Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Mistakes to Avoid When You're a Superhero's Girlfriend


Maybe you first met him in high school. Or maybe it was on his first day of work. Or maybe it was that time you were kidnapped by a masked madman and tied up over a vat of acid. Maybe you hardly knew he existed until circumstances threw you together and he finally had a chance to prove his worth, at which point you learned that he’d been obsessed with you for years.

Creepily obsessed with you.

For years.

Yeeeeeah, so you probably should have shut that down right there. But something in the back of your brain (possibly a minor embolism from the acid fumes) told you to go ahead and date him, and now you're a superhero’s girlfriend.

Your relationship sure had a rocky start, but it’ll be smooth sailing from here on out. Right?

Well, it could be, if you avoid these common mistakes...

Who Needs a Fridge, Anyway?

Women in Refrigerators: She only has Shasta!Let’s face it, sometime in the near future, supervillains are coming after you. If you don’t take precautions, they’re going to kill you, and then they’re going to display your body in a way that maximizes emotional trauma in your boyfriend.

Don't take it personally.

No, seriously, don't take it personally, because it's not about you at all. It's about pissing off your boyfriend. You're just a convenient, squishy means to an end.

And therein lies the solution. You can't stop a supervillain from killing you, but you can ruin his plan. It will involve three critical steps:
  1. Your boyfriend is going to arrive in a seemingly safe place – probably your apartment. 
  2. The tension will increase as subtle clues reveal something wrong. 
  3. Your dismembered body parts will be suddenly revealed or fall on him, probably when he opens the fridge.
You'll notice that killing you isn't even part of it. Again, that's because your life doesn't matter to the supervillain one way or the other. Killing you is merely the prerequisite to obtaining your dead body. It's just business, and you're just the commodity.

There’s an easy solution to this: Don’t have a fridge. Or an oven. Or big cabinets, or a shower curtain, or high ceilings. Anyplace someone could conceivably stuff your body or hide it out of sight, really.

It limits your housing options, and you'll have to eat out a lot, but that's a small price to pay.

Hi-Keeba! Gymkata!

Let’s not neglect your self-defense classes.

Now, maybe you think that a few months of Judo aren’t going to make a difference against a supervillain with psychic powers and a gun that shoots velociraptors or whatever. But, you know what? Nine times out of ten, the supervillain isn’t going to deal with you personally, anyway. Instead, he’s going to send his idiot henchmen after you—henchmen who teeter on the edge of failure even in the best of times.

When facing enemies like these, a well-placed snap kick might be all it takes to avoid an embarrassing abduction incident.

Don’t Be the Last to Know

Your boyfriend may try to hide his secret identity from you, because he’s trying to protect you, or because he’s a paternalistic ass. Do not stand for that shit. You can avoid a lot of trouble if you know what he is up front.

Iron Man and Pepper
These two know how it's done.
So don’t ignore the super-obvious super-signs. If he disappears during a crisis and only reappears once everything is safe? He’s a superhero. If he has mysterious bruises the day after the city is attacked by giant sea monsters? He’s a superhero. If he makes an excuse and leaves the room whenever supervillains on are on the news? He’s a superhero. If he gets chased away by small-time thugs, but those thugs are immediately accosted by a big-time superhero who shouldn't even be bothering with such small fry? He's a superhero.

Oh and, if he looks and sounds exactly like the city’s most powerful superhero, except without glasses? Then he’s a FUCKING SUPERHERO! I mean, seriously, what are you, a moron?

So figure it out, already. And let him know that you know. If nothing else, it’ll put less strain on the relationship when he bails out on a date to go save the mayor from genetically engineered hypergorillas. He’ll be a lower maintenance boyfriend, and you’ll be a lower maintenance girlfriend.

Win win.

The Dilemma Dilemma

This issue probably started before you were even dating him, when you noticed that incredibly unlikely disasters were happening to you about once a week.

If not, be prepared. Per capita, superhero girlfriends are involved in more random accidents, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and mundane criminal hostage situations than any other demographic (according to a study conducted by the Commission on Superhuman Activities.)

Lois Lane in Danger Compilation
Get used to this.

Don’t make the common mistake of counting on your boy to always be there. Yeah, sure, he’ll probably make it 99 times out of a hundred. But on that hundredth time? You’re going to fall off a building, or get into a car accident, or be involved in a plane crash, and he won't be there, because he's off fighting lizardmen in Paraguay or something.

So what do you do? Take your phone with you everywhere you go, keep a whistle in your purse, carry extra food and water in your car, and hide a jackknife in your sleeve for cutting through ropes.

You might want to think about wearing a parachute to work, too.

In a Row?

At some point in every relationship, you’re going to have the ex talk. You know what I mean. It’s the conversation where you ask questions like, “How many ex-girlfriends have you had?,” “How many were you in love with?,” “Which ones were hotter than me?,” “Would any of the ones from the previous question be interested in a threeway?,” etc.

That’s fine, but there’s another issue that too many superhero girlfriends forget to bring up: “Tell me what happened to every woman you’ve ever loved, in chronological order, with detailed references for each one.”

Ask that question first. If an inordinate number of his former lovers were brutally murdered, put into comas, tortured, brainwashed, raped to death, became drug addicts, or were mutated into supervillainous monsters? Dump him right then and there.

Sure, it’s not really his fault, but dump him anyway. Don’t wait. Don’t get sentimental. Don’t be afraid to make a scene. Just dump him, move to a new city, and change your fucking name.

Speaking of Which…

Hitler with boobs, and a ray gun.
If I had a nickel...
Finally, make a real, concerted effort to not mutate into an evil, superpowered corruption of your former innocence.

No, really, don’t blow this one off. We all think it could never happen to us. We all think we’re immune. Then one day when you're distracted, you accidentally drink an experimental serum in place of your morning coffee and BAM! All of a sudden you’re, like, Hitler with boobs. And a raygun.

So you gotta resist that evil impulse, or that monster serum, or those gamma rays. I mean, come on. We all have a dark side that's just waiting to be brought to the surface by superscience, but let's be frank: at the last possible moment, the power of love is going to kindle a fire in your heart and you'll find the willpower to resist the evil that’s overtaken you. It's inevitable, when all hope seems to have fled, that you'll find the will to resist.

So, you know, here’s an idea: You can save everyone a lot of trouble if you just go ahead and resist up front.

To put it off until the last possible moment is just procrastination, anyway.


UPDATE: Because I love you so much, I wrote a follow-up to this article. Go read Part 2 of Mistakes To Avoid When You're a Superhero's Girlfriend, or be exiled to the phantom zone. By my love.

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