Lauren Gatta

Last year, Harvard pulled out all the stops for us Bulldogs. The pregame had porta-potties. There was an open party. And they let us win (oops).

This year, it’s time to return the favor. I’m serious. Because when they go low, we go lower.

The first order of business is housing. Hosting John Harvard will require maturity and self-restraint.

First, before your guest arrives, put out de Tocqueville, Shakespeare’s tragedies and the Gutenberg Bible on the coffee table you don’t have. Don’t worry, he won’t ask about them. He’s never read them either.

Upon greeting your guest, give into his expectations. Bow. Take the suitcase and carry it up the stairs on your back. Avoid shocking the Harvard student with egalitarian values.

For dinner, a dining hall won’t do — don’t embarrass yourself. And you might have a hard time finding a restaurant. This is bad. The student will keep asking about “The List” and why you aren’t on it. Make a reservation ahead of time to prevent him from questioning your status.

Dinner might be embarrassing. He will probably grab the bread basket and put the rolls on his plate in case he wants them later in life. Then he might ask your friends about their SAT scores, GPA and net worth. It’s okay to say something neutral, like, “I don’t remember,” but only if you assure him that his were higher.

You can rehearse some lines beforehand. He will probably ask about the U.S. News & World Report Ranking. Congratulate him on his own personal success. (Note: avoid the word “happy” at all times so as not to start an existential crisis.)

After the meal, he might throw money at the waiter. Apologize to the waiter while assuring your guest that he can throw very far.

At this point he will ask to go to the library for “important business.” Remember that he still has class on Monday and find a kernel of sympathy in your heart. Take him to Sterling Memorial Library and give him directions to the nave. Compliment him for working harder and having harder classes.

Taking your guest to a comedy show is a risk, but it’s worth it to give the poor chap some desperately needed laughs. He might not understand the concept of a show. Explain to him that it is not a stripper show at a Finals Club, but an actual show put on by students. He will like the line outside. Try to time it so that you are the last group that gets in. During the show, he might say too loudly, “Haha! Is it funny because they are poor?” Pat his hand and give an apologetic smile to those who stare. They will understand. They are hosting, too. Take the time to recognize that your generous hospitality is both kind and tax-deductible.

After the show he will want to be shown your Club. You could try explaining to him that in lieu of a Club you have a close group of friends, but this won’t go over well. Instead, you and your friends should designate a spot where you can all meet up — the more unlikely the better. Grove Street Cemetery? Spooky, elite, traditioned. Bar? Rowdy, cool, pizza. Alley? The establishment is grunge now.

After you fall asleep, things will get weird. He will wake you up with his night terrors about real life, screaming, “But grade inflation! I thought there was grade inflation!” Remember that it’s scary for Harvard students to consider life after college. Rock him side to side, telling him he will get an A in life and calling him “Mr. President.” He should calm down after an hour of this.

As he whimpers in your arms, just remember it’s always darkest before the dawn. In the morning, you will take his trembling hand at drop-off and put him on the Harvard bus. The bus will drive off, and you might see him through the back window, drawing the vague outline of a penis.

Now go to the tailgate, taste freedom in a bottle and try not to remind yourself that you’ll probably date him in law school.

Daisy Massey | dorothy.massey@yale.edu