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'Falling in love' may be more realistic than most people think

Nov. 1, 2006

By CHRISTINE TAMER

You feel eight inches taller, five years younger and 80 college credit hours dumber, but you don't care. You couldn't care if you tried. Despite the bitter protests to eliminate Valentine's Day, the desperate attempts to justify eating ice cream out of the carton and the numerous cooties shoots you received as a child, you are currently mesmerized.

It can't be love. No way. You are too young. It is too fast.

Where are the shooting stars and the chirping birds and the prancing ponies? All I see is an overflowing trash can, a spilled beverage and a winding line for the bathroom. Ew, is that a Nelly CD playing? Seriously, it smells like we are physically in a Taco C. It is loud and crowded and the floor is sticky, but hold on a second. That's him. Wow, he is just so ... perfect.

College romance -- maybe it is overrated or maybe it is underrated. I am not sure. I just know that somehow everyone wants it. It's hard to pinpoint. Some of us seek a mere date to that fraternity function. Others of us want just one fun night out on the town. A few of us would be satisfied with awkward small talk over a meal at Chili's Too. But some of us, we want the college fairy tale.

Look at my Baylor scrapbook, kids. This is us eating dinner together our first weekend of freshman year. Oh, and here we are at homecoming. Ha, we look so young. Can you believe what we wore to semi-formal that year? Here is Dad proposing on the quad. He lined it with roses and candles.

College romance -- it's that motivating confidence. It's that smile; the one only drawn by a certain person's text message. It's that first time you hold hands, the first time you refer to your relationship as "us," the first time you go home for fall break together, the first time you sign the card "l-o-v-e" instead of "luv."

It's exciting. It's new. She is nervous. He is terrified. She was supposed to be 28. He was supposed to be 35. He was supposed to be taller. She was supposed to be from the south. I wanted to move to New York next year. I wanted to go to California. Now I have to change my 10-year plan. There goes my future bachelor's pad.

Personally, I did not go to college to get the ring by spring or the MRS degree. I did not want to find "the one." It wasn't supposed to happen like that. The timing was off. The lighting was all wrong. The movie was awful. But somehow, it happened. I fell in love with the most amazing person I have ever met. He is my best friend in the entire world, and suddenly I find myself looking at Brides magazine, baking him cookies and totally throwing the PDA rules out the window.

According to my parents, "college is the best time of our lives." We are surrounded by smart, intriguing, exciting and eccentric people.

Maybe she is here. Maybe he is here, but you won't know unless you have an open mind. It doesn't always fit into your five-year forecast. It is nothing like the movies. You probably won't see stars and white horses, but maybe, if you are lucky, you'll fall hard.

College romance -- upon graduation, I saw myself wearing a business suit, standing in the line at Starbucks, keeping my cell phone on 24/7, waking up early, leaving late, catching taxis and focusing on flying solo. Plans change.

Christine Tamer is a junior journalism major from Colleyville.