Wednesday, January 8, 2014

When You're a Superhero's Girlfriend, Part 2

Well, well, well. The last edition ran long so I split it into two parts garnered so much appreciation that I had no choice but to do another one. So, without further self-serving lies ado, I give you some more handy tips for being a superhero's girlfriend!

The Good, the Bad, and the Weird

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to be unprepared for all the weird shit you’re about to go through.

Do not let it catch you off guard, because everyone's going to think less of you if you can't keep your cool through explosions, death rays, being caught in a giant spider's web, or meeting your own evil clone. And it's not just you in the firing line. Constant, lurking danger will surround everyone you care about. You're going to see your friends take a lot of nasty shit over the next few years, and you're going to feel guilty about your part in their suffering. But you can never let it disturb your calm, or you'll be deemed useless.

Mind you, if your boyfriend ever loses his cool, or even suffers an out-and-out nervous breakdown from facing the very same stresses, everyone will sympathize with him. Even if he throws away his costume and runs away to hide from his destiny, his superpowered friends will go to any lengths to find him and bring him back around. Don’t expect them to give you the same consideration, though. When your boyfriend is blindsided by some freaky shit, it's pathos. When you're blindsided by some freaky shit, it's hysteria.

Yeah, it’s a total double standard.

But that’s your life now. All you can do is prepare for it, so you'll be calm and in command of yourself no matter what happens. To that end, be emotionally prepared to experience any of the following:

  • Constumed weirdos of all sorts (hint: you’re dating one)
  • Abduction by brilliant but evil villains
  • Abduction by virtuous but stupid heroes
  • Nursing your boyfriend back to health after grievous injuries
  • Nursing your boyfriend back to humanity after grievous mutation
  • Being tied up in deadly situations (supervillains never have time to just shoot you, yet they have plenty of time to construct absurdly complex execution devices—it’s weird)
  • You and/or your boyfriend being hit with a de-aging ray (hope you liked puberty)
  • Fire, explosions, tornadoes, floods, etc.
  • People melting, people shattering like glass, people dissolving into sand, people turning into evil robots, etc.
  • Being exiled to parallel dimensions, other worlds, the phantom zone, etc.
  • Villains breaking into your apartment and watching you sleep
  • Heroes breaking into your apartment and watching you sleep
  • Your boyfriend breaking into your apartment and watching you sleep (he thinks it’s romantic, because superheroes are creepy idiots)
  • Terrifying clowns with bad intentions

Know How Long to Listen

Sooner or later, you’re going to find yourself within earshot of some vile people meticulously explaining their evil plans to each other. Which is weird, because they should already be familiar with their own evil plans. They're basically just wasting time, explaining stuff they already know. No one understands why villains do this, but it’s pretty fucking convenient, isn't it?

Well, yes and no, because you’ll be tempted to keep listening long past the time when you ought to just get the fuck out of there. Listening too long isn't the most common mistake that superhero girlfriends make, but it's often their last.

So remember: sneak within eavesdropping distance, listen just long enough to get the gist of the evil plan, then leave promptly. Sneak, listen, leave. Memorize that.

And don’t knock anything over on your way out, jackass.

This Is Your Life

So, yeah, if it’s convenient, you should probably resign yourself to torture, defilement, and death.

No biggie, but it's a good idea to get this out of the way early. So, you know, if you have a free minute today? You might as well spend it resigning yourself to torture, defilement, and death.

And if you can't seem to resign yourself to torture, defilement, and death? Then just don't date a superhero, mm’kay? Because, if you're dating a superhero? You're likely to be tortured, defiled, and deathed.


Actually, you know what? Instead of dating him, consider becoming his arch-nemesis. It may sound crazy, but stop and think about it. If you look at the numbers, you'll find that a superhero girlfriend is actually in much more danger than any single supervillain. For some reason, superhero girlfriends get into trouble constantly, whereas villains get into trouble in shifts, with only one or two villains in the hot box at any given time. Consequently, any single villain faces only a small fraction of the strife that a superhero girlfriend takes, and they almost never suffer the degrading indignities of that demographic.

True, villains go to jail and sometimes they even die, but jail is like a vacation compared to being a superhero girlfriend, and girlfriends die at an even higher rate than villains. And if you do die as a supervillain, it's not even a big deal. Being a supervillain is like having an endless supply of "Get Out of Death Free" cards.

Not only that but, as a villain, you'll actually see more of him. No, really. Remember, this is a man who will either stand you up or run out on every single date you go on, because he has to go fight a villain. But if you're that villain, the date is still salvageable. Awkward, but salvageable.

There are only two catches. One, you have to pretend not to know each other's secret identities. So keep your personal and professional lives separate. Two, you have to be in his league, able to plausibly threaten his life and safety. That, ironically, is the key to a safe and stable relationship with a superhero: wanting to kill each other and being powerful enough to follow through.

If your super-boyfriend is extremely powerful, reaching his league may sound like a daunting task, but it's actually surprisingly easy to become a top-shelf supervillain. All you have to do is look for the circumstances that gave your boyfriend his superpowers and replicate them. Don't worry if you get it a little wrong. History indicates that botched attempts will make you just as powerful and even better at evil.

Failing that, drive an hour up the coast to the next giant metropolitan city and look for the circumstances that gave that city's superhero his powers. Repeat until you succeed. Even if you run out of giant metropolitan coastal cities before gaining superpowers, don't give up. Your boyfriend might be keeping the necessary ingredients for a super-transformation in his museum/fortress/mancave. All you have to do is nab them during a visit.

If you think about it, it's pretty weird that people don't do this more often. I mean, it's not like radioactive spiders, energy fields, and super-serums are one-shot items. They work equally well the second time. Better, in fact, if you try to understand what happened and work to refine it on the next try. For example, if the Intrinsic Field Subtractor grants power over matter to someone who knows watch repair, maybe it'll grant similar power to an electrical engineer, with the added bonus of not turning you into a big blue douchebag.

Frankly, it's a wonder that people aren't queued up to try this shit.

And, finally...

If You Like It, Then You Shouldn't Put a Ring on It

Don’t get married.

Really, just don't get married. Why? Because marriage to a superhero is a ticket to contentment and happiness.

"Wait a minute," I hear you say, in your whiny little interrupting voice, "isn't happiness and contentment a good thing?"

Of course not, you moron! I mean, it would probably be a good thing if you weren't in a relationship with a superhero. But when you are in a relationship with a superhero? Contentment and happiness are the quickest routes to an early grave. Seriously, check the CDC statistics for mortality among superhero loved ones. The leading cause of death is, "achieved happiness." The second leading cause is, "experienced a perfect moment of pure contentment." The third leading cause is actually "car accidents." But the fourth leading cause is, "was only three days away from achieving happiness."

And don't be lulled into a false sense of security by your turbulent relationship. After you get married, that turbulence goes out the door. Oh sure, something weird is going to happen around the time of the wedding. You’ll be sucked into a time portal or trapped in a devious labyrinth from which you can only escape by demonstrating your deep emotional bond with each other and revealing any lingering secrets you've been holding back.

But after that? The troubles will be few and far between, and that's bad news.

Spiderman Marriage Tragedy

Why does happiness equal death for superhero loved ones? No one knows for sure. The relationship scientists at eHarmony have been struggling to understand this mystery for years, with no success so far. At the time of this writing, their leading theories include:
  • Superhero loved ones let their guard down when happy
  • Supervillains are enraged by contentment
  • Nature abhors a "strife vacuum"
  • The true purpose of the universe is to crush and destroy happiness—just as enthalpy inevitably gives way to entropy, happiness must inevitably give way to sorrow

Holy shit, those eHarmony scientists are some dark motherfuckers.


If you enjoyed this article, you have issues you'll love Part 1 of Mistakes to Avoid When You're a Superhero's Girlfriend exactly as much!

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