Owen Baxter, Writer

    Public Display of Affection, more commonly known as PDA, is a gesture made by someone to show the world just how much they love their partner. It ranges from the standard hand holding or hug, to pretty unspeakable things that look like they just came out of A24’s newest adult romance flick.

    And those unspeakable things are, frankly, gross.

    Now, it isn’t horrible to happen to be in public with the one you love, or so you think, and giving them a quick peck or a hug before you walk into your next class. Where it strikes a very out of tune chord, is when you’ve been standing for the entire passing period swaying back and forth with your arms wrapped around each other, or when we can literally see the spit being swapped between the two of you.

    It’s distracting. No one wants to look up from their English essay and wonder if they accidentally bought a front row seat to a lap dance. The worst part is, you can’t even look away; the repulsion coming up in the form of your lunch is enthralled by the sheer idea that someone’s got enough gall to do what they’re doing, right in front of you.

    Think of school like a job, where you would never do something like that. The long term goal, or at the very least, idea, is that we’re in an environment to learn and complete work, to build skills meant for the future, not so that you can spend the day in the arms of your partner giggling about the way they look at you. And certainly not for a very visual representation of exactly what they tell us not to do in health class.

    However, this isn’t a prompt for publicly shaming or ridiculing the people you see with their tongues down each other’s throats. As frustrating and uncomfortable as it is, there are ways to express your annoyance without being outright insulting. Let them know that there’s a time and a place for things like that, and it’s not here. And hey, not only have you maintained your sanity and avoided bullying someone, but it’s also pretty likely that you’ve given them just enough embarrassment to save someone else from witnessing something that will forever be engrained in their brain.

    Speaking of uncomfortable, as sure as we are that it’s pretty awkward to, as an adult, move along two teenagers who are French kissing enough to bring down the Eiffel Tower, it’s probably vaguely mentioned somewhere in the job description. Administration and even staff can help minimize Northtown’s discomfort by telling hormonal students to save their undying affection for later. It’s way more likely for a couple of harlequined teenagers to give it a rest when someone who’s “been there, done that,” nudges them down the “wait until school’s out,” avenue.

    Just be mindful. A goodbye kiss before you see them again in eighteen hours? Go for it. Holding hands while you walk to lunch? Sure. An action widely regarded as something you save for when you’re at home? Maybe not so much. If you wouldn’t do it in front of your parents, spare your peers too. Because at the end of the day, whether it’s your best friend or the principal walking by in the hall, no one wants to see it.