13 Reasons Why You Are Not My Boyfriend

1. You Wear Hawaiian Shirts Without Irony, But Do Not Live in Hawaii
Full disclosure: I won a Hawaiian shirt. It’s sky blue and white with koi on it. It’s 100% silk and blows leisurely about in any soft wind. I have worn it once. To a party. A theme party. Do not wear Hawaiian shirts as a form of daily wardrobe. If you collect them, fine. Cool. Great. I’m all for retro and fun and whatever. I don’t want to see you pulling a passel of loudly colored shirts from the dryer, that’s all I’m saying.

2. You are a Bad Kisser
Kissing is not relative. Everyone knows a good kisser when they encounter one. With no little pride, I admit to being a good kisser. I love to kiss, and it shows. I am in there, Mister, with my whole body. I know where the hands go, I know what the tongue is good for, I realize when it’s time to suck, when it’s time to nibble, when it’s time to pull back and let the lips do all the talking, so to speak. There are no lessons I can offer, no special art to it that I have discerned, I am just a good kisser. I want the same in return. If you’re sloppy, if you Hoover on my tongue as if to dislodge it from my mouth, if your teeth are a little too into the whole endeavor, if you’re tentative or into little pecking lip things or fuck all, we are not a match. Kiss me deep and true and use everything at your disposal.

3. You are a Devout Christian
I know, this is small-minded and whatever. I put in “devout” as a way of emphasizing that I think you’d be constantly tempted to drag me with you to church or want me to read ‘just this one little Bible passage about hell,’ and so on. Look, you’ve got your belief system and I’ve got mine. Unfortunately, yours calls for witnessing and missionaries and having Jesus in my heart and maybe getting dunked in a big tank of water. Mine is more like, “hey, look, the universe is chaotic and things are happening without rhyme or reason and I’m hep with that.” See the problem? I’d really include almost any organized religion here, but in the U.S. it’s the Christians that tend to be a little too zealous, in my humble opinion. Frankly, Buddhism is sexy.

4. You Chew with Your Mouth Open
I cannot stand this. I don’t understand why an adult can’t close their mouth when they chew. I find the noises rather irritating and disgusting and it usually turns out that open-mouthed chewers are also chew-talkers and all that food all over your teeth and your tongue and you sit there telling me about last night’s West Wing where Josh said something stupid again and all I’m thinking is, “Ew, ew, ew, ew, ew.”

5. You’re a Neat Freak
“Freak” is the important word here. I don’t consider myself all that neat, but my friends would probably argue the point. I’m not neat because I sometimes have clothes lying about waiting to be ironed or waiting to go to the dry cleaners, the dishes pile up in the sink, I vacuum when it looks like it needs it rather than on a set schedule, I never make my bed except when I’m changing the sheets and I hate dusting. If I walk into your apartment or home and it looks like a Pottery Barn catalog layout, I’m out of there. That’s just… weird.

6. You Want Children
I’m afraid this is a deal-breaker. I have nothing against other people’s children. In fact, I adore them, because you can play with them and get them all worked up and excited and when they start to act up or spit up or throw up, you can hand them back to the parents. Small children scare the bejeezus out of me, because I’m sure I’m going to screw them up. I’ll say something amusing that they’ll take to heart and make into a religion and go out and kill people and it’ll all be my fault. Plus, when they get to be teenagers they will resent and hate me “after all I’ve done for them,” and, really, my inclination would be to throw them out like a surround sound receiver without DTS.

7. You are a Snob
I am a Snob. I look down my nose at people who like American Idol. I think riding the bus is incredibly painful and embarrassing. My underwear has to have a label that includes someone’s name, and I don’t mean JC Penney. I admit it. But I like Velveeta. I enjoy the entire Die Hard series, except the second film kind of sucked, but it sucked really big and I admire that. I have a soft spot in my heart for Ahnold movies where he’s blowing shit up (anything in which he is pregnant or has a twin brother or tries to save Christmas, leave me out). I love Disco. I know the words to every Barry Manilow song prior to 1977. Journey rules. If the only culture you enjoy is obscure Tibetan chants, and a groovy night out (not that you would ever use the word ‘groovy’ except with disdain) is going to the Opera or you think anyone who doesn’t know the different between Berlioz and Brahms is an idiot, you and I are not a match.

8. You Voted for George Bush. Either One, Junior or Senior, Doesn’t Matter.
I’m so apathetic about politics that it’s a joke among my friends. I waited 23 years between votes. I voted in the 1980 Presidential Election when I could for the first time, and then I voted a couple of weeks ago in the San Francisco Mayoral Run-off Election to get Heather, a Canadian who cannot vote, to shut up. I don’t vote because I feel powerless and, frankly, I’m living in an area where some of my political leanings would brand me a Conservative, so there’s not a lot of chance that me pumping my fist in righteous indignation about the state of things would make any difference. That said, if you voted for ex-CIA Director George Herbert Walker Bush or ex-Frat Boy George “Shrub” Bush for President of these United States… no way am I going to put my mouth anywhere on your body.

9. You Stink
Being a Neat Freak is one thing—preferring the stench of your own unwashed body over the clean, fresh scent of a just-showered man is quite something else. Now, I’ll admit that I enjoy the occasional sweaty musk of a guy when we’re… exercising together. He’s all sweaty, I’m all sweaty, the salty tang, the heady perfume, it’s all very nice. But when you take that up a notch like some sexual Emeril who thinks if a little is good, a whole hell of a lot of it must be a whole hell of a lot better, you’re getting into filthy territory. I am not a filthy man. I do not enjoy filth. That’s just me. I am sure there are other filthy guys out there for you, in fact I should think, based on your stench, that finding another one should be relatively easy in any enclosed space. Me, I like soap, shampoo and the occasional schpritz of Acqua di Parma.

10. You Do Not Have an Understanding and Enjoyment of Underwear
Underwear, and the wearing or lack thereof, are important choices. What are you wearing? What color? Stretchy or not stretchy? Contour hugging or baggy and suggestive? Silly designs or straight-ahead gymlocker gray? Boxer, brief, boxer-brief or (no, no, never) thong? The occasional and much appreciated jockstrap? And when you’re not wearing any at all, is that for my benefit, or are you just underwear averse? These are all important considerations. Underwear serves a practical function, sure, but it can also make you feel sexier, hornier, more into yourself. And being into yourself means I can be into you, too, and you won’t question every little move or laugh as if I have ulterior motives. Which I may, but you won’t care. That’s my underwear theory.

11. You Dress Inappropriately
Fine line, here. I purposely chose ‘inappropriately’ because I’m actually not a big fan of conforming to the popular scene, but there are times for certain kinds of dress, and there are ages when you can no longer wear the clothes you once did. Some clothing is eternal — jeans and a t-shirt come to mind. Comfortable, classic, sexy. But no one, and I mean no one, should be wearing epaulettes or jodhpurs. And if you’re over 30, I’m afraid the expiration date on your belly-bearing half-shirts just ran out.

12. You Have No Sense of Humor About Yourself
Life is absurd. Accept this. You will be happier for it. Now, step two: You’re a goofball. You’re awkward and silly and lazy and stupid. You dress funny and your hair’s a mess and you have bad breath and missed a spot shaving and your feet stink and sometimes you screw up common, ordinary words like ‘system’ and ‘promise.’ You’re imperfect. Get used to it. Because so am I. The difference is… I know it.

13. You Do Not Live in San Francisco
I have found a city where I love to live. It’s small enough to get around easily without being intimidated. I am never lost here. It has culture and funk. It accepts me and likes me. Sure, it stinks and has too many homeless people and the laws are far too liberal and there are some fucked up people around, but I love San Francisco. You don’t. You think it’s egotistic and run by dirty hippies and don’t even get you started on California. You like it where you are, and I like it where I am. Problem is, long distance relationships don’t work. At least for me. I want to be with you. I want to hear the full fidelity of your voice when you tell me how much you love me, rather than a tinny, vacant facsimile telling me how much you miss me. Sure, we can have some fun. Lots of it, every time I’m there or you’re here—or somewhere in-between. But you are not my boyfriend.

December 17, 2003

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