I Got Friendzoned By A Cowboy
The fall that I started graduate school was undisputedly one of the most difficult times of my life to date. It’s strange to look back and realize that despite the fact that from September 2017 to March 2018, I ended an engagement, called off my wedding, moved out of my parents home, lost my first apartment to a flood, had an unsuccessful whirlwind romance that ended with me getting dumped, and had my new apartment destroyed by my crazy dog, the fall that followed still sticks out in my mind as much more of a beast. At that time, I finally decided to take the plunge and move out of my hometown, which had nothing left for me, to pursue my advanced degree. It seemed as though things were going my way at last, and I knew that I was destined for a bright future in beautiful coastal California. But when it rains here, man it really pours, and I was in for a rude awakening.
My first month in my new coastal town was full of waiting. My job fell through and school didn’t start immediately, so I waited it out in my apartment. I didn’t know anyone in my new town. My roommates and I had almost nothing in common. I ventured out to find some of the cool places, but I mostly felt awkward walking my dog alone downtown or on the beach when all of the smiling people my age were with friends or significant others. Instead of finding it empowering, this time it was depressing. Being in a new town is hard. Feeling like the outsider in it is even harder. I resigned myself to staring at my wall, watching way too much Netflix, and staying up all night. All I wanted to do was quit graduate school and move to Seattle.
Day one of my graduate career was something that I can only describe as strange. We sat in rows, several desks apart from each other (graduate students DO bite), and waited for the professor. One of the last people in the door was a tall, lanky boy in full cowboy getup. He had work boots that had seen better days, high-waisted Wranglers, the fruitiest cowboy blouse I had ever seen, and a hat, which he removed immediately as he walked through the door. Blonde curls sprung forth from the hat, and he had the face of an angel, but my immediate thought was “Oh shit… I’m gonna have to deal with this yeehaw in my literature class?” I just couldn’t wait to hear Cowboy’s hot takes on…