Butler is definitely not this romantic

Ezra Koenig once said about a former hookup at Columbia, “How am I supposed to pretend I never want to see you again?” On the other hand, not-so-lovestruck Lili Brown explores the awkwardness of (almost) running into a hookup from the past in the wee hours of the night (in Butler).

There are many a life hack for dodging whomever you randomly wound up with that one Saturday night under the haze of short-lived interest. You’re typically armed with a phone and headphone pair, where you can evade a potential wave or faint smile at your significant other for all of two hours two weeks ago. You can take off your read receipts and give your phone to your roommate to help you out in phrasing “I don’t really want to see you again” in a way that enables you to still have a hold on your dignity.

These interactions are part of the general college social scene, small and arbitrary rites of passage as you waft through your four years in the undergraduate world. You’re one of a million; good job, champ! Be socially awkward and keep your stride on College Walk.

The Columbia Printing System has instead facilitated my most recent run-in to a hook up long gone, an event that was so specific to our own university that its one-in-a-million chance completely startled me.

I absolutely despise Butler for its associating social construct–you’re bound to run into someone you know, and how much do you actually get done after the fact? This truism culminated upon popping my printing-in-Butler cherry by sending a completed essay to Butler 213a and noticing that the UNI-turned full name stacked above mine was that of a first semester hook up long forgotten and avoided this entire semester.

Columbia, you brought us together and here you go again, by the grace of NINJa approving those couple of late weekend nights we can call our own.

Before typing in my password, I turn my head left and right with defensive fingers on the keyboard to make sure he wasn’t approaching around the corner to also carry out protocol and retrieve his password protected document. Coast was clear, so I pressed enter and the edges of the “Printing…” plus progress bar screen didn’t totally hide the pair of familiar UNIs at the bottom.

The slowness of the printer bound me there with eyeshot directed at the obscure instance that has brought us together again, our UNIs physically connected and divided by a pixelated black line. There was no final destination I could continue en route to; my only available avenue to ameliorate the situation is to pull out my phone and take a photo of NINJa sanctioning one (of many) awkward Columbia social experience. Did I just peak during my first-year, late at night in the Butler Computer Lab?

My UNI finally disappears once the job is finished, just as I once disappeared from Carman and walked myself back to Barnard. The next time someone asks, my UNI is my spirit animal.

Pls no PDA in Butler via Shutterstock