I’ve been pouring my musings onto the interwebs for your perusal for more than a year now, and I keep mentioning this elusive character who’s offered me advice, taken trips with me and laughed at me. He’s the giant leprechaun knight in shining armor — topped off with a bespeckled bowtie — trotting in on a green horse, laughing like Santa Claus and spewing dad jokes.
Yes, I’m talking about Manfriend.
I realize that while many of you know me personally enough to have met Manfriend — and inevitably told him he has a voice for radio, while I joke that he has a face for it too — some of you have no idea who I’m talking about. I could be referencing the teddybear who frequents my pillow or my best guy friend from high school.
But I’m really talking about the guy I plan on spending the rest of my life with. His name is Caleb, and he’s my idiot (and I say that in the most lovable way possible because we are both idiots together). Our story is like something out of a romance novel, so if you’re not into sappy shit, move along.
We were introduced by a mutual friend the very first day of college our freshman year. While I don’t believe in “love at first sight,” (I’m not that sappy) there was an instant connection. Like BAM! The problem? I was in a committed relationship with a guy I loved. Oh, the drama!
So we did what mature adults would: we ran in opposite directions. I would see — and hear — him from across the dining hall and go weak-kneed when he said hello in passing. But we knew to avoid each other at parties, and we threw ourselves into other things. My friends teased me all the time, but I was faithful.
Two years later, things went south with my long-term beau. I got a little rebellious for a semester, and Caleb didn’t even know I was single until the summer after sophomore year (which is good because I needed some freedom). But that summer, he began social media creeping hard, liking all my posts and my profile pictures. I finally messaged him.
Over the next two months, we would communicate via messenger one message a day. He worried moving too quickly would cause me to lose interest (Yeah right). I gave him my phone number a la Carly Rae Jepson’s “Call Me Maybe.” We went on our first date — to a dining hall, where I could barely eat the breadsticks because I was so nervous — and then our second date — to a fancy restaurant, where he spilled water all over the table — and we’ve been two goofy weirdos from then on.
So why “Manfriend” you ask? My mom thinks it makes him sound like my man toy or something. I’ve avoided it thus far, but he’s what normal people call my “boyfriend.” I just hate that word. I had boyfriends in high school. Our relationships were superficial, and I knew they wouldn’t last for long. We would make out on the back of the swim bus, and I would blush when I saw him in the halls.
But Caleb and I are in it for the long haul. Our emotions aren’t the products of pubescent teenage hormones. We live together, plan vacations together, debate politics, disagree about which Naruto character is better and take care of each other when we’re not feeling well. Hell, we just bought a couch together!
We’re planning a future, and barring catastrophe — knock on wood! — I can’t wait. So I leave the boyfriend moniker in favor of something a little more until we take the next step. **Wink, wink**
Any more questions about or for Manfriend? Feel free to comment, and I will dish!