Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Calm Down, People

Recently, I have unearthed what is clearly a missing section from Genesis. Based on how today has gone, we all appear to have missed a crucial section in the creation narrative of the Christian world - the part that says, "And on the fourth day (of December), there will be lots and lots of things that girls will obsess over."

In Notre Dame circles, the big topic of the day was the Great National Championship Game Ticket Lottery War. Today, you see, was the day when all of the brewing unrest over the perceived injustices of the ticket lottery came to a sizzling, cat-fight-filled boil in The Observer and all over the internet. For those of you who have not heard about this controversy, first of all, sorry your school's not playing in the national championship, suckas. (Because let's be honest - if you're part of the ND family by any of the many interpretations of that term, you've heard about this controversy.) Secondly, the controversy is essentially this: students at both Notre Dame and our sister school, St. Mary's, are being allowed to enter the lottery for the 2500 student tickets at the national championship, with no special weight or statistical help given to any group. And let me tell you, people are up in arms about this. The student newspaper published an article today that included some probably unfairly decontextualized but nevertheless incendiary quotes on the topic. All day, the "comments" section on the article's online page has been blowing up with cyber-arguments, and, from what I hear from my friends at St. Mary's (yes, I have those!), the Facebook newsfeeds of the students at the school across the road have descended to a level startlingly close to full-tilt jungle madness. To all of this, I have only one thing to say:

Calm the heck down, people.

Let's address the problems of the ticket lottery that it actually makes sense to contest. First of all, as a certain HoCro transfer friend of mine eloquently pointed out in his own Observer piece (proofreading/eloquence-enhancing services provided by yours truly, you're welcome bro), Notre Dame's other sibling institution, Holy Cross College, was left clear out of the lottery. Guys, Rudy went there. Let's re-evaluate this choice.

Secondly, let's just think for a moment about what exactly it is we're arguing about. We are all currently vying for spots in a lottery where the prize you win is the loss of $170 from your wallet. Even if you don't win in the lottery, you still lose $20. Last time I checked, winning a lottery was supposed to reward you. Obviously, the tickets you're paying for are totally worth the ridiculously low price you're forking over for them, but like...could we think of no better term than lottery? "Lottery" to me just sounds like "free money," "hey you are winning stuff for free," "winning this will be awesome and not cost you more than like $2 unless you are one of those weird people whose lottery addiction goes hand in hand with the Marlboros they buy with their tickets." "Winning stuff that you still have to pay $170 for, in addition to all the other costs involved in a random vacation to Miami," does not sound much like my typical idea of a lottery. If I win a lottery, I want you to pay me.

(A quick note to any Notre Dame people of influence and/or overwhelmingly generous concerned alumni reading this: please do not allow the above statements to influence my chances of winning the lottery. I am okay with paying $170 as a prize. Also, feel free to take my lunch money.)

So, in sum, please shut up about the ticket lottery. If Monday comes and you don't win, don't blame a St. Mary's girl; blame your shoddy faith life. After all, if ND can use God as justification for our victories, it's only fair to attribute your loss to your insufficient Grotto time.

Meanwhile, in the world outside of South Bend, today was also the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. I didn't watch it. I do not care remotely about it. But once again, I am forced to offer but one piece of pleading advice:

Shut up about it.

If a girl wants to watch the show because it's entertaining - my boy J. Biebs performed, for instance; the ensembles really are pretty cool; the models say really hilariously stupid stuff in their interviews sometimes; etc - let her. Don't go on and on about offensive or anti-feminist it is. It's a piece of television entertainment. Whatever. If you want to watch it as a weird pity party where you sit around eating ice cream and crying about how you'll never look like that, first of all, maybe put down the ice cream. Secondly, go ahead and do that! Just don't broadcast it all over the internet. Channel it into something positive. Watch it and quietly acknowledge that normative cultural ideas of beauty are unrealistic and body pride is super righteous. Watch it as motivation to start on a health kick. Do not watch it so you can sit around tweeting about how fat you are and waiting for your friends to tell you, like, no, you're totes like sooo skinnyyy. That, my friends, is annoying.

Oh, and for the record? As I've said before, you probably actually are skinny. Given the sheer demographics of my friend/acquaintance base, the odds are very, very good that if you're reading this, you're not morbidly obese. So congrats, and shut up about being fat.

Finally, plunked down in the middle of all of today's obsessive emotions, there were some obsessions with which I am entirely okay. The first of these, of course, is Glee Club caroling. To explain to the non-ND students among my readership, each year in the days leading up to finals, the Glee Club goes around to all of the girls' dorms on campus to serenade the ladies with Christmas carols. It is swoon city. With the inclusion of the traveling mistletoe, it's both exhilarating and terrifying, sending girls into the most obscure 24-hour-lounge corners they can find in order to avoid ending up under the mistletoe. (I, for one, am proudly 3 for 3 on mistletoe avoidance.) It is one of the few hall traditions that sends girls of all participation levels in the dorm and of all grade levels flocking to one room, year after year, despite the fact that the format literally never changes. It is an obsession, and I'm not even going to try to tell you to shut up about it. God knows I'm not shutting up about it any time soon.

The other acceptable obsession of this day is, shockingly, also related to the menfolk. This one comes to us through tonight's combined Folk Choir/Coro Primavera rehearsal for this weekend's Guadalupe mass.

I'm just going to be honest here - the trumpet player for the Coro Primavera is extremely good-looking. If you happen to somehow be reading this, Coro trumpet player, sorry I'm not sorry. You're good looking. Our corner of the soprano section calls you Trumpet Hombre. Every girl in the room was snapchatting all the other girls in the room tonight to communicate her awe over your trumpet-playing and singing skills and your tall dark & ethnically ambiguous good looks.

This is just a fact. For the sake of Trumpet Hombre's dignity, we should probably all calm down on this a little bit (and I should probably stop calling him Trumpet Hombre). But as long as you're not sending out self-pitying tweets about how you'll never snag a guy as hot as him or starting a Viewpoint war over the kid, I can't complain.

In all, I vote that we all just try for a general sense of calm over these insignificant matters. After all, finals begin in a few short days, and I bet you probably have enough actual concerns to worry about with that impending reality without freaking out about other things. Have an opinion on the ticket lottery or the VS fashion show, but don't wield it as some weird, aggressive weapon. Obsess over the Glee Club if you want, because that is typically a healthy interest that won't keep you from functioning as a normal, not-completely-insufferable human. Send those shocked snapchats about hot Trumpet Hombres, because gosh darn it, hot Trumpet Hombres are hot.

And if you want something to really freak out about? Start counting down the days until the arrival of the Royal Baby.

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