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A guide to overcoming the random hook-up

Bob Kessler | Thursday, March 19, 2009

As has been discussed ad nauseam in this space over the course of the year, random hook-ups occur quite frequently at Notre Dame. While these hook-ups are almost always characterized simply as making out (thankfully different from our state school counterparts), they can happen almost anywhere. In order to assist the student body in overcoming the emotional hardships that coincide with random hook-ups, the following guide isolates the five stages it takes to overcome them and what actions go along with them.

1. Denial

Denial is the first and possibly most prolonged stage of the post-hook-up timeline. Similar to my refusal to attend NIT basketball games, perpetrators of the random hook-up in the denial stage will pretend/convince themselves that said hook-up did not occur (just like I was never looking at NCAA tournament sites over winter break). If one sees their co-conspirator in the dining hall, he or she will turn the other way and be sure to sit with their back facing the other. When talking to friends, the perpetrator will pretend that they were “riding the blackout train” even though they never got close to the station. They will say things like “Man, I was so drunk, I don’t even know what happened last night.” This translates to: “I did something so stupid; I don’t even want to know what happened.” Students cannot begin to overcome their hook-up as long as they are in denial of it.

2. Anger

The second stage of overcoming a random hook-up involves anger amongst the perpetrators. They are angry at their friends, their parents, Taylor Swift, Excise Police, and at themselves, but most importantly, they are just plain angry. They might say something like, “I got so drunk last night…” which translates to, “Hulk Smash.” The anger stage oftentimes coincides with the late afternoon hangover of the next day. Perpetrators refuse to get off the couch, and spend a lot of time moaning about the previous night. After a particularly bad hook-up, a perpetrator might punch things to help him or her deal with their stupidity. This does not help, unless of course you have a time machine and can go back to punch yourself in the face (but I don’t want to consider how many paradoxes that would create).

3. Bargaining (Rationalization)

The third stage of overcoming a random hook-up is bargaining, which can better be described as rationalization. The perpetrator will attempt to rationalize their actions by saying things like, “I really needed that” or “she was kinda hot.” They will try to convince themselves that their co-conspirator does not hook up with a lot of people, and that this was just a onetime thing. Extreme rationalizers will convince themselves that there is ‘something there’ when it was really no more than a random hook-up. One example of this is Melissa Buddie, who seemed to believe that each of her hook-ups would result in the victory of a long term relationship. Everybody knows that random hook-ups only result in long term relationships if they are happening in the twisted mind of Judd Apatow (and last time I checked most Notre Dame Students aren’t funny enough to be figments of Mr. Apatow’s imagination). Therefore, all hook-ups need to move on to the next stage.

4. Depression

Once a perpetrator has found major difficulty rationalizing his or her random hook-up, the fourth stage (depression) ensues. This stage can often be confused with the second because it involves a lack of moving around and significant groaning. For some, this stage can last for days or even weeks and might cause the perpetrator to lose any and all desire to go out with their friends. A perpetrator might say things like, “but I’m gonna be alone.” If they continue like this, they will be alone. They need to hurry up and get to the final stage.

One way to quickly move through the depression stage is to watch one of your favorite romantic comedies. What could possibly cheer you up more than Ryan Reynolds and Isla Fischer ending up together at the end of “Definitely, Maybe?” Romantic comedies are the best way to get through the depressive stage because they are also one of the best ways to cure the hangover that usually accompanies a random hook-up. Action movies are too loud. Dramas are too sad. Foreign films require too much effort to read the subtitles. Indie films demand too much thinking. Romantic comedies are the perfect blend of mindless entertainment that can make you feel better about life without having to think much at all.

5. Acceptance

Acceptance will finally come when a perpetrator returns to the way he was before the hook-up. Since hook-ups are trivial acts, there is no way that they can change a person. If the two perpetrators were friends before the hook-up, they will continue to be friends after the hook-up. If they didn’t know each other before, they still do not know each other. A person who has accepted what happened might say things like, “you know what, it was fun. No harm, no foul” or “it was the best random hook-up of all the random hook-ups.” This person is ready for what comes next.

Sometime after the perpetrator has accepted what has happened, either one of two things will happen: a) They will enter into a long term relationship with somebody they are already friends with, or b) they will randomly hook up with another person.

Bob Kessler is a senior majoring in political science and economics. You can contact him at rkessler@nd.edu

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.