@nd.edu: The Notre Dame love story

Author: Tara Hunt ’12

Tara Hunt

One last hug before you wiggle into the overstuffed car and say goodbye with tears streaming down your face. You, a puffy-eyed, heartbroken freshman, pull up to Notre Dame, already missing your true love and high school boyfriend. But he’ll visit next weekend and you’ll visit the first time ND has an away game — or so you’ve planned.

While standing in line for your student i.d., the tall boy behind you asks where you’re from. You give him a disgusted look and wave your Claddagh ring; you’re obviously in a serious relationship and not interested in his small talk.

But Domerfest is the next night and you’re forced to talk to many of your male comrades. Your boyfriend can’t be mad if it’s required, right? And you just panicked when you accidentally gave the boy from Zahm your phone number. It didn’t mean anything. He won’t be mad, right? Wrong. After a few missed Skype dates and nightly fights about that girl who keeps texting him, it’s over. Your soul mate is gone and you’re crying into your fro-yo as your roommates assure you it’s better to date an ND boy anyway.

Three weeks later he wants you back, but that boy from Zahm called and wants to have lunch with you in the dining hall — you’ve moved on. Over mac ‘n’ cheese, he awkwardly invites you to his SYR. In pink spandex and leg warmers you dance the night away to 80’s hits, convinced you’ve found your next love.

But he never calls again. Nor does he respond to your Facebook post. Or your Gchat. Or your tweet. Maybe you shouldn’t have done the Thriller dance in the middle of the dance floor. So embarrassing.

You swear off boys. Lots of girls-nights-out and chick-flick movie nights ensue. You make friends and sometime in there finish off freshman year.

Sophomore year is the year of bad decisions. You meet that bad boy at a dorm party and think you can outsmart him, but then you see him dancing with a girl from BP the next weekend.

Or the English major who recited beautiful love sonnets . . . that is, until he got into Dostoevsky: “Deprived of meaningful work, men and women lose their reason for existence; they go stark, raving mad.” And mad he went.

After the athlete and the lab nerd, you somehow find normalcy and settle peacefully into an exclusive, Facebook-official relationship complete with roses, dates and late night walks to the Grotto.

But junior year throws a massive obstacle your way: study abroad. Long distance gets thousands of miles longer. The time change is tiresome, and you find yourself waking at absurd hours to log onto Skype. Even if you make it through the semester, there’s still the summer to battle. Oh, and how do you explain the Italian guy with the moped?

Perhaps it’s time to get serious. It’s time to try speed dating at Legends. Or maybe you’re at a tailgate and meet a friend of a friend of a friend who you somehow have never crossed paths with. He’s perfect — Irish, Catholic, has an offer to be an accountant for one of the big four in Chicago, wants four kids, and loves ND football. Done deal. That ring-by-spring concept you’ve been spitting on for years isn’t sounding so bad. He kneels down at the Grotto in April and you call the Basilica the next day.

Six months of premarital counseling begin. Graduation. You walk up the steps of Main Building together and walk down the aisle just a few months later.

Soon after you’re carrying a Vera Bradley baby tote in one arm and a newborn spitting up on her ND-monogrammed onesie in the other. It’s okay though, you have her ND cheerleader outfit in your bag. Need to start her young if she’s going to have her own Notre Dame love story.

Tara Hunt is a senior at Notre Dame and the Notre Dame Magazine summer 2011 intern. She will be writing a series of blogs detailing various aspects of student life at Notre Dame. This piece is in no way reflective of her love life, nor does she own any ND- monogrammed baby clothes.