I don't understand why people are so upset with Susan Patton. As a proud Princeton alumna, mother of two Princeton sons, aspiring radio host and Bunny MacDougal doppelgänger, Susan is simply looking out for all of us. And by 'us,' I mean young women too shortsighted to see what is directly in front of them: namely young (hopefully, though doubtfully) sober Princeton men. She implores Princeton women to find a husband before they graduate, less they enter the real world without a suitable spouse who can meet their emotional, spiritual, physical and judgmental needs. Princeton men are exempt from the standard behavior of your average college male, who may enjoy drinking, experimenting with drugs, having emotionally unattached sex and occasionally wakes up in a random zoo animal enclosure. If Princeton women do not heed Ms. Patton's advice, who else will they be able to have these kinds of emotionally satisfying conversations with:
"Oh, darling, remember Princeton?"
"Ah, yes. Princeton."
The truth of the matter is this: most men and women decide who they are and who they want to be between the ages of 18-22 (the median age is 19.7). Once that is decided, it is literally set in stone and brought down from a mountain by a descendant of Moses (who would have been a Princeton man if he'd just been born a few years later). You do not change after graduating college. You do not discover who you are by entering the workforce or dating other people with different personalities and character traits to determine your wants and needs. You do not change by learning how to fulfill yourself before you can be fulfilled by someone else. Your future is determined by observing at 1:47 am which single men are left standing around the keg. If a man offers to refill your plastic red cup before taking some Milwaukee's Best for himself, honey, he's a keeper. Take him home to meet your parents, who are hopefully also Princeton alumni, and if they are not, simply lie.
Now, as a straight man who went to a piddly NESCAC school 155 agonizing miles away, I never had the opportunity to date a Princeton man. I left college with only heterosexual, non-Ivy League experiences, not knowing under Ms. Patton's letter just what I had missed. Because of this, I cry myself to sleep every night. Now, in my early thirties, to my chagrin I have never experienced the kind of tender, scholarly love that Princeton men, and only Princeton men, are capable of. I have never held hands with another man while hearing about his days at the Firestone Library or Jadwin Hall. I have never been caressed by the erudite hands of a Princeton undergrad, not have I ever had the joy of calling another man 'Tiger', both ironically and unironically. It is because of this that my life will end unfulfilled.
I think of the hundreds of thousands of college graduates who never had the fortune to walk on Princeton's hallowed grounds, the poor women who go through life having to find a suitable mate who must make her happy through shared interests and common bonds rather than a shared alma mater. I cry for them, too. Ms. Patton eloquently tells us that: "Smart women can't (shouldn't) marry men who aren't at least their intellectual equal." And we all know that the sad truth is, there are no men beyond college who are their intellectual equal. Everyone at Princeton is there because they deserve to be. No matter if you're a legacy enrolled because your parents' named are encrusted on a building, a heavily-recruited athlete whose only eventual use will be the shortstop on a law firm's softball team, or someone who maintains a spotless GPA but has the social acumen and tact of a comatose narwhal: true erudition is measured by one stick alone: the insignia on your diploma.
In fact, I would encourage all women who graduate Princeton without having found a mate to sail off to a deserted island, allowing more room in the world for those alumna who found their Drake McAllister, III's. On this island they can set forth perfecting the art of crocheting, as sweater vests do not knit themselves. And do not worry about your nutrition on this island, we will periodically send uneaten food from the Frist Campus Center, as leftover food is the perfect source of nutrition for leftover women.
So current Princeton women, please, do not fail yourselves, and do not take for granted the opportunities that people (like me) never had the chance to experience. Find a Princeton man. Make him yours. Handcuff him to a bed, a bike rack, your parents' SUV like a Romney hound. And even if down the road you find that you and this man are not the perfect mates for each other, remember this: you are both graduates of Princeton. And that is all that matters.
Jason Pinter is a 2003 graduate of Wesleyan University, and deeply ashamed of this. He is also the bestselling author of five thrillers (the most recent of which are The Fury and The Darkness), as well as the ebook exclusive FAKING LIFE, which have nearly 1.5 million copies in print in nearly 20 countries, along with his first novel for young readers, Zeke Bartholomew: Superspy! Visit him at www.jasonpinter.com or follow him on Twitter. He hopes that at least a few Princeton alums have bought his book.
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