I love Spring as much as the next person. I love when it gets warmer and the days get longer. I love retiring my parka for a few months and opting for a lighter jacket that’s not nearly as heavy. I love that my car isn’t buried in the snow, and that my seasonal affective disorder has taken a hiatus. I love showing off my very pale, very translucent legs in my favorite tennis skort that I wear 5-6 times before washing. Do I play tennis? No. Is this hands-down the most functional item of clothing I own? Absolutely.
In a few short months, after years and years of stress, I will be graduating from college. I know, I’m not supposed to say ‘graduating’ because I go to UVA and we like to be elitist and use exclusionary language, and learning is supposed to be forever, but I’m sorry TJ. Once I get that diploma, this girl is done learning for a while.
The worst year of my life started when I walked on Grounds in the stiff August heat to move in to my first year dorm (sans AC). Red-faced, insecure, and awkward, I felt like an intruder on an intimate scene--as if I had just walked into someone else’s life and didn’t know how to leave.
I am tired of spunky heroines and one-dimensional love interests. I am neither of these types of woman, and it is not often that I see myself reflected in literature. This is because, like most women, I am anything but perfect. If I were to be a character, I would sleep until noon and sometimes say things I shouldn’t. I would, at times, not be courageous enough to say the things I should. I would procrastinate writing a paper and watch too much reality television.
And... just like that February came and went. The month of love. The last month of winter and— oh yeah did I mention Black History Month? A month when we spend 28 long, delicate days dedicating every single minute, of every single hour to the figures and movements of the past, present and future that celebrate black culture.
Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, echoed the sentiment of all of us when she said, “Personally, I love a good love story.” Ali McGraw melted our hearts when she told us, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” James Joyce had us utterly confused when he explained, “Love loves to love love.”
The moment I realized I was in love for the first time floats into my memory more often than I’d like it to. It was summer in a small hometown with a boy. But more than that, there was me, frozen with overwhelming self-awareness and recognition of feeling. I had read every teen romance novel and seen every romantic comedy the world had to offer and lived with idyllic impressions of love circling my brain for years. Standing there, with the conscious thought of “you are in love” in my mind, I felt mainly discomfort.
When I tell people I’m never getting married, their faces usually look something like this:
The equation is seemingly simple: woman = desire to get married = one day married. Their brains are running around in confusion trying to figure out why in the world a woman wouldn’t want to put on a white dress and say “I do.”