How To Introduce Your Boyfriend

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Gosh, it’s been such a fabulous night so far: dinner at a fancy restaurant, followed by The Color Purple at the Mercury, followed by ice cream, followed by a moonlit stroll through the park; just a wonderful, magical time. A real life Before Sunrise. I’m so glad you asked me to come out with you. But the night doesn’t have to end now that we’re back at my apartment. Why don’t you come in? Yes, come inside, and see my living room, my roommate’s room—she’s gone for the night—and over here is my bedroom, where we can, you know, go inside, and, you know, keep the fun going, mmm, you know, like, do stuff—

With my boyfriend! Oh, it looks like we caught him fully naked under the covers of my bed after a shower. Have you met my boyfriend, Greg? Greg is the funniest, kindest person I’ve ever met. He volunteers at the local food bank, the Humane Society, and also he teaches creative writing to victims of domestic abuse. He wrote a book about his experiences called Resilience: Starting Over After Domestic Violence. We’ve been dating a long time. We’ve been dating eighteen years. Yes, we’ve been dating since first grade, when we fell in love on the playground. I’ve never kissed anyone else ever in my whole life, and one day, we’ll get married on a mountain top. Isn’t that romantic?

Wow, seeing you shake his hand, I’m suddenly aware of how much smaller your hand is than Greg’s, like one of those baby photos where they put the tiny baby’s hand in the dad’s huge man hand. Let’s linger on this size discrepancy, really ruminate on how growth hormones can vary so widely between individuals of the same species. Notice how prenatal testosterone exposure can vary the differences in the lengths of the second and fourth finger. Greg’s difference in finger length, for example, indicates far greater in-utero testosterone exposure. It’s almost as if you’re two different breeds, like he’s the Great Dane and you’re the Corgi. That’s so hilarious!

And what’s the stereotype about hand size? I can’t remember. Greg, do you remember what it means when a man has huge hands? We’ll google it before you leave.

Listen, I want you guys to be best friends. Give Greg your phone number, friend him on Facebook, and follow his Twitter. Do it now. Now. You both like writing—although you didn’t write a book, only cat listicles for the internet—so you can bond over that. From now on, we can all hang out together like an episode of New Girl. I can call you “my boys,” give you dating advice, and after I fall asleep, you two can talk about Grand Theft Auto, football, Sons of Anarchy, or whatever stupid crap boys talk about. Maybe I’ll come home from work to find you two cooking pad thai for dinner, and I’ll say, “Oh, I love my boys!” And you’ll both say simultaneously, “We love you, Jennifer!” Then we’ll laugh and laugh and laugh, and a shower of rose petals will fall from the ceiling.

What I cherish about our relationship is how we can spend so much time together and have such intimate conversations without either one of us being romantically attracted to the other. I mean, it’s refreshing to be so physically unattracted to someone, like the stakes are so shockingly low I feel free to disclose my innermost feelings, like having a human receptacle for all my melodrama. When I look at you, I think, Here’s someone I don’t have to impress. In fact, I sometimes forget you’re even a heterosexual male when I’m caressing your arm, rubbing your neck, or sitting in your lap. If you were anyone else, I’d worry about misinterpreted signals, but this relationship is so obviously platonic, so clearly brother-sisterly, I don’t worry about it.

Excuse me while I move this box of Magnum condoms from the bookshelf to the bedside table for no reason. Hey, this reminds me: I should tell you all about our sex life in lush detail: we have lots of sex, constantly, aggressively, loudly. Look at this bruise on my upper thigh. That’s from sex. Look at this hicky above my nipple. Sex. That used condom by your foot? Definitely sex. We’ll probably have sex immediately after you leave our apartment, initiate insertion the instant the front door clicks shut. You might even hear my ear piercing sex moans (shrieks) as you descend the stairs one by one, meditating on the sequence of events that brought you to this moment and your inability to alter it.

Apropos of nothing, let me tell you what we did for Valentine’s Day. He surprised me with a hundred red roses, then we went ice skating, then he reenacted our first date, then we went skinny dipping, then he gave me a full-body sensual massage, and then we had dinner in bed. It was the most romantic day ever, and now you know about it.

Well, looks like it’s started pouring rain outside, and you have such a long walk back to your empty apartment. What will you do there, I wonder? Will you stare vacantly into the bathroom mirror? Will you eat a whole cake in the dark? Will you watch Synecdoche New York while rearranging a handful of pills on your desk? That’s cool. We’ll be here, you know, having sex. TC mark

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