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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Love in the Time of Mono

"Mono" is the Spanish word for monkey. "Monito" (from the title of my last post) is the diminutive form, which has become something of a pet name for Duncan, my boyfriend (who is quite tall and prone to wrapping himself around me... like a little monkey...*pause for awwws*).

Back in the U.S., "mono"  if you're not talking about audio signals or the joy of Latin prefixes   is shorthand for "infectious mononucleosis". It's also commonly (and misleadingly) referred to as the "kissing disease" and perhaps less commonly (and less scandalously) as "glandular fever" and "Pfeiffer's disease". Caused by the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), it's one of the most common human viruses  so common that most people are infected as babies... or a least by adolescence.

And, of course, EBV is one of the eight viruses in the herpes family. OF COURSE IT IS. 

I managed to dodge the bullet for 33 years. It was a good run while it lasted. 

At any rate, this isn't the story of the time I was sick and gross and eventually on antibiotics for three weeks. This is a story about budding new romance (while being sick and gross and on antibiotics for three weeks)

First off, I'd like to say that I consider myself a (reasonably) mature person – open-minded, worldly, a wealth of diverse experiences. That said, when I meet a potential romantic partner, I want to shelter them from a number bodily functions (even when we've progressed to body fluid exchange). It's a bizarre habit, in which many adults indulge – there are outliers, but this is the thing that most of us do. Nevertheless, for some strange reason, this leads to at least a couple of months just holding trying to hold it all in.

Perhaps it helps if I put this in GoT lingo?

Duncan and I met at work at our company's Beer Thursday ("Der Name ist Programm" as the Germans say). I found him interesting  he makes ominous sound effect noises pretty much involuntarily *chanchan* and that shit is adorable to me. We live in the same neighborhood and, after our introduction, I kept running into this very interesting Spanish dude... like everywhere (at work, on the train, on my bike... ok, pretty much just those three places).

So, like any normal person, I finally worked up the courage to ask him out.

On LinkedIn. Over Christmas Break.

The first meeting was awesome. We ate delicious burgers smushed between English muffin buns and talked for hours. Despite the evening ending in a somewhat confusing and chaste fistbump, it was a delightful evening.

After that, the progression was roughly: awkward fistbump, respectful bowing, hugs, forehead kiss, grabbing my hand while we watched Justin Timblerlake creepily dance with his on-screen, young looking mama in the film "In Time".

It's her 50th birthday, you motherlovers.

There were a number of mixed signals, including a late night parting gift of Spanish cheese. About 500g. That's not some kind of crazy sex euphemism. I'm straight up talking about he gave me a block of cheese at 1am. Queso manchego it's a thing... 

I also pooping came up, because that's what super friends talk about. I knew immediately that pooping in a bathroom with a sliding door with frosted glass would be kinda weird for me. As it probably is for most people. It was a slow, weird build up to makeout town... but I am super ok with it. #worthit.

And luckily... ???

I got mono. It completely shook up my vanity concerns and tossed them out the window. I learned a lot. For instance, the German word for "spleen" (die Milz) and how it can become enlarged due to mono. I also learned about how someone can take care of you unconditionally and deal with it like a super champ, even when you're in the most unattractive of states. I'll spare you the details. Suffice it to say, we skipped past many of those (read: my) insecurities and stripped things down to the basics in record time for me.

That still feels pretty new, but it's certainly something that I can get used to.

Not that I want to have mono again...

and (dear Jesus) not that I want to be an organic fart machine.

But... you know... whatever.

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