Throwing Shade

When you’re a busy journalist and a rookie boyfriend, you worry. A lot.

Sun Herald blogger Justin Mitchell
Sun Herald blogger Justin Mitchell

Let me start this blog post by saying I’m not a crazy, overbearing boyfriend.

I don’t check my partner’s phone or even know his password. We don’t and will NEVER share a joint Facebook account. I don’t care how he spends his money or who he talks to. If he wants to hang out with an ex? Have fun. I’m not the jealous type. And I’m definitely not the crazy type.

But my crazy came out in full force this morning.

My boyfriend, Alec, is pretty introverted and a total creature of habit. He generally hates being social, and he follows a strict weekly routine.

Alec texts me goodnight every night before he goes to sleep and good morning when he wakes up. I am not a creature of habit, but in the past year I’ve become attached to this constant in my life, and it puts a smile on my face. Sometimes those of us who color outside the lines need a little more organization.

On Friday afternoon, Alec quit responding to my text messages. I figured he was mad at me for not going to dinner with him on my lunch break. But when I texted him two hours later, he still didn’t reply. When I got off work at 8:30, I called. Nothing. I thought maybe he just called it an early night.

When I woke up at 7:30 Saturday morning with no text or call, I got worried. Alec is not from here, and he lives alone. I texted some of his friends, and they hadn’t heard from him since Friday afternoon, either.

I didn’t have to be in the office for two hours, so I showered and got in my car to drive to Bay St. Louis to check on him. First, I called a couple of friends to make sure I wasn’t being one of those “crazy boyfriends” who share their drama on Facebook that we sometimes gossip about.

No, I was just being worried, they said.

Worry gave way to panic when I got word a vehicle had crashed into Bayou LaCroix and gone underwater. I went into journalist mode and called a contact at the Hancock sheriff’s department. Half of me was calling to get something up on our website, and the other half was hoping it wasn’t Alec and that he was alive.

My contact did not answer immediately, so I called the coroner to see if he had been dispatched to the accident. He hadn’t.

As I passed the Diamondhead exit on Interstate 10, Alec’s name popped up on my phone. At that moment, I began to cry but also plan how I was going to make him suffer for my full-blown emotional meltdown before I could even have a morning coffee or Diet Coke.

“I just took a 15-hour nap,” he said. “You’re the crazy one.”

Spoiler alert: He is the crazy one. He got mad at me once because I said something mean about an apple pie he made — in his dreams. This whole “we’re in a fight because of a dream I had” sketch is a regular thing. You learn to live with it.

I’m glad the woman who crashed her SUV in the water was rescued with the help of a good Samaritan, and I’m also glad Alec is alive and well.

I have a feeling I’m going to be treated to a delicious steak dinner soon. Looking at you, bae.

Justin Mitchell: 228-604-0705, @JustinMitchell_