PDA and the gag reflex

With the beginning of a new spring semester and the coming of Valentine’s Day, everyone appears to be coupling off and finding that “special someone.” It seems like love is in the air. Or perhaps I should reword that: gross public displays of affection (PDA) are in the air.

We all know the kind of couple I’m talking about, because we’ve all seen them. They’re the ones sitting on each other’s laps, practically making out in front of you, and usually calling each other “pookie” or “snookums.” If you are so unlucky to get stuck in an elevator or a study room with this couple, the strong desire to either puke or slap them may become quite overwhelming. It’s understandable, we’ve all been there.

Besides the fact that they make everyone else uncomfortable, perhaps the worst thing about this overtly PDA couple is that they seem completely oblivious to the fact that they’re doing it. Do they honestly fail to notice that there are other people around them? Or maybe they just don’t care.

This brings me back to the “Golden Rule” that most of us learned back in grade school: treat others the way you want to be treated. Think about it, if you were a single person stuck in a room with two people who were all over each other, how thrilled would you be about it? Or remember the days before you found that special someone, I’m sure you’ve had the gag reflex once or twice before too.

But even with all of these extreme PDA cases, it is still possible to be cute together without making other people uncomfortable. When you see this kind of couple simply holding hands or doing other cute things together, they just make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And this time, it isn’t the gag reflex.

As a general guideline, anything that looks like you’re having sex on top of your clothes should probably be avoided in all public spaces. I realize that as college students all of our hormones have gone crazy, but please, save it until you’re alone together. No one wants to see it and it will be more special if you save it for private occasions anyway.

So this Valentine’s Day (and the rest of your life, for that matter), do us all a favor and try to minimize your PDAs. Try being cute together instead of all over each other. And if you’re a single person stuck in an elevator with an overly PDA couple, give them a good slap for the rest of us.

Kendra Moll is a sophomore majoring in psychology. She likes to eat lots of V-Day cookies and she may be contacted at k.moll@umiami.edu.