Posts Tagged ‘Iwo Jima Memorial’

The Boyfriend Analogy


WEATHER: 20 degrees and sunny.




WHERE TO: From Iwo Jima Memorial, across Key Bridge, over to the Rock Creek Park trail, and up through the park until our watches said it had been a bit over an hour.  And then back to Iwo Jima.

MOOD: Cold


Long run with S. today, up Rock Creek Parkway and back.  I had been considering a large bowl of oatmeal for brunch, with maybe a bowl of fruit on the side.  So naturally we went to Ray’s Hell Burger.  Having been eating quasi-vegetarian-ly for a while, and having not eaten red meat in at least 4 months, I was unsure.  Until I had a few bites, followed by a full-on mouthgasm, and had to lie down.

One topic on which S. and I talked today is the challenge of not showing off as a marathoner.  It’s a tough line to walk.  One tries not to bring it up, but then again — well, OK.  It takes up a lot of time.  It’s a daily companion.  It’s like a boyfriend.  So.  Imagine going through your life without telling anyone about your significant other because every time you did, you felt as if you were saying, “Ooh!  Look at me!  I’m dating So-and-so!  Lalala!”

But then someone at, say, happy hour brings up running and you just can’t help but get excited — “Oh, really?  Where do you run?  What races have you done?  ISN’TRUNNINGAMAZING??!?!!!?” you say, with a sort of creepy and disarming enthusiasm at having FOUND A KINDRED SPIRIT!  Maybe he’ll talk chafing with you!

But oh, now you’ve done it.  Because after rattling off all his achievements, large and small, then Mr. Happy Hour says,

“What races have you done?”

Now here you have a problem.  Do you say, “Oh, just a few here and there…” and hope Happy Hour leaves it there?  Or do you go for honesty?

Well, let’s assume you’re honest.

“Oh, I’ve done a few marathons.”  (Which, using my analogy, is the equivalent of saying, “Not only do I have a boyfriend, he’s HOT.  And LITERATE.”)

“Oh, which ones?”

“Twin Cities, Marine Corps, Grandma’s…” (“…and he’s employed…”)


“Boston…” (“…employed as a BRAIN SURGEON…”)

See, now Happy Hour is not so sure he’s happy he walked into this situation, but you’ve both gone down a path you can’t get off of, because once you tell someone you’ve run Boston, they HAVE to ask, “Ummm…how fast do you run?”

And so you respond by sort of muttering your qualifying time. (“Did I say ‘brain surgeon’?  Because I meant ‘brain surgeon AND a model AND an Italian chef AND the DC Fire Department’s resident HOTTIE…'”)

Happy Hour cocks his head, now clearly thinking you’re such a tool for having told him about your mad running skillz (boyfriend), and now he feels inadequate, and, to be honest, you feel kind of dirty, too, but someone is asking about your BOYFRIEND, for Chrissakes, and what are you supposed to do, just sort of shrug and say, “Meh, he’s OK”???  NO!  What did we learn in Girl Scouts?  HONESTY, kids!

“And how many have you run?”

And then you tell him your number.  (“Also, my boyfriend farts rainbows and knows where SEVEN HIDDEN G-SPOTS ARE.”)

Happy Hour, unable to take it, punches you in the face.  You slump to the floor, rubbing your jaw, a little stunned, but generally thinking, “Meh.  I probably deserved that.”


I think we can all learn a valuable lesson from this little parable: lie.  LIE. The next time someone asks me if I’m a runner, I’m going to go in the complete opposite direction.

“Ummm…I don’t have legs…”

I think this will work well.