Love and the Press: A Tabloid Affair

I was recently went through a break up…with The Miscellany News. If I’m being honest with myself, this break-up was a long time coming and a bit inevitable. Our relationship simply ran its course and the magic was gone. As a perky first year in college, they swept me off their feet with their professionalism and charm. I mean, how could I not develop a crush on Vassar College’s Student Newspaper of Record Since 1866? (I have always had a kink for older partners.) And when I first saw The Misc, they seemed so polished and put together. But now that we’ve broken up I’ve realized that all they wanted out of me were late night trystes in a dingy office in Main that were more stress-inducing than sexy.

Don’t get me wrong though, I loved the Misc and I still do. The Misc was my first! (Publication, that is.) A special connection like that never goes away and I can’t help but be nostalgic. Yes, I remember the moment I decided we were going to be together. After nearly my entire first year of college, throughout which my desperation for their attention turned to saucy flirtation, I realized that during the next fall there would be an available space on the Misc’s editorial board. God, I wanted to fill that space so badly. I wanted to fill that space every day and all night long. And to my utter joy, the Misc felt the same way! We made our relationship official in May that year when I became the editor of the Humor and Satire section.

Our relationship blossomed starting in the fall of my sophomore year, and our commitment to each other grew as well. I really thought we would be together forever… or at least until graduation in May 2019. At the time, the Misc was such an integral part of my college experience; I really could not imagine life without them. They were always on my mind. Sometimes I would find myself sitting in class, not thinking about the discussion, but rather thinking about how the Misc and I were finally together. In my notebook I would practice my signature over and over again, “Ms. Evelyn Frick, Humor and Satire Editor, The Miscellany News, Ms. Evelyn Frick…” And then, sure enough, an email from the Misc (their preferred method of communication) would pop up in my inbox, like it did multiple times a day. And even sometimes in the wee hours of the morning. It was fun and thrilling. Even just getting emails like, “could you pls edit this article 4 me? thx” made my heart race!

I suppose you could say the first major obstacle we endured together was when I began to notice how clingy the Misc was. They needed me to be available for multiple rendez-vous a week: a few hours together on Sunday, all night together on Tuesday, at least two hours on Wednesday, and so on. On the one hand, I suppose I knew what I was getting into. Relationships are hard work after all. But damn, sometimes a bitch wants to party on a Friday night without the bone-chilling fear that she may have forgotten to do something for her patriarchally-structured student-run newspaper org. Yet in spite of this, I did my work without complaint. I helped the Misc create the most solid humor and satire section it had ever seen while simultaneously writing for other sections, and contributing to the Misc’s larger editorial board. And throughout the year, while the Misc always assured me that they appreciated how hard I worked and what I was doing, I always felt a bit tenuous in our relationship. It seemed like they didn’t take me or my work as seriously as the other editors. While it was a feeling I couldn’t shake, I often put it at the back of my mind, and put my nose to the grindstone, hoping that one day I would earn their admiration.

Another fairly big obstacle to our relationship happened this past fall. During this time I was studying in Russia and could not be involved with the paper. But I thought things were going to be fine. Before I left I found two incredibly funny and intelligent women to take care of the Misc’s humor section. I knew section was in good hands and I thought that because of all my work, the Misc would prioritize me for a more senior position. My thoughts were confirmed when I was included in a conversation with members of the Executive Board of the Misc to discuss the future Exec Board for Spring 2018. I imagined that when I came back, it seemed assured that we were going to explore new territory in our relationship. Maybe this would mean that the Misc would be clingier and I would have to deal with more fallout when the Misc did not something stupid, but I was ready for the challenge.

When I finally arrived abroad, we didn’t talk for weeks on end. It was nice to take a break from the workload, but I still missed them. Because of the silence, I started to question whether or not I wanted to continue our relationship when I got back. One of the few times we did talk about it, I’ll admit that I was a bit wishy-washy. But then, a few weeks before my program ended, I applied for a position on the Exec Board and the Editorial Board. I had come to the realization that being at Vassar without the Misc wasn’t something I wanted. I spent hours writing a cover letter and discussing my qualifications. I even stayed up until 3 AM in my timezone to Skype with the Misc about the position. I said to them, I still want to be with you. They needed time to consider my application, but I thought things were fine. It wasn’t until the next day that I received the last email I would get from them. They said, Fuck off. We haven’t spoken since. The Misc decided to exclude me from their life without so much as a word to check-in with how I was feeling.

I spent winter vacation gathering myself from the break-up and trying to figure out who I am outside of that relationship. I wondered what I had done wrong. Was it that they didn’t take me as seriously because my background was in the humor section? Was it because I wasn’t afraid to challenge members of the Exec board when I thought they weren’t doing their jobs satisfactorily? I don’t think I’ll ever know, but now, I’m at the point where I don’t care anymore. All things considered I’m doing pretty well now. I’m seeing someone new! Their name is Boilerplate. Thus far they seem really hip and I really admire how they actively work to empower people on campus. I’m excited where this relationship will go, I’ll keep you posted. BP

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