Pre-spring break crunch confirms: nothing tastes as good as thin feels

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February 20, 2007

2:04 PM

Valentine’s Day serves as a litmus test for budding relationships. Hate to break it to you unknowing singles out there, but a first date on Feb. 14 means more than other dates. Celebrating Valentine’s Day with the guy you’re “talking to” elevates the stakes a little more. Students on campus are now more compartmentalized — singles are more decidedly single, couples are more determinately coupled — and a whole new mating season begins.

p. Now that Valentine’s Day has passed, the next holiday to look forward to (or dread) is spring break. It’s not really a holiday, you might say, so much as a mindset, an event and a big worry. For those who remain single after Valentine’s Day, the pressure seems to have increased for round two.

p. Perhaps you think it’s a little early to discuss the mid-March vacation, but take a look around and you’ll find that the student body is already itching to be out of here. Don’t believe me? My roommate just turned to me and said, “So, are you going to write about how everyone’s at the Rec trying to look hot so they can get herpes over spring break?”

p. I guess. Unfortunately, spring break brings an anxiety of its own. In the fantasy world of spring break where everyone is tan and beautiful (at least by the end — and after a few shots) it’s hard to pretend that you’re content with your body. Go into the Rec from four to seven any day of the week and you’ll be hard pressed to find an available racquetball court, elliptical or bench. Surely we’re not all so health-conscious. It seems that in the crunch time before the March vacation, everyone gets a little extra insecure.

p. Luckily, I’m going home to New York where my biggest worry is getting a table at Hearth, not having to prance around in a bikini. But still, I have to see my mother, and that physical scrutiny is just as hard to bear. Let me share one of her pearls of wisdom which sums up her legacy of insecurity: “Nothing tastes as good as the way thin feels.” I don’t think a bikini could be anymore stressful than that.

p. Looking at the students at the gym, grunting in the weight room or furiously peddling an elliptical, I can’t help but see ideals. Sometimes I want to tap someone on the shoulder and say,

p. “Honey, go eat a sandwich. I’ll take over here.” And perhaps I’m the neurotic one, assuming everyone works out for appearance’s sake (which I know isn’t true). But without a standard of dissatisfaction, what would self-satisfaction look like?

p. And to return to the herpes comment, though hardly a fair estimation of the goal of spring break, one can certainly understand the assumption. It’s gratifying to get a bit of attention. An appropriate catcall or — even more rewarding — a number exchange is, as upsetting as it is to say, a major boost of confidence. Isn’t that a shame?

p. So, while the point of a workout may be to look and feel good, it all seems to hinge on the attraction of the opposite sex. And herein lies the herpes. Is sex (hopefully safe sex) an indicator of a good workout? Sometimes sex is the workout — what a lovely cycle that is. Self-proclaimed world’s first supermodel Janice Dickinson agrees.

p. She once said about a model, “She had a big, wide, low-slung ass. She’s gotta do some stairs. She’s gotta do lunges. She’s gotta have sex on top. Anything to get her ass off the back of her knee-caps.” Sex workout confirmed.

p. I asked around about what makes someone attractive, and I got many differing answers. On the heels of the Sex Workers’ Art Show, there were some changed ideas about sensuality and body type. One woman said, “The fan dancer was … large … but beautiful and sensual and alluring.” All of those things seem like my goals in working out, and yet those adjectives have nothing to do with the size and shape of a body at all. It’s all about the attitude, honey.

p. So, as we trudge toward March 10, try upping the sauciness and maybe all that hip swaying and macho swagger will burn off that extra insecurity, not to mention a few calories. A whole bunch of safe (sometimes meaningful) sex helps, too.

p. __Charlotte Savino is a Confusion Corner columnist for The Flat Hat. She has no trouble getting a table at Hearth.__

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