Thursday, May 24, 2012

the MRS degree

photo: Vernon Swanepoel

At Christian Colleges, a curious phenomenon known as the MRS degree program exists.

The MRS degree takes its name from the abbreviation "Mrs." Young women who have no intention of finishing college undertake this endeavor in order to meet an eligible Christian young man, marry him, and begin producing offspring as soon as humanly possible.

Some of these girls are beautiful, sweet, and get snatched up quickly, wasting only a minimal amount of their college fund (so it may be reappropriated into a wedding fund). Many others, ahem, "have a good heart." By "have a good heart," I mean they harbor chips on their shoulders so large they would have to be dipped in an Olympic-swimming-pool-sized vat of guacamole.  Imagine the movie Teen Wolf if Michael J. Fox had a bridezilla inside rather than a werewolf.

Those chip-bearing MRS ladies make up the majority of the "major," often garnering enough credits for multiple degrees while waiting for unsuspecting new classes of fresh meat . . . er, coeds to arrive.  While most of the ladies who move through Christian schools are there to learn about the Bible and lead productive and generous lives, these MRS women are ruled by a ruthless biological clock.

When I worked at my small Christian college's bookstore, I was tasked with writing letters to announce monthly specials to each group of majors our school offered.  January was ten percent off for youth ministry, February for music majors, etc.  During a period of writer's block for one of these assignments, I began to feel bad for the MRS ladies at our school, so I wrote a letter announcing a sale just for them.

Sadly, it was never sent, as it was a bit awkward trying to ascertain which ladies were there to study and which ones were there to poach.  This probably ensured my safety as well. (Please note, all perceived misogyny was the result of a couple of bad relationships/break-ups and does not reflect my view on the wonderful and precious gift that is the female gender.)

Nevertheless, with college far behind us, I present to you the letter for MRS degree appreciation month from our bookstore:


September 27, 2005


Dear Ms. MRS Degree Student,

                At the bookstore we think that just because you’re here to lure a man into your clutches shouldn’t mean that you don’t get a discount like everyone else.  Therefore we hereby proclaim this as MRS degree month at the college bookstore.
                Hungry for the latest dating/snaring advice?  Check out our “Relationships” section.  You’ll receive 10% on those and all other books this month.  That discount is on top of the already low price for our featured item this month, the latest book in the I Kissed Dating Goodbye series.  It’s called I French-Kissed Dating Until I Found Someone that I Could Guilt Into Marrying Me.  If that doesn’t hit you where you live, nothing will.
                Even if you’re not in a relationship yet, it’s never too soon to start stocking up on collegiate children’s apparel.  Lucky for you those items and all other apparel are 10% off just for you special ladies.  Buy a new sweatshirt for that special guy you’ve been stalking – oops, pursuing since you stole his while he was sleeping and smell it every night before you go to bed.
                While you’re here, pick up a new Devotional Bible at 15% off.  That way, when your roommate hoodwinks some unwitting young lad into a blind date with you she can at least mean it when she says that you’ve “got a great personality.”  All other Bibles are 15% off for you as well.  Might as well get something thick to read – you could be waiting a while.
                Also this month you can pre-order the latest work by Gary Chapman (author of the bestseller The Five Love Languages).  For just $17.99 you can order his new book The Six Love Animals of Desperate Women.  If you pre-order before November 1st, you’ll receive the study guide companion for free when the book arrives.  The study guide offers note-taking sections and quizzes to help you determine if you’re a Vulture, Lioness, Barnacle, Leech, Black Widow, or Great White Shark as a lover.  Critics call Chapman’s latest work, “genius” and proclaim that men are “dropping like flies or at least like disoriented hikers” thanks to this book’s advice.
                Hurry in!  Last one down the aisle is a rotten egg!

                                                             Your Tag-Em and Bag-Em Bookstore Staff,
                                                             Ann Landers and Dear Abby

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