by Brennon Keys
Yes, just seven years ago, the costliest and deadliest natural disaster in the history of the United States, Hurricane Katrina, reached landfall and wreaked havoc on the Gulf Coast. Much like late August 2005, Katrina’s younger — and subsequently, weaker — distant cousin, Issa, decided to pay the South a visit some weeks ago. Thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the most recent storm, and those who still deal with the lingering effects of Katrina’s wrath.
But, honestly, I’m not sure if these every-so-often tropical storms destroy as many lives as the Katrinas or Issacs we all know. And yes, we all know at least one…Dangerous weather, indeed, approaches as the hot summer sun sets into a blissfully
breezy fall this Friday. But I’m not referring to physical weather patterns, such as hurricane season. I’m referring to that all-too-familiar and increasingly-popular cuffing season.
Not familiar? Let me give you a crash course.
According to Urban Dictionary, the premier aficionados of all modern lingo and slang, the definition of ‘cuffing season’ is as follows:
During the Fall and Winter months people who would normally rather be single or promiscuous find themselves along with the rest of the world desiring to be “Cuffed” or tied down by a serious relationship. The cold weather and prolonged indoor activity causes singles to become lonely and desperate to be cuffed.
Here’s a brief overview of the season’s progression:
Not to be confused with ‘spring fever’ (similar symptoms, but a completely different beast), cuffing season and the gradual change of weather patterns often coincides with the first couple of weeks of a school year for adolescents and young adults. New faces and new places spur strong emotional changes and — maybe, invariably — stronger physical attractions.
For those in college, this insatiable desire turns the internal love amp up to an 11. And trust me, most people don’t need that “extra… push over the cliff”. But with a change of scenery and circumstance (freedom from parents/family, less-structured class schedule, etc.) — and by meeting folks from all over the nation and the globe — even the most studious bookworm may experience an unrequested nudge that sends them spiraling into an uncontrolled free fall of adoration and reciprocation. It’s a beautiful balance of chaos and peace, of an unrequited — and often selfish — present marching blindly into a unpredictable future.
I’ve experienced it many a time, willingly and unwillingly, and I’ve learned a lot from my experiences, enough to conclude that this non-physical season can, on the contrary, be VERY physical and just as dangerous as any natural disaster the Earth has to offer. I mean, if you think about it, you may have had a brief relationship between Labor Day and Valentine’s Day that seems like a ‘natural disaster’ in retrospect… (We won’t even mention those of you who aren’t considerate enough to just ‘cuff’ one person. Be kind; cuff one.)
*to self* Even the widely-accepted time period of cuffing season holds humorous implications of its own (for the fellas, anyway): you work and slave, vying for the attention of the potential ‘boo’ you’ve had your eye on for weeks, months, even years, only to scheme your out of having to pay for a prolonging, potentially-incriminating gift on the historical day of romantic love. Enter spring fever and the body’s inability to be tied down… but I digress…
Believe it or not, for someone familiar with the devastation cuffing season brings, I make this comparison not just for comedy, but partially in fact as well. Just compare the effects of ‘cuffing t’o a natural disaster:
- They can both surely be costly. (from a man’s perspective, at least)
- In an emotional and/or literal sense, they can be deadly.
- As the season peaks and reaches its end, the damage done to each party affected intensifies.
- Following the end of the experience, most people are faced with the task of learning from their mistakes (more often than not, staying too long), and some are left building from scratch.
- The effects often linger far past the time of the incidents… I mean, seasons.
So for those of you thrill-seekers out there who enjoy surfing those high tides of passion and romance, even after your relationship lifeguard (moi) has given fair warning to exit the seas, be careful. Don’t let a short-term solution turn into long-term confusion. (As I say this, I struggle to decide if I need a scalp-scratching minion… *sigh*)