I wouldn’t change my legs. There’s always room for improvement, but I think my thighs and my calves are pretty sexy as is, especially in athletic shorts and crew socks. Legs are an easy default for folks to hang their self confidence upon, but my toned runner’s legs, covered in trim waves of blond hair, are objectively hot. And that’s my stance on that.
I wouldn't change anything about my face, except for a few hard lines etched into my forehead and around my smile. In my reflection, I see my mom’s eyes and my dad’s mouth. I like being reminded of where I come from. Thank God they’re not terrible assholes.
I wouldn’t change my carrier service. $130 a month seems like I’m overpaying, but just the thought of leaving AT&T seems like a nightmare. Avoiding the hold time alone is worth whatever cash is being swindled away from me.
I wouldn’t change my lisp. Since I was a little kid, people have poked fun at the way I talk. Inching towards 30, I still struggle to be taken seriously in a conversation. My wide tongue grapples with fricatives like a clown fish trying to escape the jaws of a hammerhead. But I wouldn’t change my lisp because it’s mine and no one talks like I do. Plus, it’s forced me to cultivate a personality that projects beyond my speech—even if I’ll never know the joys of a tongue ring.
I wouldn’t change my apartment. The rent’s sky-high for a studio loft, but I don’t mind because it’s right smack in the middle of the city. From my fourth-floor balcony to my tiny, pocket-door closet, I like everything the way it is. It’s the first place I’ve lived alone. It’s my first big claim to independence. It’s my haven in this sparkling, bustling city. Though it would be nice to have a Subway inside the building. Hoofing my way down Mission five times a week for my Oven-Roasted Chicken on Italian Herb & Cheese is getting old. Even if it’s right around the corner.
I wouldn’t change my childhood. I can’t change my childhood. But if I could, I wouldn't.
Speaking of things I can’t change but wouldn’t if I could: my ability to forgive. I can take in a painful experience and channel it through a filter of forgiveness—almost immediately. It can be jarring when the person with whom I’m arguing watches my shoulders and the corners of my mouth relax, right after saying some bitchy and below-the-belt. “You’ve got a body like Whoopi Goldberg!” or “Fuck you, your sister’s in rehab!” maybe. But in the same breath, I can step outside of the disagreement and move along. “I’m sorry,” I’ll say. “Where can we go from here?” And the other party—stunned, mouth agape—will typically stutter and get in a few final jabs before moving along with me. I don’t want to lose that talent. It's necessary and hilarious.
I wouldn’t change my eyebrows. I’ve never tweezed them, shaped them, threaded them, or otherwise. Subtle and low-maintenance. Nothing like me. But everything I aspire to be.
And I wouldn’t change you.
I wouldn’t change the patterns of hair on your chest, or your heavy eyes when you’re drunk, or the volume of your voice when you rap Drake lyrics at me in the car.
I wouldn’t change the way you dress—actually, I love the way you dress. Even the rubber flip flops you wear with nice clothes. Even your Adidas gym shorts with the worn-out waistband. Even that time you wore a tank top to the House of Blues. Actually, we should talk about that.
I wouldn’t change the fact that I missed my shuttle to work today because you were having a bad morning and you desperately needed to talk to me. And I lied. I missed two shuttles. But I would do it again because I’m your partner and there’s always another shuttle.
I wouldn’t change the hours we said we lost with fighting. We didn’t lose them at all. Sure, we could’ve been saying nicer things instead and yelling, but now we’re here. And our time together is more valuable than anything I’ll ever own. Because life is short and even hours spent fighting are hours spent with you.
I wouldn’t change anything about you.
Not a thing.
So don’t alter anything.
Please stay the same.
And don’t move.
Stay right there.
I’m on my way.