How Do You Know If You Have A Girlfriend?
For the answer, allow me to reference a Seinfeld episode entitled “The Virgin.”
Jerry: Well, how long you've been seeing her. What's your phone call frequency? Are you on a daily?
George: No. Semi-daily. Four or five times a week.
Jerry: What about Saturday nights? Do you have to ask her out, or is a date implied?
Jerry: She got anything in your medicine cabinet?
George: There might be some moisturizer.
Jerry: Ah hah. Let me ask you this. Is there any Tampax in your house?
Jerry: Well, I'll tell you what you've got here.
Jerry: You got yourself a girlfriend.
For the first time in a long while, I’ve got myself a girlfriend. I don’t believe there’s Tampax in my apartment, but there’s definitely moisturizer and contact solution. The phone call frequency is at 4-5 times a week. And one of the weekend nights is always an implied date.
It takes time to achieve the status of having a girlfriend. The first few months of the relationship are the best because of the honeymoon period. This is the time when everything is fun. The man sets up creative dates. He’s romantic. There’s chemistry in the air. There's no pressure. You can’t get enough of each other. Each party enjoys something new and exciting.
This period halts once the girlfriend title is established. It doesn’t happen abruptly but is more of a slow and subtle transition. But once the title is established, things start to change. The relationship may be successful, but new symptoms tend to arise for the man. These symptoms are a result of girlfriend-itis. All men are aware of girlfriend-itis yet they frequently still fall victim to it.
Symptoms of Girlfriend-itis
Symptom #1: The High-Pitched Voice
Even the toughest man succumbs to the high-pitched voice. It goes something like this. The man is drinking beer, watching sports, hanging with his boys, talking about strip clubs, when his phone rings. When he hears his GIRLFRIEND’S voice on the other line, something happens in his brain. His husky, masculine, deep man voice raises about 10 octaves. He usually cradles the cell to his ear and whispers a pet name into the phone. No matter how hard he tries, his voice continues to increase in frequency. And as a result, his friends make fun of him until they become guilty of doing the same thing.
I am very conscious of the high-pitched voice. I do my best not to use it, but no matter how hard I try, it still comes out on occasions.
Symptom #2: No Urge To Go Out
This is the most common symptom of girlfriend-itis. Men are programmed for only one thing: meeting women. Going out, spending money, getting drunk: this is all done to meet women. So once man has accomplished his mission, he doesn’t know what to do anymore. The game is over. He’d rather just stay in and do nothing.
I never go out anymore! Now that I have a girlfriend, what’s the point? I’d rather stay in, eat a good dinner, watch a movie, and get a good night’s sleep. I don’t feel like getting hammered and spending mass amounts of money. When I do go out, it’s confusing because I don’t know what to do. I can still talk to girls for fun, but I don’t know what my angle is. I can tell them I have a girlfriend so they shouldn’t feel threatened by me. But then again, they might think I’m sleazy for talking to them when I do have a girlfriend. Maybe I’m over thinking the whole thing. Either way, it’s just easier to stay in and be lazy.
Symptom #3: Out Of Shape
When man has a girlfriend, he is no longer motivated to take care of himself. He usually gains weight, wears schlumpy clothing, and shaves only when necessary. Man no longer has to impress women so he becomes fat and lazy.
I am very guilty of this. Although I still exercise a lot, I’ve somehow packed on the pounds. I could care less about my clothing, and I’ve experimented with facial hair. My poor girlfriend has endured my terrorist beard, uneven goatee, mutton chops, fu Manchu, soul patch, and my pitiful, short-lived, 70’s moustache.
Symptom #4: Stupid Fights
As the man and woman get closer, they begin to argue and bicker over inane, unimportant topics. After a period of time, it just becomes natural to argue over stupid things.
Last week, my girlfriend and I had a one hour debate on whether it was normal to warm up a muffin at home. The discussion should’ve ended with a laugh, but I was intent on proving that it was a normal thing to do. I went into Larry David/George Costanza obsessive mode. I googled “toasting muffins” and texted a bunch of friends. I just wanted to prove that I was right. When you order a muffin from a diner, how do you think it gets hot…by sitting on it?
Long story short, I found no evidence to help my argument. I acted like an idiot, and even worse, we wasted an hour arguing over something stupid.
Symptom #5: Little Things Start to Annoy You
When man really cares about a girl, she can do no wrong. But once she becomes his girlfriend, even the greatest girl will get on his nerves. It may be the way she orders food, a facial expression, how she loses the remote control, how she mispronounces a word, how she’s always just a little late, her belief that women comedians are funnier then men, etc. Whatever it may be, this tiny, little minuscule quirk will drive the man crazy. This symptom is also common with family-itis, close friend-itis, and roommate-itis.
My girlfriend came up with several quirks about me that annoyed her (a common symptom of boyfriend-itis.) After thinking long and hard, this is the annoying quirk that I came up with about her:
My girlfriend uses the term: “I’m not gonna lie” all of the time. For something good: “I’m not gonna lie…these brownies are delicious.” For something bad: “I’m not gonna lie…this movie is boring.” For something neutral: I’m not gonna lie…tomato is a fruit.”
I know you’re not gonna lie! You don’t have to preface each statement with it!
I used to get frustrated until I watched an amazing episode of How I Met Your Mother entitled “Spoiler Alert.” The last line sums everything up:
“When someone’s bad habits are pointed out to you, it’s hard to ignore them. But if you love them enough those bad habits are easy to forget.”
For a list of things that annoy me in general, check out: http://thecorner33.blogspot.com/2008/09/little-things-that-annoy-me.html
Symptom: #6: The Check-In Phone Call
Once man has a girlfriend, he must be in communication with her daily. This is often referred to as the check-in call. If nothing has happened since the last verbal exchange, the man has nothing to say, and doesn’t know what to do. The girlfriend tends to repeat the same questions: “How’s it going? How are you? Whatcha doing? How was your day?” The man uses expressions like “I’ll let you go” and “It’s getting late” to avoid talking about nothing. If the man suffers from girlfriend-itis, he will always make the call.
My girlfriend is pretty cool with this one. If we don’t talk on the phone, we usually send a few texts or emails. She, like me, prefers to converse in person, and is not a big phone talker.
Symptom #7: You Are Whipped
Once man has a girlfriend, he does not want to lose her. As a result, he will be at her beckon call. He will sacrifice all of his interests to make the girlfriend happy. For example, he may miss the big game so he can go apple picking. Or he may miss guy’s night out so he can go bowling with his girlfriend and her grandmother. The man’s friends will tease him until they are guilty of doing the same thing.
My girlfriend and I have an understanding. We can do whatever she wants as long as it doesn’t interfere with the Celtics, Patriots, or Red Sox. So that leaves a few days throughout the year. The reality is that I don’t mind being a little whipped because I just want my girlfriend to be happy. But really, I’m totally whipped.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you may be suffering from girlfriend-itis. Doctors are in the midst of researching and developing a cure, but it won’t be on the market for some time. The good news is that girlfriend-itis is not life-threatening. I’ve had a case for months and I’m doing just fine. And I'm not gonna lie, it’s growing on me, and I kinda like it.