Well, this is a biggie, considering I had about 50 thousand crushes in college. I mean, BU is just so chock full of good looking guys.
(If you didn’t go to BU, this ellipsis is meant to imply sarcasm. There is NO ONE good looking at BU, unless you want a boyfriend who weighs less than you and is better at arts & crafts.)
Somehow I managed to set my sights on a few men in particular, but I’ll focus on the Duke. I refer to him as such because during a super dorky game of “Tell me something I don’t know about you!” he revealed to me that long, long ago, his ancestors were part of some random royal family. Err. Okay. Um. I felt like such a LOSER, because my thing was that I have a double-jointed arm.
By the way…must preface by saying that despite the Duke’s idiosyncrasies, he was a very good boyfriend most of the time.
First, how we met:
My sophomore year of college I signed up to be a peer advisor for incoming students. One of my duties involved delivering packets of information to freshman dorm rooms and answering any questions. In reality, most of the new students weren’t even there when I showed up, presumably because why on earth would anyone sit around in an air condition-less dorm room in August waiting for a dorky older student to bring them paperwork?? I have no idea why I thought this job was an honorable privilege.
Remarkably, one of my freshman, a kid from China, was there when I showed up. He lived in a triple in this weird, far-off dorm that used to be a hotel. I knocked on the door, which was open (sooo freshman-y) and he motioned for me to come in.
Immediately I was distracted. So distracted I couldn’t even introduce myself to this poor international student.
The decor blindsided me. Covering one-third of the room was what looked like the set of a Ralph Lauren Home campaign. Um, who has ORIENTAL RUGS in their dorm room??? Hanging on the wall were what looked like Moroccan tapestries (or tapestries from some exotic nation, or perhaps Cost Plus World Market) and posters of giant sailboats plowing through mega-waves. I think there may have been oil paintings, but I could be exaggerating. Either way, there were definitely a few sculptures picked up at a European flea market, as well a couple of well-placed plaid throw blankets from Grandmother’s Newport estate.
Parked in front of the bed (where was the dorm bed amidst all the hunter green-and-red linens?) was a vintage ten speed bike…like, the kind you’d expect someone to attach books to with one of those old-fashioned strap things. And by the way, IT HAD ONE OF THOSE OLD FASHIONED STRAPS. Vineyard Vines ties covered the bedspread…I mean, there were so many you could’ve opened a secondhand store geared towards people who enjoy having roman numerals after their name and digging clams for fun. It was as if a member of the Kennedy family had picked these ten square feet to set up a museum exhibit on proper preppy decor.
“So, uh…who’s your roommate?” I slyly asked.
“Oh, the Duke???” (Obviously he didn’t say this, but I’m trying hard to keep Sir Fancy anonymous.) “He’s not here now, but he’s some kid on the sailing team.”
I had been toying with the idea of joining the BU sailing team, mainly because it seemed like exactly the type of jerky, preppy activity that would really round out my college career. The fact that the Duke sailed, not the promise of getting thrown into the sewage-y Charles River in 36-degree weather, was the deciding factor. I would, in fact, join the sailing team.
That very moment, standing in that dorm room, I decided I was going to date this person. It was not an option. I had no clue what he looked like but judging from the decor, the resume and the fact that he was not gay, this guy seemed like he would be the perfect boyfriend.
Hey, guess what? We did end up dating. Here are a few highlights from our year-long relationship:
1. The Duke was very particular about his eating habits. He did not accept typical college fare. I guess growing up with royal lineage means you can’t eat anything less than serrano ham and majorca almonds. Sometimes we would go to Whole Foods, which was not close, and he would purchase these items for a “snack.” He ate more “snacks” than anyone I know. His microfridge (the combination microwave-and-minifridge you can rent from BU!) looked like he had a side job as a wedding caterer in Barcelona.
2. The Duke really enjoyed his wine. By the way, we were both 19, and he was a freshman. Of course, no self-respecting wine enthusiast can drink this fine libation from a regular cup. Oh, no. Our Saturday activity one blustery December weekend was walking to Bed, Bath and Beyond and purchasing a set of wine glasses…for his dorm room. #nosolocupsforthisguy
3. This being my first boyfriend, I had zero expectations. I did not realize it was not normal to dine at expensive restaurants on Newbury St. every weekend…I’m talking places where the cheese course comes AFTER the entree, and is wheeled over on a cart. I did think it was normal to walk down the street with your boyfriend listening to him beg his father for more money because he has to “take his girlfriend out.” After this, we would retreat to his boudoir and watch “Casablanca” while drinking wine out of his Bed, Bath and Beyond glasses. We tried very hard to ignore his roommate Skyping to China ten feet away.
4. Despite this level of chivalry, Mr. Fancy Pants completely forgot about Valentine’s Day. I was about ready to lose it when he approached me in the dining hall at dinner time with a gigantic cookie cake.
“Aww, Duke, you shouldn’t have!” I exclaimed, ready to forgive all.
“Oh…my mom sent me this.”
(Steam coming out of my ears.)
“You want some?”
5. In January, his grandfather passed away. (Not funny.) I was at home for Christmas break when I saw eight missed calls from him. Thinking there was a family emergency related to this death, I immediately called back.
“Duke, what’s wrong?!” I said in a panic.
“Oh my God, Molly, I’ve just had the worst day ever.” He was clearly in distress.
“What happened?! Are you okay?”
“Well, I was out for lunch with my mom and aunt, and I ordered the steak tartare…and they brought me…beef carpaccio.”
6. When we said goodbye at the end of the school year, we didn’t really discuss our “plan” for summer. Obviously he spent the summer in a foreign country doing things like visiting the site where his family’s castle used to stand (I think he said it was pillaged during WWII, but I could be wrong…). Days stretched into weeks without hearing from him. I assumed the relationship was over. But in case there was any doubt, I was lucky to receive this email mid-July:
Subject: Hello. (I’m not making this up…there was a period and everything.)
Message: Dear Molly,
I apologize for being out of touch. There is no excuse. Due to extenuating circumstances I do not think we should remain in a relationship.
Well, wompity womp womp. Onto the next one!