Robison: You’re not in 8th Grade anymore

by Ben Robison/Guest Columnist

Those who know me would say that I’m a fairly opinionated person, and I wouldn’t disagree.  I like what I like and I don’t what I don’t. But, if there’s one thing that really gets me fired up, it’s PDA.

For those of you who don’t know what PDA is, it stands for public displays of affection.  PDA is one of those things that is completely inappropriate and pretty disgusting, but people go right ahead and do it. Now, these people either really don’t care what others think of them, or they honestly have no idea how ridiculous they look. 

I would say that I have a unique perspective on this PDA subject as I was a student teacher last semester. Junior high and the early years of high school are the prime PDA years. This age group really has no idea how ridiculous they look, and they all but have sex in the hallways between their classes.

They have somewhere between three and five minutes to travel from classroom to classroom, and in this short period of time, they have enough time to stick their tongues down each other’s throats, put their hands down their partner’s pants, and piss off their teachers in the process. It’s almost like they want to show their “relationships” off, or as if they want to prove that they are growing up.  What they don’t realize is that they are doing the contrary.

For some, this phase of PDA, ends when they start to mature, somewhere between their junior and senior year of high school.  However, for others, the phase doesn’t end, and they take it right into college.  

I can think of only a few worse things than being in a class in which you have to really pay attention. In that class, you get right to the important part of the lecture, you look to your left…and there they are. There’s the couple that never got over the PDA phase.  They are groping each other and playing “Kissy Face.” 

This is the point in which I get furious. I would love to call them out and inform them that they are not in eighth grade anymore, but I don’t want to make a scene.  

I can think of three separate couples I know at Simpson College that have yet to get over their PDA phase. One of the couples is worse than the other two, but all three are still gross. For integrity reasons, I will not use their names. 

The first couple has been together for quite some time, and their amount of PDA has slowly decreased.  However, you get a couple of drinks in them, and look out! They are usually pretty good about keeping their PDA in check, and only letting it fly when they are with the bigger group of friends. When they start the PDA, I normally inform them that they are no longer in eighth grade. 

The second couple has known each other for a very long time and then started dating when they got to college. I don’t have a ton of contact with them, but when I am around them all I see is groping. Every once in awhile you’ll see a little bit of “Kissy Face” out of them, but mostly it’s just constant touching. I don’t know this couple well enough, but I would like them to know that they aren’t in eighth grade anymore. 

Now, the third couple is a completely different story. This couple hasn’t been together very long, but the PDA flies like there is no tomorrow. It is absolutely disgusting.

I have yet to see these two more than ten feet apart from each other since they have been together.  They are always touching each other, and the “Kissy Face” game is never-ending.  There is no setting, whether public or semi-private, in which they feel their PDA is inappropriate. Let me tell you, it is. Not only is it completely inappropriate, it is very irritating and completely disgusting.

My message to these two is simple:  you are not in eighth grade anymore – grow up. 

I am proud to say that I never went through a PDA phase, and I never will. In fact, I can only think of one time in my life in which I kissed my girlfriend in public.  Relationships are meant to be private. Keep them that way.  

Please think of others. Keep your relationship private. PDA is inappropriate. Don’t act like an eighth-grader.