Occupy My Heart

19Jan12

Goodbye eHarmony.com. Hello eOccupy.com.

RƎVO⅃UTION - Occupy BostonThe January 16, 2012 Boston Globe Metro section featured the touching story of a romance that bloomed in the Occupy Boston encampment before the 99 percent were forced out of Dewey Square by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and the forces of the evil one percent.

The Globe described Anya Karasik, 18, and Robert Stitham, 25, as the “archetype of an Occupy couple: he a redheaded Mainer with tattoos on his arms; she, a petite upstate New York girl with a heart-shaped face and a boyish haircut, wearing a knit grandmother sweater three sizes too big.”

They sound positively adorable, don’t they?

When the Globe interviewed them, the happy pair had known each other for 11 days and had been a couple for three.

“Everyone,” Stitham told the Globe, “was like, dude, you guys should get together.”

Totally.

Karasik calls Stitham “Red,” because of his red hair, the Globe felt the need to explain.

Occupy Boston: GandhiDespite knowing Red for only a few days, Karasik “felt as if he was one of her closest friends,” according to the Globe. “He’s, like, the first real person I’ve met in a long time,” she said. For an 18 year-old, that’s saying something.

Karasik and Stitham are just one of many couples for whom romance bloomed at Occupy, the Globe affirmed.

“It was not long,” the Globe reported, “before Occupiers were stealing kisses at the food tent, holding hands during general assemblies, cuddling on the bench near the Gandhi statue.”

Bringing a smile to the Mahatma’s lips, no doubt.

Now that Occupy Boston and other camps around the country have ended, “those who found love among the tents are struggling to keep the flame alive,” the Globe lamented.

Bummer, man.

To a generation whose romantic dealings revolve around a maze of electronic communications and social networking web sites like Facebook, the Globe explained, romances that sprung up at Occupy camps “seemed much realer.”

StarbucksKarasik contrasted her experience with meeting someone at Starbucks.

“You’re not just going to go up to them and start hugging them and swinging them around and stuff in the middle of Starbucks,” she told the Globe. “There’s a lot of social restraints, but at Occupy, everyone’s, like, free.”

Unlike those Starbucks boot camps.

But there is trouble in paradise, the Globe reports.

Karasik’s parents have pushed her to enroll in community college, so she’s living at home again in upstate New York, according to the Globe, and Red is looking for work in Maine or Boston. She and Red are carrying on a long-distance romance, but it’s not the same as sleeping in a tent with somebody you just met.

She feels ignored when he doesn’t reply to her texts, the Globe says, and he worries that the girl who jumped into his sleeping bag after knowing him for barely a week might flirt with guys from back home.

Karasik admitted to the Globe that if she had gone to school last fall instead of joining the Occupy camp, things would have been different.

“I wouldn’t have met Red,” she says, “and that would have been awful because he’s so wonderful.”

And stuff.

[This column originally appeared in the January 19, 2012 Wakefield Daily Item.]

Addendum: According to a January 19, 2012 Boston Herald story, Robert “Red” Stitham is a Level 3 sex offender.

Occupy Boston tents photo by Sam Marshall.
Gandhi statue photo by Tim Pierce.

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One Response to “Occupy My Heart”

  1. 1 anhinga

    You must be hip. You captured the Occupiers perfectly. Enjoyed this.


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