Once upon a time I was 19 and everything in life was terrible. I was seriously like, 3 sheets to the wind all the time (that’s a euphemism for “drunk”, right?), and going to class was just not something I did. Since I was in the depths of my first college teenage crisis, I obviously made some terribly poor Man Decisions. And when I say “Man Decisions” I mean “Teenage Boy Decisions” because LOL, yeah right if you can call a 19-year-old dude a man. They more closely resemble drunk babies, they’re so useless. I was pretty useless too, though, if we’re gonna be real. When I was that age, everything seemed so dramatic, especially affairs of the heart. I would rather drunkenly drape myself over the side of a couch at 6AM than deal with real emotions. When I first got to college, I found myself Really Into this 27-year-old guy, and our courtship was the stuff nightmares were made of (and probably why I haven’t attempted to date an older man since), so by the time I was 19 I was already jaded and looking for something easy.
Anyway, at some point I started seeing this dude that my friends and I affectionately called “Malibu Cory.” “What a mysterious name!” I hear you saying. Why, do you want to know where we got it from? Well, he looked like a tanned, blonde version of Cory Matthews from Boy Meets World, pretty much exactly so… that’s where it came from. (Look, it’s still kind of funny, okay?) He was absolutely everything I hate in a dude: blonde, tan, energetic, semi-ambitious. You know the drill. He also REALLY liked me for some reason. I have no idea why. Think about me now and then try to picture me at 19. I was 500 times worse. Like, sure, I still loved questionable music and talked about pop culture 24/7, but back then I was also super into philosophy and writing fiction (which is all fine stuff, but go and talk to a 19 year old about philosophy and let me know how that goes). (Also, I literally die when I think about how many short stories I wrote based on phone conversations with my crush.)
So, yeah, Malibu Cory really liked me. On our first date, he took me to Starbucks and I remember as we were sitting outside and I was staring at his glistening tan skin I just had “EW” scrolling on a banner in my mind. Over and over and over. “EW.” “EW,” in neon letters. He was nothing I was attracted to, but, because I was in a teenage crisis, I thought I should try to force myself to like him. In Boy Meets World, Topanga and Cory hated each other at first and then they totally got married so like, it could happen. To be fair to him, he was incredibly nice. He seemed like something I should be into, and that it was somehow on me that I wasn’t. So, yeah, I tried to fake it. It was really hard, though, because I’ve never been that great at hiding my emotions. At one point, he was weirdly close to buying me a kitten and I was like, “Yes! This is it! I will love the man who buys me a kitten! This is how romantic movies start!” Luckily he wasn’t as delusional as I was and he never bought me the kitten. I continued to “see” him for a semi-long period of time, and we had some fun, I guess. I don’t think you’d call what we did dating, but he did flirtatiously throw me in a pool one day and break my LG keyboard phone, if that helps put things in context. I thought I was successfully keeping my disdain in check. It all came to a head one day, though, because while we were talking at a party, he was drunk and I … probably was too? But he told me that I was a bitch when I was sober. And by “told” I mean he drunkenly screamed it at me while 3 of my best friends stood outside the room and giggled. I mean, we still quote that line to this day. But at that point, I realized I was making his life a living hell the same way he was making mine a living hell. We absolutely disliked everything about the other person, but hung on to our makeout sessions because we were 19 and desperate to find that rom-com romance we were so convinced existed.
But guess what, y’all? That romance doesn’t exist. It’s never going to exist. Even if someone looks good on paper, if you’re not feelin’ the magic, then there’s no way to force it. You’re just going to come out of the whole thing with a hangover and even more desperate for attention than when you started. I feel a lot like Carrie Bradshaw right now, writing a dopey post about a past non-relationship, but fuck it, I really wanted to talk about Malibu Cory. He helped shape the woman I became, whether he wanted to or not. And even though I literally hated him by the end, he helped me realize that someone who tans and works out is the least appealing thing on the planet to me because I like to sit in my bed with my papery, pale-white skin and eat pizza at 11AM. LIFE REALIZATIONS, Y’ALL. And you know what, Malibu Cory? Wherever you are, I hope you’re happy. I hope you found the girl who doesn’t seethe in anger whenever you say you need to “pop over” to the grocery store because oh my god, reel in your enthusiasm, man. I hope you still love The Doors unironically and that she does too. I hope she lovingly helps you brush your glistening white teeth.
I hope you’ve found your Malibu Topanga, while I continue to hunt for my Shawn Hunter. Or at least a goddamn Mr. Feeny.
Katie is a 25-year-old blogger who lives in Philadelphia, PA. In her free time you can usually find her sobbing over mid-'90s teenage dramas or writing for Winebibber.wordpress.com. Add her on Twitter @KTGL.
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