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Lovesick: The Art of Friendship

The Gavel's Diatribe acts as the satirical medium for short rants over topics ranging from complete triviality to utmost importance.

The final straw on the camel’s back of my dating life happened a couple weeks ago, before what was meant to be my first date in Boston. Freshly landed across the pond, would America, the self-proclaimed land of possibilities, improve a trainwreck of situationships and rejection? 

Dear reader, alas it did not. 

It turns out the guy already had a girlfriend! Not the slay we were hoping to start off with. I hope never again to have to send a “hey girl!” text because, despite the light-hearted moniker by which that kind of message is known, no one tells you that they’re really quite heart-breaking to send and must be even worse to receive.

I was however, still able to see the dark irony in the frustration of this date, which was going to involve seeing the ‘Strong Women in Renaissance Italy’ exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts. It turns out being keen to see an exhibition about strong women doesn’t equate to respecting them…

Not quite lovesick but at least disappointed, platonic love came in to save the day once again. Immediately, two of my friends (whom, I’d just like to add, I’d known for less than a month) offered to go to the exhibition with me instead. Queen behaviour.

So off my roommates and I set, ready to feel both empowered and cultured. Funnily enough, we didn’t feel all too empowered by the exhibition itself. Half of the works were actually painted by men about women, not by women themselves. Told we’d “find a wide range of works of art, some made by women,” the exhibition itself seemed to be proving a point it was trying to ignore: that clearly women often didn’t have much power or freedom if they could only procure ‘some’ paintings made by them. Confronting this in tandem with exploring women’s talents and intelligence would have felt far more truthful. The exhibition also failed to properly explore the lives of women of colour, women with disabilities, and queer women, who were and are subject to even more societal discrimination.

While the exhibition itself had some major issues, I would 1110% recommend going to a museum with a friend. You don’t have to worry about how fast or slow you’re being or whether your date will try to mansplain the Impressionists’ use of pointillism. If you have clever-clogs friends like mine you might even learn a thing or two; my friend told me all about the significance behind the paintings of Mary Magdalen because she thought it might be interesting to talk about in this article. Screaming; friends are too cute. 

On Fridays, the MFA is open until 10pm and so most of the people there that evening were couples. We actually had the privilege of eavesdropping on a duo that seemed to be on a first date and I couldn’t help being incredibly glad that I didn’t have to listen to Mike from accounting’s problems with his co-workers. 

I’ll probably enter into the pit of snakes that is dating in 2023 again at some point, but in the meantime, I know I’ll be more than fine without it. Whilst the exhibition itself maybe wasn’t my fave, the company sure was. This is your sign to take your friend on a date!

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