I mentioned last week that I left home for college about the time my sister turned nine. She soon found out that she missed me more than she thought she would.
Shortly after I arrived at Middlebury College, my sister wrote me a letter. I don’t have the letter any more, but it made its way into family lore, so I remember the gist of it:
How are you? I am fine. How is college? Fourth grade is fine.
Do you have a boyfriend yet? If not, you’d better hurry up and get one before all the good ones are taken.
Now there are several ironies in this letter. The first, of course, is the presumption of a nine year old giving me advice, although I might agree that I needed some advice in this area of my development at age seventeen. The greater irony, however, is that my sister’s and my romantic relationships during our college years and beyond were remarkably parallel.
No, I did not find a boyfriend in my early college days. In fact, I did not acquire one at all during college. Maybe I let the good ones of Freshman Week pass me by.
When I started law school, both my sister and my younger brother were convinced that the only reason I was continuing my education was to get married. They told many and sundry friends that Theresa was headed to Stanford to find a husband. Finding a job was a distinct secondary goal, in their minds.
And I did find a boyfriend in law school.
Reader, I married him.
So not all the good ones were taken in the freshman year of college. There were a few good ones left for the picking in graduate school.
Not only did I find a husband in law school, but so did my sister. She also, despite her earlier advice to me, did not grab “a good one” in college, but waited until graduate school and married a law school classmate of hers. There were a few good ones left for her also.
The moral of the story is: Do not listen to a nine year old for romantic advice. Wait until she’s twelve or thirteen.
Another moral: Find your good one in your own time. (And mine is still a good one.)
What relationships in your past now cause you to laugh?