PUSHING THE PALETTE KNIFE: Locking Out the Competition

You got the power.
You got the power. // Creative Commons

No, I don’t want my cousin’s best friend’s brother’s preschool girlfriend to sleep in my room this weekend. Harvard-Yale brings with it the excitement of reuniting with alumni, and the only time you will ever see the Yale Bowl filled to capacity. For freshmen, this is the first time they will get to take full advantage of their Harvard-hating gear. For sophomores, we celebrate our first Harvard-Yale on home turf. And for juniors and seniors, this weekend is the last time they’ll see The Game in New Haven as undergraduates. High stakes all around.

What does this year’s historic match-up represent for everyone? (besides an unlimited supply of poopetrator-themed attire). Mostly, having The Game at home means playing host to someone you frankly just don’t know. Ghostlike competitors from years past come out of the closet. That “friend” you used to see at your SAT class shoots you a text, a call from an unknown number reminds you of your great times at the regional chess championships and your calculus classmate wants to catch up — and sleep on your floor. Then there’s the problem of fitting that one friend three or four times removed into your common room, or the three by six foot area not taken up by closet and bed in that “cozy” single that’s just starting to feel like a home. And don’t even try to coordinate arrival back at your suite. The density of people at the Yale Bowl supersedes that of the crowd staying in your common room, so you won’t have cell phone service all day. As the afternoon rolls on, every courtyard will be overwhelmed by a locked-out crimson tide.

Are you still looking for a way to deter visitors? Try these age–old and sadly realistic tricks. “Bring a sleeping bag, there’s only hardwood floor” or “I’m sorry I only have one futon that you’ll be sharing with three other people,” even “We have mice, but don’t worry they’re friendly.” You might have to tuck these away for use in 2015 because let’s face it, it’s a little late in the game to pull them out for tomorrow. By now you’re already stuck with an overstuffed common room and an under-stocked fridge.

Here’s how to cope with visitors you already have. One might be of the “Hah-vahd” variety. That Harvard student who just won’t stop talking about admissions statistics and their Nobel-Prize-winning professor who doesn’t even really teach their TA-lectured class. Just nod your head; you don’t have to listen. Maybe you’ll get stuck with the “too much luggage” visitor who brought their entire wardrobe because they just want to be (over) prepared. Inform them their suitcase will be spending the night in your entryway. It’s possible that you’re hosting the “silent” visitor — your “friend” from the distant past who sounded really enthusiastic in her Facebook message asking to “crash and catch up all night long!” but in person will only respond to your questions with eerie one-word answers. Just keep talking; it’s like free therapy.

Even if you get stuck with any of these less-than-desirable visitors, rest assured — you can still have a great time. Harvard-Yale is one of the best weekends of the year and remember you have the Yale ID. They still have to play by your rules to get in the door.

Comments