The Story of Us

by Mary Liza Hartong and Andrew Kingsley | 5/24/16 5:02pm


Week after week you, the loyal readers of our column, pick up the Mirror and brace yourselves for a whole lot of crazy. Things like, “How do they do it?” and “Have they found Jesus?” and “There’s medication for that” run through your minds as you read our stories. But enough about you, you sniveling consumerists. Let’s talk about us! For our final column we shall share with you the story of how we met. You’ve heard of “When Harry Met Sally” and this, dear readers, is nothing like that.

It was the fall of 2013, a time of bright leaves and even brighter spirits. Dartmouth was still in the Stone Age, having not been “moved forward” yet. Andrew, then a young, upstart pre-med, and Mary Liza, who still wore makeup and straightened her hair, met for the first time on the Green while talking to a mutual friend. Soon we found ourselves alone. We both needed to study. We both wanted human contact. We both had to pee. Thus, we took the first leap of friendship and agreed to study together in the bowels of Kemeny. In the course of the next three hours, approximately three minutes of studying occurred. Everything else was a flurry of note passing, giggling, scurrying, flinging goggles and disturbing Dartmouth’s entire scientific community. We set science back a whole decade that night. Just think, asthma could have been cured.

Over the next few weeks we grew closer and closer. We shared movies: Andrew’s hard-to-watch, artistic interpretations of gruel and Mary Liza’s hopelessly romantic, carnival ride romps through unrealistic expectations. Together we were perfect. We ate our nightly Chef Boyardee with just one spoon. Elton and Idina, united at last.

“So, was it love?” you ask. Well, Mary Liza had the same question. “He always tells me I’m beautiful and fabulous and says ‘What a dynamite skirt, where can I get one?’” Mary Liza pondered. “Either he’s gay or in love with me. If my movies have taught me anything, it’s always the latter.” That fateful night, Mary Liza attempted to snuggle Andrew into a confession. Turning, Mary Liza asked, “Andrew, what are we?” Ever so cynically Andrew responded, “Human beings? Matter? Garbage?” Mary Liza pressed on. “No, what ARE we?” Andrew shut the door. Here comes the big kiss! “I’m gay,” Andrew admitted. A million girls’ hearts sank at that moment, but Mary Liza was overjoyed. This was the most perfect rejection, as it did not indicate any flaw besides her anatomy. It wasn’t the size of her breasts; it was her breasts. Huzzah! Ain’t life grand?

Though other people still assumed we were dating — was it the cuddling, the slobbering, the matching skirts? — we knew our relationship was something better than dating. We were friends with benefits, those benefits being eating each other’s food, Mary Liza acting as Andrew’s beard and serving as costume buddies on Halloween.

Then, with little warning, Andrew had to leave the country. He had to leave for his pre-planned off term teaching English in Ghana. Mary Liza was heartbroken. She sent him a Valentine’s package bursting with Kit Kats and notes, which were later sent back to her by the Ghanian mail. Apparently raccoons are considered contraband overseas. Go figure. “But you had spring term, didn’t you?” you ask. Hush, fiend. Alas, Mary Liza was to be in Paris all spring dillydallying and “writing a book.” While Paris was Paris, Mary Liza was lonely and Skyped Andrew as often as she could. One day, after a particularly humiliating experience with a pigeon and a croissant, Andrew announced over Skype that he would be visiting Mary Liza in Paris. For one glorious week we got to prance about the city of lights like the not-lovers we were, eating a crêpe here, destroying the image of Americans there. We’ll always have Paris.

Since then it’s been two years peaches and cream and Chef Boyardee. Andrew escorted Mary Liza to her debutante ball last Thanksgiving. When asked, “What do you think of Mary Liza?” by her Southern relatives, Andrew acted as straight as he could and responded, “She’s…something.” Mary Liza shared a mostly eaten macaroni and cheese bite with Andrew in 2014 because, “I think something’s wrong with it.” Andrew had Mary Liza’s name written in lights on her birthday this year. We realize, looking at this list, that one of us might be slightly higher maintenance than the other. So maybe we weren’t meant to fall for each other, reproduce and slowly grow apart until one of us starts sleeping in the guest room and inviting Sam from accounting over for “drinks.” And we won’t have to, seeing as we’ve both found love since then — shout out to D and J. However, no matter what else happens in our silly, wonderful, bizarre lives, we will always have Kemeny.