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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Column: Mario Lugo

Year after year, a new pool of wide-eyed freshmen flood campus in search of new experiences – or maybe just for where their next class is. Two years ago, I was one of them. Having memorized the campus map and outlined my class-to-class routes beforehand, I concentrated on these new experiences.

My name is Mario Lugo (because Carrie Bradshaw was already taken) and I’m a writer. With that in mind, you can see how desperately I’ve wanted a spot right here in The Aggie on page two, where I’ve spent countless bits of time poring over the pieces of columnists past – and every time I finished reading the day’s two columns, I folded the paper back up and whispered to myself, “I will do this someday.”

Two years and two major changes later, I managed to turn that little whisper into a dream come true. But I’m sure some of you can’t help but wonder: Who is this guy? What could he possibly want to write about? And … is he gay?

Throughout the years, I’ve come to find that defining myself by what I’m not, rather than by what I am, is particularly simpler. Being the free and easy, laid-back, low-maintenance guy I am, (if you knew me, you’d be rolling your eyes and scoffing right now) introducing myself will be done the easy way:

For starters, I am not a weirdo. I’m not the overzealous student in the front of the class who asks too many questions, or the freak that hums show tunes in your calculus class. I’d like to say I’m pretty normal and an interesting person to talk to – minus the occasional slipping of The Hills or Robert Pattinson into daily conversation.

I am not political. If you get your news from CNN or The New York Times, know that I get mine off the pretty pink pages of PerezHilton.com. Don’t get me wrong, I know what’s going on in the world around me but quite frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn. There won’t be any economy, healthcare, Obama or Palin talk in this column. To me, stimulating the economy means shopping, healthcare means Nyquil, Obama’s a funny name and Palin had some fierce shoes.

I am not a guy’s guy. Favorite movie: Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Favorite food: chocolate. Favorite Power Ranger: the pink one. Say what you will, but baseball, touchdowns and dunks are all snooze-fests to me. Belching in public (or any other form of passing gas, for that matter) is not something you’ll catch me doing. I spend more time in front of mirrors than any gent should. I enjoy malls. I weep at romantic movies, good books, birthday cards – sometimes even commercials move me to tears. But you know what? I wouldn’t change me for all the shopping sprees in the world. It’s taken me years to finally embrace who I am and I hope that by reading my column, you’ll accept me too.

That’s me in a nutshell, I suppose, and since I can’t call my column “Sex and the City,” I’ll simply tell you just how I plan to use my column to refine your love life. Hey, I have to put all my immense knowledge on the subject somewhere, don’t I? (Scoff here.)

The last two years have been … eventful, to say the least, particularly in matters of the heart. Being a guy who wears his heart on his sleeve, it’s expected for him to journey through the rollercoaster that is love. The ups, the downs, the joys, the pangs … I’ve been there. And I know many of you have been there, too.

But you don’t have to go through it alone – I won’t let you. So I’m using this column as a guide for everyone; a compass, if you will, guiding you on love’s winding road. Romantic relationships, or lack thereof, are an important part in finding ourselves. I’m not saying I know everything about relationships, but I do have some tricks of my sleeve that may help you out.

Perhaps my column will just be the lining to your guinea pig’s cage, or maybe you’ll read it before class every now and again. But I’m hoping that somewhere out there, a wide-eyed freshman reads my column and whispers to him or herself, “I will do this someday.”

MARIO LUGO loves to quote movies, songs, books, poems – you name it. E-mail him at mlugo@ucdavis.edu if you’ve found what he referenced in this column.


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