Just a few burning questions


Dear Jay Sean,

Contrary to what it may seem, I am no relationship expert. If anything, I’m the exact opposite. I know that this is an Earth-shattering revelation, as all signs point to me being Cupid’s protégé. … but alas, I wouldn’t know the first thing to do if one of those “relationship” things fell into my lap.

Being such an outsider has left me a bit unversed in the strange rituals of the world of romance and, as an innocent civilian attempting to navigate the battlefield of love, I’ve got a few genuine inquiries about the whole thing.

I’ll admit that in the past my expression of said inquiries has gotten a little Salem witch-hunty, and for that I truly apologize. Some of the elements of love are just so mysterious to me that my genuine wonderment gets the best of me from time to time. But my curiosity can be quelled no longer, for the Hardy Brothers and I are on the case to solve this mystery once and for all. Persecution accusations be damned. It’s high time that my urgent burning questions are answered.

For starters, how do you communicate when hand holding gets too sweaty? I would like to know the secret MLB-certified signal that people use to communicate that the interlocking finger situation has reached an unacceptable level of perspiration. Surely there must be some way to let your lover know that the sweat between your fingers has reached an insufferable point.

You’re probably confused with how this was categorized as an “urgent burning question,” but I think that this kind of signaling could be the next big thing to replace Morse code. It also falls under the camp of me wondering how much communication is really necessary for a relationship to be successful. Everyone’s always screaming, “Communication is the key to success!” But surely this mantra is conditional. I can’t believe that anyone would desire to know the status of the blister on my right foot or how badly I need to wash my hair.

Secondly, how do you deal with the FOMO? Do you ever worry that there’s someone better for you out there? I personally imagine that the fear of missing out that comes with being in a relationship falls between choosing to go to bed early on a Friday night and the irrational fear we have that we’ll sleep through our 8 a.m. final.

From an outsider’s point of view, it seems as though relationships are just a state of constant settling, where you accept the fact that the fellow human you’ve taken to sharing your life with is sufficiently adequate. As heartless as this is, I do genuinely wonder how someone could possibly claim to have found their “soul mate” without actually meeting, much less mating, with every soul.

For the same reason that I can easily spend 45 minutes in the produce section of Berkeley Bowl, the kale is always greener on the other side. With some odd 7.125 billion people in this world, you could eat kale every minute of every day for the rest of your life and barely put a dent in the vast field before you. It seems unlikely that you could say that your significant other is the one for you, because you haven’t closely examined the leafy greens of every other candidate.

Just how candid are the candid photos? I wasn’t born yesterday, people. I won’t judge if you say that they’re staged. Truth be told, I’d accuse you of lying if you denied it. There’s no way you just happened to end up backlit in each other’s arms while you laugh and look passionately into each other’s eyes. Cut the crap and show us the double chins.

Does the word “love” mean less to you now? Is Nat King Cole just spelling out everyday household appliances at this point? I’m not talking about the feeling of love. Based on my relationship with Strawberry Pop-Tarts, true love never dulls. But the actual word seems as though it would have a lessened significance over time. Those couples that end every other sentence by saying “I love you” make me wonder if the impact of the phrase diminishes with use. I’m no linguistics major, but saying the same thing so frequently has got to affect the meaning behind it.

We’ve all experienced this strange phenomenon before. The murmuring of “stupid” was once a criminal offense on the elementary school playground, as the mere whispering of the S-word was enough to get you in major trouble with the teacher on yard duty.

Today, we curse at such rapid rates that our everyday language would make even the crudest of sailors blush. Because the dialogue of our life has become one constant bleep that is punctuated only by the occasional “lol,” the memory of the word “stupid” flustering us seems almost impossible. Perhaps the same can be said for the mentioning of “love.” I’m not saying that love is stupid or anything. I’m just wondering if the meanings of the words have similar trajectories.

Lastly, where can I get myself one of those “relationship” things?

Contact Amanda Chung at [email protected].