That stands for Michigan Inbreeding Syndrome, as cutely coined by Liyu. While not a term that rolls off the tongue and makes you want to repeat without end, indeed the situation is dire for the Singaporean residents of Michigan. M.I.S is analogous to the saying “Build it and they will come.” Likewise, throw a bunch of Singaporeans together in a university town and attachments inevitably form.
Two years in Michigan have provided enough juicy stories to write a novella, but is that so bad? Interrogations with my friends studying in local, Singaporean universities have produced the wildest tales, far kinkier than the typical Michigan fare. Be it Singapore or elsewhere, bonding is unavoidable — everybody know that — but is the sake of having companionship superior than experiencing the wonder of true love?
Spending time at each other’s rooms because you live in the same corridor, or snacking at the same dining hall, over the span of two weeks, does not count as falling in love. Convenience of location doesn’t constitute love. If you have to ask why, ask yourself if someone can compress a lifetime of flaws, fortunes and failures into two weeks. First it takes a moment of magic to fall in love, then it takes as long as a lifetime to really know someone. The test of love arrives when after knowing all the ugliness in someone, you still love him/her anyway.
No, I’m not immune to M.I.S, but maybe its effects on me haven’t been that intoxicating. The only difference is I’ve tried to treat my likings for Michigan girls with patience, and keep the fires under wraps to avoid the onslaught of gossip. That said, my third and last year in Michigan is upon me. After this, finito to finding a life partner from University. It’d be a sad, unfulfilled dream if I left Michigan without coming within three sniffs of a potential wife. But what can I do?
Let M.I.S run riot or pray really, really hard.