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Dealbreaker: He Didn't Go to College

As my vocabulary expanded among my academic peers, the shared language of our relationship narrowed.


In our Dealbreakers series, exes report on the habit, belief, or boxer brief that ended the affair.

I went to college because high school ended, and that was what people like me did. At 18, I moved out of my parents' house in the country and into a dilapidated three-story Boston duplex shared by an opera singer from San Francisco, a classical guitarist from Florida, art students, writers, and a colony of mice. Our perpetually unlocked door meant the house’s population was regularly supplemented by a straggler passed out on a wine-soaked couch, or—late on New Year’s Eve in our communal kitchen—an androgynous punk rocker named Duke.

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