Because peer pressure doesn’t sound as nice as being adventurous — and you’re not compromising anything if he’s your future hubby, right? Here are some things I’ve done, including things I’m not proud of, to impress a boy.
- Read Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. Like, it’s practically a tome, but a good one. Full disclosure: we broke up 72 pages in.
- Dressed up as a shackled Princess Leia, and then played slave to a very handsome Jabba the Hutt. ‘Twas a weird night indeed.
- Said I wanted it when I didn’t. The “it” here ranges from hand-holding to wanting to bear his children someday.
- Learned to play the song that Michael Cera and Ellen Page sing during the end credits of the movie Juno. It’s the only thing I can play on the guitar that even resembles a song and was only heard by an angst-riddled, slick-haired teenage boy.
- Sex G-chatted during almost every lunch break for a year whilst doing an internship down the road from my crush’s office.
- Played dumb. Or, treated my intelligence as a luxury, so as not to emasculate or embarrass him.
- Listened to every single Pearl Jam album (and not even the semi-bearable post-PJ solo ukulele records Eddie Vedder put out. I mean we only listened to stuff from the 1990s).
- Took up squash. Later, tennis.
Some of these past proceedings, I’m better for. For instance, Wallace’s work has made me a stronger reader and writer. Even posing as a diehard grunge fan led me to those indie and emo bands that got me through my formative years.
There’s nothing wrong with getting into the game when you’re dating a sportswriter (I once cared way too much about golf, a dull sport that reeks of hubris), but there is a difference between being inspired and being a sponge. When little things like books and movies pass go and collect $200, it’s easier to let the big things, like defining your relationship, slip through undeterred.
Having this list in front of me now, I’ve resolved to never do anything “for a boy” again. Your significant other should rouse your inner artistry. How that creativity is channeled is entirely up to you, and for you.