Earlier last month, I visited my childhood best friend at the bar where she works part-time. We used to be a couple of nerds with big eyebrows in middle school, but now she’s like this exotic mega-babe who can’t step out of her apartment without dudes throwing themselves at her.
In the rural town in which we went to school, it was easy to be hot. You basically just had to have all your teeth and stuff, so she and I were both like hottie royalty in college. I was practically anorexic and put a lot of time into my nature-girl, pierced eyebrow and expert joint-roller look, and she, again, was an effortlessly exotic mega-babe.
After college, though, I started to age more quickly than she did (yayyy aging like a white woman). She, on the other hand, has remained flawless.
After moving to the city a year or so ahead of me, she learned that she was objectively hotter than most supermodels, started chain smoking, partying, posting tons of nearly nude instagram photos that get millions of likes (like stop already. we know.), and cheating on boyfriends with no remorse whatsoever.
When I visited her at work earlier this week, she was practically giddy telling me all about her new, millionaire, 50-something year old (umm) boyfriend who flew her to California with him for a week and how he’s the sex man of her dreams.
Cool, I said. I knew she started to see this golden oldie while she was still with the sweet man who is now her ex, the man who still lives with her, the man with whom she works side by side. Let’s call him John.
Does John know? I asked. She said he doesn’t. It would just be uncomfortable. Besides, she said, John didn’t even act that upset when she broke up with him, which made her feel like she was doing the right thing. She has big boobs, she said; she should never have to work to make men want her. She should never have to top anyone again, let alone chase them.
Cool, me and my A-cups replied. Sounds like this can only go good places.
I know relationships are complicated, and that everyone views commitments and life differently, but while John may not have acted upset, I know John, and he really cares about her. All her boyfriends have. As far as I know, she’s never been broken up with. She’s just constantly being offered new and better options and taking them, one arm still linked with to another partner.
This is all fine and well – honestly, even though I clearly disagree with taking advantage of the people who care about you, it’s none of my business what she does. But I’m over four years into a relationship with a man I love dearly, and being in a long term relationship isn’t easy. Maybe I’m just saying this because I have small boobs, but it *is* work.
My boyfriend tells me he loves me all the time, and we’re an amazing team. We share everything; we tell each other everything; we have a cute dog; and there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for me if I ask. But while the beginning of relationships are filled with passion presents and grand gestures, the longer you’re with someone, the more you do have to ask.
This past Valentine’s Day, my boyfriend forgot to get me flowers or anything. I hated feeling needy enough that I would care about something that superficial, so I didn’t say anything about it, but I also didn’t let it go.
It’s hardly the first time I’ve felt this way, but hearing about my friend being doted upon by a near stranger made me wish I had something similar to share with her about my love life. I wanted to be able to quantify the closeness I have with my boyfriend, but our relationship isn’t shiny and new, or material.
Beyond that, I imagine it’s much easier to feel romanced by a millionaire than it is someone your own age who, like you, doesn’t have much money. I know I should’ve been happy for her when she was describing her impromptu free vacation across the country, and how her lover wants to take her around the world with him, but it kind of made my blood boil. All I could think about was me and my boyfriend’s upcoming trip across the country, for which we’ve been scrounging and saving for months and months.
I don’t know. I’m probably just being self-righteous thinking that my anger came from moral high ground rather than simple jealousy.
When I got home from visiting her, my boyfriend was already in bed, but he was so happy to see me. Hey my love, he said when I came into the room. How was your day?
It was fine, I said. How was yours?
He started telling me about a new stand-up special he had watched; how he and his best friend are planning a new musical comedy piece they want to try at an open mic next week; how he and his coworkers went out for Chinese at lunch. There was a silence.
Hey, I said. Would you buy me flowers sometime?
He looked concerned. Of course, baby. Of course I’ll buy you flowers.
Cool, I said.
I went into the bathroom to wash up and cry a little bit.
I don’t know if this post says more about my friend or me.