Red and Black’s ‘Perfect Husband’ column was satire

Red and Black editor-in-chief Julia Carpenter was at the Charleston RiverDogs-Savannah Sand Gnats minor league game earlier this month when her adviser sent a message with the subject line, “Amber’s column went viral.”

The University of Georgia student newspaper adviser went on to say that Amber Estes’ piece, “How to find that perfect husband in college,” was getting 600 hits per second and CNN wanted to talk to the author. Other media outlets, including “Fox and Friends,” were after her too.

Amber Estes

Amber Estes

The editor left her hot dog at her seat and abandoned the game to deal with the column hoopla.

I started getting emails about Estes’ piece a few days ago. “I’ve seen this circling the internet and a lot of people are wondering if it is real,” one emailer wrote me. “It’s pretty amusing and has gotten a lot of attention.” (It’s logged 148,000 hits so far, a record for a Red & Black opinion piece. Comments were disabled when editors decided the conversation wasn’t going anywhere.)

The column is getting attention because many people aren’t sure if Estes is serious when she advises women on campus to “throw on a nice fitting frocket (one that displays your letters loud and proud) and make sure you look your finest.” She adds: “Trust me, the fellows will come flocking.”

Another Estes tip:

“Let your gent do most of the talking; this way you’ll get a better feel for if he could indeed be the one, and he’ll drive himself crazy wondering what you’re thinking. At the end of the night (after he’s paid the bill and opened all of your doors) leave him with a simple but enticing kiss.”

One part of Step 5: “Bake for his frat brothers, encourage him to do well on his tests, and impress his momma like it’s the last round of recruitment.”

“Is it genuine?” asked Dan Reimold of College Media Matters. “My take: It must be satire.” (The Daily Mail said it “seems to be satirical.”)

One columnist called Estes an insane sorority girl but eventually figured out that “Perfect Husband” was a joke.

“I thought that came across pretty clearly, that this was not to be taken seriously,” says editor-in-chief Carpenter. “I was kind of surprised when I first saw that” people didn’t realize it was satire.”

I couldn’t reach Estes but Carpenter says the public relations major “is ready for her life to get back to normal.”

“She’s handled this so well,” the editor adds. “She hasn’t buckled at all.”

* How to find that perfect husband in college (RedandBlack.com)

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