Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy
country’s number one college at the time. It was so vastly superior to other Canadian universities that I didn’t have the faintest clue what anyone was talking about in my lectures. While my classmates were engaging in discourse about Immanuel Kant, Michel Foucault, or Edward Said, I was offering up suggestions for lodging inexotic locales. Apparently, I’d had my nose buried in the equivalent of a bunch of Lonely Planet guides, while they’d spent their first semester reading philosophical treatises.
    While zoning out in Anthro 202, unable to follow the professor, I spotted the first target of my flirty fieldwork project: Ryan Peeling. I could tell by the slight upward tilt of his chin that the culture I’d be infiltrating was “the society of old money.” Old Anglo-Saxon money. He probably knew how to sail, golf, and charge a fancy dinner at the club to a house account.
    We were definitely from different worlds.
    I wanted a window into his lavish world—and not from the servant’s quarters. I wanted to know what a winter tan felt like on my lips, what it was like to sip an aperitif with my bank manager. Although he wore the same Nirvana-inspired plaid button-down as the rest of us, I suspected he was more at ease in a sweater vest with a blue and green Izod tie poking out. As I watched him scribble down whatever the professor was saying, I noticed he was growing out a proper short haircut. I imagined his father was probably worried that his prized heir was going hippie on him. I’m sure the pursuit of an anthropology degree over a practical degree was disappointing enough.
    When the next class began, I slid into the empty seat beside him—not that he noticed. He was too busy listening and raising his hand to ask intelligent questions. There was no way I could compete or impress on that level, so I tried to ingratiate myself by riffing off the lecture and mumbling little jokes and sarcastic lines: “Who wouldn’t want to be a troglodyte? I bet they have cheap rent anddollar draft beers down there . . . must be nice to live in a mud hut. It never gets dirty! . . . The upside of bridal capture is that’s a marriage that will probably last, and parents save a shitload on a wedding.” I managed to coax one smirk out of him, which was a start, enough to say hi in the hallways.
    I was casually persistent. Every time I saw Ryan sitting alone in our college lounge, “The Alley,” I’d invite myself to join him. I’m not sure he knew what to make of this smiling, slightly aggressive new girl who was constantly demanding his attention, but he never asked me to leave. We progressed to going for coffee after class. While he told me all about his life, I drifted off into a fantasy. My brain had started doing this new trick I detested but couldn’t control. I would listen to him while picturing us together in twenty years. Did other girls shamefully do this? Was it years of gender socializing, or were we hardwired to consider the nesting potential of whatever man held our current interest? There he was, likely undressing me in his head and imagining me bent over the hood of his car, while I was fantasizing about us tasting vintage wine at a Napa Valley inn. Naturally, my Ryan visions incorporated access to his wealth. First, he’d pay off my student loans. Next, I’d demand to dress only in difficult-to-even-dry-clean raw silk. He’d be some sort of academic researcher, constantly away at conferences, leaving room for me to tend our small-dog ranch and have an affair with my sculpture teacher in between conducting my own lecture series, “The Anthropology of Amour.” Sure, it sounded more like a Learning Annex course, but I was still only a sophomore—I’d have plenty of time to revise my daydream.
    After the Rituals and Shamanism lecture, Ryan and I were having our coffees when he said, “You know, I’ve never done any psychedelic drugs. I really want to try mushrooms, you know? Witness that shift in

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