“It’s always been Frank and Grace and Frank and Grace, so Frankie is Frankie and Francis is Francis.”
Seniors Grace Cool and Frankie Vitale are getting married this June. Coincidentally, their close friends, seniors Grace Mauck and Francis Lucchetti, will be getting married this January.
Grace and Frankie:
“I would never, ever date you again, why would you even ask that?”
This was Grace Cool’s response to Frankie Vitale after he asked her out for the second time, in fall of 2019.
The two met in the prior spring semester, at the end of both of their freshman year. Cool and Vitale are now getting married this June. When Cool met Vitale, she was a freshman at Adrian College who intended to transfer to Hillsdale the next fall. After driving from Adrian to Hillsdale to pick up some rowing equipment, she spent a night on campus that would change her life.
“I met her at a get-together at Jungle,” Vitale said. “We just ended up talking for about two hours and hit it off really well.”
That was the last night of the spring semester, so the couple found themselves doing long-distance from the moment they met.
“We tried to make it work that summer,” Cool said. “We had gotten this notebook that we had started to send to each other. The idea was one of us would write a question, send it to the other, and they would respond.”
This process went on for a few weeks, but eventually Frankie received the notebook and never sent it back.
“He basically ghosted me, but he still had the notebook. So, that fall, he wrote me this lengthy letter inside it about why things didn’t work out, and why he wanted to try again,” Cool explained. “A month and a half later, I finally responded, and said, ‘No. Absolutely not.’”
For the next year, the two kept their distance from each other. But, eventually, they became friends again.
“We had organic chemistry together,” Cool said. “So, you know, it was like trauma bonding.”
Finally, in the fall of 2020, Vitale asked Cool out for the third and final time.
“We were studying together — well, she was studying,” Vitale said. “I sat there silently, sweating, for about 40 minutes to an hour. I finally blurted out, ‘Will you go out with me,’ and she was startled, but said yes.”
The two dated for the rest of their junior year, and both had marriage on the mind.
“I was like ‘Okay, if this starts up again, then this is the last time I do this ever. It’s not going to be anyone else after this,’” Vitale said. “I just knew from the beginning that this time was different.”
This August, while the two were vacationing with Cool’s family, Vitale woke Cool up to watch the sunrise together. That’s where he pulled out their notebook, which Cool hadn’t seen since turning him down the second time.
“At the end of it,” Cool said, “he wrote all the reasons why he wanted to marry me. Then, the last page read, ‘Will you marry me?’ and he proposed.”
“My mom had the idea basically a month and half into us dating,” Vitale said. “So I wrote in it all the way from last October until I actually proposed.”
The two have set the date for June 18th, 2022.
“Obviously we’re going to have the best wedding ever,” said Cool. “But I’m sure Grace and Francis’ will be good too.”
Grace and Francis:
“I had a plan to ask her out after spring break, but then we never came back.”
Despite COVID-19’s damper in Lucchetti’s plans, he’s still marrying Mauck on January 15, 2022.
Grace and Francis first spoke in February of 2019, but Grace had done her fair share of planning beforehand.
“We didn’t know each other super well, but I had a crush on him,” Mauck explained. “So, I asked one of his really good friends, Jack Little, to be my wingman. He set us up.”
The two first talked at the old Delt house, when Mauck and some friends came over to meet Lucchetti’s cat. They grew closer as friends until COVID-19 pandemic shutdown in March 2020 sent students home for the rest of the semester.
“I was hiding out in Hillsdale as long as I could, and my parents finally said it was time for me to come home,” Lucchetti said. “It was the quickest nine hour drive to Virginia that I ever made, because I spent four of them talking on the phone with her. That was our first date.”
The two reconnected that summer, when Lucchetti drove Mauck from Illinois to Hillsdale for graduation weekend.
“He drove all the way from Wisconsin to my house in Illinois and then back up to Michigan for my confirmation into the Roman Catholic Church,” Mauck said.
“In a Jeep with no air conditioning in July,” Lucchetti added.
Lucchetti proposed exactly one year after Mauck’s confirmation. The two ate dinner at a 1920s-themed diner before returning to the spot where Lucchetti picked Mauck up for graduation weekend a year prior.
“He was hugging me and this truck full of hillbillies drove by and started honking and yelled, ‘Get a room,’” Mauck said.
Mauck and Lucchetti have advice for anyone attempting Hillsdating this semester.
“Honestly, having faith and spirituality at the center of your relationship is the most important thing,” Mauck said. “Any relationship— friendship, romantic, familial— but for romance it’s really essential.”
The two are getting married this January, beating the other Grace and Frankie to the altar.
“You will forever be other Grace and other Frank,” Lucchetti said. “Sorry.”