Dr Dick: A load of May Balls

DR. DICK is the Tab’s new advice columnist. This week he helps a girl considering whether to offer a May Ball ticket to her not-quite-boyfriend.

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Dr Dick, MD PhD is a qualified therapist with many years’ experience. He’s a solid, stand-up guy who tells it like it is. His likes include: giving advice and colourful hats. His dislikes include: your shit, and Coldplay. This week he solves the problems of a girl wondering whether to offer a May Ball ticket to her not-quite-boyfriend.

Step into his office

Dear Dr Dick,

A couple of weeks ago I met this guy in Cindies and so far things are going pretty well. I don’t want to label things unnecessarily but if I had to, I’d say that he is not quite my boyfriend, but has the potential to be in the not-so-distant future. We get on well and always have fun together, and I’m pretty happy with the way things are going.

Or at least I would be happy, if it wasn’t for the fact that May Ball ticket season is right around the corner, which is bound to make everything awkward. Do I offer this guy my second ticket to my college’s ball, making the assumption that we will still be together at that time? What if we are not even talking by then? Or what if he thinks I’m being too keen? Is this the Cambridge equivalent of a profession of everlasting love?

So my question is, Dr Dick, am I over-thinking things, or would I be crazy to make such a big commitment so early in a relationship? After all, four months is a long time…



Dear Jess,

Let me get this straight. You’ve been in a not-relationship for two weeks and you want to make a commitment for four months in the future? Sit there for a moment. Think about it.

Done? Right, good. In case you hadn’t figured it out yet, this idea of yours is about as wise as using a beard trimmer to attempt to shave your bollocks: not fucking wise at all. Watch yourself, because I’m about to spaff truth all over the walls, and I didn’t bring any kleenex.

First, you should never ever make a commitment which is  further away than the length of your relationship. You don’t have to be a genius to figure this out, but given that you appear to have been grudgingly fished from the pool by Murray Edwards, let me lay this out for you. You might not even be at the point where you feel comfortable seeing his flaccid penis yet, and you’re making a commitment that’s longer in months than your relationship is in weeks, and longer than his cock is in inches.

If I’ve been with my beau for three months, and it’s June, I should under no circumstances commit to spending Christmas with them. Even if you have to buy flights. Even if they live in Australia and you want to go to Australia as much as the average guy wants a portable blowjob dispenser. If you stay together, there will be other opportunities to go to Australia. If they ask you to go with them, tell them that you just don’t think it’s a good idea – after all, anything could happen in that time. You could break up. You could develop a burning passion for polyamory and be heartbroken that you can’t bring your other partners with you, subsequently destroying your chances of polygamous bliss. Worst of all, you could learn that he likes Coldplay. He might like Coldplay, and what would you do then? You’d be stuck with a non-refundable ticket to Australia, the copy of X&Y he got you for your birthday, and a man that you are morally obligated not only to break up with, but to put down.

Second, you’re going to scare the everliving fuck out of him. If he’s anything like you, he’s probably quite simple, so when you rock up and present him with the option of going to your college’s May Ball he’s probably going to make like your father and vanish out of your life without a trace. The poor bastard probably won’t even make a full commitment to what kind of cereal he’s going to eat tomorrow morning, let alone to spending upwards of a hundred quid on a night of decadence and alcohol with a girl he drunkenly pashed in a club two weeks ago and has just been hanging out with since. Just like a guy with a thrush infection on his tongue, this isn’t going to go down well.

Alternatively, he might say yes. If you stay together long enough to make the ball (all through the living hell of exam term), good on you. You get to spend a nice night together, and your friends complain even more that you never have time for them anymore. Seriously, you have friends. Keep them. They’ll probably be around longer than your current squeeze. The point of May Balls is not to get so trashed you can no longer stand, decide to go home early with your boyfriend and fail miserably at having sex. The point is to get pleasantly hammered with your friends (and maybe your significant other, if you can go an evening without rutting) and have a great time whilst ruining some very smart clothes.

If he says yes and you don’t stay together because he eventually wakes up to what a mediocre human being you are, then you have all the heartbreaking rigmarole of breaking up with the added pain of having to either sell on the ticket and get the name changed or risk bumping into your new ex on a night that’s supposed to be enjoyable rather than a painful reminder of your terrible decisions.

Don’t do it. You will probably spend more nights with this man than is healthy anyway. There’s no need to risk fucking everything up for the potential to spend another few drunken hours with someone you probably don’t even like that much. If you are still together then, you can spend hungover May Week mornings together eating bacon sandwiches and talking about how great your respective nights were. More realistically, he’ll spend those mornings holding your hair back whilst your body systematically purges itself of every single strawberry daiquiri you decided it would be ‘mad bants’ to drink the night before. Idiot.

Much love,

Dr Dick