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OP-ED: I Am Quitting Under the Button Because I Am in Love with My Coworker

Photo by Arman Murphy

I'm graduating in May — man, saying that still sounds unreal — and I've been dreading it just as many seniors are. I'm scared of having to be a real adult and live in the real world, especially since I still don't know what I want to do with my life. What's even worse, though, is the thought of having to say goodbye to all the amazing people that I've been lucky enough to meet at Penn.

A lot of those amazing people I've met through Under the Button. Writing articles has been a great way to escape from the stresses of college life and to irreparably tarnish my digital footprint, rendering myself unemployable forever. That being said, isn't the real unemployment the friends I've made along the way?

Unfortunately, the time for goodbyes has come sooner than I thought. I'm quitting Under the Button, effective immediately. It's the hardest decision I've ever had to make, but it's the right one for me right now. I'm losing UTB, and all the great friends I've made through it, but only because I've found something even more important: the love of my life.

I kind of knew him before joining UTB, but it wasn't until I joined that I really got to know him. Every time he texted me to scold me for not submitting pitches on time, every time he told me he liked an article of mine, and any time he texted me at all, really, my heart would flutter. It still does.

Our first date was awkward (aren't they all!) partially because we had never hung out outside of work, but mostly because of our height difference (I'm about six feet tall, he's around four foot). We made it work, though, and our next one was better. And the next even better.

I may not know what I want to do after graduation, but I do know one thing: I am in love with my coworker. Love is a strong word, I know, but that's why I use it. When I go to bed, I think about him — his diminutive stature, his endearingly short legs, how short he is — and when I wake up I do the same. And whenever I think about his inability to reach things on the top shelf, the way he pretends to be a 12 year old at the movie theater so he can pay the child rate, or the cute face he makes when the bouncer at Smokes laughs at him and rips his real ID in half, I feel more certain that this is who I want to spend the rest of my life with.

It's been a wild ride, everyone, one that my soulmate is probably not tall enough to ride. Thanks to all my coworkers who've been such good friends to me. Thanks to my editors for helping me grow as a serious writer and for being so supportive. And thanks to everyone who's read my articles and, more importantly, liked them on Facebook — the validation has inflated my ego to a size I didn't think possible. 

Remember me, and feel free to re-share my articles every once in a while.

UTB, I'll miss you.

Seth Fein, I love you.