Can’t touch this (No, really, I mean it.)

Rhydian Talbot/Staff Writer

Well, it’s Valentine’s Day. Hand check!

Perhaps you’re giddy in the throes of a burgeoning relationship, or maybe you’ve reached that “Babe, every day is sweatpants day” level of comfort with your significant other. First and foremost, kudos to the pair of you; knowing the seedier side of a person and still choosing to stick around takes guts. If you could spare a second, it’d be much appreciated if you could remove yourself from your partner’s face to review just a couple of common decency reminders regarding public displays of affection.

There’s a right way and an awful, terrible, stop-fondling-each-other-like-that way to handle public displays of affection (or “PDA” to all you text-savvy folks). In moderation, little complaint can be made about modest PDA. Feel free to hold hands (cupped or laced, that’s your choice) or briefly(!) hug before parting ways in the halls. If you feel overwhelmed with passion, give each other a lust-filled high-five. You’ve earned it.

Chaste affection quietly lets the world know that, hey, I am a significant other, I am worthy of love and I’m confident enough in our partnership that I don’t need to make my
classmates watch as I bathe in my other’s saliva just to prove it. PDA, when done correctly, leaves others wondering whether the two of you are Facebook official or simply really, really good friends; a good dose of mystery can do a relationship good.

And then there’s GPDA.

Gross Public Displays of Affection — gross in the sense of a) excessive, and b) disgusting — are solely responsible for the economy tanking, 99.98 percent of all vehicular-related mammal deaths, surprise Rick-rolling and Newt Gingrich’s still-active bid in the presidential race (or so I’ve heard).

Feeding off of the obscene, GPDA turns even the tamest of individuals into neurotic balls of hormonal-blech. Innocent third parties can observe as a crazed look crosses your eyes right before pouncing on your partner, beginning to paw at each other like rabid cats in heat. It’s terrifying. You shouldn’t just “get a room” but an entire cage in a zoo for all your animalistic displays.

School should be a safe zone where students needn’t feel threatened. Your GPDA, however, challenges that. There’s no scenario more horrifying than separating a couple sucking face directly in front of your locker, faces mashed so inhumanly close that they’re melding into one glob of teenage lust. I feel like I need to arm myself with rolled newspapers and squirt bottles so that I can separate the pair of you with a swat to the head or a quick squirt to the face, shouting “Bad lovebirds! Very, very bad!”

Bottom line: I’ve been subjected to human health units in 6th, 7th and 10th grade, and an interactive refresher course on the birds and the bees really isn’t necessary. Your GPDA, however, forces me to relive some of the most traumatic, grossly embarrassing health class moments of my life. Please, just cool it in public. Radiate love from every pore and look at each other with gooey googly eyes, that’s fine — but if I as an innocent bystander risk pregnancy just by standing within the ten-foot sexual force field surrounding the pair of you, you’re doing it wrong. Please, don’t spray me with your pheromones as I walk by, untangle yourself from the Gordian knot that is your entangled limbs, and keep it rated G. Modest is hottest, kids.

Now go and enjoy your V-Day — just not too much.

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