If boyfriend were a four-letter word, like say cork, fork or germ, I’m sure my southwest potty mouth would have no trouble wrapping peachy lips around it. It’d boyfriend this and boyfriend that and where’s your boyfriending beer or what’s that boyfriend’s issue? But it’s a nine-lettered soft word that carries a soft meaning that is much harder to say than your average curse. It can be tricky.
If you missed the memo I met someone recently. I like him a lot. We hold hands in cars and stuff. I reckon he counts as being my boyfriend after the ultimate event, which happened a few weeks ago – we shared a toothbrush.
We’ve done a few things together since then. Just the usual courtship rituals, he staked my tomatoes and charmed my cousin’s daughter who has now lost all affection for me in favour of him and I, well I’m not sure I have contributed much but I did make a cake that leaked icing through my car and was thrown out the window of the vehicle.
It’s still early days, I admit, but the two of us make a nice team. I even told Ben our teamwork was solid and he agreed although wondered what contribution I made to the squad. Never mind, it’s an easy-to-comprehend scenario – we like each other and want to spend a lot of time together.
Still, that word chokes out like a regurgitated fish bone. We went to a friend’s wedding on the weekend, together – and that’s quite a boyfriend/girlfriend thing to do – but it still felt weird saying the word. Other guests were confused about our status until they saw the photobooth shots. It was a mighty fine wedding too, I must say.
The reassuring thing is that I’m not the only one.
I’ve seen couples battle with this word in the early days more time than I’ve heard David Attenborough say the word mating. It’s harder to get out than Shelly sells sea shells by the serpents door seven times quickly with a shared toothbrush in your mouth. People who have started to look at each other with intimate expressions quickly revert to business-like, frank looks when confronted with the B-word. Ironically it can be the ultimate mood killer.
So, why is it so hard?
Is it the vulnerability? If you say you are and the other thinks you’re still just friends that makes for a conversation more awkward than meeting the parents for the first time. Or maybe it’s the feminist in me trying to keep the solo adventure pumping. However, I try to keep that feminist side tucked away most of the time so the boys can carry my bags, so I doubt that’s it. Commitment phobia is a possibility, but fear is useless here.
Perhaps there is a feeling of losing independence, of future compromises that will be brokered on whether to have crumbed steak or normal steak for dinner. The vegies or salad decision may be taken away. Nar, at this ripe honeymooning stage I would even eat a well-done steak without complaint.
I don’t have the answer here. For me, right now, I think it’s a matter of taking time to change my mindset. It’s been almost five years since I had a boyfriend, officially. Don’t worry Nanna it hasn’t been too dull. Having someone to call, just to hear their voice, that’s a nice change.
So I’m going to reach out on a limb here, and I’m only doing this because of this blog that I’m determined to maintain even though I feel less like sharing the intimate details of my life now there’s someone in it, but I will say it.
He’s not just my travelling companion or the auctioneer. Please meet my boyfriend, Ben. (That’s ok to call you that, right, Ben?)