That New York vibe and a life in San Diego


Early in their sophomore year, he met his friend Jen Buchholz, who was also learning CPR for a five-day nature trip to Dartmouth. “I asked Jen who her friends were to get to know her,” he says. “When she said Ana Bowens, I blurted out this very guttural, ‘Oh, I’m digging her vibe.’” That night, Mrs. Bowens, emboldened by a Keystone light at a fellowship party, would do something something that could hold back Mr. Schenk. college dating experience.

“She put her hand on my chest, wiggled her hair and said, ‘So I hear you digging my vibe,’” he said. Mr. Schenk was punched in the side. “By the time she did this, I decided I wanted to learn everything I could about her as quickly as possible. The start of a fierce campaign to become her boyfriend had begun.

At first, Mrs Bowens did it. When she wasn’t meeting him to study or go out with mutual friends, she would reply to his long, curious emails. “I learned how ambitious and smart she is and that her mother and uncle are UCLA alumni,” he said. “When she told me she was Jewish, which is important to me, I was like, ‘OK, let’s finish this.’” Her attempt to cut the knowledge phase and move on to something more serious was premature. .

Just three weeks into her sophomore year, during a hangout on the futon in her dorm, he asked her to attend a concert from Portugal The Man on the condition that she attend as a girlfriend. Mrs Bowens, taken aback, said no and immediately left her dormitory. “I was panicked,” she said. “It was way too much pressure.”

Over the phone, she told her mother what had happened. Judith Bowens was less alarmed by the audacity of her daughter’s suitor and quickly recognized her plan. “I told him Benjamin was playing the long game,” Ms. Bowens said. “He wanted it to become something that would last.”

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