellow fever anyway. I hearken back to these days with fond, nonexistent memories. Now, thanks to technology, The Game permeates every aspect of life. Crucial to this updated version are Facebook posts that show how much fun you’re having—without your love interest, of course. If you manage to get slightly sexual pictures of you with someone more attractive than the person you’re seeing, you’ve advanced two spaces. Of course, there are people who take this aspect of The Game too far. They become that girl who we all stalk on Facebook because of her overly emotional statuses about people she’s known for two weeks. You know, that chick who photoshops her and her love interests’ heads onto the bodies of Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
Oh, and texting. The modern game would not be complete without Cupid’s 160-character arrows. This is by far the part of the game with the most rules. You can’t text first, last, too much or too little. And you DEFINITELY can’t text back too fast. A prompt texter is the world’s biggest boner killer. Make them wait so long before you respond that they seriously consider filing a missing person report. When you do send texts, they must be funny, relatable and short—but still require a response. With the amount of time and energy people put into crafting this perfect text message, debating whether no punctuation or a period will best convey their sly indifference, we could have finished all our college schoolwork or deprogrammed that pesky Romney robot or genetically engineered domesticated dinosaurs by now. Come ON, people, I want a pocket T-Rex!
There are a few characteristics that make gameplay impossible. The Game is not compatible with most foreign models. Blunt people, those with expressive faces and chronic drunk texters need not apply. Anyone with relationship experience may have significant difficulty installing the necessary software. If you need help, call The Game’s help line—they’ll probably respond within the next couple of days, but not until you feel sufficiently insecure about whether or not they care about you.
As someone who possesses some if not all of those characteristics, playing the game is definitely NOT my jam. There is no secret sexual innuendo behind my texts or Facebook posts. I usually try my hardest to make my feelings blaringly obvious, and in my ideal world, everyone would say exactly what they were thinking all of the time. And would that be so bad? What if we did know what our hookups and potential partners thought and wanted out of us? Maybe people are afraid to abandon The Game because to face their real feelings and the feelings of another person would make them vulnerable. It would be hard. But reality check people: Relationships are hard, and they are all about the vulnerability. So why would we make it any harder than it already has to be? Let’s skip the Molasses Swamps and head straight to the Candy Castle—if you know what I mean.
Sex. I mean sex.
Lillie Reed is a Trinity junior. Her installation of the weekly Socialites column runs on alternate Wednesdays. You can follow Lillie on Twitter @LillieReed.