Sunday, August 31, 2008
Your Black College: New School Year, New Boys
By Joy Leopold
New Year, New Boys
The problem with old boyfriends is that they never go away long enough for you to get your life back in order before they show up again. Maybe you’re at the point that you don’t think about him every time you pass that old tree the two of you once had a picnic under. You even forgot what color his eyes are and which side his dimple was on. You’re well on your way to that special place where out of sight meets out of mind, but before you reach it, he’s back, and with a vengeance.
Maybe you run into each other at the grocery store. You’re in the t-shirt you slept in, and, of course, he looks good enough to eat. He smiles a smile, that perfect smile he used to smile, and suddenly he has you back where you started. Suddenly your unsuspecting and confused mind is spinning. You can’t remember any of the reasons you promised yourself you’d never speak to him again. You can’t remember why you spent weeks screening his calls. You can’t remember anything…
“Hey,” he says. “Hi,” you say. You try to sniff his cologne without him noticing. He doesn’t notice. He’s too busy noticing how you look cute even though you’re in your pajamas. You notice him noticing you and your heart skips a beat. “Aha,” you think, “he’s still hooked.”Still hooked is a good place to have him. Still hooked means you can have him back if you exert a little effort. Still hooked means the two of you could wind up back where you were when there would be no way you could forget the deep brown color of his eyes. Still hooked means your life is in danger of never getting back in order.
But this is a new year. Remember what he did in April that made you so angry you could barely see? And whatever he said in May that made you wish you’d never met him? Yeah, he’s the same. He hasn’t changed. He’s still cute, and you still kind of can’t breathe when you’re around him, but he hasn’t changed. He hasn’t changed and what’s more, he doesn’t want to change, so he’s not going to. If you’re like millions of college-aged girls, your fall semester is just beginning. Your schedule is soon to be filled with new classes in new rooms with new teachers and new classmates. Maybe you’ve got a few new roommates to get to know. And with all this newness, the last thing a girl needs is the same, trifling boys from last semester.
It’s time for 20somethings everywhere to stand up and say, “new year, new boys!” Out with the old, the tired, the trifling, in with the new. Be as happy as you deserve to be or be single!
So you’re in the grocery store, holding your breath, wondering what to do. Make small talk? Try to find out if he has a new girlfriend? Kick him? Mentally shake yourself. “Get it together,” tell yourself. Then, “He’s so not ready for this.” Next, smile a smile, that smile you smile when you know you’re about to win. Say goodbye, and walk away. Look back, just once, to make sure his jaw is touching the ground and once you see that it is, keep going.
And when he calls a few days later, send him to voicemail without hesitation. Listen to the message he leaves, but don’t call him back.
New year, new boys.