Bringing Sexy Back
Work and play overlapped in a way I didn’t see coming yesterday that left me feeling a little shook not only about how my job and interests bleed into my personal life, as well as how “comfortable” isn’t always a good thing in a relationship, despite the connotations of warmth, bliss, and utter lethargy. The conversation that started it all (lightly edited for content, clarity, and privacy,) is as follows:
He: ”My friend who you met at ____ has been in one of they’re videos.”
Me: ”Really? And yo’ grammar. It’s outta control.”
He: ”You can bug me about it, but I don’t give a shit.”
Me: ”Good grammar is sexy.”
He: ”If I thought I still had to make sure I was being “sexy” for you online then I would, but I REALLY don’t feel obligated to go back over every sentence I type right now, especially since I’m doing a couple things at the moment.”
Me: ”Real romance never dies. Proof-read so I can think more about jumping your bones and less about proper usage.”
I work in a writing center, and I’m a professional writer. I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the English language (and occasionally, other languages, so holla to you, French and Italian), and it’s something that’s obviously important to me. The guy I’m seeing knows this. It’s no secret to him that I decided to give him a chance after he used the word “microcosm” in a comment on my Facebook wall— he literally had me at “the world in miniature.” Which is why it was such a bummer for me to see the wrong “their/they’re/there” in something he typed— when he was still working on winning me over and wooing me, everything he wrote to me was flawlessly edited for maximum correctness, and if he slipped, he’d immediately correct it. He knew I have a hard-on about grammar, so he put the time in to make it all look appealing. It meant a lot. To me, good grammar is sexy. Words are sexy. Which brought up the question today— At what time is it ok for the sexy to stop? Is it ever really ok?
Granted, it’s hard not to feel comfortable with someone when they’re leaving their clothing, their beer, some food, and have a toothbrush in your apartment, but I would hope that someone would always want to be sexy for me, regardless if we’ve been together for two months, or two decades. No one likes to admit when sexy changes from something that you do inherently as a means to an end (getting laid), to something that falls by the wayside because you’re now comfortable with someone (and now getting laid regularly). As Carrie said in “The Drought”— “There’s a moment in every relationship where romance gives way to reality.” And it blows. But does it have to? Does the sexy really ever have to stop?
True, it’s a lot of work to maintain, but that’s what makes a relationship go from “work” to “magical.” So what if you have to spend a few more minutes proof-reading something? I’m not going anywhere. And so what if you’ve woken up next to me with sex-hair, or seen me in the shower with mascara running all down my cheeks? Just because I’m comfortable enough with someone that they’ve seen me looking pretty bad doesn’t mean I still don’t bust hump applying make-up, choosing the right outfit, and doing my hair for a good hour before I see them, still. Right now, it’s still all smooth legs and thongs. But what if I decided I was comfortable, and let the romance die? What if I stopped shaving my legs regularly and started wearing more cotton full-coverage bikini underwear? I’m pretty sure there’d be some protests, if not some full-on Egypt-scale riots. Because really, those are two things I definitely DON’T do to keep it sexy for him. And both take more time and effort than using spell check does.
I don’t mean to come off as griping, and I think at this point, we all know I consider myself a very lucky girl, but I just think that this example illustrates the differences in men’ and women’s ways of thinking better than nearly anything else. To me, the romance, the effort, the spark (if you will,) in a relationship is really important…nearly as important as the good grammar I get paid to look for. If that means that I’m going to have to put in a little more work to keep things fresh and exciting and sexy, then yes, I’m going to do it. To me, comfort is letting you use my laptop without hovering over your shoulder paranoid you’re going to go through my search history, or leaving you the keys to my apartment, not burping in front of you and occasionally being caught wearing something from Vickie’s cotton college dorm-wear PINK line instead their Sexy Little Things collection. So no…no, I don’t think it’s ever ok to think that comfort with someone equals the fact that they’re a sure thing and let the sexy slip away, because if grammar is the first thing to go, it begs the question of what the next thing to slack will be. The sexy needs to be nurtured, in moments like the Hollywood Kiss that took me by surprise one random night when he grabbed me and dipped me for a kiss (in the Top 3 Most Romantic Moments Of My Life, for sure), or when you spontaneously reach for the whipped cream in the supermarket or the new pair of underwear he’s never seen before, or that random moment at 2 AM last night when he texted me, just to say “hi” and ask how I was doing. The sexy is what takes a relationship from normal to fireworks, and you best believe that I’m a fireworks kind of gal. I love fireworks. Almost as much as I love the Oxford comma.
- Excerpted from SATCG