One of the best parts of being a DJ on an FM station is doing shout-outs. I am a DJ on Tuesday nights on “The Love Zone” on 94.3 FM, WYBC’s commercial radio station. In addition to doing my weekly song dedication of “Do Me Baby” to my suitemate’s sister and mom (hey, can I help it if they’re hot?), I get random calls for requests and dedications from people in the community. 94.3 is run by Yale students, but it is also an R&B station, and our major demographic is actually African-American women aged 30-35, not college students. Pretty interesting, huh? So anyway, last Tuesday, I got this call:
“Yo man! This is the Mza from New Haven! Who’s this?”
“This is DJ Randall,” I said (on the radio you have to have a pretend name). “What’s up, Mza?”
Apparently a lost member of the Wu-Tang clan was calling me.
“Yo,” he said. “You got to put this song on for me, for my girl Priscilla. Put on some Keith Sweat for me! To Priscilla from the Mza!”
“OK,” I said. “I’ll see what I can do.”
“You’ve GOT to put that track on — me and Priscilla, we’re going to get married!” He paused. Then the inflection of his voice changed and he grew quieter. “But, uh, she doesn’t know that yet. And, uh, she’s not really liking me right now. But I’m keepin’ after her! You got to! She’s gonna be mine! Soon as she lets me touch her again!”
With that promise Mza yelled “Randall! I’m out — peace with two fingers!” and then started yelling a prolonged “Ahhhhh!” and I hung up on him.
It’s easy to call Mza a weirdo, but I think we’ve all been through the same kind of problem. We’ve all had feelings for someone who didn’t feel the same way, and undoubtedly most of us have been eventually told by that person to stop touching them. I certainly have. (Big shout-out to Sarah. What’s UP, baby?) So with complete empathy, I played Mza’s request, hoping that Keith Sweat’s “One on One” would let Priscilla know that there was a special someone who was thinking about her, albeit quite obsessively.
At Yale we don’t listen to the radio so much, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still have the same feelings. Instead, we use other methods to stalk people. Of course, the best friend of every sketch-ball is the Internet, and the first stop is the facebook. (At Boston College, students actually refer to their facebook as “StalkerNet.”) Here we can look up not only the girl we met last night, but also everyone else she mentioned during conversation. Did she mention that she “already has” a boyfriend named Dan, in Morse? Facebook — and looks like there are only three guys named Dan in Morse. And it looks like you could probably beat up two of them. Want to see if you know any of her suitemates? Sort by room! Curious if she has any siblings here — like a sister you could also try to get with, or a brother who might kick your ass? Last-name search all of Yale College. It’s so easy.
This brings us to the next stop in the stalker research project: Google. This is the perfect place to find shared interests to discuss during your upcoming “accidental” meeting. Here you can not only learn about your love’s high school activities, but also read her Yale Herald articles, view her cross country times from high school, and see the random achievements of people who share her name. (A note on the last item: turns out it’s not as good a conversation topic as it seems like it should be. You just end up digging a hole.) Now that you know all about the girl, Google all the other people you facebooked earlier, like her boyfriend and her siblings. It’s like you’re part of the family now! (*At this point I usually play my .mp3 of “Getting to Know You,” and hum the tune while I enter things into the search field. You can download it on Kazaa.)
OK, so now that you know her background, it’s time to “accidentally” bump into her, so you can hit things off and she can see what a great person you are. If you know her class schedule, that’s great. But most of the time, things are a little more difficult. And it’s actually tougher here at Yale than it is most places. At Harvard, for instance, you can use Telnet to find out exactly where on campus a person last checked his or her e-mail, and at what time. No such luck here. But anyway, my favorite tactic is the “SML/CCL reading room sweep” where you enter every reading room around 9:45 (when most people are in the library), look around, and then if she’s not there, get a this-reading-room-is-too-crowded/it-smells-weird-in-here expression on your face and go on to the next one. If everything else fails, get a table upstairs at Gourmet Heaven and monitor the line from your balcony perch; she’s bound to get a sandwich or Haribo candy sooner or later, and the place is open 24/7.
Now that you’ve bumped into her, kimosabe, the rest is up to you. You just have to trust that your amazing personality, presentable looks, and overwhelming feelings of love will impress her, and give you the confidence to take things to that next level: writing the e-mail with “hey” in the subject line.
Burt Helm is watching every move you make, but isn’t sure what bonds breaking would look like.