For those of you who live in the real world, aka everyone but college students where life is blissful, you know what it's like going home for break to a cozy decorated home, some little animal critter scurrying around, your mom thrilled to have you sleep in a twin bed, and some older relative sitting down to dinner to ask that fateful question: So does Alex have a special man???
Now, I'm not a liar. Just kidding, I lie all the time. Like just then. But if my g-ma would rather go to the grave knowing there's someone I'm boning out of love, not hateful spite, on a regular basis, then yes Grandma. I do have a boyfriend. And his name is...Something hot but tasteful... Like.... Luke. Yes. His name is Luke. And he is my boyfriend. He is an engineer for a flourishing company, cooks me dinner once a week, takes wonderful care of his pet terrier and wow, Luke sounds great! OH MY GOD EVEN I'M FOOLING MYSELF. Much to my (not) surprise, my grandma smiled and uttered "Well he sounds just lovely!" with the most hopeful and perky expression that almost made my regret go away. Almost.
Once I realized how easily Luke won over my dementia-prone grandparent, I wondered how much easier my everyday conversations would be and if interest in me would change if I brought the love of my life, Luke Something, into the picture.
SO THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT I DID. And the results were fucking fabulous. Kinda.
At Work: People at my job don't really know much about me other than that I have brown hair, wear eyeglasses occasionally, and am, in fact, female. But, I figured those things are slightly obvious. Finally, a coworker asked what I do when I'm not work. I explained my pursuit of acting and comedy, joining a sketch and improv team, and...hanging out with my boyfriend Luke. And of the three of those, the only one he commented on was Luke. Who was he? Where'd I find him? How long? But no comments on my own personal pursuits or life goals. Huh. Interesting. Maybe it's fate lashing back at my blatant lie. But still...
At the Bar: This one's a little far fetched. Part of the idea of going out is for the purpose of meeting someone to bang and then never speak to again...I mean kissing and exchanging digits. But when I spoke to a very very nice young man and mentioned Luke, there was no disappointment in his voice. It was more of a peaked interest in knowing the type of guy that took me off the market. His expression told me he wanted to know what he could do to make a lady's status read "Off the market." Not desperate. Just curious. I kinda felt bad. But then I was like it's for science so whatever.
At Yoga/Cycling/Miscellaneous Basic Betch Workout: I met a nice girl after a cycling class and we immediately hit it off. I asked her out for drinks, and she agreed. We met up, ate pizza, drank cosmos, and then threw up the pizza. I figured we were gonna skip the getting-to-know-each-other part and go straight to being best friends. And then we started the relationship discussion. When I told her about Luke, she wanted to know how I met him and where she could find one. After she and her last boyfriend split six months ago, she was desperate to get back into something. And suddenly, what defined her as the independent, free-spirited woman I believed her to be was broken when she confessed her desire (or need?) to be loved by a man.
At those random life moments: I was in Barnes & Nobles (a phrase not regularly spoken since 2008) when a guy dropped several books that I picked up. After speaking for several minutes, I learned he had a girlfriend named Catherine. Or Kathryn. Or Katharine. That name is spelled so many damned ways. When I mentioned Luke, we connected for a sec about our common denominator of having "others." But then he sought information about my boyfriend so he could combat it with some fun fact about how Catherine was like that too, but better. I was like woah Jessie J, let's slow down here. First of all, Luke's not even real. I mean... And second of all, what's with the sudden need to compete? As if our status was only defined by how much our relationships build us up. That one really bummed me out. He didn't even buy those books...
In conclusion, I am left with these thoughts:
Why is it that people are suddenly more interesting when someone else can claim ownership to them? There's a certain fascination with meeting someone and judging their worth based on guessing and then learning their relationship status. And when you've been claimed, there's a desire that people recognize, therefore holding you in a different (perhaps higher) regard. And that's just fucking weird.
So go turn on "Grown Woman" and put on your single girl outfit. Or shout to the world that you love your boyfriend while still maintaining your individuality! Either way, get pizza afterwards and enjoy your life. Who the f cares?
This post is dedicated to my best friend Jenn, who should never forget that she's perfect. And thanks to Luke for being very much not real.