After a long and winding google search that stemmed from this story about swim tests at colleges (which I myself had to endure and did not pass until my senior year, having attended one of the schools that still requires it for graduation), I wound up on this page: USMA Girlfriends. According to the website, it “was formed in order to provide girlfriends of West Point cadets with a place to come and share their feelings about what goes on in their relationships and lives… [they] enjoy helping through hardships, making long distance a bit easier to handle and sharing in your happy times you have with your cadet.”
This shit is amazing. I spent upwards of an hour reading this website and its guides to being the girlfriend of (most definitely male) cadets in their various years at West Point. It supplies very thorough advice for how to best support “your cadet,” including what to wear to the various W.P. events (“bring a wide variety of clothes. Most things are dress down. But you will want a promish, formal dress for the dance!”), where to get your hair done when you’re in town, and even how to send your letters to him: “Do Not do anything that would make him stick out (stickers, colored envelopes, flowery stamps). Stick to white paper & envelopes, black or blue ink and a flag stamp.” It also is fairly revelatory as to what goes down at W.P. For instance, did you know that all Cows (as third-years are called) receive a $30,000 loan right before spring break, to spend on whatever the hell they want? I sure didn’t!
Also, the girls all look exactly like the preppy white girls who made up the larger part of my all-girls Catholic high school. I half-expected to see one of my schoolmates on the site.
While reading this stuff, I actually experienced this strange, fleeting desire to be a male West Point cadet with a girlfriend who reads this site. Temporary insanity induced by overdoses of heteronormativity, patriotism, cutesy flowery background images and bad clip-art, I tell ya.