Girls You Shouldn’t Fall For: The Thanksgiving Edition
For the past ten years, I have always improvised the way I spend my Thanksgiving holiday. It’s been this way since my freshman year of college when my Mom and I decided Christmas would be the holiday for which I would come home and my Thanksgivings would be spent either working or joining up with friends and distant family living on the East Coast.
Some years have been great, like the past two I have spent with my boys, coming together like the brothers we are. Another year I spent with my closest female friend in New York City where we stayed at my brother’s. Then of course there were a couple of girlfriends whose families took me in for the holiday. Always interesting.
But when I think about all the Thanksgivings I spent away from my family, none of them resonate with me more than the first one, my freshman year.
Of course, it involves a girl, a girl I met a week before schools were letting out for the Thanksgiving holiday. She went to Georgetown and like me, she was from California (San Diego to be exact, unlike me). We met where most freshmen meet, at a party, and I took to her almost immediately. Maybe it was the big hair she had. Glasses too. She looked like she would rather be studying than partying, so I walked over to loosen her up.
I can’t even remember the girl’s name, but I do remember, as I mentioned, her hometown, and her birthday, December 12; same day as my girlfriend back home. How this girl and I even started talking about birthdays in our first conversation is beyond me, maybe we were talking about astrological signs or something of that ilk. But December 12. I remember.
Another major talking point: how we were going to spend the Thanksgiving break.
She, like me, was not going back home. She would be in D.C. Feeling gutsy I suggested her and I spend Thanksgiving day together. We’ll go to dinner together is what I suggested and maybe a movie. She luckily didn’t think it was a bad idea, even though we had only been talking for about 45 minutes. Before I left the party, we exchanged information. “So Thanksgiving,” I said. “Thanksgiving,” she said. We hugged, I gave her a quick kiss and 10 minutes later, left the party. All of my boys were bored.
In between the time we met and Thanksgiving, the girl and I talked on the phone everyday and online. By the time Thanksgiving Eve rolled around, we knew all kinds of information about each other. She even knew I had a girlfriend back home.
The girlfriend and I back home were trying make the long distance situation work, but it was going horribly. So horribly, our breakup was inevitable. I was one of those freshmen naive enough to believe I loved a girl enough to stay with her, even if she lived 3,000 miles away. But I was being proven wrong every day we spent apart. Not because of the girl I just met or the other girls I was meeting, I just got tired of missing someone every single day.
Adjusting to being so far away from home for the first time in my life was proving to be difficult. I let my heart stay back home. Of course, the girl from Georgetown wasn’t helping matters either, but in retrospect, the girlfriend I had back home and I didn’t have a chance. I didn’t need another girl close to realize that.
My dormitory had strict visitation rules over the holidays for those who stayed, and when I say strict, I mean, they didn’t allow visitors. Georgetown’s dormitory on the other hand, did allow visitors. Since both of our dorms were complete ghost towns, I asked the girl if I could come visit.
“I want to get to you early,” I said.
“The night before early?” She asked.
“Yeah, right now.” I said.
She thought for a moment, then said, “Okay.”
Without asking her, I decided to pack an overnight bag. I then walked outside and caught a cab across town to Georgetown’s campus.
Nice, I thought as I waited for her to come get me from the big gothic gates at the campus’s main entrance. When she arrived, she gave me a hug then noticed my bag.
“What’s that for,” she asked.
“Umm, I don’t know yet,” I said.
“Hmm mmm,” she said, then rolled her eyes and led the way.
Of course, we all know what happened that night. I think we all know what happened the next day. Thanksgiving was great, and it really wasn’t because of the meal we had.
For whatever reason, there was always a premium put on dating or hooking up with girls from other colleges. I suppose it allowed for a man to enjoy all the beautiful women Howard had to offer while at the same time having an option to leave that beauty in exchange for a portion of it elsewhere. In other words, I think we felt like it made us more worldly.
That whole weekend I definitely immersed myself in another world. The distance from Howard to Georgetown isn’t more than 10 miles, but as anyone who lives in D.C. will tell you, the two campuses feel like they’re on opposite sides of the globe. The entire time I was out there, I felt like I was on a real vacation. When we went to Pentagon City mall the day after Thanksgiving, I even picked up some necessity clothing and took a shower at the Georgetown dorm. It wasn’t until Saturday I went back to my campus.
We both thought a one day break would be good, but two hours hadn’t gone by before I called her, asking if I could come over. She didn’t hesitate to say yes this time, and just as I did the day before Thanksgiving, I packed another overnight bag and hopped in another cab.
I didn’t leave her dorm until 6 o’clock Sunday evening, and I only left because her roommate was coming back to campus within the next hour.
When I arrived back to my dorm, folks who went out of town were all coming back and everyone was talking about their time home. My roommate and the rest of my boys who neighbored my room were all telling their stories, bragging about the food their moms made and the girls they reunited with. Of course, my story was a lot different and a lot better than all of theirs. hooked up with a Georgetown girl.
When I told my friends about her, it wasn’t as some sort of conquest. The Thanksgiving break was special, and the person with whom I spent it was becoming more and more special. What I remember being most remarkable about our time together was how she never brought up my girlfriend. I certainly never thought about the girlfriend either, except for the five minutes I stole that Thanksgiving to call and wish her a happy holiday.
It wasn’t until the following Monday when things were getting back into full swing did the Georgetown girl bring up my girlfriend back home. She said she didn’t think about her until she was telling her roommate about the holiday break and her roommate asked her where I was from.
“So what’s up with you two?” she asked.
“Well, like I told you, I’m going to break up with her,” I said. I further explained the significance of the relationship. The girlfriend back home was the high school sweetheart. We had been together for a long time, so breaking up with her had to be right.
The Georgetown girl accepted this answer initially, but as days passed, the topic of my girlfriend back home came up more and more. The topic of what her and I were doing and whether or not Thanksgiving was just a thing was also more frequent. Then, of course, she asked me if I could come over to her campus for a party she was having on her birthday.
Like most people who are doing wrong, I knew I had to make things right, and I knew one of the requirements was to set the record straight with my girlfriend back home. I didn’t want to tell her about the Georgetown girl, but I did want to tell her I couldn’t keep on doing the long distance relationship thing. Meanwhile, I wanted to tell the Georgetown girl I wasn’t going to her party.
Before Thanksgiving, all I wanted to do was talk to the girl from Georgetown. After Thanksgiving, I started to ignore phone calls and would only talk to her when I was sleepy so the conversations could be brief. I don’t think my feelings for her had changed, it’s just when everything went back to normal, the feelings I had for my girlfriend back home resurfaces. So the real difficulty was the way I felt about two girls, and each day, one would always take up more of my thoughts than the other.
On December 12, the girlfriend back home was the girl I was thinking about most. It was her birthday and I had to confirm flowers were delivered properly and do my best to be a good boyfriend from clear across the country, at least for a day. In the back of my mind, I also knew the Georgetown girl’s party was that night, and since I knew I wasn’t going, I sent her an email before I went to my classes, explaining why and how I felt in general.
I can’t recall all I wrote, but I do remember telling her I still had intentions of breaking up with my girlfriend (for the record, we did break up while I was home for the Christmas holiday) but it was her birthday. I couldn’t do it that day. I also wasn’t sure if breaking up with my girlfriend meant me and the Georgetown girl would be together. There was a lot of other stuff written in the email, because I do remember pouring my heart out, but those were the two main things I remember writing.
When I arrived back from my classes, I signed into my email to see Georgetown girl replied. Like my email I sent to her, it was lengthy, and I must say, well written. There were feelings, a lot of them, and memories from her recollection of Thanksgiving. It was a heavy letter, written with a lot of passion, but I don’t remember any of it word-for-word. To be honest, I’m not even sure any of the conversations I’ve written here are exactly how they were spoken. This was 10 years ago, all of it, so it’s difficult for me to remember the details. The only detail I do remember with 100 percent certainty is the last line I read in the Georgetown girl’s email.
It said: Jozen, I understand you don’t know if you want to be with me and I understand you don’t want to break your girlfriend’s heart because it’s her birthday. What’s a shame is in order for you not to break your girlfriend’s heart, you had to break another girl’s heart on her birthday.
We never talked again.
The Process: My neck is sore again from the free weight exercises I’m doing. But the good news is every girl I hug says they notice I’m losing weight. Also, no posts until next Monday. I’m taking off for the Thanksgiving break. Happy holidays to everyone!
The FOURTEENTH Edition of the POPPIN’ QUESTIONS PODCAST is now UP! Click here to listen.