Why my boyfriend maybe thinks I’m a dude

So ok I have a mustache. Not a MAJOR one, though. And it’s not visible, really. You can just FEEL the feathery, blond hairs growing long and featherily on my lip. Until they get so long they start casting their own shadows. Which ARE visible. So really, it’s a shadow mustache. It comes back every month to two months, I wax it, wait for the horrible pimply breakouts that inevitably follow, and put it off again as long as I can.

A couple months into dating Hot Lunch, the stache was back. I was weighing the ill effects on our relationship of invisible, shadow-casting facial hair versus a mustache of zits. Obviously the facial hair is the lesser of two evils IF he hasn’t noticed yet. So I asked him.

(In answer to his question “what are you doing today.”) “Well, I’m going to run have lunch with Cupcake, do a little grocery shopping, and then I thought I might get my mustache waxed.”

(Uncertainly.) “…Yeah…?”

(I stay casual.) “Yeah, I don’t know, what do you think? Has it gotten bad enough yet?” I stick my face closer to his, ruffling the peach fuzz with a forefinger.

He spares a couple uncomfortable glances from the road. He could have spared more. I’m the one driving. He shakes his head. “No way. This is one of those trick questions women ask. I refuse to answer.” Which is ridiculous. Nothing makes Hot Lunch uncomfortable. We’ve been peeing in front of each other for almost a month by this point. His idea. We regularly say things like, “I took a deuce in your bathroom,” or “Can you smell that fart?” We HAVE no boundaries.

“I am not asking a trick question. You’re making a huge deal out of nothing.”

He shakes his head again, laughing grimly. “You’re not getting me to answer. There is no safe answer to these questions.”

Totally redonk! Safe answer number one, Hot Lunch: “No, I can’t see a thing, you’re crazy.” (This is the answer girlfriends always give me no matter what, bless their hearts.) Safe answer number two: “Sure, go for the wax. Knock yourself out.”

In fact, the only way his answer is unsafe is if he’s thinking: “Hell yes! I was hoping you’d take care of that mustache ages ago. It’s verging on eastern block. I feel like I’m kissing my brother.”

I’m getting irritated. “Why don’t you just say it’s totally gross and you’ve been staring at it for like ever.”

He looks appalled. “I have?”

I stare at him, suddenly horrified. “You have? Omigod, you HAVE! You’ve been STARING AT IT!”

He shakes his head. “See. These kinds of questions just cause problems.”

“There WASN’T a problem until you MADE a problem by being so weird about it!”

“Here we are!” he points happily to his stop ahead. I pull over in front of his work and he jumps out. “Call you later, babe!”

“Don’t bother!” I say to myself as I drive away. But I’m already dialing my cell. “Yeah, do you have any drop-in times for a lip wax today?”

Needless to say, I’ve been vigilant against the stache ever since. Therefore what happens next was not my fault. And it was months later, anyways. We were watching a movie preview that included a reference to the stock comedic device of the inconvenient erection. I’d never thought to ask a dude about that situation before.

“What’s the most embarrassing hard-on you’ve ever had?” I ask Hot Lunch point blank, silently congratulating myself for being the girl who asks the no-nonsense, hard-hitting questions.

Without hesitation, but thoughtfully and frankly, he answers, “Swimming in junior high was the worst. There’s girls in bathing suits and you can’t really hide much in those trunks.” Then, again without hesitation, he asks me something odd.

“How about you?” he asks.

How. About. You.

How ABOUT you, sweetie? When WAS the most awkward time in your life that you got a big ol’ erection in your penisy penis?

I am silent for a beat. He looks at me, shakes his head, laughs and says, “Ah, sorry. I meant…”

And then he says nothing. Because, of course, what COULD he have meant?

The preview keeps playing. He avoids my penetrating gaze. My gaze gets penetratinger.

“Do you sometimes forget I’m a–”

“NO.”

It’s that authoritative no he gives when I tell him he’s going to try something with tomatoes in it or that professional wrestling is make-believe. I never noticed before it’s kind of… defensive.

I could have taken the question as an automatic response. Like saying “you too” to a box office cashier’s “enjoy your movie.” But all I’m thinking is Cupcake was right. Peeing in front of each other was a mistake. Although you’d think it would at least remind him I have a vagina.

Let’s just blame the mustache.

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