You don’t have to tell me about the giddy exuberance of a new romance. I know far too well how easy it is to get caught up in the minutia of a new partner: the adorable hesitance with which he nibbles the edge of a cow brain before digging in, the sweet-acrid singe of his skin as he smells a burning candle, the slightly shameful tilt of his head when you catch him trying to eat your cat. The pleasures of a new relationship are many, even with a zombie boyfriend, and it’s easy to close yourself off in your own little love bubble.
Resist the urge.
Although the love bubble feels like a reassuringly warm and lovely cocoon, it’s in fact a treacherous place to be. Relationships with zombies, even the best of them, are temporary. One day, your boyzomb will disappear. Maybe he’ll follow some other woman home. Maybe he’ll get lost in a crowd. Maybe he’ll simply decay into a mound of slushy gray mushiness. At that moment, you’ll look around for your friends and they won’t be there. You won’t even be able to remember when or how you lost them. Because that’s what the love bubble does—makes you oblivious to everything but your love.
But that doesn’t have to be you, weeping alone in a dark corner, uncomforted by the warm hug of caring friends. You can overcome the lure of the love bubble by following one simple rule: girls before ghouls.
Here’s how it works: You want to take your boyzomb to the slaughterhouse for a very special, 17-day anniversary dinner but it’s also your bestie Tabitha’s birthday. You’d rather watch that adorable cow-brain nibble of your new crush, but rather than succumb, reschedule for the next night and take your BFF for dinner instead. Your pal will give you best-buddy points for pushing back such an important event, your zombie boyfriend won’t know the difference (17 days, 18 days, 1,265 days—it’s all the same to him) and you’ll get the lovely satisfaction of doing the right thing. It’s win-win-win.
Now, that’s what I call giddy exhuberance.
Long before the H1Z1 virus turned 99.9999 percent of all men into zombies, the issue of who should open the door for whom was a hot-button topic. Opinions varied widely on the necessity and utility of chivalry in the modern world, and there were as many definitions of what it meant to be a gentleman as there were gentlemen.
Now, of course, the debate is over. Who gets the door? You.
Every. Single. Time.
The obvious explanation for this imbalance is anatomical: If your zombie boyfriend were to give you a hand with the door, he might actually give you a hand.
But the risk of limb detachment isn’t the number one reason the zombie love of your life won’t offer to hold the door for you. The sad truth is, he simply hasn’t thought of it. This might sound discouraging but take heart: Your boyzomb hasn’t thought of anything in years. His mind is a gloppy stew of decayed dendrites, atrophied axons and neutered neurons.
There is much to miss with the zombification of the male population—sparking wit, spirited conversation, even the well-thought-out zinger in the middle of a heated argument—but the loss of old-fashioned courtesy is not one of them. Don’t think of it as the end of chivalry. Think of it as the end of awkward pauses at the door. Think of it as the end of unintended offense when you competently open the door for yourself. Think of it as the end of scurrying over the threshold under the arm of a man who won’t let you open the door for him. Think of it as the end of gender inequality as we know it.
Still not convinced? That’s all right. The zombpocalypse has been hard on all of us, and we each adapt to this brave new world at our own pace. So if you don’t want to open the door for yourself, don’t. One of your fellow female human beings will be along in a moment or two and I’m sure she’d be happy to do it for you. Because it’s not the door itself that matters; it’s the portal of possibilities it represents.
Here at Zombie Dating 101, we know how much fun it is to put on your dirtiest rags, rub trash into your hair and hollow out your eyes with black eyeliner. We know because we love dressing up as zombies, too. (So much better than being a boring old ghost!)
But remember to be respectful. What often passes as festive behavior is actually hurtful and demeaning to our zombie friends. So don’t drag your foot as if pulling a dead tree behind you. Zombies can’t help their heavy, awkward gait. And when grunting incoherently, stick with familiar gutterals like argh, ugh and ergh. Making up words often seems like outright mocking.
Keeping these few tips in mind will help ensure that everyone has a happy and mentally healthy Halloween. It’s OK to scare, not scar.