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Monday, April 15, 2024

The five men you will date at UC Davis

The completely accurate, irrevocable truth 

I hope I am, at the very least, self-aware. Self-aware enough, that is, to recognize that I am often a parody of myself, a man on the fringes of what constitutes a “real” adult and an old-timey cartoon character. It’s this self-awareness that has led me to realize I have a type, and that indeed, I am also very much looked at as a type, albeit a small one, mainly with women who have their favorite Renoir as a forearm tattoo.

 I have never dated a man, but I know tons of women, and men, who have. And what follows is an anthropological study on the five types of men you’ll find at UC Davis. Let it be both a vehicle and a compass on your journey to find romantic attachment in the breadth of Cowtown’s male populace. 

Man #1: The Fraternity Guy 

It’s welcome weekend, and the roommates you just met implore you to go out with them. After some prancing down Russell Boulevard, you end up at Zeta Jamiroquai Theta, or whatever their name is. A man comes up to you, strutting without caution, dressed in a brightly-colored tank top holding an even more brightly-colored bottle of Svedka. You have a couple shots, accompanied by the most average conversation. This is a guy you either have a one-night stand with or date for a year. There is no in-between. He seems nice enough, though there are probably several serious character flaws lurking under the thin veneer of his Patagonia fleece. But honestly? It’s well worth it, just to get those pics at winter formal. 

Man #2: The Indie Guy 

The moment this man enters a room it will rapidly begin to smell like patchouli. Thrifted clothes, bad facial hair and a dangly earring are all this guy needs to impress any girl who has even entertained the thought of getting a nose ring. His band will be playing at Turtle House this quarter, and he will ask you to come. Don’t be alarmed: They sound just like Tame Impala, but like, more experimental. Whatever that means. Good luck trying to actually date this guy, because he’ll probably ignore your texts for a couple weeks, saying life has “just been so crazy, we’re locked in the studio haha.” But then you see him at Mishka’s the next day with a jar of homemade kombucha, talking about jazz loudly enough so others notice. 

Man #3: The Weirdly Southern Guy

These guys may be hard to spot, because of all the camo, but once you start talking to one, you’ll know. You don’t need to scroll through his Instagram page, because every single post since high school has been the same. Cheap sunglasses, a gas station trucker hat and tons of good-looking dead fish staring straight into the camera. The weirdly Southern guy has a certain…je ne sais quoi to him. Something about him just…hooks you in, no pun intended. He’s most definitely an agricultural major, or at the very least, something adjacent in engineering or biology. Be careful, because if you’re drinking anything but Coors, Hamms or Natty Light around these guys, there will be hell to pay. Coming from the big city, I was apprehensive about being around so many guys unironically wearing Carharrt here at Davis — but they’ve been nothing but sweet to me. Until they turn on Luke Combs. Then things get rowdy. 

Man #4: The Really Nice Guy 

It’s tough to believe that this guy is really going to Davis to study the immigration rights of native bird populations, but here we are. From what one can gather, this is a genuinely good guy‚ with a winning smile, on the club soccer team, with no weird sex thing…but perhaps that is his greatest weakness, as well. The paradox of “the nice guy” is that what you see is exactly what you get. There is no satisfying gooey center at the end of that sturdy exterior; indeed, the exterior is the reward. He definitely lived in Segundo and is constantly approached first to be people’s partner in lab. If he’s from California, there’s a 90% chance he’s from San Diego, but if not, then there’s a 100% chance he’s from Cape Cod. Either way, be prepared to get respected and cared for. And for every date to be a movie night at home with a Trader Joe’s frozen entree. 

Man #5: Your Best Friend 

Oh no. Oh God. You’ve known him since you were five. Your families always went to that one Mexican place in Berkeley together. This can’t be happening…except it just did. There are a million different things that you could be telling yourself, but in the end, it just so happened that 15 years of friendship have led to the biggest sexual tension in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s fine. This is fine. While things may be a bit strange at first, the best friend is somehow unphased, almost embracing the surreal reality in which you two now live. You, on the other hand, may not be so lucky. 

Bonus: The Republican 

It was one time, okay?

Written by: Ilya Shrayber — arts@theaggie.org


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