Merry Wanderer of the Night + Winner

Awesome Essays: Want to be My Boyfriend? Please Define

The New York Times is looking for essays on modern love by college students for a contest they are currently holding. I read last year's winner, Want to be My Boyfriend? Please Define by Marguerite Fields. It's a charming, real essay about the questions our generation has about love. Questions about monogamy and exclusivity. Fields describes her experience in the middle of everyone going against monogamy and rooting for multiple experiences, while she finds that this is not what she wants for herself.

She has a great sense of self, which is something I feel a lot of young nonfiction writers lack, and she is humorous without going overboard,"For the sake of brevity and clarity, I’ll say I’ve dated a lot of guys. It’s not that I’ve gone out anywhere with a lot of these guys, or been physical with most of them, or even seen them more than once. But there have been many, many encounters.
I’ve met guys in the park, at the deli, at galleries, at parties and on the Internet. The Internet idea came from thinking that if I could sift through people’s profiles, like applications, I could eliminate the obvious lunatics."

I think this section does a good job outlining the way love functions for young people today. We are constantly surrounded by reminders of it. If it's not a couple holding hands on the street it's the couple getting engaged on Facebook. We all know how Facebook has taken the importance of your relationship status to a catastrophic level. This isn't something Fields addresses, just one other factor to consider in the role of relationships in today's world.

Fields goes through the whole essay cooly, clear-headed, unaffected, until you reach the end and realize that she is not as unaffected as we thought. I was surprised by how well she pulled off that trick, for the majority of the essay I was frustrated with her, I didn't see the point in the essay if none of these encounters meant anything to her or changed anything about her. Then I reached the end and realized what she was trying to say all along.

You can read the whole essay at The New York Times, and if you're a college student with an essay on love you can enter this year's contest.

What would your story of modern love be about?

I am an Amazon Affiliate. If you make a purchase using one of my links I will earn a small percentage which will then go back into this blog.

awesome essays, college, Contest, love story, nonfiction, TIME, and more:

Awesome Essays: Want to be My Boyfriend? Please Define + Winner