Last Monday, an opinion piece was published in the Nexus. In it, the author argued that my column was obscene, insulting and grossly unrepresentative of our student population. Reading “Dear Igor” made her feel ashamed to be a UCSB student, and she wished it be restricted or removed from the Nexus. And after some deep thinking, I realized: Everything she said was absolutely correct.
When I was appointed advice columnist, I took an oath to represent each one of UCSB’s 20,000 students. “What are you doing?” my editor asked as I raised my right hand and began the oath. “Please just sign the W-4.” People told me it would be impossible to represent 20,000 distinct personalities in only 700 words. Impossible? NotifIwritelikethis.
I also realized the extent of my column’s indecency. Looking through my archives, I found that nearly every week I chose to mention masturbation (crap, again!). That was very inappropriate, and I apologize. Why did I write about a topic no student could possibly relate to?
I guess I just did it to be funny. The problem, though, is that not everyone finds the same things funny, and sometimes, what one person finds humorous another finds offensive. Some might say, “If you think it’s offensive, don’t read it.” Sure, but what if you have fantastic peripheral vision? It’s safer simply not to print humor at all, so I decided to quit.
I phoned my brother to ask his opinion. He told me to do what felt right but also to think about what would happen to my community when it had no one to turn to for expert advice. As I imagined Isla Vista on fire, most of its population dead, with the remaining survivors battling blood-crazed raccoons, I realized how much these people needed me. My advice was an erection, but a critic was trying to show me nude pictures of my grandmother. Sorry, gal, but I ain’t lookin’.
My housemates and I have always shared groceries, but problems are beginning to crop up. Someone will eat way more eggs than the rest of us, or way more bread, or way more deli meat. At the beginning of the year, we said we would share things fairly, but it’s obvious that my housemates weren’t serious about it. It’s annoying because I have to force myself to eat certain things just to keep up. I like having shared products because it feels more like family, so how do I make things more fair without resorting to different corners of the fridge?
Sharing Is Caring
I wonder what it’s like living in your dream-like fantasy world where everyone shares fairly. Life is not an episode of “Blue’s Clues”; it’s every man for himself. Hobbes said it best in the classic Leviathan: “The life of man is nasty, brutish and short, so get yours before anyone else can.”* In my house, we realized that dividing up the groceries wouldn’t be enough, so we each purchased individual full-size refrigerators. Some may say our living room looked better with couches or that $300 a month for electricity is excessive, but I rest easily knowing that my four ounces of pepperjack cheese are safe from greedy hands. Safe, that is, unless they can break through the u-lock on the fridge handle.
You don’t have to go with the quad-squad, though, as there are many other options. Many foods come in cans or boxes, none of which have to be refrigerated. The dining commons offer affordable meal plans to those who can scale the wall outside Carillo. Or, if you’re feeling really crazy, try not worrying about someone eating a few more eggs or an extra slice of bread. These are your friends, right? So relax, and save the arguments for important stuff, like forgetting to fill the Brita filter.
*(footnote) Hobbes was a sucker for clearances at Forever 21.