20 , 2000:
Matchmating at Princeton
is it I want
By Emily Johnson '01
I called home after leader
training for my Outdoor Action trip last September and got my dad.
"My OA coleader is Catholic," I say. "How cool is
"Oh, is he nice?"
asks my dad. (yes) "Is he smart?" (yes) "Is he cute?"
I say. "I just met him. Besides, he has a girlfriend."
"I'm sure they'll
break up soon," he says.
My mom gets on the line.
"Dad's had a bit of wine."
I'll say. My dad isn't
even Catholic. And unlike most dads, he usually pays no attention
to my dating life. I'm beginning to suspect that as my graduation
date zooms closer my dad bizarrely worries about my chances of finding
a Princeton spouse.
Statistics on Princeton
marriages float about: 60 percent or 70 percent or 80 percent of
grads marry one another, meeting in school or at Reunions or on
the job. An online senior survey asked if I would be willing to
marry a Princeton grad? Yes or no. I would have given an emphatic
no after freshman year. I'm marrying a public schooler! I declared
rebelliously. But as Princeton dates grow more successful (lucky
for you unattached males out there) I've stopped ruling the idea
Still, as a newly unattached
senior after two years with a wonderful non-Princeton boyfriend,
I'm starting to think about living in New York City with my long-hours,
investment-banker husband. I think about dressing my kids in tiger
costumes for Halloween and toddler-size Princeton sweatshirts for
Reunions. I think about ordering from the U-Store catalogue for
my husband's birthday. I think I am way too young to be thinking
On the other hand, when
I graduate, will there be a dearth of dating prospects? Will I be
working with married people, older people? Will I end up on TV shows
like Blind Date? Will I be starting my life anew and all
alone in someplace like Ohio? I am nervous.
Most of my married family
met their spouses in college. My parents met in a Northwestern dining
hall when my mom was a freshman and my dad a senior. So I look around
Campus club at dinner. My parents were both math majors. I look
around the geology department.
My sister met her husband,
Chad, at UVA's Methodist youth group. I check out my fellow Catholics.
Chad was getting a master's degree. I check out the grad students.
My mom encourages me
to give a very nice postdoc a chance. I would, but I don't think
there's room in my dormlife-tanktop-unpaid-ripped jeans-babysitting-wide
open life for a Ph.D. right now - mine or anyone else's.
says my dad, referring to a friend who dropped by my dorm room while
they were visiting. "He was cute."
I say yet again. "I've got more important things to worry about."
And you know what? I
say to myself. I do. I begin to realize that my future husband,
or his alma mater, or even the possible absence of a postcollege
dating life, are not such big deals after all. I decide my both
my dad and I will just have to wait.
Emily Johnson is warming
up to the idea of being a Blind Date contestant.