Dear Lone Pining

By Andrés Smith | 5/10/16 2:36am

Life at Dartmouth can be hard, what with the harsh winters, D-Plan and limited social scene working against you. “Dear Lone Pining,” Dartbeat’s premier student advice column, is here to help! Anonymously submit your questions here, and our lifestyle expert Lone Pining will help tackle your problems. Here’s what Lone Pining had to say this week:

Dear Lone Pining: I have a crush on the Dartbeat editor but don’t know what to do. Is this obvious enough? -16Subtlety

It's not spelled “D-a-r-t-b-e-a-t e-d-i-t-o-r,” it's spelled "L-o-n-e P-i-n-i-n-g". I am beyond flattered, but I just can't see myself going out with someone who butchered my name so badly. Also, I'm currently dating someone who is amazing AND who listens (or at least pretends to) when I talk about the fight choreography on “Daredevil,” which is a hell of a lot more than I could've ever hoped for. My heart, and my “Game of Thrones” fan theories (R+L=JS 5ever), are spoken for.

If you really do have a crush on this "Dartbeat editor" person, then first off, congratulations. You resisted my charms, which is no easy feat. Second off, I'm sorry, but I don't think you have a crush on the Dartbeat editor, you have a crush on the idea of the Dartbeat editor. Do I know this because of my uncanny insight into the workings of the heart?

Yes. Obviously.

But also, I know that there are two Dartbeat editors. You can have a crush on "a" Dartbeat editor, but not "the" Dartbeat editor. I've seen this happen before. You've fallen in love with the byline. You see an article go online, typo-free and not a comma out of place, and your heart skips a beat. You can't help but begin to picture yourself in the loving embrace of whoever is on the other side of that keyboard. I've been there. We all have. To an outsider, being with an editor of a section of a college newspaper can sound incredibly glamorous and sexy.

Because it is.

But, don't be a Masthead Moocher. It comes off as desperate.

Lone Pining

Dear Lone Pining: I need help writing a flitz. This guy is incredibly elusive. He’s a crunchy dude who spends more time outside than inside. Any suggestions?

This can be tough. Not only is crafting a flitz terrifying, but having someone who is more likely to check acidity levels in the river than their clutter folder as the object of your affection doesn't help your case. There are a couple routes you can take here:

1. The Smith-Squirrel Imperative
Call your cousin to ask if you can borrow their backup squirrel costume. Spend the summer in the woods befriending squirrels and convincing them you're one of them. Once you have been accepted as one of the group, bury your acorns for later, take off your squirrel costume and send this guy you like a polite and sincere email. Ask him if he wants to get coffee and go canoeing or get some sandwiches and eat them on top of Cardigan. If he wants to do that with you, he’ll tell you so. If the date goes well, go on another one. And another one. Eventually, you two might start to really like each other. You'll go out all the time, and you'll each take an interest in the things that the other likes: you'll embrace the outdoors, and he'll make an effort to learn about your passions. Eventually, after several months or years, he'll become a part of your life to the point that you no longer think about it as "my life" but "our life.” You think that should scare you, but it doesn't. You realize that this must be the person you're going to spend your life with. Then, one day, you come home early, holding a box you carved by hand with a glistening diamond and a promise of forever. But, instead of finding him whittling a new walking stick, he's tangled up with an organic sandal shop owner named Wanderlust. The ring falls to the floor and the box cracks. You're heartbroken.

That's when you put the squirrel costume back on.

Raise your faux squirrel arms up into the air and call your bushy tailed brethren from the wood with a fierce, piercing squirrel bark. Send the furry swarm after the crunchy pile of hemp and betrayal that occupies your bed. Watch as your allies tear them to shreds before your very eyes like giant, treacherous acorns. Forest justice is swift, and forest justice is brutal.

2. The Straight-Forward Approach
Just blitz him and grab a meal or drink in town. Let me know how it goes!

Lone Pining

Dear Lone Pining: I’m a sophomore and seeing all the freshman with their parents this weekend made me really homesick. I have too much going on this weekend to be able to travel home to visit my family. What should I do? -There’sNoPlaceLikeHome

I'm really sorry to hear that. Despite all my cynicism, college is a ton of fun. Still, it can be tough being away from home for this long at once. Luckily there are only a few weeks left, so hopefully you can go home over interim and get some good family time in before sophomore summer. People sometimes end up being on campus for, like, six terms in a row from sophomore fall to junior winter, and that can be a hell of a grind. Keep your chin up, Skype often, and if all else fails, just drink until you can't remember the things that make you sad.

Lone Pining

Andrés Smith