Solving winter blue(ball)s
    Photo by Becca Wu / North by Northwestern

    There’s a certain Slant of light,
    Winter Afternoons--
    That oppresses, like the Heft
    Of Cathedral Tunes--

    - Emily Dickinson

    So we get’s cold out there. Wildcats can attest to the fact that arctic temperatures have the potential to put a damper on everything, especially after the happy hoopla of the holidays has come and gone. Once the minus-degree weather starts making daily appearances, the idea of setting foot outside your warm dorm/house/apartment might seem less worth it.  And there you are, curled up in a Snuggie, staring at a large psych textbook while scrolling through Netflix, wondering is there ANYTHING to keep me going for the next few months (besides my EV1 stash)?

    Enter the Indoor Boyfriend/Girlfriend

    The Indoor Boyfriend/Girlfriend is someone who, believe it or not, interacts with you solely indoors. Indoors: the place where you will stay until mid-March, maybe even April, depending on how much global warming screws us over this particular year. He or she functions as a go-to person to cuddle with (if you’re cuddle-inclined, that is), watch movies or YouTube clips with, do under-the-blanket activities with (must be well-versed in said activities, because it’s fuh-reezing and under-the-blanket is the safest place to avoid death by frostbite), etc. 

    Of course, it helps if the Indoor BF/GF lives in your building/short walking distance for maximum fun. However, a word of caution to those considering the violation of anti-floorcest rules preached since arriving to campus as freshmen. Yes, it would be super-convenient to knock on someone’s door and be all, “Hey neighbor, wanna do me?” 

    Then again, it would also be quite painful post-IDBF/GF season to walk by this person’s room multiple times every single day until you leave campus for the summer. The shame of shedding them like you shed your North Face Metropolis parka just in time for Dillo Day might eat you alive. Or you could just have no shame, which makes you even more qualified to start/end an indoor relationship.

    And while we’re speaking of shame, the IDBF/GF will often have some specific physical and/or psychological flaw that renders them unfit to be seen with you outside the confines of either or your rooms. This could be anything from premature male pattern baldness to a scary height difference to severe social anxiety. 

    Let me tell you the story of my friend Kimberly*. Kimberly has spent a few scattered nights with Aaron* and they only live a flight of stairs away from each other. Perfect distance. Anyway. Kimberly likes that Aaron will get Clarke’s with her whenever she feels inclined to have late night pancakes. Aaron likes that Kimberly will keep him company when his frat star roommate is out fratting the night away. Their pseudo-relationship is perfect for morphing into Indoor BF/GF territory.  

    “We’ve never actually dated and we never will,” Kimberly says. “It’s fun and convenient and he buys me food a lot, but he lacks the ability to interact with other humans without being fucked up on alcohol first.”

    Basically, this kid is a keeper inside the confines of the dorm, but cannot be brought to any parties without being a complete embarrassment. However, as Kimberly points out, “He’s decently attractive.”

    My own personal plan of attack: chill in the basement kitchen of my residential college while making various wintery hot drinks and see which male specimens pass by or come over in a lame attempt to make a fourth meal out of Progresso soup. So far, every time I’m down there, there’s been a new random guy I’ve never seen before trying to open a can. Probably because they hate being in a quiet, action-deprived South campus building even more than me, but aren’t escaping up to North as much because it’s so freaking cold.   

    I have a few lines in my head for these potential moments - “Hey, you live here? Oh my god, me too! Do you need help? Or a can opener? Or a go-to girl on the second floor for those Valentine-less February nights?” 

    No, I am not going to whore myself out to whomever comes along. I just like to have an open mind and revel in the options (which are far and few within the quarter-mile radius).

    Maybe I’m really just looking for IDBFs to quell my fears that RCBFs (Real College Boyfriends) are even more rare, no matter where you’re living. Patti Stanger (Bravo TV’s Millionaire Matchmaker) would call it “finding the chupacabra.” 

    In the end, it’s all about levels of desperation: does your level match up with that of your prospective Indoor BF/GF’s? Does this matching sense of desperation to hook up and be cozy till springtime arrives merit a potentially nasty ending? If the answer to both was “YES,” then congratulations! You have officially found a more productive way to pass the time for three months than the majority of your fellow classmates (taking the young diplomats, chemists and speechwriters out of the equation, of course - we are Northwestern, after all). Take pride, make sure to keep it light and, as always, wear a condom.  

    *Names have been changed. 


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