From Afar: How to be a cooler boyfriend

Charlie Nadler writes From Afar.

courtesy of Charlie Nadler

Charlie Nadler writes From Afar.

Charlie Nadler grew up on Martha’s Vineyard and graduated from MVRHS with the class of 2002. He lives in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles where he works in the film and television industry and regularly performs stand up comedy.  In the twice-monthly “From Afar” column, Charlie will muse about the Island from his perch in LA.

Buy her roses. Take her somewhere with a white tablecloth. Groupon the ballet. These are all solid boyfriend moves.

But the most effective way I have found to be a significantly better significant other, is simply being from Martha’s Vineyard. Who would have thought that one of the best ways to a woman’s heart is via steamship?

I got to show my girlfriend around over the holidays and having home field advantage was like being on boyfriend steroids. I literally could not escape being the man. No offense to all the boyfriends in middle America, but “Wanna walk to a lighthouse?” is way smoother than “Wanna walk to Walmart?”

An advocate for the devil might point out that my current residence, Los Angeles, also boasts romantic sights. Sure, but if you take your girlfriend up to Malibu the traffic takes the same amount of time it took Lewis and Clark. Then once you arrive you are swiftly ticketed when full parking lots force you to park illegally. Needless to say I prefer the Vineyard dating scene. Always.

Islanders can bask in the glory that our homeland geography takes basic situations and propels them into the ninety-ninth percentile of awesomeness in the eye of your girlfriend. Exercise gets her heart rate up, but exercise at Cedar Tree Neck takes her breath away. Wowing her with knowledge about erosion is fascinating, but using the Gay Head Lighthouse as an example makes you fascinating. Even just taking her out in public helps your cause. Everyone knows you, approaches you, hugs you, welcomes her.

During our stay, miracles disguised themselves as obstacles. Earlier in an all-day tour we found ourselves up-Island with sandwiches and nowhere convenient to eat them. We settled on the car, an unfortunate venue for a meal. But we parked in Menemsha, an incredible venue for eating in a car. Blandness averted! Then later in the day it was getting dark and we had to get back soon for dinner, prompting me to take the most direct route back to my Mom’s. This of course turned out to be beach road as the sun was setting. She melted into the passenger seat.

I know I make it sound like the washashore half of the relationship benefits the most, but I can’t lie; I get a lot out of playing tour guide. I am lazy when I’m back visiting alone. Some trips I’ll barely leave Oak Bluffs. It’s a relatively small island, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a ton of Vineyard out there to enjoy, several spots I’m embarrassed to admit that I still haven’t been. But it feels good to acknowledge this, and for future trips I will add them to my “Continue To Make My Girlfriend Think I’m The Coolest” bucket list.