This is my boyfriend, Ryan.
A lot of bloggers hide their partners from their blogs. Whilst I respect and understand the reasons for doing so, I don’t want you to picture my boyfriend as a blank canvas or shadowy figure – the way I sometimes do when other people’s partners are mentioned without being shown. Ryan contributes to this blog in so many ways: listening to drafts, sharing articles, taking photos and holding fiery conversations with me, the embers of which often turn into posts. He deserves a portrait of his own on this digital wall.
Ryan is tall, thin and very striking. Most people are initially taken aback when they meet him; strangers stare and friends only stop commenting after they’ve seen him a few times. But in photos it’s different. The camera absorbs the initial shock, and you can appreciate the angles of his face and the copper in his hair without being overwhelmed by his tallness. His height means he is constantly framed by trees and clouds and sky: the best of all backdrops.
Ryan is often insecure about the way he looks – not something I’ve encountered in many of the boys I’ve dated. I suppose when people so often gawp at his frame or comment on his complexion it’s understandable. It’s not just strangers who jeer or shoot disbelieving looks. His friends and acquaintances fall over themselves to post mocking pictures on his wall or show me unflattering pictures of Ryan and tell me how “weird” he looks. He winds up taking the piss out of himself; pre-empting the ginger jokes and ridiculing his impressive stature. It’s an upsetting state of affairs.
I think he is particularly wonderful-looking: all sharp lines and floppy hair, endless freckles and massive jade eyes. I wish he could embrace it instead of looking away when I reach for the camera, instead of always refusing to smile and asking me to delete photos of him. It’s not hard to imagine the chorus of jeering he hears as he winces at his own image. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while then you’ll recognise all of these backgrounds from previous posts.* Ryan has been sharing the same space as me for a while now in the real world, and now I invite you to picture him whenever you imagine this blog world. Thank you for hopefully not leaving an onslaught of ginger jokes in the comments. <3