BYU Crushes

I recently was alerted to the existence of a brand new Facebook group at BYU for students to anonymously post notes about their crushes.  The student submits their comment to the FB group admins who then re-post it from the site.  The comments run the gamut from cutesy to goofy to stalkeresque.

Here is a sampling (with names replaced by initials to protect the stalked):

  • PL, are you the Liahona? Because the workmanship thereof is EXCEEDINGLY fine. [1]
  • To the dude standing shirtless by the window in building 30.. thank you. [2]
  • CW, you are really pulling off that whole ‘hot half-asian’ thang. Please invite me to your next dance party? [3]
  • She’s in my biology class. When we talk about genetics, I can’t help but wonder what dominant or recessive traits our children would display. MW, let’s do the gene pool a favor. [4]
  • All I am saying is if polygamy was still able to be practiced, I’d want both CA and HA to be mine. Those A twins have got it going on. [5]
  • NS is the cat’s meow. And this cat is ready to pounce. [6]
  • I know in Anatomy Open Lab we are supposed to be studying the cadaver’s bodies, but let’s be real, the only body I’m studying is yours JM. [2]
  • SL is a beautiful person, outside and in. [7]
  • MS- from the second I saw your pasty white complexion, I knew that I was going to fall hard. Your psuedo-hipster t-shirts, constantly red eyes, and often shirtless roommates don’t take away from my adoration. Seriously. Those roommates of yours are weird- and I still adore you. [8]
  • Hot Bryce from the Creamery — you are the hottest of all the Bryces. I would date you so hard. [9]
  • KR is the second most attractive man I’ve seen. [10]
  • To the adorable ginger who helped me in the physics TA lab the other day: I hear redheads are going extinct. Let’s do our part to make sure that doesn’t happen. [4]
  • TT, you are the hottest American Heritage TA out there. I never talk in class so you probably think I’m mute. But if you ask me out on a date, I’ll do all the talking (or not talking) you want :) [2]
  • SM who TAs Psych 111, kiss me already. I don’t care if you have no sense of smell. [11]
  • Shout out to the hottest blonde I’ve ever seen from building 9. LR. Dang I would wife that girl so fast. [9]
  • AP, Sing me to sleep with mariachi music. You’re so ethnic. That’s what I love about you. [3]
  • To the girl that farted loudly in class today. Don’t worry, you’re still incredibly cute. [12]
  • E who looks like an Asian in my Psych class. I am in love you. Please stop sitting so far away from me so I can actually ask you out. [3]
  • MR – did you clean your arms with Windex? Because I see myself in them. [1]
  • A the beautiful Mexican at Liberty Square. You are perfection. [3]
  • To CH that Asian stud muffin from New Heritage 53rd ward from Pennsylvania! I want to mother your panda babies! I noticed you have a car, would you mind taking me to Squaw Peak sometime? From, Rice Loving Panda Hugging Future Wife [3]
  • To the cute RMs in my ward who are extremely noncommittal…get your acts together and ask me out!  [13]

The site reminded me of some of my own crushes at BYU.  There was one guy in one of my writing classes who came in every day wearing an ecru cable-knit fishing sweater.  One day there was an empty seat in front of me, and I was excited as his eyes honed in, and he sauntered Abercrombie & Fitch-like toward the open desk.  As he strode up the aisle (it all seemed to be happening in slow motion) and sat down in front of me, he deftly pulled the fishing sweater off over his head with one arm.  Unfortunately, it was just then that I noticed he had the hygiene habits of a Matthew McConnaughey, and I was downwind; I suspect that he had never once washed that sweater.  Crush over.  Not all that glitters is gold.

Looking over the BYU Crushes FB site I also noticed that a few of these “ethnic” crushes crossed a line for me in terms of how racist they sounded.  Is that just generational? Is it OK to say things like “Rice Loving Panda Hugging” now?

One of the interesting things I noticed is that in several of the posts, fellow students are trying to help bring the people together or identify the crush if the person wasn’t known by name.

  • What crushes did you have before you were married that you would have posted?
  • Are social media sites like this changing the nature of relationships?
  • How are these comments like other universities?  How are they uniquely Mormon?
  • Where does a crush end and stalking begin?
  • I think you’re cute.  Will you go with me?  Check this box:  yes, no, maybe.

Discuss.

______________________________________________________

[1] This is a staple of BYU come ons:  a cheesy, cutesy attempt at humor, sometimes pseudo-religious.  I didn’t even bother to copy in the “Is your name Virtue?  Because you are garnishing my thoughts unceasingly” line.  I’m not sure how seriously to take these.  They just seem like something the nerdy friendzone guy would say in the teenage rom-com, not the guy you want to like you.  Girls are submitting these, too, BTW.

[2] These types of comments (stalking + lust) are the ones that sound like real college crushes to me.

[3] Ethnic minorities are in high demand at BYU!

[4] Several allude to mating with gingers or otherwise making babies with crushes.

[5] Gross.

[6] NS is a girl.  Yes, apparently there is a guy at BYU who is referring to himself as a cat.  Does that strike anyone else as unusual?

[7] This sounds more sexual than I think the author intended.

[8] The heart wants what the heart wants.

[9] This is another trend:  using chaste Mormon terms like “date,” “marry,” or “wife” as if they were sexually aggressive terms.

[10] Ouch.  Maybe if the first is Ryan Gosling.

[11] Aroo?

[12] Good luck chasing this girl down.

[13] The shotgun approach.  Just shoot into a crowd and see if you hit anyone.

Comments

  1. I had a crush on E. Gordon Gee. I was 36 at the time. We were in the same ward.

  2. Luckily, they seem to have removed some of the more racist posts (I only know because I was going to troll the “rice loving panda hugging” girl, but alas, this internet curmudgeon will have to fulfill that dream another day).

    RE: dating and social media: considering that (supposedly) a third of all marriages now start online, I’d say social media is dramatically changing the dating landscape.

  3. Jeannine L. says:

    I especially like the footnotes. It makes this post look like a kind of social scientific study. Maybe you could apply for some kind of a grant? That would be sooo cool.

  4. I don’t think I’ve ever heard “wife” used as a verb before. Is that some new usage pattern I missed out on?

  5. Wow. Another reason I’m glad I’ll never be in my 20s ever again.

  6. To the girl in the red baseball hat and ponytail: I don’t even remember what you look like. I never saw you again. But the fact that on my first day on campus you smiled and said “hi” made me feel like All Was Right In The World and I was on top of it.

    …Seriously, there’s something about the never-to-be-repeatedness that magnifies these things. One of the reasons I love NYC is that you might see an attractive person on the subway train across from yours, going the other direction. You know you’ll never see them again, and that in 10 minutes, you’ll be hard pressed to have any visual memory from that brief glimpse. And yet somehow, the ephemerality once-and-never-again-ness magnifies the experience.

    Snowflake.

  7. BCC I don’t know what your favorite temple is, but YOU are mine! First you sexualized the hymns and now are using the scriptures as pick-up-lines. If you feel the same way I do, meet me in the Twilight Zone at 9pm by the highlighters wearing a red flower in your lapel. Eternally yours, kc

  8. Laura, I would say this is uniquely BYU-ese. I was wondering what made it sound so vile to me. Maybe the fact that wife rhymes with knife? Not sure. I don’t have the same reaction when I think of the phrase “I want to husband you” but I may be biased because I’m female. Gentlemen, what do you think?

  9. BYU is so lame. Wow.

  10. Agree with APM-totally beta. Have these kids never heard of the neg? In 2013? Grew up in the inter-montane West–thankfully didn’t go to BYU.

  11. kc – While I’m sure it’s tongue-in-cheek, I agree that using “wife” as a verb is a little weird. It’s indicative of a uniquely Mormon trend in super fast marriages with next to no courtship. I think it’s something about BYU/Utah specifically. I dated a girl for about 2 months once in college (on the East Coast) before the relationship ended. She left to spend the following summer in Utah to visit family and subsequently met and got engaged to a guy in 3 weeks. (To their credit, they are still happily married as far as I’m aware.)

    I think the word that describes this situation as a whole to me is “juvenile.” This is the kind of thing you do in middle school, not college.

    I’m a firm believer in people generally acting the way they are treated. When I was in college, students were treated like adults. For the most part, they acted like adults (albeit irresponsible adults at times). From what I can tell from my distant ivory tower, is that unmarried students (even RMs) at BYU and BYU-I are often treated like pubescent middle schoolers (i.e. equating sex to freshly baked cookies in a confusing analogy while addressing single students). This leads to many of them acting like pubescent middle schoolers.

  12. Elouise Bell says:

    Laura and KC, concerning “wife” as a verb. I’d guess the comment comes from a drama major, who has tucked in his brain the line from Cole Porter’s song, “I’ve Come to Wive It Wealthily in Padua.” (From “Kiss Me, Kate,” the musical version of Shakespeare’s TAMING OF THE SHREW.) Shakespeare frequently uses nouns as verbs. I love Cleopatra’s snide comments to her ladies-in-waiting about Antony’s courting spiel: “He WORDS me, girls; he WORDS me!”

  13. I’m so ashamed that I know this that I’m posting anonymously. One of the Bachelor contestants a couple of seasons ago said, “You’re going to wife THAT?” when the Bachelor gave a rose to the most-despised girl in the house. That’s definitely where it came from.

  14. Kevin Barney says:

    Fun post! Ah, kids these days…

  15. “neg”? “beta”? What manner of “intermountain west” terminology is this?

  16. Obviously some of the commenters have never visited the missed connections on Craigslist in any major town. Plenty of young and old adults – though the comments point to younger 20 and 30 somethings in general – leave very similar comments that sound JUST as juvenile. It’s not just a BYU or Mormon thing.

  17. Meldrum the Less says:

    When I was in college back at the old AC (USU) we had a variation of this activity, the personals section of the student newspaper, the largest and most amusing section in it. I admit to writing more than a few outrageous submissions. (And good thing for you I can’t remember any of them). Since about 1/3 to 1/2 of the campus back then was sexually active and we were not that far removed from farms and ranches, there was a different sort of raw and earthy edge to them. The “ephemerality once-and-never-again-ness” could quite easily turn into a very real and life changing “roll in the hay.” If you want to do a scientific paper, perhaps comparing posts today to those of another era would be interesting and the USU student paper would be a rich source if it was preserved.

    My kids in college find this sort of thing to be immature, embarrassing, and laughable. None of the almost one dozen girls my daughter’s age who grew up in our ward went to BYU and a couple who were younger did attend BYU and regretted it. Not because of the academics but because of the whacky-weird social atmosphere. The general attitude reflected by these posts becomes a barrier to social interaction in the singles wards far removed from zoobie land. A small number of these BYU groupies hog center stage of the singles ward (because they don’t seem to know how to find anything better to do in a large modern American city), while the vast majority of the normal ward members remain isolated from each other and busy with other aspects of their life (education, career, recreation) and find the ward activities to be mostly a waste of time. They marry either late, or nonmembers or not at all.

    I think the attitude reflected by these posts is not merely cute and amusing. It is a disturbing reflection of one superficial aspect of the so-called “singles problem” where nearly half of our LDS youth are not getting married. This jeopardizes the future of the LDS faith and community far more than being laughed at by outsiders who may tolerate these quirks but will never come to respect or admire us.

  18. Not a byu thing, I lived in Virginia and my college interns had an anonymous crush on sure at each of their universities. It looks like BYU’s uses cleaner language.

  19. marginalizedmormon says:

    is this one of the first or last signs of a dying civilization?

  20. OD is right about missed connections–not just a BYU thing. Some local papers do missed connections, but the ones on craigslist get really weird. I just clicked on the most recent Las Vegas one, which says, “I can’t stop thinking about making out with you… Seriously I can barely work anymore because thinking of you is driving me so insane.” From that point it devolves into 18 and older content only, but the point I want to make is, BYU does it, and it’s funny. Other people do it and it’s a little more creepy/rapey. If it’s gotta be out there, I definitely prefer the BYU version.

  21. wideopenspaces says:

    I’m going to second the idea that several of these comments are pretty racist and offensive. I wish the moderators (of the FB page) had a better idea of what constitutes racism so they wouldn’t post these things. It doesn’t make anyone look good and only perpetuates the belief that BYU is a bubble.

  22. Well, it’s official…I’m one thousand years old. I can’t imagine THINKING any of these statements when I was in my twenties (much less declaring them in a public place). I find the whole thing indescribably weird.

  23. I can’t imagine how people would end up hooking up through this, since it’s all anonymous, but I guess it’s a way to make someone feel good about him or herself? Assuming they see it, that is. BYU is huge; I know I’m not going to be checking this page every day on the extremely unlikely chance that a post is about me.

  24. Mormon X, from looking at the site, the team of FB admins who run the site do what they can to track the person down, then link the “stalked” person in the comments. So you really wouldn’t have to check the site. If you are linked, you’d get a FB notification.

  25. Just had to comment on “wife” as a verb–not a Mormon thing at all (well, not exclusively anyway). I don’t know where it started, but I’ve seen it a lot on the internet. Here’s a post complaining about that usage — http://www.stfucouples.com/post/32293865714/wife-is-not-a-verb-this-is-from-the — and here’s an entire song called “Wife Her”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfgnM1dXL5M

  26. Ned Quimby says:

    The comments here have persuaded me to send my children to a large public university, where attitudes toward relationships and sex are much healthier, and racist comments are never uttered.

  27. Ned Quimby – so, Canada?

    I would love to believe Eloise (the eternal optimist) is right about the origin of “wife” as a verb (plus I’ve had Why Can’t You Behave stuck in my head ever since she suggested Kiss Me, Kate as the origin), but I suspect it’s the Bachelor reference. Reality TV or musical theater? These are millenials, right?

  28. Where is this mythical university, Ned? Homeschool U?
    The five non-LDS universities (west, midwest, east coast) where I’ve regularly been in classes and on campus are also sexually dysfunctional, just on the other end of the spectrum.

  29. I think BYU’s race problem (whatever its degree) is largely due to its racial homogeneity. Non-caucasian is still somewhat “exotic.” I suspect BYU-H has a smaller issue, given its larger mix of students from Asian, Hawaii, Samoa, etc.

  30. Pretty sure Ned Quimby was being sarcastic. But what do I know?

    As to “wife” as a verb, “wive” as a verb is all over Shakespeare:
    Taming of the Shrew:
    PORTIA. If I could bid the fifth welcome with so good heart as I
    can bid the other four farewell, I should be glad of his
    approach; if he have the condition of a saint and the complexion
    of a devil, I had rather he should shrive me than wive me.
    Two Gentlemen of Verona:
    PETRUCHIO. And I have thrust myself into this maze,
    Haply to wive and thrive as best I may. . . .
    I come to wive it wealthily in Padua;
    If wealthily, then happily in Padua.

  31. My husband sometimes uses “Cat” for a guy in a 60s/70s kind of way. It is old fashioned but definitely was masculine in its day.

  32. BYU Crushes – By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog jordan son of mars purple white hot sale http://www.crip.com/upload/index.asp?module=tags&brand=breds&tags=air-jordan-4-cement-retro

  33. egee said:
    “Well, it’s official…I’m one thousand years old. I can’t imagine THINKING any of these statements when I was in my twenties (much less declaring them in a public place). I find the whole thing indescribably weird”.

    egee–This is exactly the kind of stuff I would come home and say to my roomies when I went to the Y back in the ’80s. ‘My T.A. in American Heritage is so hot! Looks like I’m going to need his help a lot this semester!’ ‘This guy I was standing in line behind at the Cougareat was radical! His parachute pants really did it for me.’ etc. The weirdness for me is taking it out of the apartment or comments made to friends and posting it on-line. Just adds to the voyeurism of society today.

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