I’ve never really experienced the dating culture at WCC for myself. Yes, Everett did write me a few letters, I did study a lot with him and some of his close friends. But nothing ever, really, official…. came of it. Yes, we had a few walks in the moonlight, and around the cemetery. But we were discussing the next day’s Euclid prop, so it wasn’t really romantic in substance. Yes, I visited his home one Christmas. But Marcus and Bernadette Heithoff were there too, so it was more of a friend group thing.

To be clear, in case anyone was wondering, Everett and I remain friends, good friends, but just friends.

But even though I never really dated, I knew a bit of the basic responsibilities and privileges of couples in the WCC dating culture from watching my friends, especially Jane Cunningham and David Gleason.

As an admissions counselor over the last year and a half, I saw and learned even more. The quick to form PEAK couples, the surprise Founders meet-ups, everything. I thought I had seen it all.

But when my brother David Donaldson came to WCC this year an ever deeper, unexplored can of worms opened up for me. How does one properly relate to your sibling’s boyfriend?

I was sort of involved in bringing Paxtonia Hummer here. I did a recruitment trip last year that stopped by her Iowa parish. But I never really focused on her. She was a just another number, here to feed the WCC admission rolls. I didn’t even pay much attention the first time I saw here and David talking. Freshmen ought to meet the rest of their class, I thought.

Even the second time I thought nothing of it. Freshmen need to have friends, I thought.

But the third time, I knew something was up. There are 56 students in this year’s freshmen class. That means there are 56 x 55, or 3,080 possible one-on-one plain old vanilla friendships possible between members of the class. Statistically, what are the chances that, three times in a row, the “friend” I saw my brother with was the same one, Paxtonia, and there wasn’t something more going on?

Pretty low, I do say.

Not that I didn’t worry that this might someday happen. But it was that moment that it hit me. What is one supposed to in such situations? Ask my brother straight out: Are you dating Paxtonia? Should I ask Paxtonia if she were dating my brother? Should I pretend not to notice? Or would that look, and be, even weirder?

What is one to do?

Currently, I’m trying the latter. I’m pretending not to notice. But I can’t hold on to much longer.

Guess I’m gonna have to ask Everett… He usually has at least some kind of answer to such questions.