1. Pick a significant other’s belly-button lint.
In relationships, you’re suddenly eager to do the chores and run the errands that you had always refused to do for your mom; things that you only had enough energy to do for yourself. And it becomes apparent to you, as you’re fingering your boyfriend’s belly-button, that perhaps the Spice Girls were right all along: that in love, two really does become one.
2. Inspect their moles for malignancies.
There comes a point in every relationship when your man lies, face-down, and you take a magnifying glass to his back moles. The last science class you took was “Human Sexuality” during your freshman year of college — you’re not quite confident with your mole-examining skills. Yet, as you triumphantly grab hold of the magnifying glass and feel this odd sensation of boundless devotion for another person, you suddenly possess the necessary skills. And so you give him a thorough checkup and also a prostate exam — y’know, while you’re at it.
3. Rejoice in smelly armpits.
So a strange man’s smelly armpit sidling up next to you on the subway revolts you, huh? Maybe it even compels you to get off at the next stop, even though it’s not yours, and run to the nearest doctor to get tested for lupus. Yet you go home to an equally smelly armpit and declare it’s delicious because it belongs to a man who claims to love you and sometimes powders your butt too. It’s not fair; it shouldn’t be the case, and yet it is.
4. Go down on your s/o after a long day.
It’s taken you myriad nights, heaps of kneepads and every D’Angelo song you could think of to determine what exactly your man’s balls smell like after a long, sweaty day, but you’ve finally figured it out. A burnt ferret, diced and ceviched…seven years old.
5. Pop their upper thigh pimples.
You’re not even conscious of it anymore; in fact, you may have lost consciousness altogether. Still, you watch yourself, night after night — as if from outside your own body — mechanically move your hand onto his thigh. As you’re stroking his quads, you encounter some road bumps and, without an extra thought, you’re suddenly performing extractions on his whiteheads, using techniques you’ve learned from years of facials. And then, after about an hour of this, he turns to you and offers, “Umm, thanks?”
6. Clip their toenails.
In relationships, there are an endless number of things that can trick you into becoming revolting or despicable. For instance you might be so focused on your boyfriend’s feet talons that you don’t even notice yourself kneeling at his at them as he’s on the toilet to clip his toenails. A hangnail could have flown into your mouth and you would hardly flinch. Which reminds me…
7. Talk to them through the door while they poop.
That is, if you two even bother to close the door anymore. You’re not even sure when this started; it’s as if you woke up one morning and were suddenly fluent in your dude’s poop schedule. Sometimes, just for shits and to maybe jazz things up a bit, you’ll pull out the ol’ “But girls only poop flowers!” card. But then you remember that this stopped being cute after that one time you farted on his head.
8. Pick their boogers.
Compared to being single, when you’re in a relationship, you just have a different outlook on the world. What you used to see as nothing but boogers in someone’s nose, you now see as a magnificent opportunity for more booger picking. You take the phrase “what’s mine is yours,” and you crank it up a notch. One time you almost gave him a bloody nose…and it was weird.
9. Do chores in the nude that we should never do in the nude.
Maybe your boyfriend always said how cute you looked when you read in bed naked. But then, for convenience’ sake, you took the opportunity to stretch the compliment and make it encompass a lot more. Cooking? naked. Jumping rope? Naked. Changing lightbulbs? Jumping for the cereal on the top shelf? Vacuuming? Naked, naked, always naked. You vaguely remember a Seinfeld episode where Jerry is repulsed by his girlfriend who does the most menial house chores naked, but you quickly expel those defeatist thoughts from your mind.
10. Kiss first thing in the morning, before brushing teeth.
Do you like the smell of cabbage? How about cabbage boiled in East River water? And then sprinkled with two-year-old kimchee? Nah? Then how come you kiss it every morning; I ask you that. And yet you’re probably wondering the same thing yourself.