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The tale of the grad school cad

May 01, 2003|Samantha Bonar | Times Staff Writer

"PITY me that the heart is slow to learn what the swift mind beholds at every turn." So sayeth Edna St. Vincent Millay.

A few months ago I met a nice young man who seemed so promising. He was tall, dark, handsome, smart, funny and generous, and we had lots in common.

Everything was going great; he was saying all the right things, paying me the proper attention. So after a month of dating, I was humming a happy tune.

Then his semester started (he's a grad student), and he did not call for three weeks.

Was he in a terrible accident? Were both his arms in casts? Was he in a coma? Had he lost his memory? I called my mother in Florida.

She is not that maternal, but she'll do in a crisis. While painting her toenails gold, she calmly told me over the phone: "This guy's a trophy hunter. He had you and he's done. Blow up his mailbox."

Luckily for the "trophy hunter," I have never been one to follow my mother's advice.

He sent a few e-mails, but they were growing fewer and further between and more and more impersonal. And still no call. This was the guy who had called the morning after every date to thank me, and who ended each call with "When can I see you again?" Miss Naive was growing perplexed.

I turned to my pal Bryan, who works in a furniture store. Excuse me, a design center. "He has intimacy issues. You need retail therapy. Honey, there's an antique Chinese chest here with your name on it!" he said. One $230 antique Chinese plant stand later, I still had not heard my beau's voice.

Finally, when I could fret no longer, I e-mailed my onetime suitor and in the nicest possible way asked what was up.

He said he had no idea how demanding the semester would be and, though he had good intentions when he began seeing me, he simply did not have time to sustain a relationship now.

Was this the same guy who had e-mailed me seven pages of kiss marks the day after he took me to meet his family? I felt like I had been the victim of a romantic hit-and-run.

I showed the e-dump to my friend Don, who assured me: "If a man, no matter how busy he is, can't make time for someone as intelligent and beautiful and fabulous as you, then he is not worth your time.

"Now put down that knife."

I guess I had inadvertently had a fling, because here I was flung aside like yesterday's newspaper.

There was only one small consolation in this story of the once-and-no-future boyfriend. As Garrison Keillor said, for writers there are no bad experiences. There is only material.

He who has fled has now become fodder.

Samantha Bonar can be reached at

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