What Do I Call You Now?

February 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

So me and Mister Red finally found a place. Yes, he still wants to live with me even after I had a panic attack in the parking lot of the bank when we went for the deposit. He refrained from rolling his eyes when my hand was shaking nervously. My signature was not only illegible but looked like the markings of a 3 year old. Then he just smiled every time I stated, “no turning back now,” afterword. Which was about 56 times, but my count could be wrong. And he might have been biting his tongue so hard he couldn’t speak.

The officialness of it all hit me like a cartoon anvil when coworker asked me about the ordeal the next day, “So you found a place? When are you moving?”

“I have until the end of the month, but my… my…[uncomfortable pause] roommate? He needs to move out of his place next week.” What? Roommate? Huh? That doesn’t sound right. We’ve been together for about a year, Mister Red is certainly more than a roomie.

For some reason ‘boyfriend’ sounds juvenile. A boyfriend is someone you ask out on 4th grade recess after you promise him an Oreo. And at that point you are ‘going out’ but never really go anywhere. Holding hands, maybe, if you’ve gotten your cootie vaccine. A boyfriend is someone you never really discuss with your father, but he knows he’s the reason you’re tying up the phone line. He’s the one you meet at the movies or the mall to spend 3 blissful hours before your friend’s mom picks you up. He’s the guy you play tonsil hockey with at a middle school dance. A boyfriend is someone you let get to second base in the backseat of his minivan parked on a back road because your parents won’t let a member of the opposite sex in your room. He’s the guy that asks you to prom and breaks your heart for the first time. This is not the guy you sign a lease with.

In college you start ‘seeing’ people. The guy you ‘see’ in your dorm when your roommate’s passed out after playing power hour with upperclassmen. He’s the guy you ‘see’ because you know he’s going to buy you dinner and then spoon after. You’re only ‘seeing’ him because he has his car on campus. You’re ‘seeing’ him and he doesn’t have to know you’ve got a crush on the back of the head of the hockey player who sits in front of you in your bio lecture. You ‘see’ him at the bar, you ‘see’ him during tailgate, you ‘see’ him at a house party, then you ‘see’ him making out with some sorority girl during Greek Week. These dudes aren’t boyfriends.

Next, you and your bachelor’s degree might have a few Manfriends as you enter the working world. ‘Manfriends’ are the dudes you sleep with on a regular basis, but aren’t marriage material. Everyone’s got a number, right? The idea is to reuse the numbers you’ve already counted as to not increase your number too much during a dry spell when your vibrator just ain’t cutting it. Manfriends don’t buy you dinner, but they will almost always drink with you. Manfriends are just for fun. But what happens when Manfriends become something more?

Post college courtships are more serious, now you’re ‘dating’ him. The guy that you’re ‘dating’ brings you flowers. The guy that you’re ‘dating’ texts you at work. The guy that you’re ‘dating’ takes you out to various places for planned activities. The guy that you’re ‘dating’ might take you away for the weekend, he might call you just to talk, and he’ll miss you when you’re gone. Then suddenly the guy you’re ‘dating’ turns into a ‘boyfriend,’ except this time you’ve given him much more than just a sandwich cookie.

Now that I’ve dissected this, you see there is a whole lot of room between the two different meanings of a boyfriend. On top of that, consider the development between boyfriend and fiance. There is the proposal which you have little control over. This could take years. So we’re living together. More than a boyfriend, less than a fiance, but somehow similar to a… (dare I say) husband? A couple rings and some paperwork away, practically.

Wait! Pull the reins for a sec, we’re just trying this to see how we fare. Although the landlord reading the lease to us did seem ritualistic and I was wearing white. It’s like the marriage dress rehearsal, this living together thing. Shit, I don’t know my lines! I’m the worst.

So what is he now? Not my roommate, not my boyfriend. My boymate? Roomfriend? Romantic Roomie? No, once he learns of my bathroom habits things with be far less romantic. He’s my Mister, I guess. And I’m his… his… inmate. No, I’m kidding. I don’t know what I am to him, but he probably isn’t hung up on the labels, and that’s probably how it should be. No turning back now.

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