I’ll Make Up a Biker Boyfriend If It Makes Life Easier

I spent my weekend working at the International Motorcycle Show. The convention center was filled to capacity with leather garments, reprehensible hair cuts, flinch-inducing tattoos, and TESTOSTERONE. With the male to female ratio an astounding 10:1, this may be the #1 place to meet a man in NYC. If you’re into muscled biker types, buy your ticket for next year’s show NOW. My job, as it so often is, was to stand, smile, and look pretty (and interest people in a brand/sell a product- it is actually work). I spent the entire weekend fighting off men. Not surprisingly, they are a more aggressive bunch than the ComicCon nerds lot.

The 2013 International Motorcycle Show
Oh woe is me! It’s so hard being a pretty girl! The constant flattery, frequent free drinks, rarely having to open a door for myself, it’s exhausting! 

I can feel the collective eye roll from my dude-readers.

It’s such a pretty girl cliché to complain about the men who hit on us.

Yes, most of them are harmless and -I’ll be the first to admit it- ego boosts. That said, the slimy feeling when a man’s eyes scan your body, slowly from toe to tip, is a real one. The look in his eyes says he’s a ravenous beast and you’re a fresh cut of meat. He’s an Italian grandmother at the butcher and you’re the perfect roast behind the counter. He can imagine sticking you with his meat thermometer as you cook in the oven. If any one shows interest in you before the butcher calls his number, he will smack that bitch with his handbag. Imagine feeling like a bloody, raw, 125 pound chunk of meat sliced from the flank of genetically modified livestock.

It sucks. Am I right, ladies?

That said, the men who look at me like I’m sirloin are few and far between. Even at a biker bonanza with the accompanying “bad boy” and “rebel without a cause” clichés. I’m a grown women, someone who’s been “pretty” for the majority of her adult life (post-college at least). I’ve refuted the advances of plenty of men in my time. Bikers may be more intimidating than the average man on my subway commute, but they don’t punch you in the nose if you decline to give them your number.

Still, as all women -from “homely” to drop dead gorgeous- know, nothing gets a man to accept rejection better than ye old “I have a boyfriend” line.

Thus, I spent the entire weekend pretending to have a boyfriend.


His name is Joe. He rides a Yamaha. He is also in a band called The SpitTakes where he plays a Yamaha. Did you know Yamaha is a brand of motorcycle AND a brand of pianos? I never knew that prior to attending the motorcycle show but I think it’s AWESOME. Joe is 31 and works in construction. He’s on the team building the Freedom Tower, how cool is that? He’s Irish, 6’2″ tall, full head of jet black hair, and sparkling blue eyes. He has the ever-so-slight beginnings of a beer belly. A tattoo of a mermaid/lady pirate is inked upon his forearm. My father hates him. Joe would kick your ass if he knew you were flirting with me.

This is his motorcycle. Sexy right?
[image: totalmotorcyle.com]
But not as sexy as his other Yamaha!
But not as sexy as his other Yamaha!
[image: musiciansbuy.com]
So that’s “Joe”.

I haven’t had a real boyfriend in almost four years. It’s at the point where the TV series/movie/book based on my life would start referring to their heroine as “chronically single”. To the point where blogs about my life, autobiographical no less, start identifying me as such.

This was a recent realization. One likely made in the shower, on a solitary stroll, or whilst lying awake in bed. (Ok, I don’t remember where I realized it, so I fall back on cliché). The point is, I realized that however much I think I want a boyfriend, the actual prospect terrifies me. An actual flesh and body, independent minded man whom I have no control over. One I choose and connect myself to so that he is directly associated with me by a label: BOYFRIEND. A man who won’t see me as a piece of meat or just a pretty face. He’ll see all my flaws. This man will undeniably threaten my current way of life…

Yes, you guessed it: this realization was in part spurred by a man in my life who seems interested in the label. My hands are sweating just thinking about it (which isn’t really saying much, my hands are always clammy -fun fact, right? But the affliction sometimes comes in handy  -pun intended- to emphasize a point). But maybe he’s not! He hasn’t exactly said as much…I’m probably making it up! Ok, admitting you have a problem is the first step. Acceptance is a vital step toward change.

Here goes:
Hi. My name is New York Cliché. I am chronically single. I make up boyfriends to make my life easier. And..and…commitment scares me.

About New York Cliche

NYC lifestyle blog by Mary Lane. Events, adventures, epic mistakes, dating, life, humor. A 20-something trying to make it (and make out) in the city of dreams.

131 thoughts on “I’ll Make Up a Biker Boyfriend If It Makes Life Easier

    1. haha not hard to guess 90% of the time! But that other 10% I sometimes shocking. Like, really 50 year old woman in a pink sweater, are you really a biker? Or just an insanely supportive mom/girlfriend? I wanted to try to sneak into the travel show- alas- no time! Glad I can live vicariously through you instead!

  1. Thankfully? I don’t usually notice when I’m being checked out (unless it’s the sirloin look). Boyfriend however, notices every time, and I am a bit surprised that these guys are that bold to check me out while I’m with my boyfriend but have never been bold enough to actually talk to me while i’m by myself. Thankful for that, but really? haha 🙂

    1. It’s always weird to catch a man blatantly checking out a woman as she walks away. See it all the time on the streets of NYC. But yeah, women don’t have eyes in the back of their heads (contrary to popular belief?) so how can we notice those? Maybe they just do it reflexively, bf or no.

      1. Perhaps that is the case. By the way, congrats on being Freshly Pressed! I was looking at my reader and going, “I already read this…OH it’s Freshly Pressed! YAY!” 🙂

  2. Haha. I’m in a Samantha category, I never get talked to or asked out but the hubs swears guys check me out (apparently I’m just most attractive from the backside, which is why I never see it). But great job on creating the fake boyfriend- very convincing with all the details!

    1. I’ve heard wearing a ring makes you pretty invisible to wandering eyes. Or makes the wandering eyes more subtle, maybe?
      haha, thanks, I had a lot of fun building up “Joe”.

  3. As a motorcyclist who rides a Yamaha, it first impresses me that you chose a Yamaha for your fictitious boyfriend to ride. May I say good choice.
    Let the ride continue!

  4. I’m glad that worked out for you! I have tried that trick before (saying I have a boyfriend – and sometimes it was actually true :o), but somehow they aren’t affected. They’ll just ask me where he is and insist on giving me his number so we can be “friends”. But hey – maybe I’m a terrible liar!

    I really enjoyed your post. Don’t worry, we’re all afraid of committing… But when he’s there he’ll LOVE your little flaws 🙂

  5. Wow, I totally relate to the “chronically single”, afraid-of-commitment thing, and like you I feel like acknowledging that fear is the first step. I’ve only recently started making the conscious effort to put myself out there, be more vulnerable, etc, and it’s definitely taken me outside my comfort zone. I’m also (like you) possibly moving into a relationship–my first in several years (during which there were some dates and a 1.5 month “thing” but nothing I consider I real adult relationship). It’s an ongoing process, but I’m trying to take it one step at a time and not stress too much. I feel ya, sister 🙂

    Also, I’ve never been the sort to have men hitting on me left and right, but the couple of times I’ve employed the “fake boyfriend” tactic I’ve discovered that it definitely has the tendency to backfire. Some guys see the existence of a boyfriend as a challenge, haha.

    1. Thanks Hayley, I’m so glad you can relate! I’ve been going through the process of putting myself out there for a couple of years. I’ve been successful- gone on many dates and had several “things” (yep, like you usually around 1.5 months). But it’s never gone past that. And I’d like to think it’s because of the guys, but nope, I gotta admit it’s because of me! Looking forward to checking out your blog, I know single sisterly support always helps me 🙂

  6. Interesting post…I’ve made up a boyfriend a time or two as well. I am also what you would call “chronically single”. My problem is not commitment, however. My problem is that I am terrified to get hurt. Turns out that too much rejection equals a subconscious preference to stay single. Maybe for me admitting it is also the first step. So, now what?

    1. I’ve been terrified of getting hurt too, so I hear ya. Second step…realizing you don’t want to be with someone who doesnt want to be with you? But if the people who rejected you were jerks about it- that’s gonna be hard to shake.

  7. loved your blog especially the comment about being a commitment phobe. I used to have panic attacks about being married – which was weird because I’d already been married for 5 years at that point. Have you checked online to see if that band exists? lol

    1. Panic attacks about being married while you’re married? That is so weird, and a little funny too. Hope they’ve stopped! The quickest of google searches lead me to learn there is no band called The SpitTakes! I’m surprised! Thanks for inspiring me to look. And now I kinda want to start that band…

      1. You should definitely do it (the band). I’d join if I didn’t live in a whole other country.

        As for the panic attacks…..its been nearly 19 years and 4 kids later so I’m kinda over it and don’t regret any of it. It was tough and scary at the time though.,,,,,,These big steps we take……not exactly like the movies or Friends. Have to be honest and say it was faith that rescued me. Can’t take any credit for it myself 🙂

    1. Oh boy did I realize that with this post. It is awesome to know so many others are in the same boat. And yes, I feel sorry for any one who feeds off sexual attention (I’ve seen guys who do too!)

  8. I’ve been in your shoes for many years myself so I can totally relate. I’ve even employed the I have a boyfriend tactic too. But I have agree with epony, for me it was being afraid of getting hurt again. Enjoy your life and don’t dwell on your relationship status.

  9. Then they start grilling you on the pretend boyfriend: why did he buy that, or do this – why isn’t here here with you? Just to make conversation. Ears keen and staring at chrome, eavesdropping over the din. I’ve never wondered if a significant other has been faked. That presupposes a lot. Now I’m going to think, “Hm, she could just be saying that.” It makes things interesting, lets me imagine a story. Wind and frizzled hair, scarf-threads lit over a highway sun.

  10. Awesome post, love it. Feel you on the boyfriend line (it’s almost a test to see if they’re decent or not; if they back right off then all right, but the ones who don’t care just make my skin crawl), although I’m not lying at this point in my life. Looking forward to future posts, so glad you got Freshly Pressed!

  11. I used to ride a Yamaha and found it turned guys’ heads. Once because of the 4 into 1 exhaust and then because they realised it was a girl. Don’t make up boyfriends – just run them over!

  12. The prospect of putting myself out there into the dating scene again scares the shit out of me – I like the thought of having a boyfriend again, but it’s all so frustrating – finding someone that I like AND who’s interested in me, getting them to have a date with me, getting to know them … and so on. I am absolutely frightened. Sooner or later it will happen (hopefully!) but maybe a made up – boyfriend will do for now. Congrats on being freshly pressed, that’s how I found you and I love your style of writing!

    1. yes, yes, and yes. It is so hard to find someone and then build a relationship. And starting from scratch- it is so overwhelming. I’ve actually never had a serious relationship before, so I can only assume it’s all worth it! We are in a similar boat it seems and maybe we’ll face our fears together! Thank you so much for reading and your kind words!

  13. LOL!!! Alright well, at least you know you have awesome taste in men, other than being a looker (Joe sounds like a great guy =P ) I think I only notice the sirloin looks, but my gang of guys never fails to point out who exactly was checking me out, at which point I detail how and why said person is a loser (out of embarassment if nothing else). Plus it takes a steel pair to approach a girl standing with 5 men. Damn I need to start going out with girls. :-/

    1. Hehe I am always a sucker for tall, dark, and handsome – cliché right? Light eyes and dimples and a swooooooooooon 🙂 Haha that is impressive men approach you while youre surrounded by 5 men! Thanks for reading 🙂

  14. Nice – but I’m not too keen about the ‘biker’ generalisation. Maybe it’s like that in the US but the greasy, hairy, leering, ‘Easy-rider’, biker thing is over elsewhere in the world – it’s been dead for the past 30 years or more.

    If you’re visually attractive, people tend to look and give you attention. Isn’t that how it works?

    1. I just like to focus on the cliché, it’s part of the theme here at my blog. One of my best friends is a “biker” but he is nothing like the stereotype either- I imagine the grand majority- I’d guess 98% aren’t! So I’d agree-the “biker” cliché is pretty outdated, but I think it still exists in people’s minds!

  15. For versatility your Joe could ride a Husqvarna, who also make chainsaws and sewing machines, but alas not his keyboard. As father of 4 daughters I’m also protective about the superficial assessment, which for women can feel like your apt description of the butcher shop. But I’m not as threatening a protector as your Joe, who must see your real heart.

    1. hahahaha chainsaws and sewing machines? That’s hilarious! Thanks for sharing such a fun fact (and for checking out my blog!). That must be quite the challenge raising so many girls!

  16. I love this. I love that on the other side of the world feelings, fears, love and the single life (I’m a chronic case too) can be more-or-less as they are here. Any chance of sending that Irish guy home though? We need more of them here 😉

    1. I’d like to refute that – motorcyclists are the ones who never usually stop when another rider is broken down, and never nod up – bikers are the ones who love what they ride, no matter the make/model, and have a spirit of helping any rider out, not just the ones who ride bikes that match theirs! And yes, I ride my own motorcycle (a Yamaha) but consider myself a biker.

      1. I will give you the whole helpful, community, we’re all brothers thing. I get waves and nods, even from cops, no matter what bike someone is on. But the term “Biker” stirs images of Sturgis and Daytona, of Hells Angels, and big burly tattooed guys in leather jackets with patches all over them. There are good people on all manner of motorcycles, and I am not disparaging people who ride a bike that is different from mine. I am just saying, close your eyes and say the word “Biker” out loud. It is not an image of some 20 year old kid riding a wheelie on a crotch rocket that comes to mind. It is an image of me… lol and those like me.

      2. lol, the flipside of that stereotype is the female one – if you say anything about motorbikes to any ‘normal’ person…the usual responses are that you’re lesbian, you’re easy/a tart, you hate men, you’re too independent, you’re trouble, and the one which really annoys me…’what’s a small girl like you doing riding a big bike like that?’ – usually from men who feel threatened by the fact it’s bigger than theirs and feel the need to try and undermine me! LOL I do get what you say tho – ‘Biker’ does bring the male greasy biker image to the minds of most of society!

      3. lol Well, for the record… I like women who are independent AND trouble. Small girls on big bikes are cool. There’s a time and place for tarts, and lesbians. lol Pretty much all of that is cool with me except for the “hates men” thing. Hate YOUR man…I didn’t do anything to you! lol

  17. I think just about everyone has had to use the fictional boyfriend or girlfriend at one time or another. It can prove to be an easy “out” of an uncomfortable situation without offending someone.

    1. Yep, I think this is absolutely true! Sometimes I base the imaginary boyfriend off one of my guys friends- this was really easy when one of my roommates was a guy. I’d just say I lived with a man and left out the part that we were utterly platonic!

  18. Thanks NY Cliche! It’s always reassuring to see that you are not the only one…like many here, I am also considered a chronically single lady. I haven’t been in a serious relationship in over 5 years. It’s not for not putting myself out there either as I have tried many different things but as I grow older, I find that I have less and less tolerance for the tepid. I don’t want to meet someone who will be ok, I want this person to make my life so much more interesting! I am happy person and a boyfriend should make it happier not bring me drama…so I find myself rejecting potentials on trivial excuses…too short, too blond, too many teeth, too serious, too young…maybe I am indeed like you, afraid of commitment…And the only time I invented myself a “husband” was in India to stop the flow of inquisitive questions on why a girl would be travelling on her own…we had been married for 2 years, no kids and he was on a business trip…I even swapped one of my rings out so it would look like a wedding band!

  19. I love the humorous attitude you have. I noticed a few things in your blog that I could show you to get much more out of your blog (followers, financial). Have a great day!!


  20. My girlfriend has big boobs and people look all the time and she never sees it. I say man that guy was really checking you out and she is like, Where, who? As if it were some oddity, but it happens all the time.

    I think women get so use to a certain behavior from men that it appears to be natural when compared to past experience. But I notice when I’m with her becasue no one ever checks me out in the way men look at her boobs.

  21. I can’t see you shouldn’t have a cliche imaginary boyfriend on a Yamaha. Does it have apehangers? I really don’t care but that’s my favourite word so I was looking for any excuse to put it in a comment. Win!

  22. I walked into a restaurant in my youth with my bike helmet proudly in hand and smiled at the “pretty” hostess. She politely asked about my Honda, said she loved bikes and then smacked me with, “My boyfriend drives a Harley.” It would have been kinder to have been introduced to Joe. Loved this post. Good job.

  23. Apparently I live in my own world of oblivion! I have never picked up on these “sirloin looks”. Ever. Haha, it was only when I started dating the man that I’m still with that I could recognize when checking out-age occurred. I will be talking to him and his face will go from relaxed smile to stone-cold glare in a nano second, and the first time I was horrified by such a drastic change, but as I turned around, I saw that he was giving some guy the death glare. I asked what was wrong, and he explained that “He was looking at you like a meal, and not the beautiful woman that you are.” I still don’t recognize the “meat stare”, but he’s my silent alarm when it happens, always staring them down until they get the message. Now when I see the stone face, I just smile and give him a kiss on the cheek 🙂

  24. hahaha this post made my day! very fresh and honest with a tinge of humor! 🙂 it reminds me of how Chinese New Year nearing soon in Singapore, and during gatherings, everyone would be asking the Single people – sooooo have you gotten a Gf/Bf? Its easier to just make up one.

    1. Growing up in San Francisco, the majority of my friends were Asian- I love Chinese New Year! Its coming up really soon, isn’t it? So glad to make your day- that’s so flattering! Thank you for your kind words and for reading!

  25. It’s actually quite simple when you think of it this way, “commitment doesn’t have to be forever”…just kidding…single’s tough, so is marriage, etc…please don’t be a cliche, get a tattoo instead.

  26. I find it funny how pretty girls and the ones who think they are not pretty but are say they hate being looked over but as soon as the attention stops, they have thoughts of not being attractive or the guy must just be… well ….gay or something. “Look at me but don’t look at me!” It is all very confusing.
    What attracts the majority of woman to a guy? Money…..which equals security. Women somehow don’t seem to have a problem with this concept yet heaven forbid some guy oogles over her physical appearance is now gross and disgusting….of course depending if he does it to her liking. Attraction used to be just riding a motorcycle.

  27. I have been single for nearly 8 years and its by concious choice. I love it, not having to share my space, my time is my own, I can sleep in and faff around and eat chips and dip for breakfast. You are not defined by who you are with, but who you are as a person. Live life and have fun, you will regret you didnt when your singledom is gone 🙂

  28. I do the same thing! I always say I have a boyfriend (though I’ve never come up with such a lavish back story) because I get so paranoid or scared. But this probably has something to do with the “quick to judge” fault of mine.
    Very nicely written by the way 🙂

  29. This is awesome. I am a lesbian but I have an imaginary boyfriend when it’s necessary–mostly for times when I feel threatened. He’s very large, and he can get violent, and I usually tell them he’s meeting me sometime soon. He may be imaginary, but he’s certainly saved me a few times.

  30. Congrats on being freshly pressed!

    I must sadly admit I frequently used the fake boyfriend card in my past as well. It just seemed like a way not to be pressured into what I was not pursuing.It only worked part of the time.I used to use t.v. characters and describe them as my boyfriend too funny!

    As for creepy guys hitting on you it doesn’t matter if a chick is pretty or ugly skinny or fat. married or unmarried, children or no children. It is inevitable.Some creepy guy will approach you and hit on you! Call you his lover when you never flirted or asked for his attention.

    I hate it too! I was so upset this summer feeling like you said “a piece of meat” I was emotionally stressed over it and after talking to some friends realized I am not the issue it will always be this way because I am chick. I realized I did not do anything to warrant this attention.Only wish I figured this out years ago as I always feel so dirty after and now I know I needent be that way and just walk away thinking eww instead what is wrong with me why does this always happen?

    I went out to the grocery store wearing 3 layers of clothes a bandana on my head and slippers Thursday night and I had the cashier tell me he was twitterpated and in love with me asking if he could take me home. I did nothing to ask for this attention. ….. It is a curse of being a woman.No matter the body type or physical appearance women are cursed this way.

    You might get a kick out of reading this blog I wrote

  31. You said that oh so well. People dont usually like to talk about what it is like to be a beautiful woman without looking like an ego maniac, but somehow you managed to do that. There are things that go along with it that arent so ideal but i suppose that that is a fair trade off. For me personally, i am also really busty. I learned (maybe in junior high) to not even notice it so i could walk through life without it effecting me. Now days as i approach 40, i still dont notice it. But people around me do and they can not even believe that i did not see that guy staring. I dont. Because i dont care. Take a look if you want, just dont sirloin me ok?! Great article. Thanks for sharing some of the difficulties with having won the genetic lotto! 🙂

  32. Haha oh I loved this post so much. And it’s so nice to know that I’m not the only one who spends my time daydreaming over wanting a boyfriend, but the second someone shows even the slightest possibility of interest, I go into a full blown panic attack.

  33. I loved this 🙂 I am going to share a link to this blog on a motorcycle forum I belong to… the guys there will get a kick out of it, and a few of them have probably seen you there lol…

    You have a new fan I love the way you write 🙂 keep it up!

      1. oh i ma not a biker by any means lol but the forum I posted it on, some “real” bikers will have read it now. I have yet to buy a bike, but i am getting one next month it was why I read your blog. It was awesome.

  34. i’m in the same boat, sister..! and why is it so hard for people (especially my mom) to take my commitment-affliction seriously? i think people think this is some shtick i have going and that i’m just being silly…lol!

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