Originally published on McSweeney’s (Sept. 2018)
I know this isn’t the most enlightened thing to do in this day and age, but I’ve decided to attend my college roommate’s wedding with a single-use “boyfriend.” I realize that the wiser move is to play the sustainable game and develop a meaningful multi-use relationship: hang out several times a week, pretend to delight in his baby photos, share the same stick deodorant, but I’m bucking the trend and going with a one-time disposable for this affair.
Before you judge, let me lay out the facts: He’s 100% adorable, free that weekend, and has agreed to split the driving. But he also calls his mother “Mimi,” is lactose “sensitive,” and has taken several Advanced Improv Classes. On the plus side, he’s super sanitary (according to him) and has never been used by another person. My lips will be the first he’s ever touched! Tres hygienique!
How can I turn down the convenience of looking like I’m in a fulfilled and committed relationship in front of my happily married friends and then drop him off at Port Authority Terminal so I can go home, bloated with wedding cake, and sit on the toilet with the door open?
Let me be very candid. He’s not my first single-use fellow. There were dozens before he came along. Yes, I feel a tinge of guilt knowing that there are all these guys floating around out there, clogging up my karma, but it was so fast and easy that I couldn’t resist.
I am well aware that in this age of limited resources (time, money, and scathing bon mots about Lena Dunham) it’s not cool to use a “boyfriend” only one time and then toss him, but he’s actually okay with it. “It’s my pleasure to be of service to you. I’m fine with hot or cold beverages, travel well, and have the absolute lowest expectations about our relationship lifespan.” He’s practically compostable!
Because I have a social conscience, I have seriously given some thought to how I could upcycle this dude after the wedding reception. Fuck buddy? Steady Bae? Fiancé? Husband. To be honest, the thought of a multi-use long-term man scares the hell out of me. I’ve got to worry about not losing him, keeping him in good repair, and remembering to take him along to restaurants and other social events. Now, that’s stressful.
Yes, it’s probably good for me, in the long run, to think about ditching this whole single-use toss-and-go lifestyle. I think I’ll take a long walk with my Trader Joe’s canvas bag and Nalgene and decide what’s best.