Dear Ephelia

Ephelia Ephelia

My first-year suitemates kept a bottle of hot sauce in our shower all year. To this day, I do not know why — what are your theories?

Best case scenario: Your suitemates enjoy eating in dorm showers and want to make sure their food has a kick. The idea of eating in a communal bathroom is not appealing to me personally, but, hey, this is a safe space. Maybe I am the weird one — after all, there was that whole eating citrus fruits in the shower fad. Bottom line, whatever happened between the hot sauce and your suitemates is between them (and God, if you believe in that kind of thing).

I know it’s only October, but it’s already so cold. I don’t know how much longer I can do this. Got any tips for staying warm?

If you didn’t already know, I am an athlete. I say this not to distinguish myself from the nonners, but to establish my cold weather ethos. In addition to developing a raging superiority complex, athletics involves a lot of being outside — nearly 20 whole hours a week. My top tip is to layer, more than you think you should, and avoid moisture (precipitation and sweat) at all costs. Hand warmers, wool socks, and hot drinks also help. If you get so cold that you can’t feel your hands, you should run them under lukewarm water until you regain feeling and then gradually increase water temperature.

Is it a deal breaker if my hookup buddy doesn’t vote?

If it’s really no-strings-attached, which it never is, then your partner’s civic involvement shouldn’t matter all that much. If you feel things towards this person, however, I can see how not voting can be unattractive. Local elections are important, apathy can be an ugly trait, and, for a lot of us, we had to fight for the right to vote. That said, writing off people you otherwise would like over politics is usually just an extension of vapid identity politics — so, in my book, this alone would not constitute a dealbreaker.

Hey Ephelia, can you talk about the ethics of using the bathroom while someone is showering?

There is no objective truth, except maybe when it comes to this. If someone is in the shower, especially if it is someone whom you do not know, you should use another bathroom. It is potentially excusable if you are close with the showeree and need to pee, but in no case is defecating while someone showers ever acceptable — have some respect.