The system breaks down: Mark Rothman is the JAchelor

With the recent wave of reality television shows, I have always hoped for the opportunity to become a contestant on one and have women fawning over me like they do over Joe Millionaire or The Bachelor. Well, I was actually given an opportunity to do my own reality dating game, thanks to the Junior Advisor Selection Committee, or as I like to call them, the only people on campus that think I should be a JA. Now, I know the shock and dismay of my becoming a JA is still very unsettling, but we must get past it in order to get to the article. The Record was swamped with letters asking if my name on the list of JAs was a mistake. (Editor’s note: Not true.)

One of the first things you do after you are accepted as a JA is get drunk; once you sober up, you start JA dating. In a span of one week, I dated 22 girls, second-dated three of them and wound up with one co-JA. This is the story of Mark Rothman: the JAchelor.

You can go out with all 25 girls on a first date, as it is against tradition to turn down an invitation. I took full advantage of the opportunity to actually get a “yes” from girls when I ask them out on a date. I actually did not know what to say after they said “yes.” It was a first. Once I had all my dates lined up, I hit the town with the ladies. The goal of JA dating is to meet people and make a fool of yourself in the process; I exceeded expectations in both areas.

On most of the dates, two things need to be spoken about: alcohol policy and housing. My alcohol policy is there are certain nights when you should not drink, and they are called Wednesdays. Monday ‘Fun-day’ and Tuesday ‘Booze-Day’ have to be done. They are almost as fun as Friday ‘High-Day.’ The frosh in my entry should not worry about my liberal drinking policy; they should really worry about my sketchy friends. One of my friends asked me if it was possible for me to get an entry of only girls. Seriously, they are good guys, but they do make me glad I do not have a sister.

For my first date, I went and tried on women’s clothes at Zanna. I had a little trouble fitting into a size four, but I had just eaten. My date was surprised I suggested Zanna and tried on woman’s clothing in public. I usually only wear women’s clothes in the privacy of my room. Note to my frosh next year: knock before you come into my room.

My next date featured llamas. I could insert a dirty joke here; instead, I will just say the llamas scared me. What are llamas doing in Williamstown, anyway? However, that question was quickly answered when a Dining Services truck pulled into the llama farm. Enjoy the “chicken” in the dining halls this week, suckers!

I took my next lady friend to the Williams College Museum of Art. It was my first time at WCMA; however, I’ve decided to start going more often, seeing as they have lots of nude paintings and sculptures. Of course, they got mad at me for groping some of the sculptures; I thought it was one of those interactive exhibits that they have at strip clubs.

These are just stories of a few of my first dates; there are too many dates and names for me to remember. Some of the other highlights of my first dates were Cyclones at Friendly’s, sitting in the Clip Shop, mugging a townie, stealing books from the library at Amherst, teasing pre-frosh about having me for a JA, shopping for guns at Wal-Mart and pulling the fire alarm in Sawyer. Do not worry; I did not really sit in the Clip Shop.

Once I got through the first dates, it was onto second dates. People can turn you down for second dates. No matter what happened, I would have been happy, because I have never even made it past the first date before. Three girls actually accepted going on a second date with me. I think they were all drunk at the time. Or at least that is what most of my friends think.

Once the second dates start, the real decision-making begins. On one of my second dates, I went bowling with Katie O’Brien ’05, who claimed to be a “novice” and then proceeded to bowl a strike in the first frame and get a spare in the one immediately following. It’s the last time I bet on bowling. I could not even break 100. I spent more time in the gutter than a bum. I could not get a break, or even a spare for that matter.

Yet, despite my poor showing, I somehow convinced her to co-JA with me. And no, I did not bribe her, torture her or hypnotize her. I just told Katie that if she co-ed with me she would get her picture and name in the Record. Vanity; the greatest sin. (Editor’s note: The Record does not approve of appearances in the newpaper being used as bargaining chips, especially by individuals as salacious as this writer. Please be advised.)

We should balance each other out well; Katie is a math major and I am an English major. She is on the swim team, and I wear a life preserver when I take showers. She swims in the deep end and I am shallow. I am going to introduce the girls in our entry to all my friends; Katie is going to protect the girls in our entry from my friends. She drinks on Fridays and Saturdays; I drink every night except for Friday and Saturday. Katie wanted to be a JA because of what a great experience she had with her entry; I wanted to be a JA for the t-shirt.

All in all, the JA dating process turned out great for me. It is all very similar to Joe Millionaire. I started out with 25 women and slowly narrowed the field, while the whole campus watched and my friends asked, “Did you get any?”

Then just like the show, I picked the one girl who thinks I am nice guy. Then, just like Joe Millionaire, the girl finds out I was lying and I am not worth a cent. The paper won’t bail me out with a million bucks, though. But keep this quiet; Katie does not realize this yet.

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