Black Thursday Arrives: Ladies, Dates Are Over For Fall

Well ladies, kiss your boyfriends and husbands goodbye.
 
Or, for those of us with no actual men but several faithful cats, brace yourselves for a drastic decline in activity on your Match.com profile.
 
(I’ll let you all decide which category I fall into.)
 
(WHY ARE YOU ALL JUST AUTOMATICALLY ASSUMING I FALL INTO THE LATTER CATEGORY?)
 
Because in about 24 hours, the entire male race will check out of Hotel Sanity and won’t be back for a long, long time; the lights will be on, but no one will be home.
 
It’s hard enough getting a date as a single girl in this city, and it’s only about to get harder starting tomorrow, a day which I’ve aptly renamed, “Black Thursday.”

(Not sure if you’ve heard or not, but football season officially begins Thursday. I know, they should really publicize that more, shouldn’t they? There was actually an entire three-minute period last Tuesday where my Twitter feed didn’t have the football countdown screaming at me in all caps, KANYE-STYLE. Three whole minutes. You should all be ashamed of yourselves; it’s called irresponsible journalism, and there is no excuse for it.)
 
Anyway, let me preface this column with an air of empathy: I know how you feel right now, crazy-eyed SEC fans.
 
I know exactly what you’re going through, because I’m going through the exact same thing right along with you—the new Nordstrom at Green Hills opens on September 16, and I’m more anxious and giddy than Michael Jackson at an elementary school playground. (RIP King of Pop.)
 
I’ve tried to jump on the bandwagon with you, Menfolk of the South East Conference. I really have. Lately, any time some poor, unsuspecting soul has asked me, “Hey Hayley, when does college football season start?” I’ve heroically relayed the answer to them by screaming it in their face (possibly spitting in their eye in the process), chest-bumping the man/woman/small child next to me, then crushing a beer can on my forehead. (This is the correct way to respond, right? I don’t know, I am just following suit from what I’ve seen you people do in the past.)
 
I get it. You like football. You’re a MAN. You have no working tear ducts, and you would eat bloody, raw meat straight off the bone if it weren’t against FDA codes.
 
But don’t you think you’re taking things a little too far?
 
Maybe I’m just bitter because my social life as I know it is over, at least for now. Over the next few months, men will be dropping like flies from normal social activities in exchange for beer, barbeque and beastly boys in tight pants.
 
It just might be the paradox of the century: The one thing the entire male population is looking forward to the most is the very thing I’m most dreading. Not because I hate football—in fact, that couldn’t be farther from the truth—but rather because I hate what football does to a man’s brain.
 
During the months of September through December, you men would rather talk about Alabama’s starting quarterback’s intentional grounding (thank you, FootballGlossary.com) than my complex thoughts and emotions on the outcome of last week’s Bachelor Pad elimination. It’s ludicrous and unfeeling, but on top of that, it’s just rude.
 
During the months of September through December, I could parade my happy ass all up and down the bleachers in the skankiest spandex get-up this side of the Mason-Dixon line (of course, I’d obviously have to borrow it from one of my slutty friends. I don’t own anything like that, Mom…) and it wouldn’t phase any of you men, so long as you still had an eyeful of my good Twitter buddy Da’Rick Rogers barreling his sweaty body down towards the goal line. Actually, I could prance around in front of the television set in absolutely nothing but a smile and you men wouldn’t even bat an eyelash. In fact, you’d probably yell at me to move out of the way—for what, exactly? So that you can get a better view of some beefy meathead whose veiny forearms are the size of my entire torso.
 
Another issue I have with men during football season is their severe case of Loyalty Confusion.
 
A very concerned citizen recently taught me that, contrary to popular belief (read: contrary to my delusional football knowledge) not every team in the SEC plays on game days. So, if you’re a diehard Auburn fan, and Auburn isn’t playing, you will most likely be rooting for and against someone else that day. This presents a whole new set of issues.
 
I’ve learned the hard way that if I want any attention from the male race at all during these times, it’s imperative that I educate myself on what team you all are hating at any given moment. Otherwise, we will have virtually nothing to talk about. But the thing is, I am never sure where your allegiance lies; it’s a lot to keep up with and, honestly, it gets exhausting.
 
To assert my womanly sovereignty and actively give off that independent woman “Beyonce Vibe” you men all go crazy for (don’t even deny it), I’ve recently tried adopting my own views on whom I hate, but I just end up more confused than when I started.
 
Do cowbells make my ears bleed? Absolutely. But does that mean I’m supposed to hate Mississippi State? Is orange an unflattering, vile color that brings out the unfavorable undertones in most everyone’s skin? Of course. But is that a good enough reason to assume I should root against UT in a game vs Vandy? Is most everyone reading this at LSU drunk right now? Without a doubt. But does that constitute a lack of allegiance to their team?
 
Do you see what I’m dealing with here? These are the things that keep me up at night. That, and why George Lopez is still on the air. (UPDATE: The George Lopez Show was recently cancelled. God doesn’t hate us after all.)
 
WHAT’S EVEN WORSE, some guys don’t even CARE who’s playing! They wake up humming the SportsCenter theme song and then proceed to commit entire days to watching whoever is running around on the TV screen. This type of case study is even worse than the Loyalty Confusion Guys, because they don’t even have a good reason for quarantining themselves in a room alone with their big screen and beer. GUYS, you cannot possibly care about a game simply because it is broadcast on ESPN that day. You should be allotted one-to-two teams per season that you’re allowed to care about, and that’s it. Who’s with me on this?
 
Maybe I’m just uneducated. Maybe you all can enlighten me? Men, why do you lose any and all remnants of sanity when a few guys slap on some bulky shoulder pads and bulldoze over each other? Is it just innately engrained in you? If that’s the case, then I guess I can understand. If you can prove, scientifically, that as full-grown men you’re just genetically predisposed to transcend into irrational, maniacal behavior when you’re confronted with images of other full-grown men chasing a ball around, then I sincerely apologize.
 
I’ve heard of psychological “triggers” before—like, every time I hear a Ke$ha song I have the sudden, inexplicable urge to shank myself in the ear canal with a dull, rusty butter knife, then pluck the wings off an innocent baby butterfly. So maybe you’re just hardwired like this and you really just can’t help it? (Why am I freely handing over excuses to y’all on a silver platter? I’m supposed to be mad at you, Men.)
 
Also, I’d like to point out that this conundrum isn’t limited to just us single ladies. Just because you’ve snagged yourself a man pre-football season, Overly-Confident Blonde Girl With Big Boobs, does not mean you are immune to this epidemic. And if you’re engaged? Oh, Lord help you. Forget about planning a wedding any time between September and December. Even if you manage to find an open weekend with no high-profile SEC game occurring, you will live each and every year afterwards in constant fear of your anniversary falling on a game day.
 
Ladies, I hate to be a buzz kill, but frankly, you’ve missed your window of opportunity for the year. Your last-ditch effort should have taken place at last week’s SEC Kick-Off party in the Gulch. If you didn’t snag anything there, I’m afraid your dating future is dim. You MIGHT get lucky sometime around Christmastime, when there’s a lull in game scheduling, but I wouldn’t cancel your flight plans home just yet.
 
 I myself have chosen to see the silver lining in this situation: I successfully survived bikini season, so now I plan to hook myself up to an intravenous frozen yogurt IV, kick back and just enjoy my time off. Better grab some ice cream and get comfortable, because it’s going to be a long Fall season.

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