Monday, July 13, 2009

I Have a Doctorate in Dating

I'm getting old. While Toronto isn't exactly a "university town," I live mere steps away from campus, and I'm still enrolled in classes. The fact is, I'm old enough to be a grad student. Technically speaking, I'm old enough to become a Doctor. Since I'm not Margaret Atwood, I can't get a free one from OCAD, so I guess I'll just have to deal with being Toronto's Oldest Undergraduate. My dating life suffers accordingly.

Naturally, since I have a complicated relationship with everything (beards, vegans, cupcakes, Leah McLaren, etc.), my connection to U of T is duly complex. It's like a shoddy boyfriend: usually treats me bad. As in, what's with the fee hike, jerkbags? U of T makes up for it, like, twice a year. After I dumped St. Michael's College for a cheaper, closer and co-ed Innis College, I felt a little better, but the University of Toronto is expensive, huge, and is annoyingly noted for its graduate programs, not its undergrad crowd. Which is sort of like saying my terrible boyfriend will someday make a wonderful husband. If Sex and the City: The Movie taught me one thing -well, two things if you count "Patricia Field is a loon" as one - it was this: the bad boyfriend ain't going to make such a good husband. Even imaginary, academic partners are susceptible.

Now I'm taking an extra year so I can apply for those apparently superb programs, which puts me in classes with people who are, like, a generation younger than I am. Seriously. Can 18 year olds and 26 year olds even sleep together? (yes....but barely.) You know that magic "half your age plus seven" formula that apparently determines if it's okay to snog someone? I am barred from people younger than 19 and a half. That's, like....a lot of people on campus. Many.

I'm going to have to start dating T.A.'s, and that's going to be a total downer. While the female teaching assistants are usually bubbly and hilarious, the dude assistants, with rare exceptions, are complete disasters. Sexually unsure, socially awkward, and self-conscious in a way that echoes the darkest days of middle, these man-boys are generally not my cup of tea. N.B.: I have many suave and sophisticated T.A. pals who happen to be men. Not one studies English. It's possible that I'll luck into a friendship with the one interesting, single, attractive English T.A., but given that roughly 80% of my fellow students own vaginas, the competition will be fierce.

Of course, I could start dating my professors...or venture outside the walled enclosure of U of T to find handsome, silver-haired professionals who don't mind dating a slightly erratic woman in her twenties. Maybe I should go for a slightly more ghetto-fab crowd? I want something different. I want something - someone, excuse me - a touch older. A touch...not this. The last thing I need to do is date a man who says he was born in 1983, but behaves like a fourteen-year-old. I'm surrounded by teenagers as it is.

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