There are certain things you just know, beyond the benefit of a Google search, originated in New York City. Examples: 24 hour delis, jaywalking, drunk brunch, sample sales, and gay boyfriends. In a city where there are 600,000 more single women than men (yes, that’s the statistic; yes, it terrifies me), it’s no surprise we’ve come up with some alternatives to the typical boyfriend-girlfriend hetero standard. A gay boyfriend (GBF) is there when you need a date for your company fundraiser; he’ll bring you soup when you’re sick (and you don’t have to worry you look like shit); he’ll properly acknowledge the fierceness of your Carlos Miele jumpsuit. Where would Grace be without Will?
My gay-boyfriend is nothing like Stanford Blatch. (He’s waaaay hotter.) We actually have a fairly conventional relationship by New York standards. For starters, we aren’t exclusive. I know he sees other women, in fact he lives with one (she honestly has more right to call him her gay-boyfriend but whatever). Second, we never had the “relationship defining talk”. I just started calling him my gay-boyfriend (in a Valentine’s Day post here) because, well, because I felt like it. “I’m so glad I get that title,” he said, rolling his eyes. I love you, too! I said, ignoring the obvious sarcasm and thinking to myself, He loves it. He just doesn’t want to admit it!
I haven’t called anyone else my boyfriend in quite sometime. Not since Cute Theater Boy. Surprisingly, this doesn’t mean boys’ don’t call me their girlfriend. Safa Boy referred to me as his girlfriend in his diary (which made his infidelities all the more inexcusable). Though he shrugged off our breakup with a “We aren’t even really dating”, I know Banjo Guy calls me his ex-girlfriend. He ran into one of my co-workers at a bar and I was brought up in conversation via”My ex-girlfriend works there.” (Co-worker to me the next day: “I ran into your ex yesterday.” Me: What? Who? Co-worker: “‘Banjo Guy.'” Me: What? Did he say that? We casually dated. He was never ever my boyfriend. Co-worker: “Oh good. He seemed weird. Border-line creepy.” Me: Yep, he is!) Trader Joe’s Boy I have slightly less concrete proof: “girlfriend” was never said or written to my explicit knowledge. However, upon returning from a trip home to North (or South? I can never remember) Carolina, he presented me with a gift: earrings from his grandmother. If he told his grandmother I was just some girl he was sleeping with and not his girlfriend, I will break my Macbook up into little pieces and eat it (and you know what my laptop means to me).
Clearly I know, first-hand, exactly how weird it is to be titled “girlfriend” when the point has yet to be established. Yet, it certainly didn’t stop me from titling my GBF. Yep, I’m a hypocrite. No, I’m not reconsidering. The title stays…unless he breaks up with me. (I am leaving my bike, my baby of sorts, in his care this summer. I might not do that if he dumps me…If you’re reading GBF, that is as it looks. A threat. Xoxo!) But I don’t think he will dump me (despite the abusive/manipulative nature of that last parenthesis). Our relationship just got more serious than any other I’ve had recently. I met a parent.
I have mentioned my love of free/cheap theatre before. Honestly, I probably love it more than my GBF (sorry babe). I recently discovered an amazing website: www.studentrush.org and its Will Call Club. Sign up, they don’t send spam, and you get access to $5 Broadway (and Off-Broadway) tickets. (I just went on to make sure I had my details right, and saw they had $5 tickets for Arcadia! Seeing it tomorrow! SCORE.) They often pop up last-minute and may be for inconvenient matinees, but for my lifestyle and spontaneous nature, it’s perfect. That said, I’ll buy $5 tickets with mad abandon. I am prone to buy 2-3 and just assume I’ll be able to find people who want to go. So far I have seen Baby, It’s You and That Championship Season. Neither are productions I would exactly choose to see on my own (Arcadia is!) but well worth the cost of a Subway sandwich or a round trip subway ride. In addition, the feeling of paying a negligible sum and then sitting next to people who paid over a hundred dollars is nothing short of magical. Need I say more? If you live in New York, or are planning a visit, sign up!
If there is one show on Broadway that I would never, in a million years pay more that $5 for, it is Rain:A Tribute to The Beatles. Like any theater snob, I often turn up my nose at “jukebox musicals” (Jersey Boys succeeded where almost all fail). Though I love The Beatles (who doesn’t?), this picture alone was a turn off:
The shows tag line is “The Next Best Thing to seeing the Beatles!” Another turn off. Both scream “WE ARE TRYING SO HARD TO BE JUST LIKE THE BEATLES!” Which is going to be a loosing battle, no question. Plus, you don’t move to New York to see the next best thing! Regardless, when it popped up on StudentRush I snagged 3 tickets. As I said, who doesn’t love The Beatles? I figured it would at least be a cheap night of million dollar scenery and great music.
I ended up going with my GBF and his father. A man who’s lived in the state of NY his entire life, with hair swept up in a not-quite-long-enough-but-it’s-trying ponytail (GBF:”Dad, it makes you look like a lesbian.”), and not the most easy person to get along with (much like my own father). By the end of night I’d charmed him. He may not have thought I was as great as the show (which he loved, GBF was indifferent to, and I hated but didn’t tell anyone), but he gave me a hug at the end of the night. Though I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’d eat my laptop if proved wrong, I strongly suspect he is not a “hugger”.
“My dad LOVED you,” my GBF reported the next day, “He thought you were so bubbly and sweet. ‘I hope she makes it big!’ he said.” I smiled. I know I’m good with parents. Being an only child, it was a necessity. Hopefully someday I’ll meet parents I really need to impress. I’m much more confident in my abilities at making parents fall in love with me than making men fall in love with me. (Sigh.) If you ever need to pretend you have a girlfriend, I said, knowing he had yet to come out to his father, I totally volunteer. I figured it was only polite (and funny) to offer. “I was planning on telling him at dinner that night,” he said. It was originally supposed to be just him and his dad at dinner the night we saw Rain, but after I’d got them tickets, I was invited along. “What?” I wasn’t sure I understood. “If it was just the two of us, I was going to come out to my dad at dinner.” I stopped you from coming out to your dad!? I shrieked. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll do it next time.”
Clearly I am causing more harm than good in this relationship.