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The GW Hatchet

AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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PAUL closes in Western Market
By Ella Mitchell, Staff Writer • April 22, 2024

Love, The Hatchet: ditch the quarantine ex-text

It’s 2 a.m. and I’m sitting in the middle of my bedroom floor, four hours deep into Marie-Kondoing. I am back home for what will be my longest stay in two years and I am trying to konmari – TV host Marie Kondo’s method of decluttering by throwing out anything that does not bring joy. I remind myself that, among other things, people are dying.

My parents moved during my freshman year of college, and the new room now harbors a collection of items from my past lives that I am left to sort through – floral printed leggings, eighth-grade ceramics projects and a tiara for some reason. In an effort to embrace the organized, calm, well-read, effortlessly hot but down-to-earth woman that I want to become during self-isolation, I’ve gladly discarded the evidence that I was ever anything but. The room is now clear aside from the bags of belongings I would donate or trash that sits by the door, and I feel at peace. I do one final sweep beneath my bed and then I find it: my ex-boyfriend’s juul. Now what would Marie Kondo have to say about that?

It had been a month since we last spoke – a deeply romantic Valentine’s Day “you up?” text sent by him, which I responded to with “LMFAOOOO.” It’s safe to say I’m over it. But at the same time, in a very Carrie Bradshaw-esque moment, I couldn’t help but wonder why I was feeling the need to reach out to him now, on the precipice of what I intended to be my spiritual awakening. Why risk regression? We’re at the end of the breakup bell curve, having unblocked each other on Instagram and started going to the same parties again. He still kept custody of his friends, as I did with mine, but we were cordial. Friendly and decidedly not flirty. Yet here I was, feeling some type of way about a nicotine stick, contemplating whether or not to text him a picture of it. I blame social isolation.

It’s the classic scarcity mindset trap. I buy the skirt because it’s on sale, box up 12 grains of rice at the restaurant because I could get hungry later and text my ex because I’m afraid I might not see another human person for months. I should listen to her, Marie Kondo, with her perfectly moisturized hands and excellent teeth. But like a white mom who refuses to put down the 17-year-old poodle, I just can’t let go.

So, yeah, OK, I sent the text. But it didn’t make me feel how I thought it would. It wasn’t exciting or validating or even particularly fulfilling. It felt like drinking a can of LaCroix – one that’s sat on your bedside table for days that you now use to water your plants but sometimes still sip from out of convenience. We talked for a while, but the conversation soon fell flat, slowly fizzling out in a way like our relationship. I got bored.

Had Marie Kondo been Gen-Z, she probably would have given us this sage advice: texting your ex will not quell the loneliness. In my quarantine daydream, reaching out to him either went exceptionally well or incredibly bad, either of which would add a bit of drama to my life as a suburban prisoner. But in reality, it was just what I should have expected. I ended up right back where I started, surrounded by garbage and with an unaccounted juul. I threw it out.

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