Sex and the BX
By Fiona Shea
ONCE UPON A TIME, A [FORDHAM] JOURNALIST LIVED IN NEW YORK - Carrie Bradshaw
At a school like Fordham, many students grow fond of city living and decide to continue their urban lifestyles with a southern, post-grad migration to the island of Manhattan. To stay in the city is one thing, but to lock down a well-paying job, an apartment, a plan...that’s something totally different. The decisions that second semester seniors are forced to grapple with can be exhausting and anxiety-provoking as we slowly approach a serious destination. One that looks nothing like an overcrowded Bronx tiki bar that yields boundless safety hazards.
Amidst my questioning and doubting, I thought of my friend Stephanie. Stephanie graduated from Fordham last May. After the ceremony she posted a picture on Keating steps with the caption, “F*ck Your Cords.” She landed a job after graduation as a PR assistant, despite the sheer absurdity of her senior year. Her ability to never miss a drink-up or darty while simultaneously receiving multiple job offers...that’s the second semester energy I wanted to harness.
Stephanie was originally from Long Island, but she had a hint of endearing grunge to her boujeeness that gave her a little bit of city edge. When she studied in Granada her junior year, she proudly reported that she hooked up with this semi-famous Spanish guy. She told me she’d “call him up sometimes just so he could speak to me in his accent.” The bouncers at Howl knew Stephanie by name. She always got Kamikaze shots for free, and would generously hand them out to surrounding friends as if to say, “I know I’ll be getting more of these later.”
I knew I needed Stephanie’s ultra-confident mind to enlighten me on how I should execute the most socially, romantically, and professionally advantageous final semester of college.
MONOGAMY IS ON ITS WAY OUT AGAIN. IT HAD A BRIEF COMEBACK IN THE 90s, BUT AS THE MILLENNIUM APPROACHES, EVERYONE’S LEAVING THEIR OPTIONS OPEN. - Stanford Blatch
I met Stephanie in Howl. “Her kingdom” she called it when she arrived. After unfolding Stephanie’s night before graduation (she didn’t even go to sleep), scrolling through Senior Ball pictures I had already seen, and nodding blandly every time she uttered, “It’s so weird to be in Howl right now,” my older and wiser confidant attempted to gift me with some sage advice.
“Don’t take relationships too seriously right now,” she said as she leaned over the table. “That’s no fun.”
“Right,” I nodded in agreement. Of course, Stephanie knew how to navigate the foggy mix of emotions that arise when one becomes a second-semester senior. I mean, she did it before. She had me mesmerized as she divulged this whole entire saga about her friend “who dated a guy all of senior year, JUST so he could break her heart by making out with some chick in a jacuzzi over spring break.” She continued to tell me very explicit, very personal details about this relationship I definitely should never have known. “He’s an asshole,” she announced as she ripped her silver Juul and puffed the vapor right into my face without even noticing.
Later that night I got to thinking, Was Stephanie right? Is second semester senior year the time to avoid seriousness at all costs, even in the romantic sense? Is it time to welcome makeouts in Mugz’s and post-games with unusual characters; casual anythings and everythings? On many fronts, we soon-to-be graduates are forced to assume the responsibility of our seniority. But, maybe we could deceive the painful conversion into adulthood by reverting to our younger ways, and going out with the most college-like bang possible.
WELCOME TO THE AGE OF UN-INNOCENCE - Carrie Bradshaw
After our conversation, I spent the next few weeks manifesting my singleness and youth. I ordered a round of Kamikaze shots, served them out to friends, and left the bartenders a fat, drunken tip. I had to pay for the shots, of course, as my clout flew way below that of Senior Year Stephanie. Despite the lack of promised Venmo reimbursements, it was an investment that paid off.
I was taking back the negligence and recklessness that second semester senior year had pulled out from under me. I spent 10 dollars at the jukebox to queue “7 Rings” and I don’t even remember ever hearing it play. My freshman year self would be proud of this irresponsibility and lack of frugality.
The sudden revisitation to my juvenescence urged me to start going out on Tuesdays again. My friends and I relished in drinking “Woo Woos” bought by sophomores wearing Patagonia vests and Sperry’s, spitting nonsensical compliments that shattered our eardrums. I dove deep into my wardrobe to re-circulate crop tops and tank tops and tube tops - but wore them without a coat. I sported the same “liquid blanket” that used to keep me warm during the long voyages from Alumni Court South to the infamous Blend.
My former senior self would never have entertained a late night “WYD” Snapchat. But my reincarnated, effervescent senior self? Oh, she was the one sending them. Not as individual dispatches either. She was pumping out mass snaps left and right. I began assembling a seductive and fierce online ego. A thirst trap Instagram post with the caption, “Leave your girlfriend, I’m bored,” was raking in likes and leaving me with a blissful, dopamine-infused social media high.
Gosh, how good it felt to be young again. The maturing thought of finding a monogamous partner had been washed away with gulps of Four Lokos and bad, wet kisses with strangers. One night I witnessed a lovers’ quarrel in Ram’s that involved a styrofoam box of chicken and rice strewn across the deli floor. A truly tragic episode that had me feeling so content in the freedom of my singleness, that I faced a Bad Girls sandwich and headed back to the bars for a second round of surveying the scene and seeing who on my mass Snapchat list was still mingling about.
My discussion with Stephanie was like a form of divine intervention. She saved me from a dull, boring plateau to my collegiate career.
Under the spell of yet another Mugz’s drink-up, I found myself entangled in a heart-to-heart with a young bro. He told me about his hopes and dreams of making a lot of money. And living in New York City. He wanted to make a lot of money, and live in New York City. That’s pretty much as far as we got before he invited me to smoke weed with him on Eddie’s. Being single, fun, and having less than 100 nights of college left, of course I agreed.
Since I live off-campus, walking to Eddie’s felt a little unnatural. I quickly suppressed my paranoia and indulged in the spontaneity that was my new life. This is so fun and collegiate I told myself. The grass was wet so the young bro and I awkwardly stood in the middle of the quad, talking for a few minutes.
“Aw shit, I don’t have a lighter,” the bro revealed reluctantly. “Oh, or weed. I don’t have any weed either.”
Moving far beyond the point of being perturbed, I realized that all I had gotten out of this interaction was that I learned what the difference is between a hedge fund and an investment bank.
“What the f*ck am I doing,” I thought to myself. I looked around at the empty campus. “I’m not even wearing a coat. It’s February and I’m not wearing a f*cking coat.” Before I departed the young bro and I hugged, which almost made the whole situation one million times worse.
ABSO-F-ING-LUTELY - John James “Mr. Big” Preston
The next morning I woke up exactly sixteen minutes before the start of my class. Without a mere sip of water to remedy my seemingly shriveled and dehydrated brain, I quickly walked to campus. Passing Pete’s Café I couldn’t help but notice the couples eating breakfast through the large, glass windows.
“I bet they’re not hungover”, I thought to myself as I made eye contact with one of the girls. She was smiling and drinking orange juice and looked extremely classy and nice. She may have been the most nice-looking girl I’d ever seen. “I bet she has a freaking job after graduation, too,” I badgered myself. I then ran across Fordham Road while the hand signal flashed orange, and nearly got hit by a Bx12 bus.
Marinating in my mid-class hangover, I realized what I really needed, in that very tender, very agonizing moment, was carbs.
“Anyone wanna go to Pete’s?” I texted my group chat of girlfriends.
I checked my phone sporadically within the next fifteen minutes, expecting positive replies of consensus each time. To my surprise, no one even emphasized it.
“Please, I’m desperate,” I followed up. Sure enough, three likes on the message. Good friends can digitally sense true anguish.
For the rest of class, I imagined myself drinking orange juice like the nice, classy girl with the probably perfect boyfriend and probably remarkable job. I bet she had the exact position I wanted. Maybe even dated the boy of my dreams. I started to hate her.
At Pete’s, I briefed my three loyal companions on Stephanie’s counseling and the Kamikaze shots and the weedless, young bro. They laughed at me, which was deserving, so I sucked down my OJ until the teasing faded. My friend Catherine recognized my detached state and attempted to inspire me:
“You gotta stop talking to sophomores, c’mon! There are so many good guys in our grade!” There was a brief hush that came over the table.
“Like who?” chimed in Marissa, a very astute Gabelli mogul. “You’re only saying that because you have a boyfriend.”
Catherine became flush.
“I am not! All I’m saying is, don’t try on Manolo Blahnik heels if you know you’re not gonna buy them. That’s a waste of time. Like this young bro character. You know you don’t want anything to come out of that, or out of any other of these shenanigans.”
Marissa rolled her eyes.
“But shenanigans can be fun,” she laughed.
Catherine shrugged, dismissing Marissa’s comment.
“Yeah… But getting a really nice, really cute pair of shoes you really want,” said Catherine, “That’s way more fun. You know you want platform Doc Martens. So buy platform Doc Martens!”
IT’S TRUE. I’VE BEEN DATING SINCE I WAS FIFTEEN, I’M EXHAUSTED. WHERE IS HE? - Charlotte York
Catherine had a point. I did want platform Doc Martens. I didn’t want new Air Force 1s or Vans or Frye boots or black booties. And, although it’s fun to shop around, to try on different styles and mosey around the store, is that just a pure waste of time? Of precious, second semester senior year time?
Later that night, as my roommates departed for pizza and pregames and parties, I lingered back, constructing a careful scheme. I lotioned; I hydrated; I cleaned my room; I sprayed this really delightful-smelling mist all over my apartment. I was practically prepared for anything the universe wanted to bring me.
I could Snapchat him, I could send a text, I could call if I really wanted to be forward. For the sake of the story, let’s call “him” Dr. Marten. Dr. Marten was about the furthest thing away from being a doctor, but because of the analogy, the nickname survives. This particular Fordham boy was well-known and well-liked, charismatic in his friendliness and almost magnetic in his flirtatiousness. He was the perfect blend of douchey and nice boy. Our informal rendez-vous had never really struck me in a serious way. But, after hearing Catherine’s differing perspective, and the image of the classy orange juice girl burned into my bitter brain, I thought maybe attempting to add some maturity to the dynamic wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all.
I went with a text, to Dr. Marten that is, to which he replied two full hours later. He apologized for the delay, that he was “smoking and chillin w the boys,” and that - no, he “didn’t know what [his] moves were for the night.”
Hmm, alright. Slightly put off by his word choice and unexpected lack of interest, I, too, waited an extended period of time before replying. In the meantime, I stalked all of my old crushes on Facebook, made failed attempts at Facetiming multiple friends, and watched a YouTube video on Bella Hadid’s diet. Feeling confident in my allure, I texted back, inviting Dr.Marten over after he wrapped up with “the boys.” I anxiously waited for over an hour, but when I still received radio silence, I nearly swore off second semester all together.
Maybe I should drop out. Or maybe I should try to date one of his friends. Or maybe I should go downtown and find an older, established boyfriend who wouldn’t do me like this. Or maybe the young bro is reachable. Maybe he has weed now. The melodramatic ideas ceased, as they always do, after fooling with impractical fantasies and travelling far beyond the reality of the situation.
I then did what any sensible senior would do, any sensible person would do, which was get up, spray some more of that delightful-smelling mist, and make my way over to Rams.
WHAT’S THE BIG MYSTERY?... - Miranda Hobbes
Too hungry to wait until I got back to my apartment, I unravelled my Bad Girls and began eating it outside of the deli. I watched as girls and guys, together and separate, younger and older, bros and anti-bros, skipped across Fordham Road and danced in the late-night glimmer of the street lights. It struck me then that the best part about college is that there isn’t a set choreography for a spectacular performance. There isn’t a manuscript on how to date or how not to, on who is worth my time or who isn’t. The lack of social rules and restrictions makes room for the best mistakes and misfortunes, the funniest of stories and sagas. I realized that the only way to sabotage my last semester, the only way to finish with a dull, boring plateau to a collegiate career, is by trying too hard to make something happen. Whether it be ordering Kamikaze shots when I don’t really like Kamikaze shots, wearing an uncomfortable, coatless outfit, engaging in a forced smoke sesh on Eddie’s, or taking on a lifestyle that isn’t my own - the stress only comes from abandoning the person I’m becoming and the path that I’m on.
And remember, in the words of Carrie Bradshaw: “The most exciting, challenging, and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself.”