Every so often things get incorrectly labelled. ‘Basic sex,’ for instance, which is only basic in the way M&S three-for-a-tenner knickers are basic but also fan-fucking-tastic. Waitrose ‘Essential’ vanilla scented tealights. Michael’s penis in Judy Blume’s Forever, which affectionately goes by the name Ralph…
And the boy. Who is anything but.
We were sat outside a bar the other day, making good progress on our second carafe of wine, when the subject of his nickname came up.
‘Why “the boy?”‘ he asked. ‘Why not “the man,” “the guy,” “the dude?”‘
Seriously, love. Picking a bar that boasts ‘vino, vintage and vinyl’ doesn’t make you hip enough to be ‘the dude.’
Further discussion revealed that almost everything I associate with the word ‘boy’ doesn’t apply to him. Skinny was the first word that came to mind, which made him snort with laughter. In my head, it also conjures up images of drainpipe jeans, floppy hair and skateboards. The kind of guy who belongs in an Avril Lavigne video, essentially. The only adjective that seems to sit comfortably with both is geeky, and even that isn’t a perfect fit.
It seems to be pretty common on the blog scene, however. Girlonthenet uses it. Back in the day, Petite Anglaise used it. The alternative, The man, as used by Lucy Robinson, another of my favourite bloggers, just doesn’t feel right.
And for me, it predates the blog. I’ve used it since I first started seeing him, because I couldn’t find another label that fitted. I’m not a fan of fuck buddy, and friend with benefits, which I prefer, was incorrect, since we were fucking long before we were friends. Lover had comedy value but not much else, and the guy I’m seeing confused everyone, including me. The boy was socially acceptable, glossed the true situation for my more reserved friends, and, best of all, hid how much affection I did or didn’t feel.
It stuck and I like it.
But. If he really doesn’t, that’s fine. He can be ‘little guy,’ instead.