Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Why My Boyfriend is Better Than Yours

The other day when I told Greg I'd written a super long blog post and demanded that he read it, he said, "Is it about me?" Immediately I felt like such a horrible failure of a girlfriend that it wasn't about him, and cried for hours berating myself for making such a poor, selfish life choice. That's just an example of one of my logical thought processes. What this means, though, is that this time I'm going to write about Greg. Well, sort of. I'm going to write about boyfriends, and what makes them really cool and deserving of the Good Boyfriend Award as opposed to the You Wouldn't Buy Me Tampons And A Pregnancy Test At Walgreen's Because You Were Embarrassed, So Screw You, Worst Boyfriend In The World Award.

Let me start off by saying that, yes, Greg has indeed (at least once) purchased a 20-pack of Tampax Super tampons for me at the grocery or drug store. He also, after I was once seized by irrational panic after feeling nauseous in the morning and more than one person on Twitter claimed that this could only mean I was pregnant, went to the store and waited in line for ages with nothing but a pregnancy test and his own shame to keep him company. Thank you, Greg. For this I am grateful. But let's not get hung up on the little things. Womanly drug store items and the willingness to purchase them does not a good boyfriend make. So what makes a truly good boyfriend, you ask? Well, considering I've been in a total of two relationships and one of them now seems like some horrible mix-up, I'm obviously qualified to make broad claims about heterosexual partnerships as a whole. Here are a few traits which, in my experience, define a boyfriend worthy of the time-honored Good Boyfriend Award.

Wolf-mouse creature or Renaissance man? Doesn't matter to a good boyfriend; he'll gladly take on either identity.
1. He is willing, and even happy, to dress up in stupid outfits just because it's important to you. I mean you'd do the same for him, right? Right? Stupid outfits are just one of those inescapable facts of life that boyfriends and pets alike are forced to deal with on holidays and special occasions. Your boyfriend knows that if he puts up any resistance when you show him those matching Edward and Bella costumes that he'll be sleeping on the couch later. Without a pillow. Plus, he knows you've been looking forward all year to Halloween just so you can smother his chest in glitter and force him to prance around the downtown clubs like a disco ballsack all night. If he's a winner, he'll put up with acute humiliation with no hope or expectation of repayment, simply out of love for you. That's because he's a good boyfriend.

2. He laughs at you when you cry.  I don't mean this in a horrible villainous way, like, "Bwahahaha, finally, I have drawn those bitter hot tears from your eyes, just like I planned when I made a hearty stew out of your new puppy!" No, not like that. What I mean is, when you're trying to make cucumber sandwiches for a tea party and you've never made them before, and pretty soon you've cut three of your fingers with the knife, the cucumber is mutilated and covered in blood, and you've accidentally eaten most of the bread, and then you burst into tears wailing about how you'll never be invited over for a tea party again, what a good boyfriend will do is laugh at you. Not in a mean-spirited way. But at the sight of you standing, forlorn, in the middle of the kitchen with blood all over the cucumbers and bread crumbs all over your face, now getting soggy from your tears, he can't help but laugh. He's not laughing at you, he's laughing with you. He wants you to see that you're making cucumber sandwiches. You nicked your finger and stuffed your pie hole with bread to make yourself feel better. It's not the end of the world. A SWAT team hasn't just burst through your doors and windows and opened fire. A meteor hasn't fallen out of the sky, through the roof, and into your skull rendering you a paraplegic. You've just fucked up the sandwiches. And hey, maybe there's even enough bread and clean cucumber left to salvage the operation!

If he's a winner, your boyfriend will help you with the rest of the preparation and make sure you don't hurt yourself any further with the paring knife. And hopefully, especially if he has an infectious laugh, your boyfriend's amusement at your predicament will have made you realize that you might have been overreacting just a little. If you can't laugh at your own idiocy with your boyfriend, do you really want to live in this world? On the other hand, if your boyfriend has a mental breakdown and accuses you of being a crazy emotional ho every time you burst into tears about something ridiculously trivial, then he probably sucks and you should trade him in for a better model.

"I want to help you live the life of destitution and poor personal hygiene that you dream of."
3. He gets angry if you don't follow your dreams. As in, he won't let you leave the room until you agree to follow your dreams, because he can't imagine living in a world where his girlfriend isn't 100% happy and fulfilled. Even if your dreams are the dumbest. He should still support them. I mean, maybe you want to sell all of your belongings and become a traveling hermit in the Swiss Alps for a year, with only a goat as your companion. Maybe you've been dreaming of this for your whole life. If your boyfriend is worthy of the Good Boyfriend Award, he will do all in his power to make sure that you spend a year half-starved, wandering the foothills of the Alps, surviving only on goat milk and despair. If that's what you want, he will get it for you. He will push you toward this goal. "But I'm not sure I want to be away from you for so long," you might protest. These things should wash right over him. "I want you to be happy," a good boyfriend will respond. "If you can't be a wastrel in Switzerland right now, with a goat, when can you?" If you're a good girlfriend, you'll succumb to his goading and finally agree to follow your dreams and become a starving goat hermit in the mountains. Just don't forget, next time he brings up that dream of his to learn every episode of Walker, Texas Ranger by heart and recite them all in person to Chuck Norris, you must support it at all costs. All costs.

"Girl, I'd even watch an episode of True Blood without killing myself, just for you."
4. He watches the movie you picked out, even if it's a 3-hour long musical about the Founding Fathers. I mean nobody can convincingly argue against the brilliance and true cultural value of 1776, but even if your boyfriend wants to, if he's a keeper, he'll sit through it and refrain from harming himself physically. Hitting himself on the head with a pillow, throwing you sad tortured looks, and groaning with intense pain and misery don't count. In fact these reactions are often seen as endearing and positive. If your boyfriend was actually enjoying himself, he wouldn't be subjecting himself to a horrifying ordeal just for you, and would therefore not be earning as many Good Boyfriend Points. The more harrowing situations your boyfriend suffers through at your request, the closer he gets to winning the Good Boyfriend Award. This also goes for such things as fun baking activities, dramatic readings of Pride & Prejudice, and helping you pick out a dress to wear.

5. He doesn't tell you what you want to hear. I know, this sounds like a bad one. Sometimes maybe it is. Sometimes, it really is best to tell people what they want to hear. Like if they're hysterically crying, clawing at their own clothes, and rolling around on the ground shrieking. Then they might not be ready to hear rational logic, and will therefore only try to kill you if you don't whisper sweet beautiful half-lies into their ears until they calm down.

If, however, you've just decided you're going to trade in your car for a pony so you can ride it to work every day in a fairy dress, your winner boyfriend will take this chance to step in and say something. Some girls might say, "But he should support my dreams! I want to trade in my car for a pony, so he has no right to disagree with my perfectly sound life decisions!" No. You are wrong. If your boyfriend meekly tells you to follow your heart and get that pony, you will end up borrowing his car every day for the next five years until you can save enough money to buy a shitty 1983 Mitsubishi for yourself. That, or you'll be forced to actually ride the pony to work every day in a fairy dress, which might be fun one day out of the year when it's warm and sunny and dry, and you feel like riding around on a pony in a fairy dress, but I guarantee the rest of the time you'll rue the day you ever got that damn pony.

A good boyfriend will remind you that it's your decision, in the end, but do you really want to give up the convenience of a car for a high maintenance pony that shits everywhere, and doesn't have a windshield? He'll remind you of the pros and cons, and hopefully, with a little bit of nudging and common sense, he'll steer you back in the right direction. The direction of not a pony. So next time your boyfriend seems like he's stomping all over your dreams with hateful reason and logic, remember: he's probably just trying to make sure you don't end up spending the rest of your life cleaning up pony shit and weeping.

This good boyfriend would never prepare or eat puppy stew.
There are many more ways a boyfriend can win at life and win a Good Boyfriend Award, but these are the most important, meaning they're the only ones I could come up with at short notice. Bonus life hint: If your boyfriend cries a lot and makes puppy stew, he's probably not The One. You never know, though. Puppy stew might be delicious.

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