It was the fall of 1972. Protests, antiwar sentiment, the Concerned Alumni of Princeton — a fairly turbulent time at Princeton. Through an extracurricular activity involving the visual arts, I met a sophomore named Molly from California: blond, blue-eyed, adorable. I was smitten.
In an effort to impress her and convince her that I was not another patched-jeans, long-haired, insincere college jerk, I asked her on a date to Lahiere’s. She had never been there and kindly accepted. I couldn’t wait. I had saved money from working at Commons, took my lone dress shirt and fairly decent slacks to the cleaners to be washed and pressed, put on some ridiculously wide and loud ’70s tie, and proudly went on my date to this fancy French restaurant.
Dinner was lovely, but Molly definitely was not impressed. My heart sank. It appeared that my efforts of going upscale were inconsistent with her notions of a good time. I think I would have been better off taking her somewhere for brown rice and veggies in my patched jeans and a tie-dyed shirt. My strategy had backfired — miserably. Molly and I never went on another date.
To this day, I remember that evening, which puts a smile on my face and has me pining for Molly again — all in the name of recapturing some of my youth during those four unforgettable years at Princeton.