Column: Finding Love in a Mod
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 02:02
In my Capstone class last semester, I was assigned a letter to my future son or daughter, advising them on how to find love. I wrote an eloquent letter to my future children, backed up with absolutely zero personal experience, explaining how to meet people and determine if they are that special someone. As I was proofreading the letter though, I realized that my amazing advice would become useless if my children read the letter at the same age that I wrote it.
My Biblically infused analogy is this: it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a Boston College senior to find love. The hook-up culture is love’s chief nemesis, but seniors face an even more daunting obstacle: graduation. By September, the Class of 2013 will be spread out across the U.S. and beyond. While lust at first sight occurs in the Mods every weekend, love takes time to develop. As professor Kerry Cronin explained at her famed “Bring Back the Date” lecture, seniors have an immovable December deadline to ask people out, since Senior Fives and relationships are mutually exclusive.
I recently confronted this reality at a stoplight party, where people wear green if they’re single, red if they’re taken, and yellow if it’s complicated. As I pushed and shoved my way through a typically loud, dark, and packed Mod party, I suddenly stumbled into a conversation with a girl, wearing a green shirt like myself, who I had considered asking out in the past. In this critical moment, my first thought was, “What’s the point? We’re both graduating in three months anyway.” So instead, I foolishly chose my go-to conversation topic in any situation, and suggested she watch The Wire. Within minutes, the opportunity had vanished and she had left the party. I felt like the Trix rabbit, surrounding by people taunting not that Trix are for kids, but that dating is for postgraduates.
Despite this setback, I still see a light at the end of the tunnel. Before the Notre Dame game, I tailgated with my brother, a BC alum, and his college buddies, none of whom I had seen since my brother’s wedding 10 years prior. As I greeted them in my temporarily clean Mod common room, I had a sudden flashback to the rehearsal dinner before the wedding. My brother’s best man, as well as his former freshman year roommate, was regaling my table with the story of how his parents met. It was a lengthy and mesmerizing story, but I unfortunately only remember the core details. His father was a theology student in Rome, studying to become a priest, and his mother was a foreign exchange student, only in Rome for the semester. Even at 10 years old, I knew enough about the birds and the bees to understand that his parents faced seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Yet there he was, sitting at the table, living proof of the power of love.
Ten years, two wars, and six Boston sports championships passed between that night and the Notre Dame game. That incredible story gradually faded from my memory. However, as I greeted him for the first time since the wedding, his parents’ story jolted back into my consciousness. I was eager to hear the unabridged version again, but alas, tailgating debauchery intervened. Now, as I sit here on Valentine’s Day wearing my metaphorical green shirt for the 21st consecutive year, his story gives me hope. Instead of drowning in self-pity, I am confident that I will eventually find my special someone. I remain skeptical that it will happen before graduation, but if a potential priest and foreign exchange student can find love in Rome, perhaps it may exist at Mod parties after all.