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Robert Altman Week

Wednesday
Jul292009

« In Which We're Really Glad You Have A Boyfriend »


Hey Girl

by ALMIE ROSE

We need to talk about your boyfriend.

So you have a boyfriend. That's great! You have someone's lap to sit on at picnics. You have someone to take to your friend's party. You don't need to scout out guys at said party. Because you'll be holding your boyfriend's arm, tracing his veins with your fingertip, something all couples wind up doing without realizing it. You have someone to force into that couples costume for Halloween. You have someone all of your friends can look at and think, "Goddamn I'm jealous." And that's great!

But girl unless your boyfriend is Captain Kirk, he ain't going anywhere. You don't need to spend every waking moment together. Or every sleeping moment either. And all of those cosmic moments in between. He's always going to be there for you, and if he's not, then he's not a very good boyfriend and you should *NSYNC his ass (and I don't know what this even means — am I referring to their hit "Bye Bye Bye" or their break-up or what? I don't know guys, that's the beauty of life!).

I understand that in the beginning you're going to be Lady Gaga for each other and that's really great. It's an exciting time.

But girl.

Girl.


Unless your boyfriend is Warren Beatty, from the above photo, from that exact era, I need to tell you something: He's Not That Great.

Is this pure jealousy speaking? In some occasions, yes (see "Unless your boyfriend is Warren Beatty..." above). But most of the time, your boyfriend is going to be just like everybody else's boyfriend. He'll be there for you, yes, but will he be there for us? No, and that's not his job. Your job, however, is to be there for us. Because you're our friend. Not a Phoebe friend, because that woman was a goddamn bitch on the show Friends who acted like she was from goddamn outerspace, and was mean to Ross for no goddamn reason — I'm talking about real friendships, the kind that cannot fit into a Thursday night time slot. Why are my references so 90s? But that's not important right now.

All I'm saying is that he wasn't there for you the way we were. Listen to me, Mrs. Potts, it's great that you found another enchanted piece of furniture to sing with or whatever, but we're wandering the castle and our options are the Gastons and Beasts of the world, before the Beast became totally rad and acceptable, and we have no dancing candlesticks to tide us over.

But girl. Girl.

It's time to come back. It's time to return my calls. It's time to return my e-mails. It's time to realize that your friend is coming dangerously close to becoming a stalker. It's time to return my DVDs, it's been like, two years.

What is important is that you stop and realize that girl, we've known you long before this dude did, unless you have some kind of Dawson/Joey situation. We were there for you when you got your period on your pants in 8th grade and we loaned you our sweatshirt for you to tie around your waist. We were there for you when you first got drunk on cheap rum and we talked to you as you were barfing in the bathroom. We were there for you when you were in college and wondered, "What the hell am I going to do when I graduate"?

And where was he?

Just remember. It's fine to be excited about your boyfriend, and we're happy for you, but we need you too.

It's been a few months now. You've been under the shroud of coupledom for a little too long. You've disappeared. We're starting to worry. We're hearing Robert Stack in our head. He's saying, "Everything was fine...until it wasn't." He's staring into our soul and he's adding, "That was the last time anyone had heard from her."

Look. I was in a serious relationship once. It was really great, I heard Sixpence None The Richer wherever I went, I always had a date to parties, life was one big pizza party. I will fully own up to the fact that I disappeared for a couple of weeks. I think a two-week grace period is allowed. During two weeks we can all shake our heads like 1950s sitcom dads and say, "Oh that Mrs. Potts and her boyfriend!" But after two weeks we start to turn more into Don Draper; pissed off, impatient, and trying to find another pretty girl to take your place. Then we feel guilty for thinking this way, wondering if perhaps its our own jealousy that is making us so callous. Then we realize that, no, it takes like two seconds to send a text of, 'Hey sorry I've been MIA let's meet next week!' and we're annoyed again.

And girl. Girl.

Your boyfriend ain't James Dean. Nor is he James Franco pretending to be James Dean, which would be the next best thing. But James Dean is dead and James Franco isn't James Dean and your boyfriend isn't either of those and if this shocks or upsets you, then I'm sorry.

SO TEXT ME GODDAMNIT.

Almie Rose is a contributor to This Recording. She is the creator of Apocalypstick, and she last wrote in these pages about (500) Days of Summer.

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Reader Comments (8)

Oh girl I hear you...
Wait, are you inside my head?
you've got a fan :)

July 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBeatriz

this is great

July 30, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermeredith

Love's hard to find. On top of that, the ones who are lucky enough to find it (and smart enough to nourish it) have to risk losing their friends, who think of nothing but themselves.

Good thing not all friends are as selfish as the author of this post.

July 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterC

I just texted u

July 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJosh

the anti-friends lobby is out in full force

July 30, 2009 | Registered CommenterAlex

They removed my comment WOOOOOOW!

July 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterL. Kennedy

You know what, as a child, I was always pretty sad when the Beast turned into that vacant-eyed blond-haired guy. It just wasn't HIM anymore. I mean I was a Christian homeschooled kid, so I didn't even understand the obvious, like, "If he'd stayed a Beast, their romance would be really discomfiting and R-rated for everybody." But it always made me feel so weird.

Also, actually relevant: I think the author is being not only tongue-in-cheek but also pretty fair. She's not saying dump the boyfriend, come back to the tea-party coven, she's just saying, um, don't abandon everybody else besides your boyfriend? Which seems good for everyone involved.

July 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSara

yes, abandoning your friends because you have a boyfriend isn't a very nice thing to do. i have two boyfriends and they're both much better looking than warren beatty and i haven't abandoned my girlfriends.

July 30, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteryvonne

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