The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024


Put Me Out of My Missouri

Peter and Liz were sitting on the futon in Peter’s dorm room, waiting for “Heroes” to come on. Walter was supposedly on his way to join them; however, they were not surprised when he did not turn up when he said he would.

They were discussing the weekend’s events: the football game, family weekend and soccer – the usual. However, when the discussion switched to Melissa, Liz decided to curtail it pretty quickly, interrupting with a common interest: “So, do you want to go to the soccer game Wednesday?”

“Yeah, I could do that,” replied Peter. “Who do we play?”

Liz thought for a minute and then responded, “Missouri State.”

“Hmm,” grunted Peter, slightly dissatisfied that he had not known that Missouri State even had a soccer program until then. “Well, hopefully we’ll see plenty of goals.”

“Oh, I’m sure Paulo, Bruno and Dane will be willing to oblige,” said Liz.

“Hey,” started Peter, having just received, at least in his mind, a moment of brilliance. “We should get some of those ‘Put Me Out of My Missouri’ shirts, and . . .”

But Peter did not have a chance to finish. Walter burst into the room gasping for air and trying to talk at the same time. “Hey Peter, I need to talk to you, man,” he said in short, violent bursts.

“All right,” said Peter, hearing the urgency in Walter’s voice.

“Should I leave?” asked Liz, showing slight confusion and concern at the scene unfolding before her.

“No, no,” said Walter, slowly catching his breath and motioning for Peter to follow him into the hallway. “We’ll just be a minute.”

In the hallway, Walter looked at Peter, wondering if he should continue. “A little while ago I saw Melissa necking with some other guy,” said Walter, gravely, in a hushed tone.

“Necking?” said Peter. “If you weren’t being so serious right now, I’d laugh at you.”

Walter continued to look at him seriously. Peter, however, felt as if he had somehow missed the gravity of the situation. He realized and understood everything Walter had just told him, but he did not feel any resentment, bitterness or even the slightest irritation. It was as if he was unaffected by the news.

“Well,” started Peter. “She does seem to give me the runaround quite a bit, not to mention all those dinners with her sister.”

Peter and Walter stood for a moment in silence. Walter was giving him time to let the news settle, but all Peter could think was: “Why am I not mad?”

“Are you all right, man?” Walter finally interjected, trying to gauge his reaction.

“I think so . . . I mean I don’t really feel mad or upset or whatever it is I am supposed to feel,” said Peter. “This will certainly make my lunch with her tomorrow a bit weird.”

“You’re not going to still take her, are you?” questioned Walter.

“I don’t see why not,” said Peter. “I’m gonna confront her about it, and I’d like to do it in person, so this seems like the perfect opportunity.”

“Fair enough,” said Walter. “But don’t let her sucker you back in. You need to drop her like a bad habit.”

Peter nodded and then chuckled. “The only problem with bad habits,” he began, “is dropping them.”

The next day, without mentioning a thing to Melissa about her alleged infidelity, Peter met her at Olivella’s for lunch. He had the intention to bring up the issue that Walter brought to his attention when the time was right. However, it wasn’t until the end of the meal that he felt he needed to force the issue because the opportunity, as he saw it, was not presenting itself.

“I hate to bring this up now,” Peter began, “especially after such an enjoyable lunch. However, I must be forthright. I know you’ve been messing around with other guys.”

“Forthright?” repeated Melissa. “If you weren’t being serious right now, I’d laugh at you.”

Peter smiled, but did not laugh. He was waiting for her answer, which she quickly provided.

“Yeah,” she said, without remorse. She saw nothing wrong with her actions, and saw no reason to conceal them. To her they were not officially dating, and she therefore did not need to show Peter any loyalty or restraint.

“Wow,” said Peter, surprised. “I expected you to dance around the issue for a while before actually admitting it.”

“Why would I?” stated Melissa. “There’s nothing wrong with it.”

“Hmm . . . that’s one way of putting it,” started Peter. “Another is that it was unfair to give me the runaround while you were messing around with other guys.”

“Well,” thought Melissa. “I think it’s important for people our age to see other people.”

Peter sat there in complete silence. He was stunned that a girl was using this tactic. It usually occurs in the opposite manner.

“Don’t get me wrong,” Melissa continued. “I still like you. I just don’t want to be confined to one person . . . at least not now.” Melissa tried to judge Peter’s reaction for a few moments before realizing that he was still in shock. “Are you mad?” she asked.

“No, not really, as surprising as that may be,” said Peter. “I am just somewhat surprised at your candor and frankness. I’m somewhat appreciative actually. However, I don’t believe I would be acting in such a way if you weren’t so damn hot.”

Melissa smiled. Even the incredibly beautiful need to be reminded at times, though she couldn’t help but wonder if Peter was hiding some resentment. Surely he must feel some, even if he doesn’t realize it, she thought.

Later that evening Peter and Walter were walking to Umphrey-Lee to meet Liz for dinner.

“Who makes plans to eat at Umphrey?” asked Walter. “I mean if you ask someone to dinner, it should be at a place that consistently provides good dishes . . . even decent dishes would do.”

“I don’t know, man,” said Peter. “Maybe she doesn’t want to go alone. Maybe she just wants to talk. All I know is that she called to see if we’d meet her here.”

“But how’d your confrontation go?” asked Walter. “Did she put you out of you misery quickly, or did she delay the issue for as long as possible?”

Peter shrugged without giving a response.

Walter looked disgusted. “You didn’t tell her did you?”

“No, I did,” said Peter. “She didn’t see anything wrong with her actions, though.”

“Well, I guess y’all never did truly declare you were dating,” said Walter. “At least that’s the impression I got from Facebook.”

Peter laughed. It was the first time all day.

“All right,” exclaimed Walter. “That’s what I like to see. I was getting bored of your nonchalance. Cuz whether you admit it or not, you are a little discouraged over this ordeal. But the best thing is to just move on. It’s probably for the best anyway.”

“Fair enough,” said Peter.

Then, to their right, they heard a cheerful voice heading toward them. “Hey guys,” said Liz. “How’s it going?”

“Hey, Liz,” they greeted. “Good. How are you?”

“All right,” she replied, turning her attention to Peter. “I’ve got something for you.”

“What is it?” he asked.

She held up her index finger, giving the international sign for “one moment, please.” Reaching into her purse, she pulled out a blue T-shirt, and held it up toward Peter, revealing a yellow ‘Put Me Out of My Missouri’ inscription next to an outline of Missouri’s border.

Peter smiled. He absolutely loved it. “Perfect!” he exclaimed, wrapping his arms around Liz.

“Good, I’m glad you like it,” she said, as they turned and headed toward the mediocre food that awaited them in Umphrey-Lee.

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