Issue #124 – “Boyfriend” – February 11th, 2008

-Valentine’s Day sucks for single girls and for guys in relationships, but is awesome for girls in relationships, and is of absolutely no consequence to single guys.  As a member of the latter group, Valentine’s Day is barely even a blip on my radar.  However, despite reveling in my current state of bachelorhood, I haven’t always been single.  There was my girlfriend in high school (whom I haven’t seen since the day we graduated), my girlfriend in college (who later married my fraternity brother), my girlfriend in New York (my relationship with whom fell apart when I moved to LA), and my girlfriend in Los Angeles (my relationship with whom fell apart when she moved to New York).  So, I haven’t had a whole lot of luck in this game.  I can only hope, then, that my abilities (or lack thereof) as a boyfriend are not solely to blame.

-I’ve never really been the jealous type.  If I’m dating a girl and she wants to go out with an ex-boyfriend who’s in town, I always give my blessing.  I guess I just tend to feel secure in my relationships.  The problem is, chicks want their boyfriends to feel a little jealous.  I don’t get that.  To me it’s a pleasant treat to have some other dude buy my girlfriend dinner every once in a while.

-I’ve been told I get defensive.  Which is fucking ridiculous and totally not true.  Seriously, though, arguing about being defensive is probably the most futile thing a couple can do.  Because what’s the only response you can have when someone accuses you of being defensive?  “I’m not being defensive.”  Which is inherently defensive.  I mean, that’s the kind of shit that makes even couples therapists seek counseling.

-Although she’s just now making her debut in Ruminations, I did have a serious girlfriend in LA for about six months last year.  She was five years younger than me, which actually didn’t matter too much.  The bigger deal was that she had just finished college when we met and, as we all know, that’s a pretty serious transition.  Believe me, it was odd being in a relationship when one of us was still quite immature, constantly drunk, and spending too much time on Facebook – and the other had just graduated.

-When I moved to LA in 2005, long distance quickly ended the relationship I had with my girlfriend in New York.  In 2006, for reasons having nothing to do with me, she ended up moving to Los Angeles.  Incredibly, the last time I saw her, at a bar in West Hollywood, happened to be the first night I met my new girlfriend.  It was almost as if a symbolic torch had been passed: “I put up with this neurotic asshole on the East Coast; I now bequeath that honor to you on the West Coast.  Be careful, he gets defensive.”  After we dated for a while, the new girlfriend decided to move to New York for the summer of 2007.  By the time she returned, the torch had been extinguished.  Even temporary long distance proved too much for me to handle, and I’ve been unattached ever since (much to the dismay of discriminating single women throughout Los Angeles).

-In the end, I think my varied experiences as a boyfriend have taught me a lot about sharing (don’t like it), compromise (not good at it), and sacrifice (not worth it).  I learned some interesting things, such as what actually goes on inside one of those mani-pedi places.  And I learned some things I’d rather not know about, such as what a UTI is.  But, ultimately, I learned that I’m not ready to be a boyfriend again any time soon.  In the meantime, I hope my exes’ new boyfriends are as secure in their relationships as I was, and let me hang out with their girlfriends every once in a while.  Either way, it will be a Happy Valentine’s Day for me indeed – since I won’t be celebrating it at all.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-To me, the kind of pizza you enjoy is one of your unique identifiers.  If the cops find the victim of a grisly murder but can’t match the dental records, they could probably just check out the leftover pie in the fridge and then ask around.  “Deep dish with black olives and green peppers,” your friends would tearfully say, “That must be Jim.”

-I just finished up another round of interviewing high school seniors who are applying to my alma mater.  And once again, I’m so pissed that none of these kids seemed the least bit intimidated by me.  Now don’t get me wrong, as a relatively recent graduate myself, I go out of my way to make the interviewees feel comfortable.  But why do I feel like I’m more nervous than they are?  What are they feeding these fucking kids?

-Do you have that friend that, when you just miss his call, you know there’s a good chance you won’t be able to connect with him for about six months?  My doctor friend Adam called me a few weeks ago, but I couldn’t get to the phone in time.  I called him back six seconds later, it went directly to his voicemail, and then he never called me back.  So much for catching up.  When I’m at his wedding this summer, I may just pass him a note or something when he walks down the aisle.

-As I prepare to embark on another stand-up tour, I continue to get the same ridiculous questions from perplexed friends and family members.  My Uncle Mike actually asked me if I bring my own microphone when I travel the country.  That still cracks me up.  I told him that the B.Y.O.M. fad that briefly swept the nation has thankfully subsided and that each venue does in fact graciously provide me with a mic.  I do, however, have to bring my own stool.  Which is a pain in the ass to get into the overhead compartment.

-My buddy Justin had his annual Super Bowl party here in LA.  Unfortunately, he decided not to get a keg this year, which turned the first quarter festivities into a game of “Let’s see how many fucking beers we can jam into this fridge.”

-And, finally, that brings us to my New York Giants: kings of the known football universe.  This is the first time one of my teams has won a championship since I moved from New York to LA, and I must say it was very surreal.  Mostly because LA is a stew of people from all across the country.  There was one other Giants fan at the party, zero Patriots fans, and about sixteen other teams represented.  I was rocking my Rodney Hampton jersey in a sea of palpable (albeit drunken) disinterest.  When the Giants won, I called my dad to exult and then traipsed to an after-party in the Hollywood Hills where I’m not sure anyone had even watched the game.  Meanwhile, in New York, revelers took spontaneously to the streets.  One of my buddies, clad in Giants gear, even met a chick at a bar and got laid – most certainly the fortuitous result of abundant merriment in the air.  The next morning, I woke up late, watched SportsCenter over and over again, and fielded emails from my surprisingly gracious Boston fans.  (To be fair, I have something they want, but they have something I want – namely another World Series ring.)  I called my dad again to recap and made myself a delicious pizza – something he taught me how to do the last time I was in New York.  And as I sat down to partake of the championship feast I had created, I knew I could die tomorrow a happy man – Giants jersey in one hand, identifying slice in the other.  Fuck me.