Previously in this series: If Gwyneth Paltrow Were Your Girlfriend
Before Will Graham became your boyfriend, he would just be another guy in the “Learning to Let the Ex Go” group therapy session you signed up for. The therapist would strongly recommend that you not start seeing each other, but Will would say he’s had enough of other people saying what’s good for him.
On your first date, you’d notice him visibly relax when you choose a seafood restaurant and do all the talking. You’d apologize for talking about yourself so much, but he would say, “No, go on, I like hearing people talk about themselves.” You’d be surprised when he ordered the Montrachet, because he doesn’t strike you as a wine guy. When he did talk about himself, it would mostly be about his dogs.
If Will Graham were your boyfriend, you’d instantly move into his farmhouse. There’d be so much space! So much fresh air! It would be so much quieter than the city! You’d suddenly not mind the isolation of long weekends spent at home. “It’s not the middle of nowhere if I’m with you,” you’d say, and mean it.
If Will Graham were your boyfriend, your life would become at least 25% more quaint and more masculine: your plastic storage containers replaced with handmade wooden chests and vintage leather boxes with heavy iron locks. Adirondack chairs would just appear on your porch and you’d have more fishing equipment then you know what to do with. All fireplaces would be wood-burning and functional, and sturdy flannel blankets would always be within reach. You’d start chopping wood for your nightly post-dinner fireside chats and wonder why you wasted so much time at a gym.
If Will Graham were your boyfriend, you’d go fly-fishing every weekend. You’d at least seriously consider going camping.
If Will Graham were your boyfriend, you’d both finally get over your exes.
If Will Graham were your boyfriend, you’d both get into CBT.
If Will Graham were your boyfriend, Will would be upset whenever you both had to put on suits and ties for work. “I don’t like being so sewn up, like a blood sausage waiting to burst,” he’d say. You’d savor these occasional purple metaphors and moments of insight. He’d discreetly “lose” your paisley tie.
If Will Graham were your boyfriend, all your clothing would take on a deep woods color scheme. You’d arrange his closet into preset outfits, because the man can’t match shirts to jackets to save his life. Every year you’d get him an Orvis gift card on his birthday and he’d be very good at redeeming them.
If Will Graham were your boyfriend, you’d go from liking dogs to being a Dog Person. One of those dog people. The kind with matching dog sweaters, the kind that pick up strays and have to leave the room when the Sarah Mclachlan ASPCA ads come on. The kind that refer to their pets as their “pack.” The kind blind to being covered in dog hair who openly loathe Cesar Millan.
If Will Graham were your boyfriend, whenever he got too serious or deep in thought you’d snap him out of it by picking him up and throwing him over your shoulder. He’d protest but you’d know he likes it when you don’t treat him like a delicate teacup. It’s the same thing when you notice and warn him when he’s going too deep inside himself or starting to imitate other people in order to feel safe.
If Will Graham were your boyfriend, he’d call you “Daddy-o” once and it would go from a running joke to a sincere term of affection. You’d both secretly plan on using it in your wedding vows.
If Will Graham were your boyfriend, you’d never ask him about his scars. You’d know that he will tell you in his own time.
Will Graham would never, ever judge you for ordering the salad.
John Leavitt is a cartoonist, writer, director, and illustrator, His cartoons and illustrations have appeared in: The New Yorker, The Chronicle Review, The New York Press, The Common Review, The Journal Of Science Fiction and Fantasy, Narrative Magazine and elsewhere. He has worked with Molly Crabapple to produce posters for The Electronic Frontier Foundation and others.