There are sobering feelings in life – pulling a shirt out of your closet only to realize you no longer fit in it or tipping a bottle of wine completely upside down when you were just going to have one glass. But those times are personal lows; unassociated with anyone else. It’s easy to fit into that shirt again by simply mixing in a few salads rather than a few burritos. And the best way to avoid having
one glass one bottle is by trucksticking the girl in the grocery store wine aisle handing out those Bordeaux samples.
But then there are the times when you need someone to keep you honest. When you think your beard looks cool but it actually just accentuates your two chins. When you have wine-mouth at a party but everyone’s too polite to point it out. When your feet smell but you’re so used to it that you just keep wearing the same shoes without socks. It’s in those instances where you need someone on the other side reaffirming that you are, in fact, kind of a piece of shit.
And without my asking, my girlfriend has assumed that role.
No. 1: She signed me up for a five-mile race on Thanksgiving without my consent.
If the calculations by my Nike Run Club iPhone app are correct, running five miles at once is more than I’ve run combined since April 22, 2011 when I was training for a half-marathon that I ended up skipping in order to drink 13.1 Mint Juleps at The Kentucky Derby. I could go on about how much I’m dreading having a heart attack on a national holiday in front of her family, but I already have.
No. 2: She conned me into doing a points-based fitness competition with her sister.
It’s never a good sign when your girlfriend has to bring in reinforcements in an effort to motivate you. Again, I could go on, but I already have.
No. 3: This conversation we had while watching Friends.
Please keep in mind that at no point did she look me in the eye while corresponding with me during the episode where Brad Pitt tells Rachel about the “I Hate Rachel” Club.
When she said Chandler, the first two things that came into my head were, “It’s because I’m quick-witted and sarcastic,” and, “It’s because he got fat after developing a serious pill addiction.” Somehow being called a “beta male” was worse than the latter.
No. 4: She’s been encouraging me to buy ‘medium’ shirts when I’m clearly a size large.
As if the lighting in department stores didn’t accentuate my flaws enough, I have to sit there while she’s handing me medium-sized shirts. This isn’t high school anymore, lady. I can’t just go to Burger King and order $13 worth of food, nor can I still fit comfortably into a medium-sized shirt. Have you ever seen what my body does after three beers? I’ll give you a hint: it rhymes with ‘gloating’ and is the reason you probably FaceTune me behind my back.
No. 5: She plans everything months in advance.
There’s such a thing called ‘planning,’ and then there’s a thing called, ‘making sure my boyfriend won’t fuck this up.’ On one hand, excessive and premature planning ensures that all will go smoothly and we won’t encounter any surprises. On the other hand, I’d rather play FIFA against an 8-year-old Mexican boy a la medium-shirted-high-school-me rather than plan what time we need to leave for the airport to make our pre-Christmas flight. Like, can’t I just call an Uber an hour before and sprint to my gate like the old days?
No. 6: Party invites come with suggested wardrobe.
“Your plaid shirt will be good for this wedding shower,” I’m told. “Everyone at the gender reveal party will be wearing pants,” I’m texted. Sure, weddings with open bars and live bands who play Motown always specify that they’re black tie, but it’s rare to get a baby shower invite that explicitly states, “Do not wear that one shirt you always wear when we go out with my family.” Just like everyone needs one of those friends who will keep you honest by saying, “Gettin’ a little thick there, might want to clean it up,” girlfriends are there to make sure you look good in their Instagram photos. Well, and to make sure you’re not wearing the same shirts in consecutive posts.
Oh, and to call 9-1-1 when you collapse at mile two of a Turkey Trot. .
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