>>> Primal Urges
By staff writer Nathan DeGraaf
January 11, 2006

Mike: You should call that chick you used to date and see if she can get tickets to the playoff game.
Nathan: Dude, she hates me. She’d sooner kill me than help me out.
Mike: That’s a risk I’m willing to take.

Gentleman, I’ve typed it before and I’m typing it now: I’m here to help. Seriously. One of the perks of this job is handing out the pearls of wisdom that I have accumulated from my many moons on this spinning chunk of clay.

Today, I would like to share with you my five favorite “girlfriends with perks.” These are the women who not only provide you with an emotion-filled relationship, but who bring certain benefits to the table that regular people simply don’t get. You never recognize the girlfriend with perks until after you lose the actual perks, so to aid in defining this phenomenon, I will demonstrate the feelings associated with the loss of the girlfriend with perks. Then, I will pick my nose while humming a few bars of The National Anthem. And then, if I have time, I’ll write a conclusion (I make no promises).

Anyway, in lieu of a hoity-toity introduction or slick segue, I give you the top five (from my life, anyway) girlfriends with perks.

1. The Late Night Bartender

Management leaves the late-night bartender alone at the end of the night, often to count out her tips and finish cleaning the pub. When last call comes and all the patrons leave, special exception is made to the boyfriend of the late-night bartender, who, despite the fact that he’s been drinking beer all night (on the house, no less), is now entrusted with ensuring that said barkeep makes it home unmolested.

So they leave the boyfriend alone in a full bar. With free beer. And a woman who just got off work and is ready to, well, explore the pub’s space, so to speak.

Shortly after breaking up with the late-night bartender, the ex-boyfriend will (for a period of several months) look down at his bar tabs and sigh. Then, early one morning, he’ll be led out of the bar at last call while a beautiful bartender wishes him good night, and he’ll be so overwhelmed with emotion that he’ll catch himself saying, “Damn, I miss her,” while choking back a tear. (And you thought we didn't have feelings.)

2. The Real Estate Agent’s Assistant

Once it is concluded that the assistant a) knows the real estate agent’s schedule because she sets it and b) has the keys to waterfront property, well, let’s just say that the beach becomes a lot more fun. From the intimate boat rides followed by private-beach sex to the little get-togethers that become all-out beach parties, having full use of a beach house straddles the line between, “freaking awesome” and “outright jamming.” That’s why it’s a perk.

Shortly after breaking up with the agent’s assistant, the ex-boyfriend will get a call from one of his friends who will ask if they’re hitting up the beach house over the weekend.

“No man, we broke up,” the ex-boyfriend will say.

“You selfish prick,” the friend will say, before hanging up in disgust.

3. The Divorced Older Woman

The divorced older woman removes all the bullshit from relationships. Because there is little to no drama, low expectations, and awesome sex, the divorced older woman is a walking, horny perk.

The ex-boyfriend won’t really miss the divorced older woman until one of his new women starts crying about how he never listens to her or some such shit.

4. The Chick who Loves Fellatio and Cooking for Her Man

Enough said.

5. The Ticket Scorer

The ticket scorer is the easiest woman to take for granted. For whatever reason, through whatever connections, the ticket scorer can get tickets to every hometown event, be it of the concert or sporting variety. And here’s the kicker: she doesn’t like sports. So all of the professional sports tickets are available for the boyfriend and his friends, who will remind him every time he speaks ill of the ticket scorer that he better not even THINK of breaking up with her until they can all afford seats at the fifty yard line.

No one ever breaks up with the ticket scorer though (it’s one of the few times when cheating on a girl provides more benefits than just breaking up with her). But when she eventually breaks up with her boyfriend, he’ll immediately ask, “So, uh, you’re not using the tickets to Sunday’s game are you?”

At this point, she will hit him. Hard.

Now ladies, please note that I am not advising men to date women simply for these kind of perks. Far from it. My goal here is to help men understand why they feel so emotional over the loss of certain women. We men are, all in all, fragile, gentle creatures, and I feel this column represents the complex way we collectively interpret relationships.

Don’t roll your eyes at me like that. I’m serious.

Want to re-live more of Nate's life? Check out the Snippet Collection on his blog.