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My lack of a high-school love life and the fact that I never saw any hometown dick makes it easy to go back to visit now, but at the time it made me feel ill-prepared for dating in the real world.

I quit college after a year and moved to California when I was 19; I met my first boyfriend at work, and we dated for three years.

I got to Alaska the way most people do: Through personal trauma and a series of questionable decisions.

It’s where I ran after September 11; I was 24 years old, working for the United Nations, and exhausted by the fact that I had to pass through an endless series of security checkpoints every time I needed to pee.

I generally prefer slight, nerdy men whom I could easily take in a fight, but I wasn’t going to miss what would surely be my only chance to hook up with Captain America en Fuego.

I had my first, real dinner-and-a-movie date in Alaska with a sweet man I met at the bookstore.

At first, I couldn’t process the amount of attention I was getting in Alaska.

Like many beautiful, charming, intelligent women, I’ve been cultured to believe I am a grotesque, overwhelming buffoon, and I have a tendency to act accordingly.

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By the time I moved to Alaska, I had been in a relationship without ever having been on a date.I assumed my romantic life in Alaska would continue the same way it had everywhere else I lived — sparse and unexciting.I didn’t date at all in high school; in my revisionist history I’ve decided this was by choice, but the reality was that a six-foot-tall black girl in a predominantly white town who shaves her head, wears a skirt made out of ties, and uses black eyeliner as lipstick isn’t really racking up the offers.Welcome to “It’s Complicated,” a week of stories on the sometimes frustrating, sometimes confusing, always engrossing subject of modern relationships.In the four years I lived in Anchorage, I dated more than I probably will for the rest of my life.