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This is the One With Brandon the Boyfriend   11/1/2006


     There are some people that you meet and you know they will have a big impact on your life, no matter if they stay forever or leave the same day you meet. There’s just something about them that flips the switch inside you that controls which tracks you move on. Brandon the Boyfriend was such a person for me. I don’t think that any relationship that I’ve ever had actually qualifies as a boyfriend/girlfriend one, but Brandon the Boyfriend comes the closest. It’s because of him that I have many of the real expectations I have in any future male/female relationships, that I won’t settle for anything else. That’s the wonderful part about him, but there is also this not so wonderful part to the story, which occurs at the end. As much as I hate wonderful stories with crappy endings, I have to tell this one.

    I met Brandon the Boyfriend at a time when I really needed to meet someone. I had just began attending private school and only knew the ten other scholarship recipients, and them not well. (This was also the year of September 11th, week two of me in a strange place, on immediate campus wide lockdown while watching planes crash into the towers over and over. Meanwhile, I’d seen the movie Toy Soldiers, where a school with all these rich kids (like my new school) is taken over by terrorists. Gah!). I was started to question whether I was really as smart and talented as everyone insisted that I was back in my former life. It was around this time that I was first exposed to the joys of 24/7 internet access, my own computer, and the life afforded one by the internet. It was in this new life I met Brandon the Boyfriend. I met him on a website, Blackplanet.com. He was an interesting guy, and we talked a lot. We eventually exchanged numbers and he called me.

     I know it was the phone calls that made the difference. I believe if I’d met him one Saturday at a party, I would have never began any kind of communication with him. I’m a wonderfully decisive person. I can hear less than thirty seconds of a song and figure out if I had to have it on the mp3 player or not, and I take special pride in my people instincts, face to face. But as I said, the phone calls made the difference.

     There was no topic that Brandon the Boyfriend and I didn’t talk about, from the absolutely ridiculous to the hopelessly mundane. We would talk all night long. His mother made him get a job to pay the phone bill he ran up talking to me every night long distance (well, a half hour away, but a different area code). I remember once Brandon asked me what I would do if I had an ugly child. This was the most hilarious twenty minute conversation on aesthetics and compensation for ugliness that I’ve ever heard of. Then there was the time that he finally stopped pretending he had a deep sexy voice abruptly in the middle of the conversation, just said “I can’t keep talking like that. This is what I really sound like.” And, my personal favorite, the degree of normality that can be ascribed to laying on the floor in boxes drinking juice and watching Spongebob Square Pants as a 17 year old guy. Good times.

     I talked to Brandon the Boyfriend for over nine months. Everytime I picked up the phone and it was Brandon, I felt warmth spread all through me. It was the highlight of everyday, hearing his voice take on that sarcastic lilt, or hear his mother pick up the phone and tell him to get off her phone so she can use it. Brandon the Boyfriend’s mother and younger siblings all knew who I was, said he talked about me all the time. So then there came the first sign of trouble.

     That summer, after nine months of talking, I called and talked to him from Upward Bound. We talked as long as we could with the change I had (UB had payphones in the dorm), and then he said I love you. It caught me off guard, so I pretended I hadn’t heard, just so he would say it again and I’d know I didn’t imagine it. He did, and I said I love you too. I walked around in a daze for the rest of the day. But after that, it became increasingly hard to get in touch with him. Then we lost touch all together.

     I had the same phone when, over a year later when I was a freshman in college, at a low point in my relationship life with T’s Friend, he called again. Wonderful, right? Well, not exactly. You are going to die when I tell you this, get angry and react with indignant disgust. Brandon the Boyfriend was calling to ask my permission for him to ask my best friend out. I know, the balls on this guy, but that just goes to show you that you can’t trust anyone’s motivations. How long had he been thinking about this? I thought at first it was just something he said to hurt me, but he actually called her and asked her out. She called me immediately and was like “Guess who just called me trying to ask me out?” Ugh, do I know how to pick them or do I know how to pick them?

     The wonderful thing about Brandon the Boyfriend was that we had great communication. I mean we talked about everything. There’s nothing I hate more than when I guy calls me and doesn’t know what to say, hasn’t any real idea what he may want to ask me or tell me on the phone. I can’t stand being in a relationship with any man where we can’t communicate. I don’t know what happened to the communication between Brandon the Boyfriend and I, but whatever it was, I never regretted talking to him. The major casualty of the whole situation is Spongebob Square Pants. I still hate him to this day.

     During this time, HE was so far on the back burner, and HE knew it. He was intensely aggravated by the fact I never seemed to notice him anymore, although, if he knew about Brandon the Boyfriend, he didn’t learn about him from me, another fact that I now find curious. I mean, the first thing I should have do was to rub BTB in HIS smug face. But I never so much as spoke about Brandon the Boyfriend in his presence. If my BFF and I were walking past him and she mentioned him, by name or otherwise, she was immediately shushed until he was out of earshot. I don’t know why I didn’t want HIM to hear about Brandon the Boyfriend. If I really did “love him too” I wouldn’t have noticed HIM at all, let alone worried about HIM hearing about BTB. I know what newly discovered love looks like, and the mentionitis disease–you just have to say the person’s name, wedge it into every conversation imaginable. If my BFF told me about her brother’s stupid cartoons, I would say “BTB love Spongebob Square Pants,” but I wouldn’t around HIM. It had the eery feel of a love triangle like the one in No exit, where the man loves one woman, who loves the other woman, who loves him, you know, where everyone loves someone but not the someone who loves them. That’s weird, because it would mean HE was in love with BTB, and he didn’t know them. Okay, so a traditional love triangle, only not. HE didn’t love me but didn’t want BTB to love me either, type of thing. Hmm

     So that’s Brandon the Boyfriend. Up next, T’s Friend, T, *, and the conclusion of the matter. And of course more HIM.

Brandon the Boyfriend, Don’t call me, I’ll not call you, ***AMEN***