STANFORD – Earlier this week, Joshua Stevens, a freshman in Donner, donned his gaudiest blazer and bought a bouquet for a date that he believed that he was going to go on later that night. As he stood in the checkout counter at Safeway, Stevens fiddled for the crumpled twenty dollar bill buried in his breast pocket, where he also keeps a custom monogrammed handkerchief that he makes sure to bring up in most social interactions. The cashier looked Stevens up and down and wondered how a man dressed like a French diplomat visiting his mistress could possibly land a date, until finally Stevens pulled out a money clip (also monogrammed) and simply paid with his parents’ joint credit card. “The Platinum Amex is coming in the mail. Hopefully this Gold one will work just as well,” he half-joked knowing very well that it would work just as well. Thankfully, however, the date that Stevens was buying three garish sunflowers for had already gotten out of their sad trip to downtown Palo Alto’s Cheesecake Factory, where Stevens would have ordered filet mignon.

“I’m so excited for tonight,” said Stevens, unaware that his supposed date had already found an excuse to cancel on him. “This date is going to go really well.” As he put the three tasteless, infant-sized flowers into his briefcase, which he carries to class like some kind of kid lawyer, he suddenly remembered to buy a pack of condoms. “You can’t be too careful!” Stevens quipped in regards to the Trojan Ultra-thins that would eventually expire halfway through his junior year at Stanford. “On second thought, I should probably get two packs,” he added.

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