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8B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend Magazine - Thursday, September 11, 2003
ERINKAPLAN- LIPSAR £fSE AE
y WHERE HA
kS ALL THE DATING GONE?
The Michigan Daily - Weekend Magazine
T his party starts before kickoff
By MMt Muamr
Iregret to inform you. I must preface
this first column by saying that you
should not, under any circum-
stance, listen to me. I know nothing. I
have had one short-lived and not very
fulfilling relationship and a few not-
so-romantic one-night stands.
I know little about sex and even less
about love or relationships. I have no
idea what the hell I'm doing. That being
said, I have to pose the question: Who
does? What does it take to figure out this
whole early twenties, post-pubescent, yet
still premature mating dance that every-
,oe does and no one knows the steps to?
If there is anyone out there who has this
whole thing figured out, please contact
me, because I am vexed and perplexed.
In the spirit of honesty and truth
(neither of which seem to be all that
important in dating), I want to inform
all of you out there that I, Erin Kaplan,
have never been on a real date.
Sure, a casual dinner where some-
one else paid or an accidental date
(also known as a scam) where you go
out with a friend and they think it is
a date, but regret to inform you - I
have never been on a date.
I have had a boyfriend and more than
a few hook-ups, but I have never dated. I
have never met someone, exchanged
numbers and then received a phone call
asking me out. On a campus where we
can fall in and out of love, relationships,
friendships and beds without so much as
a heads-up from our counterpart, I'm
beginning to wonder: Is dating dead?
Think about it. When was the last time
you really dated someone, honestly dated
them, and when it was prearranged?
And, if you are one of the very few peo-
ple that have, what did it result in?
Based on both my experiences,
and those of my closest friends, even
on that rare occasion when dating
does occur, it usually fizzles before
it ever gets a chance to fire up.
The problem with dating is that when
most people date, they try to play by a
set of socially accepted rules. First: din-
ner and a goodnight kiss; second: din-
ner and coffee and some kissing; third:
an evening together and some good
old-fashioned making out; fourth:
another evening together, and if you are
both on the same religious, moral,
mental and emotional page: sex.
There is, without question, truth to
the statement that anticipation is half
the fun, but when we anticipate and
anticipate and anticipate, oftentimes we
just give up. With all the classes, parties,
meetings and commitments in our lives,
it is difficult to put in the necessary time
to play by those rules; and as a result,
phone calls remain unreturned and
skepticism builds to the point where we
say screw him or her and move on.
That being said, idealists will find
themselves between a rock and a hard
place. If dating doesn't work and
you're looking for love, or at least
like, how do they get there? (I use
they, as opposed to we, due to the fact
that I am NOT an idealist).
The next best route to the ideal desti-
nation is to become a hopeless roman-
tic. However, upon closer examination
of the English language, this too
becomes a mute point. A hopeless
romantic is just that - hopeless.
So, for the rest of us, what do we do?
There is always the option of having
meaningless hook-ups with multiple
partners and I am not ashamed to say,
"been there, done that," but even this
can be a difficult task to achieve.
Guys, you have no idea how sexually-
charged women are and how willing
many of us are for a little weekend fun.
There is a reason why we can have mul-
tiple organisms in one night, because sex
is meant to be enjoyed, by both partners.
We like sex. All that we ask for is a
little respect and consideration, howev-
er, for many women, even that is
almost impossible to find. Just as I
despise being reduced to a gender
stereotype, I don't mean to do the same
to men, but it just seems so hard to find
a guy who truly respects women.
Do you know that I was recently
asked by a guy if my breasts were real?
I was ready and willing to go home
with this person and then just like that,
he screwed himself out of getting
screwed! I am so sick of all the bull we
have to get through to get anywhere.
Would it kill us all to be a little more
honest at the starting gate so that when
it comes to the race, we have a some-
what clearer idea of where we stand?
With dating in a coma of an indeter-
minate fate, when do we shrug, sigh
deeply and pull the plug.
--Ifyou would like to date Erin,
she can be reached at erkaplan
But she might say no.
It's 11 a.m. on Saturday morning and junior John
Burke has been drinking for well over three hours.
Don't misunderstand. Burke is by no means an
alcoholic. He is, by his standards anyways, noth-
ing more than a Michigan football tailgater.
"We have one of the best football teams in the
country," Burke says from a large tailgate party
held on 1008 Oakland St. "So we have to cele-
brate every Saturday before the game by tailgat-
ing. We even sing 'Hail to the Victors' before we
leave here. It's almost like a religion."
Across town, standing next to a 1972
Winnebago parked at Pioneer High School, sea-
son- ticket holder Dean Rose couldn't agree more.
All morning, Rose and his four friends from
northern Michigan have been standing over their
grill, that at some point during the morning will be
full of sweet corn, deep fried turkey, ribs and chili.
They arrived in their RV early Friday afternoon
and have been tailgating essentially for nearly 24
hours prior to the game.
These die hard Wolverine fans haven't missed
a football game in Michigan Stadium in years.
More importantly, they haven't missed a good
tailgate party either.
"Without tailgating, the day's not the same,"
Rose said. "Simple as that."
It may cost Rose and his buddies $105 to park at
Pioneer - a stark increase from $40 last year - but
nothing can stop them from spending an entire
Saturday morning around the grill. As Rose puts it,
"You don't drive seven hours just to come to the game."
Whether it's a student like Burke or just fans
like Rose from Traverse City who park their RV
at the Pioneer lot, Football Saturday, to many
fans in Ann Arbor, starts well before kickoff.
At Beta Theta Pi, fraternity President Ryan
Cole says the fraternity probably spends close to
$1,000 a week just on the tailgate party alone.
Two weeks ago, Beta set up a dunk tank and
slip-and-slide in its front yard, and last week, it
had a massive Bounce House where students could
jump around in an air-pumped machine. This
week, Cole says, they will have gladiator jousting.
"Tailgating is my favorite part of the time at
Michigan," said Cole. "Watching people walk by
our house and sing the fight song along the way
Some students have been known to tailgate so
hard that they miss the game altogether. But LSA
sophomore Lauren Smylie tries hard to show sup-
port for her school on Saturday afternoons at the
Big House. "I definitely like the tailgating better
than the game," she said. "But I always make it to
While some pre-gamers prefer to stick to the
For football fans, tailgating is about two things, food and socializing.
Welcome Back Specials
548 Church St, Upstairs
traditional tailgating fare of hamburgers and hot
dogs, tailgating in Ann Arbor has evolved rapidly
into a massive culinary event.
Just a few winnebago's down from Rose at
Pioneer, season-ticket holder Tom Kroll and his
friends have been grilling exotic dishes since well
before 9 a.m. Looking at the food spread out over
the grill it is easy to see that this is no mere burger
and frank joint.
"We've got stuffed mushrooms here," says Kroll,
pointing to one part of his grill, "and we've got
Mexican pinwheels over here. (Years ago) it started
with bratwursts, and it's pretty much evolved to this."
Fellow season ticket holder Rick Zavitz, who has
had the same seats in the Big House for 31 years,
even has his wife cook him the same special break-
fast every Saturday morning at his tailgate party.
"It's sort of like an egg and sausage and cheese
sandwich," Zavitz said. "I have it before every
game. It's a rule."
While tailgating is one way for fans to experi-
ence an array of foods, it's also a way for frater-
nity houses to get freshmen interested.
"(Tailgating here) is how I ended up rushing here,'
said Cole, who, expecting a big crowd, ordered fifteer
30 packs of beer and "a couple of handles."
"Tailgating before the game is just such a great way
for freshmen to see the house' Cole said.
While Cole smiles as he watches students
jumping around in the Bounce House, other stu-
dents, like Burke, are already coming up with
ways to make this Saturday's tailgate party
before the Notre Dame game, even that much
"Oh yeah," says Burke. "Next week, at the tailgate
here, we're going to have apple sauce wrestling."
Cheap solutions abound in Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor Branch
51 st Annual Used Book Sale
September 12-14, 2003
Friday: 10 am- 8 pm
Early admission $10, 8am-10am
Saturday: 10 am- 8 pm
Sunday: 10 am- 3pm
$1 - $4 price range,
all books half price
all books $5 per bag
Continued from Page 3B
like appliances. Although an Easy
Bake Oven goes for $19.99, the $29.99
for a George Forman grill does not
exactly seem steep.
Several students also try to save
their cash by bringing things from
home (one explanation for why it is
almost impossible to find two
matching sets of silverware in any
given student's residence).
By now you should be on your way
to settling in to your new place, but
remember to be patient and to pace
yourself. Accept that changes are going
to be made and leave openings for such
changes; because like the empty beer
keg, you never know what decorating
ideas might just happen.
In my quest to prepare for this article,
I hunted through Ann Arbor's stores,
and from this, I compiled a list of my
favorite finds, deals, and tips for trans-
forming your space into your own:
Magnets. No refrigerator is com-
plete without them. Alphabet mag-
nets make leaving notes for your
roommates easy, and "magnetic
poetry" sets provide countless hours
Soft Pink light bulbs, better than
the average bulb. They create a soft-
er mood and more subtle light.
Available at hardware stores and
Hiller's Market. Price: $3-$5.
Miniature stacking suitcases. These
are a great decorative storage option for
toiletries, makeup, etc ... Available in
several bright colors and in three differ-
ent sizes at Vintage to Vogue Home (in
Kerrytown). Price: $9, $10 and $12.
Window Art puffy-paint set.
Color on your windows, and give
your neighbors a real reason to peek.
Available at Mudpuddles Toy Store
(Kerrytown). Price: $20.
Also at Mudpuddles -... Tie Dye
Kit. Make your own colorful drapes
or sheets. Price: $12.
Handcrafted wooden bookcases and
shelves. These pieces can be left bare
or can be painted to fit in with the rest
of your decor. Available at the Ann
Arbor Artisan's Market (part of the
Ann Arbor Farmers Market in
Kerrytown). Price: $40-$80.
Mosquito netting. In either pink oi
blue, this netting hangs from the
ceiling and drapes over your bed oi
any other piece of furniture that you
chose to set apart from the rest cre-
ating a very regal aura. Available al
Urban Outfitters. Price: $24.
Peacock feathers. They're exotic,
beautiful and look great in a tall vase.
Plus, they are plant-like enough to add
life to your pad, but do not need to be
water nor will they wilt and need to be
thrown away. Available at Middle
Earth. Price: $1 per feather.
... And one final tip: Please, do
not decorate with perishables. Take
my word for it; the result is less than
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