|Scully, did you leave the HPLC on? |
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But it just can't be helped, I think. When you get younger people together and heap a bunch of pressure for productivity on top of them, a certain percentage will turn to each other for comfort and understanding. Who better to talk to about your problems than someone who's going through them at the same time, with the same people? Add a smidgen of mutual attraction to that mix and you've got yourself a serious lab romance.
[I should note here that I've never been involved in a lab romance, but I've seen a good number of them. I should also note that most of them are pretty healthy and not too openly demonstrative. We're chemists, after all, not the hot young doctors of Seattle Grace.]
They can have many different outcomes, of course. Some last and grow into long-term relationships with marriage, kids and the whole bit (assuming they solve the two-body problem.) Some end quietly, with no comment given to their friends and awkward silences all around. Some self-destruct spectacularly, with results as entropic as throwing a rotten tomato at a whirring ceiling fan. But get youngish people in an intense, stressful working environment and love (or lust?) will always find a way.
UPDATE: Anon5:13a makes an excellent point. A key catalyst/solvent in these reactions -- ethanol/water mixes. Very, very key.