Ode to the Good Ones:
Lately I’ve noticed myself making a lot of off-hand comments about my taste in men, and while it’s about 97% sarcasm and 3% fact, this is a dangerous habit to get into, because if you do it for too long, I imagine that suddenly you look around and you’ve become one of those whiny, haggard capri pant-wearing bitches in yogurt commercials. Also, it just makes you sound like an idiot for ending up with all these allegedly worthless guys in the first place. And besides, after really thinking about it, my taste isn’t that bad.
I like nice guys, not assholes or players or whatever the fuck it is we’re calling immature these days. I’ve never dated anyone I would have been embarrassed for my parents to meet. And while I have admittedly picked some real winners in the past, like the guy who wanted me to pay his parking ticket when he parked in a fire zone on our first date, or the guy who cheated on me for three months and then refused my break up, or the guy whose Indian name would have been Heap Big Waste of My Time, or the guy who went off his meds and dumped me on my birthday, I’ve never dated anyone truly evil or cruel or hateful. As a matter of fact, I’ve had two truly wonderful ex-boyfriends, and I should quit bitching and give credit where credit is due.
I met J. in college and we hit it off immediately and dated for four years, and I think that everyone thought we were going to get married, us included. That didn’t work out, but that’s really for the best and now we’re great friends. J. had this infectious enthusiasm, and he knew more about music than anyone else in the history of the world, and made the best mix tapes and loved my family and he would get down on the floor and play with children wherever they were, and we both could make each other laugh harder than anyone else. He was the first guy I ever felt completely comfortable enough around to really be myself. He was also very kind-hearted and patient and dedicated to making things work. One time in college, I had a nightmare that freaked me out so badly that I called him in the middle of the night, and he came out of a dead sleep to tell me to imagine that Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore were hanging out in my doorway, guarding my room, and ain’t nobody gonna fuck with them, so go back to sleep, baby. This was so totally and inexplicably one of the most heartwarming things ever that I think of it now whenever I have a bad dream.
The last guy I felt really seriously for was B. He was super smart, with the dryest sense of humor and a flawless delivery and brown eyes and dimples when he smiled, which is an irresistible combination for me. He was very quiet and thoughtful, and I’m positive that had he been born a few decades earlier, he’d have been all horn-rimmed glasses and sexy tan forearms in short-sleeved plaid buttondowns and working at NASA. B. was one of those people who said the funniest things just under his breath and then never repeated them, so making him laugh made me feel like the coolest person in the world. He would listen to me talk for hours, and I never once felt like he wasn’t 100% interested in what I was saying. He was also very gentle and sweet and self-deprecating in way that would put Lloyd Dobbler to shame. He won my heart when he told me that before he called me on the phone for the first time, he went and brushed his teeth.
Both J. and B. were good listeners and excellent writers and very dependable, and they were both an enormous source of strength and comfort to me. Both of them were more than just boyfriends; they were my best friends, and they made me very happy while we were together. Of course, they weren’t perfect and neither was I, and our relationships obviously weren’t, but they were both sweet, kind, good people, and even though it didn’t work out with either of them in the long run, I no longer view this as a failure: I know that I’m so lucky that they played a part in my life. And thinking about them like this makes me excited about my future, because if I managed to attract men this great in the past, whoever comes next is going to be fucking amazing.
I just hope he doesn’t have a buttchin.