Sorry, Mom and Dad. Another year has rolled by and there’s still no special someone to introduce you to.
Before I set out for college, my parents were so thrilled by the possibility of including another person in Whitesell Family Events that my father sat me down to give me the speech.
“Julie, when you go to college, you’re going to be meeting some guys, and likely dating some guys and… um… you should know that there are some fundamental differences between guys and girls.”
“Good God, Dad. I know…”
“Julie, I guess what I’m trying to say is… guys have testosterone and girls have estrogen. Sometimes this testosterone causes men to become aggressive. And guys don’t like the word ‘no.'” My dad stammers some unintelligible nonsense, as he tends to do when he’s nervous.
“Basically, Julie, if a guy ever tries to hit you… I will destroy him! And so will your brother.”
I was so touched.
Then I arrived at college, and every time I call home mentioning a guy’s name, immediately I sense my mom’s ears perk up. Example:
“So I ended up watching a movie with (insert boy’s name here).”
“Oh?! (boy’s name)!!! What’s his story?”
“Mom, there is no story. (Boy’s name) is (a) gay (b) just a friend (c) a jackass (d) a nerd.”
After repeating the above scenario ad nauseum, my parents started to give me dating advice.
Dad: “Julie, if you really want to get the guys, you should start wearing those tall platform boots to class.” Oh you mean, my hooch boots? Yeah, that would totally be appropriate for class. Plus, I hear that cleavage is totally out, and height is totally in these days. Thanks, Dad.
Mom: “Julie, you just need to start hanging out at the Law School or the Med School. I really think more mature men would appreciate you.” Yeah, reading silently in the Law library is totally conducive to meeting men. That sounds like a great plan … No, no it doesn’t. Thanks, Mom.
But my dad was totally wrong when he said I would likely be dating. In fact, I’m the only one of my friends who isn’t attached. I’m used to being a third wheel; now that I’m a seventh wheel, I know I need to do something.
I survey my seminars for potential men. What do I find? Men who are pretentious, not attractive, just a friend, out of my league, gay, a dumb jock, attached at the hip to his girlfriend, That Kid in section, and shorter than me (and that’s saying something). So much for that idea.
People say my expectations are too high. I say “my ass.” But maybe they’re right. I should be going for paraplegics and stutterers.
The problem I have is making the transition from friend to “significant other,” or at least a “someone worth mentioning.” I try to tell myself, if you want a cock, you can’t be a chicken. Now I’m a modern woman; I’ll pay for my own dinner and open my own door, and you don’t even have to buy me flowers, but you sure as hell better make the first move.
But here at Yale, the chances of that happening are about as thin as Lara Flynn Boyle. So the burden rests on my shoulders. The question is: how do you go about being cool enough to ask a guy out without really asking him out? In other words, how do you propose to get together, allowing the possibility of it taking a romantic turn, but preparing for ego damage if nothing happens? A delicate balance, my friends.
I have no answer to this question. Instead, I turn to my own friends for direction. They too are clueless. But at least they help to draw out maps involving X’s and O’s, and arrows connecting various residential colleges, circling around Koffee Too?, arriving at my apartment, and ultimately into my pants.
Now YaleStation has a solution. I figure if everybody is doing it, why not mount the bandwagon? So I fill out the ridiculously long questionnaire and check my matches. What do I find? Nobody came up. Yep, that’s right. Nobody. I’m not compatible with a single person at this school. My friend told me I just have to check back, but I can’t bear the pain of rejection twice.
The big problem is: I hate to disappoint my parents. You’d think I’d be over it after not being able to play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” after three years of piano lessons. It’s not like they ever asked me to be at least mediocre at playing the piano. It’s not like they ever asked me to find a guy from school who they could meet. But still.
So I stretched the truth and told them about “Scott,” my boyfriend. Now they’re flying out to visit me in two weeks and have dinner with “Scott.”
I’ll take this opportunity to advertise for the position of “fake boyfriend,” which will be paid in dinners at Scoozi. The interview process will include an oral test and a brief physical. Requests for applications can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Otherwise, “Scott” will have to break up with me.
While I have free advertising space, the position of “real boyfriend” is also available. A thorough physical examination is expected.
Julie Whitesell is a registered nurse. She even has a uniform.