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ISSUE 121 VOL 3 PUBLISHED 10/5/2007

Campus bereft of PDA

By Corrine Thomas
Contributing Writer

Friday, October 5, 2007

I'm stunned that any Oles ever go on to procreate.

Why, you ask?

My explanation is simple: look at St. Olaf's PDA, short for public displays of affection (or should I say lack thereof). It's like entering a time warp. Think back to the good old days of your grandparent's courtship. What didn't fly in public then doesn't fly now at Olaf.

Walk down any European street and immerse your senses in incredible architecture, the scent of local cooking and a rich history. Add to this list a ridiculous number of full-on, in-your-face make-out sessions available for your viewing pleasure (or disgust). Ah yes, European PDA at its finest.

Skipping back a few time zones back on the Hill, I feel it is safe to say that Olaf PDA falls into a few short, not to mention prudishly agonizing, categories. There are the "Caf-date" hand holders, who fondle nothing more than each other's fingers as they discuss chemistry labs over their pasta spirals.

There are the warm-weather couples who retire to blankets on Mellby lawn when the sun is shining, but only with the clear stipulation that this is as close to bedclothes as the two will ever get until after graduation.

Perhaps the gutsiest group of lovers at St. Olaf is the library loungers, of which there are two teams: Junior Varsity (JV) and Varsity. The JV library loungers sit side by side in cushy chairs, scribble notes to one another and burst out in laughter over some hilarity unknown to the rest of us. Flirtation for these JVers is documented on the margins of notebooks.

At a whole new level, there are the Varsity library loungers who hone in on quiet study rooms, particularly the L-shaped ones where they can fend off intruders with backpack moats, leaving them alone to pursue god-knows-what on the inset couches.

Flirtation for the Varsity library loungers is documented by couch fabric discoloration and poor grades despite hours upon hours of library "study." Don't think we don't know. We're totally onto you. While the Varsity library loungers are by far the most, shall we say, pioneering of St. Olaf's evasive and stuffy PDAers, there is still something I just don't understand.

On one hand, they provide a sense of hope that Olaf is at least in possession of some kind of sex drive. On the other hand, everyone knows what you're doing in there, so why is it so hard for you to show day-to-day affection?

Why is it perfectly OK for you to get your freak on in Rolvaag but then show downright repulsion when a couple exchanges a kiss in the Crossroads? The hypocrisy of it all disgusts me.

There are two annoying things about Olaf PDA: the people who carry out these dispassionate, even prudish attempts at public nookie and the people who apparently "can't stand" to see it. To the latter, I say to you: do not go to Europe. You will self-implode.

As for the former, the way I see it is if you're going to kiss your girlfriend, then kiss her. Take a page from Pierre's book and show a little interest, a little passion. Please, for all of our sakes.

I'm not saying we should participate in indecent exposure in the cafeteria (unless you're a member of the Olaf Cross Country Team in which case, carry on boys, carry on).

I'm just suggesting that we loosen up our buttons, baby. Even if it's just the top one on your pistachio colored J. Crew polo shirt.

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