Seven years ago D asked me if I wanted to be his boyfriend. Yes, you read that right. Somehow asking me if I wanted to be his girlfriend and if he could be my boyfriend got all tangled together and “Do you want to be my boyfriend?” tumbled out of his mouth.
I guess I was making him nervous or something.
He was driving me home after a date. He flicked his eyes from the road, briefly, to gauge my reaction to his gaffe. I erupted in laughter and teased him mercilessly, but I was elated.
He was exactly what I was looking for at that time in my life. Beneath his quietly confident and emotionally reserved exterior, I’d found immeasurable reservoirs of kindness and affection. The depths of which I am sure to spend my whole life plumbing without ever reaching an end. I was so happy that we’d met, thrilled that he was into me, and ecstatic at the thought of starting a relationship together.
I’d been dating such losers at that time. I was at a party with one such loser, it was winter, a New Years Eve party I think. It was so fucking cold. We were in some crappy basement with all his loser friends, I’m talking total chuds here people, major dirt bags. And it was freezing. It was like the house didn’t even have a heater. I was shivering cold. Instead of offering up his sweater, you know what this dick did? He told me to “drink more”. So, at 19 the immature jerks vastly outnumbered any upstanding gentlemen there may have been.
When I used to sit around daydreaming about my perfect man (and I would do this often wondering if such a thing even existed), I would create him from nothing. His foundation consisted of the characteristics and values I considered most desirable in a man. I pictured someone undeniably male in all his thoughts and actions. Someone who knows his own masculinity well, and wears it securely. Someone unburdened by insecurities and petty jealousies. Decisive and sure. Solid and stoic. Trustworthy, loyal, reliable, and honest. No bullshit, no baggage, no tantrums or tears. A real fine hunk of man, capable of feeling but also able to keep his shit together.
And he had to be able to take his licks in stride because I’m not some dainty little peach. I wanted someone emotionally tough and sturdy. Someone who could go toe to toe with me, round for round. Sensitive men are bad for me, because I’m so inherently insensitive. I’d run roughshod over any wimps and bore of them entirely within a matter of weeks. I can’t be bothered with pushovers or whining. He could be caring and sweet, but he couldn’t be a complete fucking baby.
I wondered if maybe I was being picky, then that thought subsided, I knew that I wasn’t. Pickiness stems from indecision and delusion. Finding minute flaws in something because of an inability to adapt your expectations to reality. I know what I want and I’m able to appreciate what I wind up getting despite any perceived deficiencies. I’m definitely not picky. I was just specific, having my specific daydreams.
It didn’t matter how my dream man was packaged. Tall, dark, and handsome means nothing to me if you’re a prick. Good for you asshole, you’re good-looking! Someday you won’t be able to get up off the can without help, and then what good will your looks be? What mattered to me was that our core values meshed and our personalities were complimentary to each other. That’s what I dreamed about most, someone so perfectly fitting for an imperfect me.
The path was littered with frogs. And while it may have been fun kissing some of them, I knew I didn’t want to go on kissing frogs forever. I suspected that kissing someone who made my heart leap up into my throat just by being his unique self would be so much more thrilling.
Luckily for me, good things come to those who brood. Commiserating another shitty relationship gone south while at my buddy’s birthday party, I declared a hiatus on dating. “No more losers, I’m done with this crap”, I pronounced. I’ll just party with my friends and have fun being me for a while. But somewhere in that tangled mess of disillusion and regret, D found me. That sweeping declaration of “No more losers!” was less than 3 hours old and I already had his tongue jammed down my throat. To hell with it, one more frog couldn’t hurt! I could always turn over a new leaf tomorrow, right?
But there was never a need to. A stark contrast to his immature peers, D is everything I’ve always wanted in a man.
When I zig, he’ll most certainly always zag. And we’re constantly jockeying for command as the alpha dog of this crazy relationship. Where I’m loud and outrageous, D is quiet and steadfast. When I’m totally bonkers he reels me in. If D is grumpy and serious I can surely coax a smile from him. When he’s too firm or hard-headed I can budge him. My unbridled enthusiasm and imagination are tempered by his collected realism. He tames me, and I brighten him. We ebb and flow in perfect unity. While our external personalities may differ vastly, the internal cores of our beings are in complete alignment. The untrained eye might deem us a serious case of opposites attract, but if you look closely enough you’ll see that we’re actually counterbalances for one another, not opposites. It just works, somehow.
I’m lucky, yes, but I also knew what I wanted. I knew what I wanted so well that I was able to recognize D for the gem that he is immediately upon meeting him. I could see it in the set of his jaw and the way he carried himself. A man both worthy of and capable of handling all the strife and joy I could ever dish out.
So, this one is going out to you today D!
Happy anniversary baby. I dig being your boyfriend.