Our theme for the month of March is “Ask the post calvin.” We’re taking on questions submitted by readers and offering our best advice.
Dear the post calvin,
My boyfriend sweats mayonnaise. He’s a perfect 10 otherwise, but this feels like a dealbreaker! Should I dump him?
Condoms, Not Condiments
Ah yes, the age-old question of the dealbreaker. Since the dawn of time, our ancestors have wondered whether they could procreate with a hominid whose looks were striking, hair was groomed, but couldn’t wield a club worth a damn. Such an unequivocally human aspect of mate selection it is to gaze upon a successful, striking man and be consumed with the glistening dew seeping from his pores. Achilles is only remembered for his heel; Napoleon is only known by his stature; this dude is most memorable for his yolky sweat.
The notion that a flaw—however unsavory—can overpower the innumerable positive aspects of a given person, object, or system is a cognitive heuristic that plagues mankind. We can’t shake the shortcoming, and it’s typically something inherent to the person with no resolvable solution. Barring some breakthrough surgery, Sweats McGee will always be slimy and wet, so what will you do about it?
To counter this hyperfocus on negatives, one could tap into another strikingly human ability: spin the negative into a positive. Take, for instance, the times when your phone falls into a precarious crevice, and your bone-dry arms can slip down to recover your prize possession. Never fear! Who should come to the rescue but none other than Señor Sweat, whose well-lubricated limb slips seamlessly into the abyss and emerges with the prodigal (albeit slightly moist) device.
Consider also the ideal selfie for in that picturesque setting, but you have forgotten to carry along your professional lighting equipment. Don’t fret! Have Sweaty Steve stand close by, bereft of his shirt, his glimmering torso serving to reflect and amplify the sun. Bask in the rays and beam while the number of likes ascends.
Imagine your honeymoon, where you find yourselves kidnapped by would-be ransom-seekers. Little do they know that you’re freshly minted hubby can slither through whatever ziptie, handcuff, or potato sack they foolishly believed could subdue him. Like a true gentlemen, he gives of himself, oozing that glorious, liberating body juice onto your own skin so that you can wriggle free. High off the adrenaline, feeling full of new purpose, he vows to live a life of heroism. Upon your return to the States, he dubs himself Mayoman, taking to the streets to deliver sweet slippery justice.
When you come across an otherwise perfect situation, try not to let the negative sway your desire. Love happens not in spite of flaws, but because of them. We’re all stuck in this short, sweaty mess, and we would all most definitely bleed out if someone shot an arrow through our heels.
Matt Coldagelli (’14) majored in English writing and psychology at Calvin. He’s currently pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology with an emphasis on children and adolescents. He watches an absurd amount of TV and is a certified craft beer snob. His emotional wellbeing is overly dependent on Wisconsin sports, and thus he finds himself often in a state of disappointment. Matt lives with his lovely wife and daughter in Phoenix, AZ.