December 13, 2007
Kim Kardashian keeps wanting you to take your shirt off in public. What is the deal. It’s like a constant thing with her. Granted after two people have been dating for some time, a person is granted certain liberties within the parameters of the relationship. The person gets a drawer at your condo, you get bedsheets so infused with her scent that you never want to wash them again, not ever. The person reserves the right to call you after midnight and demand that you come over immediately with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food because she is depressed about something the bloggers were saying about her that day, you get to, whatever, feel useful. There’s give and take. The point is why does she want you to take your shirt off in public.
Like the other day, she wanted one of those coffee drinks with the complicated names and all the caveats. You can never remember it exactly, which you worry annoys her, but you’re trying. It’s like a triple non-fat something with a shot of something and two something somethings and no something? So you both walk down to the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in your neighborhood and she orders her coffee (which looks a lot like just an actual coffee) and you sit outside and people watch and chat and drink your coffees and GOD YOU JUST LOVE HER SO MUCH. Every second with her is AMAZING. She is easily the best girlfriend you’ve ever had and did you seriously catch yourself daydreaming the other day about what the perfect way to propose to her would be? You can’t…who is this person in the mirror? Who is this person so helplessly in love, so wholly fulfilled in a relationship? You. It’s you. It’s you.
So you finish your coffees and start heading home. She wraps her arm around yours. It’ll be a leisurely stroll: you’ll take the long way. When you get home, who knows? Perhaps if the mood is right—
Then she turns to you: “Hey, take your shirt off!”
You give her a look. Oh, you.
She says: “It’s such a nice day! Take your shirt off!”
You are wearing only a t-shirt on top, so taking it off will leave you with basically nothing. Are you a person who can just walk around in public with no shirt on?
Last week, same thing. You were taking— God, it was just the most romantic walk on the beach. Like in a movie. And suddenly she was giving you those eyes and asking you to take your shirt off. And yes, you were at the beach, people do take their shirts off the beach, but you weren’t going swimming. Plus it was overcast. What’s that about?
I mean you’re not fat. God no! Seriously, you’re not. But you’re not Mister Tight Abs either. You know this. It’s fine. You’re average. You get by. But you’re not worth parading around or anything. You had this verified by multiple disinterested third parties after the beach incident. (Your sister and her husband and their son Arlo, who is 8.) You wish you had some other friends you could talk with about this, but your male friends have all fallen by the wayside since you started dating Kim. It wasn’t one of those things where you finally have a girlfriend so you start blowing off everyone to be with her. Not at all. They just started being weird about you dating her, and you couldn’t figure out what the deal was. Like making strange comments about parts of her body. And one of them asked if she let you hit it from the back, and it just…the idea that you would ever hit her is so beyond out of the question. How could someone even ask something like that. How could you hit her? You love her.
You love her and she wants you to take off your shirt in public. So fine. You take your shirt off and she wraps her arm tightly around yours again and her hand is in your hand. You walk and the afternoon unfurls around you.
And maybe this is what love is: the sensation of the sun traveling all that distance to gently warm your bare skin, but also the looks from people on the street who think (suddenly) that your nipples are maybe a bit too sticky-outie.