[“Don’t Tell Me Your Major Theme” By Malena Ramnath]

Malena: Hey guys, my name is Malena Ramnath.

Allison: I'm Allison Rhee.

Malena: And we are your hosts and juniors here at Northwestern. This is Don't Tell Me Your Major, an interview podcast where we avoid getting to know people on the surface level with questions like what their major is, where they're from, and how old they are, but try to get to know them on a more profound level. That's how you really know the kind of person someone is rather than judging them based on pre-established stereotypes. So, last time listeners, two years ago, – if you can believe it – we had our last podcast about Valentine's Day. We asked “What did you do for Valentine's Day?,” “Do you believe in soulmates?,” “What's your favorite romantic movie, love song, and flower?,” and “Is love at first sight real?” But now Allison and I are in very different places in our lives, cuffed now to two different men than we were with two years ago, in long term relationships, and I’d just say things have changed. And so I really wanted to revisit Valentine's Day, and kind of how our perspectives on it have changed and kind of how our view of love has changed based on our new experiences now. So to start off, how did you spend your Valentine's Day this year?

Allison: Um, well, Valentine's Day is only like a week or so after my one year anniversary. So we went out for that. And then Valentine's Day was on a Monday this year. And the Superbowl was on Sunday, so we decided to just go a little more low-key. So we just ordered a party platter of sushi and then we had chocolate covered strawberries and watched The Haunting of Hill House. So it was… it was really casual.

Malena: I can't stand horror movies, so I don't know why that's cute. But no, I get it. It's like “Oh, I'm scared” and then you get cuddles. I hate horror movies. They give me horrible nightmares. But I do appreciate a casual Valentine's Day because I will say once you've been with someone for a while, like you just start to appreciate that stuff more, I think.

Allison: Yeah.

Malena: Yeah, Valentine's Day for me, I am posh and I'll take any occasion to have him spend money on me. And so we decided to go to Etta which is a restaurant in River North I've been dying to go to. However, on Valentine's Day I get a call saying that my boyfriend tested positive for COVID. I tested positive two days afterwards. So we've been in quarantine for two whole weeks. Just got out, recording this podcast and we're going to the dinner tomorrow.

Allison: Oh, that’s nice.

Malena: Yeah. Instead, he sent me, to the hotel room I was quarantining in, he had sparkling juice and chocolate covered strawberries and like my favorite ice cream delivered to me and some roses, which I thought was really cute.

Allison: Sparkling juice?

Malena: Yeah, sparkling. Yeah. I mean, I'm under 21. He's not but he had that delivered to me. And so what, you know, based on – I had chocolate, we both had chocolate covered strawberries –but what do you think is the best Valentine's Day food to get or receive? Like edible arrangements, chocolates? Chicken wings?

Allison: Chicken wings? I would – probably not. I mean, I like chicken wings. I just I don't know if I would want them for Valentine's Day. I'm not a big like, pure chocolate person. Like I don't eat like chocolate bars. I think chocolate covered strawberries are always the best bet, but when you buy them they're so expensive for no reason. Some rustic homemade chocolate covered strawberries, I think that’d be, that’s the perfect gift.

Malena: I did appreciate my favorite ice cream. It's Cherry Garcia, Ben and Jerry's, listeners  – in case you ever want to hit me up with some gifts for your loyal host. But I also like edible arrangements. Because it's like you get the vibes of like having a nice set of flowers, but it's edible. So it's like practical, they don't just like sit on your shelf and die like flowers, you know? And they do come with chocolate covered strawberries and like pineapples and things like that. So…

Allison: I can make you that for like probably half the price.

Malena: If you wanted to. It's the price of your time, Allison.

Allison: That's true.

Malena: That’s what the issue is. Okay, on a more serious note, though. How do you think love - so you've been in a relationship with Noah. Hi, Noah! Sorry, I'm trying to be best friends with him. But you've been in a relationship for a little over a year now. I have my two year mark on Friday. How do you think love changes over the course of a one or two year relationship?

Allison: I definitely think in the beginning of a relationship, it's more like butterflies and I'm so shy. I'm so nervous around you and like trying to always look your best or like, act your best. But I think that that might be sustainable in like shorter relationships. Once you reach like a point where you've been together for over a year or two years, you can't hide those things about yourself. You know, like they have to see you as you are. That's why I feel like – I've read this like, I listen to this podcast or some Tiktok about how around this six month mark or one year mark that's when a lot of couples break up because like you can't avoid who you are at that point. So if you're like, if you don't like the person that your partner is, you know, you'll realize that around then. So I think love changes, and you become a lot more comfortable and like real with the other person the longer that you're in a relationship.

Malena: Yeah, I'm kind of hitting that point, too. This is my first like, really, really long relationship. And the first time I've got to a point where it's like, it's just your best friend at a certain point. It's like, I mean, obviously, there still is like, some romantic, I'm attracted to you element there. But really, it's just like your best friend. Like, I just want to come home and gossip in bed next to you. I don't want to do anything else after. So that's definitely an element. But then I think it's also like, it's interesting how you can almost get too comfortable. Like, sometimes you gotta, you gotta remember to mix it up a little bit. And stuff like that, which is weird. Like, I'm 20. I didn't think I would need to, like, add spice to anything. But it is funny how you get into your routines and stuff. Even at such a young age. But then the follow up to that is, do you think it's the same with a friendship? Like, because when you’re first – I felt like when I was first thinking about this – when you're first friends with someone, you're like, worried about hurting their feelings, like tiptoeing around them, but then you get so comfortable, you can kind of just say and do whatever.

Allison: Yeah, like kind of, I guess. I think relationships in general, just like friendships and romantic relationships mirror each other a lot. I think one thing is like, you have a lot more like – how do I say this – you're probably aren't as invested in the little small things about your friendship as you are in a relationship. You know what I mean, so like, if I had a friend and we were friends for a really long time, and like, at a certain point, I realized like, “Oh, we're not that compatible,” it's not like the end of the world. You know, you can still be friends with someone like that and still probably maintain a close enough friendship. But with a romantic relationship, once you reach a point where you're like, “Oh, I don't think we're that compatible.” It's like, you kind of have to end it. Or it's not as casual.

Malena: Yeah, you can't like grow out of it. It's kind of like it has to be a sudden rupture. Yeah,  I can see how that's different. Um, okay. I'm definitely thinking about this more and more as I get to be with people for longer in college. Because I feel like… some of my guy friends, I spend a lot of time with them, too, and like, they have their quirks and I'm like, “Okay, I can forgive this now. But if I just met you, and you were doing this, I don't know.” You know what I mean?

Allison: Oh, yeah, it's true. It's like, you're okay with it because you know them.

Malena: Yeah.

Allison: Yeah.

Malena: Okay, but on a lighter note. On a lighter note to wrap it up. And so that the listeners out there, if you want to take your girls on a date, we would really appreciate it. Because, you know, a free evening on the town. Always, always appreciated.

Allison: You can take Malena out.

Malena: I mean… Allison! Okay, but anyway, so this is my last question. What would be your favorite date that you haven't been on yet?

Allison: Um, I think I’d really like to travel somewhere. I guess it’s more of a trip than a singular date. But I think traveling somewhere new would be nice, because I'd really love to go places. A little more low-key, a cooking class.

Malena: Oh, a cooking class would be kind of cool. I feel like it would be…

Allison: I do love cooking.

Malena: It might be kind of cringy, though. Like, if there's like a weird crowd. You know?

Allison: Oh what, like, old people?

Malena: I don't know, you can't discriminate against old people. Maybe like, you know, for lack of a better word, like a Karen. You know, who’s like, “How do I do this? How do I do this?”

Allison: Oh, that’s true.

Malena: You know, over and over?

Allison: Maybe an advanced cooking class.

Malena: I mean, Allison is probably going to culinary school later. So…

Allison: We'll see.

Malena: Well, that's what she's been talking about for a while. So, you know, maybe it'll end up happening so she can take the advanced one. I’ll be in beginners trying to make an omelet. I think my ideal date…Oh, I always really wanted to go to a Michelin star restaurant. If any of my listeners really loves my podcast and wants to donate to the Malena really wants to go to Alinea fund, please feel free to do that. I know. But anyways, thank you, Allison.

Allison: Thank you.

Malena: We're so glad to have you back. She's been abroad, so we finally have her back as our third host. Hopefully, you'll be hearing from Hannah soon and once again, this has been a North by Northwestern podcast. Happy Valentine's Day everybody!

Allison: Happy Valentine's Day!

[“Don’t Tell Me Your Major Theme” By Malena Ramnath]