Fries are a side item…not you

Okay, all my single ladies…if you’re pretty sure he likes it but he still hasn’t put a ring on it, this one is for you. In order to save you from many frustrating years waiting for him to pull that small black velvet box out of his coat pocket only to find a pair of earrings, or, God forbid, a keychain, when the box finally does emerge…I have put together a very handy little list of ways to tell if you are not, as you think, the main dish, but are instead…dum dad um dum…the side item.

But first things first – what exactly is, you ask, a side item?

Well, to put things into perspective, let’s draw on a simple analogy. Let’s say you sit down at dinner at J. Alexander’s and order the biggest, finest steak on the menu. You took your time pouring over that menu to find the most delicious, most expensive, most sumptuous item the restaurant had to offer, because, hey, if you’re going to invest that kind of money, you should make sure you order only the best (or at least what you view as the best). Right? So chances are you’re not too concerned about the steamed broccoli that comes with it. Sure, the broccoli might look pretty and add some color to the plate, and it will probably eventually warrant your attention, at least for a few minutes, after you’ve finished your steak or possibly even between bites. But if the waitress comes along and scoops your plate up with a few pieces of broccoli left on the dish, you’re probably not going to miss it all that much. Why? Because you were already so utterly satisfied by that oh-so-tasty steak that the broccoli was merely an afterthought. Translation: in your relationship, you want to always be the steak; because if you’re not, chances are – you’re the broccoli, or to break it down…the side dish he can live without.

Now, what makes me the expert? And who am I to tell you that you are not your man’s main course?

I might not be a relationship expert, but I can tell you that I have dated every stereotypical male the city of Nashville has to offer over the past few years; and if I haven’t dated him, one of my friends have. These are not necessarily bad guys (although sometimes they are), but the kinds of guys that you just know, within a week or two, that you will never, ever be more than the french fries to his cheeseburger. And why waste time playing Mr. Wrong’s second fiddle when you could be Mr. Right’s lead guitar?

So, take a deep breath, muster up your courage and pull around to the second window, because if your guy fits one or more of these descriptions, you might have found yourself in a french fry situation.

You might be a side item if:

1. He only wants to see you after 2:00 a.m. (or 3:00 a.m., 4:00 a.m., etc.) If he only comes knockin’ after the clubs have stopped rockin’…check the menu, girl, cause you’ll probably find your name right next to the broccoli. *Possible exceptions to this rule: You’re dating someone who works nights…or you’re dating a vampire. And since I hear Robert Pattinson’s already taken, this exception probably doesn’t apply. 

2. He chats with you via Blackberry messenger (or the iPhone equivalent) non-stop for two days straight. When you wake up on Day 3 and check your phone expectantly, he has deleted you as a contact. When you question this, he claims he was “downloading something to his phone and accidentally deleted all his contacts.” So you give him the benefit of the doubt and re-add him only to experience Groundhog Day two days later when the same exact scenario replays itself. *Possible exceptions: The only exception to this one is if you’re dating a complete idiot. Okay, okay, I’ll throw the guys a bone on this one – I guess there could be a slight chance that you’re dating a guy who is just not all that tech-savvy, but for it to happen TWICE? You know what they say…lightning doesn’t usually strike in the same place twice.

3. You have him on an “every other weekend and holidays” status. I mean, c’mon, he’s not a child, a dog or a houseplant. If your relationship feels like a constant custody battle, ask yourself, who are you fighting with? Could it be he’s spending the rest of his time with a main dish and you’ve just been side-itemed? *Possible exceptions: He travels a lot for work, has kids from a previous relationship that he spends his time with when he’s not with you or he regularly experiences alien abductions.

4. You’ve never met a single friend, family member or co-worker of his…even though he’s met all of yours. If he’s taking you three towns over to see a movie that’s playing at five different theatres in Nashville, you can bet you are the cheese and not the nachos…the butter and not the popcorn…the Junior and not the Mints. If he knows all your girlfriends’ full names, dates of birth and favorite drinks and you don’t even know his address, Mapquest your way outta there, lady, cause there’s somebody else he’s going home to every night. *Possible exceptions: He either has no friends or he’s in the Witness Protection Program. In other words, you should probably still head for the hills.

5. Facebook/Myspace shadiness. You know what I’m talking about – he hides all his comments, deletes your tagged photos, won’t change his relationship status or in some cases, won’t even accept your friend request at all. Ladies, run from this shady character because if he’s hiding you, it’s for a reason. Get out before it’s too late and he changes his status to “In a Relationship with: a name that’s not yours.” *There are no possible exceptions to this rule.

Now, if you’ve reached the end of this list and you know in your heart that your guy has you on carryout status and is going home to his dine-in, don’t despair. Here’s the good news: you figured it out! You caught onto his game before it’s too late and you wind up five years in and nothing to show for yourself but a bunch of McDonald’s receipts and a broken heart. Just because he treated you like a side dish DOESN’T MEAN YOU ARE ONE. As Julia Roberts points out in the movie My Best Friend’s Wedding – one man’s crème brulee is another man’s Jell-o. Whichever one you are, there’s someone out there who will appreciate you and treat you as not only his main dish, but his cocktail, appetizer, dessert and after-dinner mint!

Nashville’s got hundreds and hundreds of restaurants…so what are you waiting for?
 

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