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Friday, February 06, 2004

The Handsome Prince

The time has come to write about my partner.

Not my boyfriend or lover or husband. I'm referring to my partner in fun. My playmate. My bar buddy. My cohort. After making fun of me for blogging for a few weeks, he's finally reading what I have to say and asked why I haven't written about him yet. Like all actors, he's very self-focused. Which is probably why we get along so well.

I first met The Handsome Prince (THP) in a show we were doing together. The show sucked, and I don't want to waste one more precious minute of my life dwelling on that horrible experience. However, that show definitely changed my life for the better. That's where I found my friend, and I'm convinced he'll be by my side no matter what.

When I first saw THP in rehearsal, I couldn't decide if I wanted to grab his biceps or just lick his body. He was the object of all my lust, and I would stand across from him as we did warm-ups so I could watch him doing deep breathing exercises and yoga positions. I was in a relationship at the time, and I am one of those freaks who feels incredibly unfaithful to a partner even when I dwell on innocent fantasies. But that didn't stop me from chasing after THP's affections. I tried to impress THP by increasing my level of fitness, showing off my intelligence, working my ass off to make him laugh, but he still wouldn't fall in love with me. Damn.

Over time, the lust changed into something deeper and infinitely more rewarding. I became devoted to him. Something about his heart, his warmth, his humor, his intelligence made me want to protect him and declare my loyalty to him. And we became partners in the unconventional sense of the word. When we gather with friends to play games, THP and I aren't allowed to be on the same team because we know each other too well. When I do something I'm ashamed of, I call THP. When I do something I'm proud of, he's one of the first people I inform. He tells me secrets he can't tell anyone else. He shows me the ugliest parts of himself that he's too afraid to show anyone else. And we both know in our friendship there is no judgment.

Last night when he tried to teach me to play cribbage, he laughed at my horrible math skills. When I won, he and I both knew it was only because he continually showed me overlooked points in my hand. When he gets out of line or flirts with my dates, I tell him I'm pissed. That might not sound like a big deal, but I normally keep things like that inside. THP won't let me. He can sense the moment my attitude changes, and he's extremely sensitive to the subtleties of my mood.

THP makes boys and girls swoon. When he acts in a show or sings karaoke, he steals the spotlight. When we go out together, guys come up to me and ask if THP is single. He has more dates in a month than I have in a year. By all rights, I should hate him.

If THP is Mary Tyler Moore, then I am Rhoda Morgenstern. Rhoda and Mary had an understanding, though. They both knew Mary was the pretty one, and Rhoda was the funny one. Mary had problems like figuring out how to let a guy down easy when she wasn't interested. Rhoda had problems finding a date.

On one episode of MTM, Rhoda is irritated because a male party guest only has eyes for Mary. He won't look at Rhoda. He completely snubs her. She handles the situation by extending her hand to the guy and saying, "Allow me to introduce myself. I'm another person in the room." Rhoda, I'm right there with ya. I remember thinking a guy was interested in me one night at the bar, and it turned out he was talking to me so he could find out THP's status.

Maybe I never mentioned THP in my blog entries, because I don't want to share the spotlight with him. On the other hand, I'm proud I have a friend like him who deserves the spotlight. Aren't your friends a reflection of you? And if I want to make myself feel better, don't attractive people usually hang out with other attractive people? Like, wasn't Rhoda kind of cute?

Now I think I understand how my ex felt when we were together. He said to me one night after a party, "I can't compete with you. I feel invisible when we go to parties. You make everyone laugh. You fill up a room. You hold court." That made me hurt inside. Because I thought my ex was beautiful and warm and sweet, and I was truly shocked he felt overshadowed by me.

Everyone needs someone to look up to, but we can never forget our own innate strengths. Comparing yourself to another person is a sure way to feel personally cheated. So I try to balance my thoughts and remember that for every positive thing about THP, there is a positive thing about me. For every advantage he has, I can counter with an advantage of my own.

Thought for the Day: THP may be a the pretty one, but I will kick his ass at cribbage (if he helps me).

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