SAINT PETER—During the annual orientation Square Dance, first-year Allison Gustafson came to the realization that her married life with fellow first-year Jake Rollings was to consist primarily of awkward eye contact and bragging about high school. The unpleasant elopement of the couple has been recognized as an unavoidable future occurance due to the rigidity of the square dance’s partner matching tradition.
“I know the whole ‘marry your square dance partner’ tradition is pretty immovable, but if my marriage is in any way related to this experience I might just become a nun,” said Gustafson, during a 15 minute break she took to avoid Rollings and the sweaty mass of 18 year-olds moving nervously to a few overweight and elderly washboard and guitar players.
“I can’t really envision us getting through, or even to, our honeymoon,” said Gustafson about Rollings. “He brought up hockey at least seven times, and not once did he ask about what I liked. It is fine if he has no interest in theatre or writing, but it would be nice if he at least asked once in awhile. Meanwhile, the topic I’ve learned the most about at Gustavus is how unfair the all-conference selection process is.”
Gustafson’s disdain for her arranged marriage comes shortly after the release of a University of Minnesota study which attributes approximately 22% of the nation’s divorces to ill-suited square dance partnerships. The study boldly asserts, “couples who are forced to wed by a square dance arrangement are conclusively less likely to remain together.”
Rollings’ had less to say on his marital prospects, only commenting on his hope to “maybe see that girl at the Dive later.”
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