Could You Look Happier Please?

By Elizabeth McNally and Katie Hake | 10/13/15 12:09pm

Before we reveal the first installment of our column, we would like to provide our readers — if you’re out there — with a brief flash of insight into our creative process.
Scene: Tuesday night in our shockingly color-coordinated living room, Elizabeth upside down on the futon, Katie upright at the table. A 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle is spread out over said table, its pieces rendering the surface completely unusable for any sort of work (hello, combined job applications and midterm season).

Katie sets her laptop down right on top of the puzzle — no wonder we can’t find that one edge piece — and begins typing furiously. Elizabeth laughs at her phone.

Katie: OK, so what tone are we going for?


Katie: Elizabeth, focus. We need a tone. Funny? Sarcastic? Serious? Are we trying to give real advice? [she internally contemplates whether she possesses any real advice to give.]

Elizabeth: Just look at it! It’s so cute! [she internally contemplates whether cats are still better than dogs.]

Katie sighs and scoots her chair back a foot so she can lean over and look at the phone screen. The pug eating a piece of broccoli in slow motion is, in fact, adorable.

Elizabeth [after watching the video three more times]: Okay. Katie, are you ready?

Katie: I’m ready.

Elizabeth: Our tone is sarcastic and cynical with elements of humor and underlying positivity…. It will occasionally include some themes of seriousness about being a senior and surviving Dartmouth.

Katie: Boom.


And now, back to your now-regularly-scheduled programming.

Good news! After many views of this video of a pig dancing to Drake’s “Energy,” hiking Franconia, adding pieces to the jigsaw puzzle, dancing on ledges, standing on the edges of social scenes, some networking plus a lot of eating (mostly bread, if you’re Elizabeth) and definitely not enough sleeping thrown into the mix, we are, in fact, writing this column.

Welcome to Could You Look Happier Please? — a column hopefully more focused on the causes and effects of our resting bitch faces and not so much on the dispensing of advice regarding how to survive your freshman year of college, your senior year of college or anywhere in between. Honestly, we’re just doing us, you’re just doing you and all we can do is dedicate our success to the videos of dogs eating broccoli, pigs dancing to Drake and watermelóns inside of watermelóns that get us through the days.

Katie: Senior year is weird. The younger people look up to you and ask you with wide eyes, “How is senior fall going?????” And you’re like “Not too bad,” and they look at you in disbelief and shuffle off to their various sports seminars/writing practices/pong warm-ups/whatever it is the kids are doing these days. Then, recent graduates come back and visit over Homecoming and ask the exact same question, only with about 10 times more concern in their eyes like they literally CANNOT believe you are doing okay right now, which worries you because they have done this before and it really, really, seems like they know something you don’t.
Honestly, rush was rough, job applications are rough, I bombed an exam last week, I’m not sleeping enough. In other news, my roommates are rock stars, I just found a ladybug in my room and released it into the wild and my calendar is telling me that “Today is going to be a GREAT DAY!” You’re right, inspirational calendar. Things aren’t too bad, really.

Elizabeth: I’m a SIXTEEN. I’m a GRANDMOTHER.

We’ll be back next week with more riveting remarks about what it’s like to be old. Stay tuned!


Elizabeth McNally and Katie Hake