Last week two important political events gripped the attention of our nation. The first was President Bush’s State of the Union address. In it, he told the American people that “our nation is at war, our economy is in recession and the civilized world faces unprecedented dangers. Yet the state of our Union has never been stronger.” Though the President’s words seemed rather difficult to believe, he appeared to be calm and composed. Our Union is doing well. Don’t you folks worry your pretty little heads ’bout it.

In stark contrast, following the Iowa caucus, Howard Dean did not hold it together so well. He ranted and raved at the people ending with what The New York Post (a bastion of journalistic greatness), deemed “a banshee shriek that sounded like a Muppet being strangled.”

All of these political shenanigans got me to thinking about some shenanigans a little closer to home — those of the second semester senior.

Some, like Bush, examine the state of their Union. They take a long hard look at their relationship, or lack of a relationship, and realize it is time to act. All around me, die-hard singletons are throwing in their towels and doing something they would have balked at merely a couple years ago — they are coupling up. And fast.

On the other end of the spectrum, perhaps those with more Dean-esque leanings, are looking around for some good caucus. They want to take Tom. Take Dick. Take Harry. Take Sam. Hell, maybe they’ll even take Jane, because 75 percent of women have at least one lesbian experience in college. Why not now?


Politics aside, what’s spawning all of this erratic behavior? Why are seniors headed in one crazy direction or another faster than Trim Spa slimmed down that ripply Anna Nicole?

Being a Democrat, I decided to begin with the Howard Dean syndrome. As a disclaimer, I would just like say that I am by no means calling Democrats sluts.

I broached the subject of the insatiable search for caucus to my girlfriends over drinks. The reaction was rather unpleasant, to say the least.

“Who are you calling a ho?” one asked. “Me? Are you calling me a ho?”

Caught off guard, I replied, that I certainly was not.

“Well just because I’ve slept with five different guys in the last two weeks is no reason to call me a ho. I am graduating with a 3.7 in my major OK? I’m no slut.”

Once I calmed said friend down, she conceded that she was a little frightened about the prospect of leaving Yale.

“This is our last time to live it up,” she told me, “it’s all down hill from here,” she continued, teary-eyed.

Turning toward me, looking so vulnerable, she said what no girl wants to hear, “My boobs are never going to be this perky EVER AGAIN!”

I wanted to tell her that modern medicine had made great strides in the boob department, but alas she wouldn’t listen. Instead, she had four more drinks and sermonized that our senior year was what she called the “last days of disco,” and that we should live it up while we can. I agree. The Deans of this world are enjoying the tapas bar trend — a little of everything goes a looooong way.

Since everyone loves a good Republican now and then, I knew my work wasn’t over quite yet. I opened up the Grand Old Party’s book on family values and took a peek inside. I needed to find out why all the guys I had knew for years, who had sworn up and down that they just weren’t “the relationship type,” were finding themselves staying in with “When Harry Met Sally” and their new girlfriend Julie on a Saturday night.

I came up with several reasons. The first, and most obvious is that — let’s be honest — by senior year everyone gets a little tired of grabbing some pizza, wacking one off before watching Conan, and hitting the sack. It’s just doesn’t quite have the same cache it used to three years ago.

Of course, there are those that have come to realize that their Yale education, and their lit major can guarantee them little more than unemployment and canned soup. So where are they to turn? They have to leave Yale with something to show for themselves, why not a relationship? And who knows, perhaps that cute girl that used to sit across from you in Cold War is a trustafarian.

Read: trust fund baby. Never a bad trait.

Then again, when did that girl in Cold War get so cute? Many say that Yalies are undateable. Too high-strung. Too analytical. Too ugly. But suddenly, the fat guy from entryway C that you poo-pooed so readily freshman year has gone out, gotten a haircut and some new styling gel. All of a sudden he’s Yale’s very own Clay Aiken and you want him. Bad. Like Michael Jackson Bad.

I asked my mom if she thought parents had anything to do with the coupling phenomenon. She, like most of our parents, is of the generation that by our age, was married, had what she terms a “real” job and was planning on three kids and a great life insurance plan.

“You kids are busy finding yourselves,” she told me, “and going to Madagascar. What are you going to do in Madagascar?”

When I told her that I was going to save humanity and maybe find a husband, she seemed less than amused. But perhaps the real reason for this last minute coupling is the Shelf Life relationship. Unfortunately, like a good piece of gefilte fish, many things tend to go bad after a few months in the pantry. A shelf-life relationship fixes that in a jiffy.

You’re moving to New York. He’s headed to L.A., but right now, you’re both here. You’re making a preemptive strike on heartbreak. You beat it to the punch. It can’t hit you hard, because on May 24, your relationship is over like the Jerry Curl. Grab your diploma, afro-sheen, a little break-up sex and hit the road to face your new life.

It’s a beautiful thing. Plus, everyone knows the best sex happens in the first five months of a relationship. That’s when you can get her to try stuff she never thought she’d do cause she wants to impress you.

Regardless, whether it’s an M.R.S or an S.T.D you’re after, I can guarantee that at least 96 percent of you will leave here with the most important thing of all — a B.A.

Natalie Krinsky can’t vote — she’s Canadian. Are you calling her a ho?