Dear Ephelia

Ephelia Ephelia

Dear Ephelia, what do I do if my house literally collapses? Sincerely, a Lambert lad.

Is your room falling apart? Fear not! The Williams Outing Club is one of the oldest and largest student organizations on campus, boasting over 750 members. Just this year, membership became free, so all Williams students are able to rent equipment like sleeping bags and tents — read: outdoor dorm — at no cost. While it might suck that your house flooded and most of your personal belongings were destroyed, you are now able to get in touch with nature free of charge. Sleep tight, and don’t forget to pay your room and board!

I received an anonymous gift yesterday, and I’m dying to know who it’s from. How can I track down my secret admirer? 

Forget six degrees of separation ­­­­— the College is so small that you are at most two degrees separated from anyone else. This makes finding your little fan doable. Start by asking around and using clues from your gift (e.g. call the company that produces the gift, inspect the handwriting, purchase a forensic kit and hack into the government fingerprinting database, etc.).

If that fails, then onto plan B: organized chaos. Pick 15 of your friends and whatever crushes you might have, and send them an anonymous email inviting them to a party. The catch is that they must submit who their crush is via Google Form in order to attend, but then their crush then receives an invite too — think pyramid scheme. Sustained by the innate desire to know if feelings are mutual, the cycle goes on. Whether you choose to host the party is up to you, but the beauty of exponential growth is that you will likely find a secret admirer lurking among the form responses. 

Looking to optimize my day off. Do you have any suggestions as to what I should do during Winter Carnival? 

The Record has me working like a Lowell mill girl in the 1830s, and every day I fantasize about what I would do if, for just one day, my editors let me step away from my loom (my laptop). As you can imagine, I have a healthy list for you. In order of personal priority, I would spend a day off: digging a really big hole, stapling deli meat to the bulletin boards around school, hosting a seance, and maybe catching up on my readings. 

The worst has finally happened: I opened Safari next to him, and his house’s Zillow listing was up. Do I have any chance of recovering from this? 

This is a tall order, but I learned a long time ago to never say never. Maybe it just so happens that you are really passionate about suburban single family homes in precisely his hometown — “Haha! What a strange coincidence. I had no idea you were from there.” I personally don’t have the acting chops to pull that off, so I would opt for pretending like it didn’t happen or coming clean. Can you turn it into a funny little bit that you’ll laugh about later, or is it going to unveil some deep-rooted issues that you should probably suppress for a little while longer? If the former, then just come clean. Otherwise, evade the question until he either forgets about it or brings it up. 

Good luck, brave soldier. Be more careful with your search history next time. 

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