Placebo Boyfriend Proposal

Letter To The Federal Human Resources Administration

Sunday, May 21, 2006

To Whom It Might Concern:
I’m a survivor of domestic violence. It took me a year to finally dump my artsy, living-on-the-edge, hell-bent, musician boyfriend. Each month I would pile his socks and shorts and polyester shirts and hair grease and paint spray cans in his homey shopping cart, and, “There’s the road, you, schmuck!”
It was big drama: He calling every hour first to tell me how awful I was, then to beg forgiveness that he had actually shattered my china out of jealousy, he loved me to distraction; then me, missing him when he’s lovey-dovey, and hoopla! back he was eating at my pussy again.
Then in three weeks again hurling my flower pots, “Your pussy is too large!” “Yeah, how about your dick is too small?! And where is the money I left on the kitchen table last night?” “What money? Who do you take me for?! I didn’t steal your money! I’m a DJ! A soundscapist! A graffiti artist! Why are you dising me?!”
Same thing over and over again. Me, asking, “Where is my passport?” “Where is my greencard?” “Where is my laptop?” “Why are you smashing my brand-new, designer eyeglasses? Why are you holding a butcher’s knife at my jugular? Why is your case manager saying you forgot to tell me you’re HIV positive? Oh, no! Where is my life?” and he, saying, “What life?"
Well, now! This time I called the police on him; and, lo and behold! I was whisked to the domestic violence shelter; I got educated that I deserved better and that many domestic violence victims suffered from Stockholm Syndrome; so he is in jail now, crying on the chaplain’s shoulder about what a victim he is. “Father, oh, Father, after all she didn’t get infected with HIV, I used condoms.” Right! He did, only some of them broke!
But I tell you, I was tempted to go back to him, especially when he was about to get arrested! I swear I was getting out of the door, to warn him the detective is on his way to arrest him, when the phone rings! “This is Detective Aberdeen. I’ve apprehended the perpetrator, your batterer! Can you come immediately to the precinct to ID him?!”
Oh, I was crying and pulling my hair, slapping myself for wanting justice!
It was hell!
But do you know how I made it thru? Yes, the educational materials were great; and sure, the network of professionals was fabulous, but what did the trick this time was that I fell for the policeman that arrested him! And the kind soul let me fantasize about him. Let me write him erotic poems! Let me call him ten times a day, because he liked helping out victims. Oh, I was not his first case of domestic violence. He knew love is his occupational hazard. He suffered thru it for his entire career! For fifteen years, he cursed how women dropped charges, after he made a hardworking arrest of the perpetrators! He was sick of seeing pretty women go back to their batterers! But now he was proud that after two months without my batterer, I came out of it!
I didn’t even remember What’s-His-Face?!
Therefore, based on my experience and in the honor of this policeman, I hereby propose that victims of domestic violence should be assigned a Placebo Boyfriend, a Surrogate Lover, a Rebound Man thru the Detective Aberdeen Fast Track to Independence Program! Detective Aberdeen Placebo Boyfriend Fast Track to Independence Program! Yeah!
At every police station, in the Domestic Violence Department, handsome, kind, understanding, flirty men should be hired. At every shelter and organization that advocates for victims of domestic violence this feature should be implemented.
This way the rate of the domestic violence returns/dropouts will go from ‘frustratingly high’ to ‘wonderfully low.’
This way all the hard work the social services put into these distraught women won’t go down the drain and workers won’t be submitted to all kinds of amorous reactions from clients.
This way if the workers notice erotic symptoms, they could write a referral to the Placebo Boyfriend Program and everybody will be happy.
This way tall detectives, hulky janitorial workers, good-natured case managers, will be able to focus on their duties and the ladies won’t be loitering, sitting around on benches by the shelter’s neighborhood basketball field fuming about how her drunk roommate’s child woke her up banging on cooking pans at six o’clock in the morning, causing her to throw all the cooking implements out of the window to the garbage! Or how the roommate’s long strands of hair were all over the communal bathtub, why the fuck she’s not cleaning after herself? Nooo!
These will be all ignored like mere trifles. Women won’t get entangled into how to get hold of a joint, some pot, won’t puff out of their ears, giving a drag to their nine-year-olds too, won’t get pissed off on the staff who doesn’t have time for their sob stories. Nooo! The girls will sit on their benches fantasizing about their Placebo Boyfriends.
And the Placebos will be available for phone calls around the clock. Will be supportive, encouraging, flirty… Maybe we should have a choice of them.
Let’s say: Package A, B and C.
Package A Placebo Boyfriend: no physical contact but plenty of lustful glances and compliments. Helps around the house with… hangs up picture frames, unscrews jar lids, moves furniture around, carries grocery bags.
Package B: all of the above plus hugs and light kisses. Cooks and mops the floor.
Package C: all of the above plus everything to your heart’s content. After a hard day of running between the Welfare Office battling for food stamps and endless lines at the Section 8 Housing interviews and dealing with orders of protection at courts with unsympathetic DAs and precincts with absurd policemen who throw your complaints to the garbage, it would be your just reward to get a foot massage from the Placebo Boyfriend!
And a romantic candle light dinner. Striptease included. Yeah!
Well, as you see I haven’t perfected yet the project parameters. Suggestions are welcome.
Maybe we should have a questionnaire in which we could give options, like:
What Kind Of Characteristics Would You Like Your Placebo Boyfriend To Have?
·   Color: White, Black, Yellow? Caucasian, African, Asian, so on…
·   Height: Tall? Short?
·   Weight: Slim? Hulky?
·   Shoe size?
·   Funny or serious?
·   Bright or… not so bright?
·   Pays the rent or not?
·   A successful workaholic executive with his calendar filled up to the brim or a charismatic actor, a Broadway-bound musician, currently down on his luck, but a potential enchanting stay-at-home dad?
·   Should he look like your batterer but an improved version, violence-proof? Or should he be the opposite? If yours was a blond German butcher, you should get a spicy Latino mambo dancer, and the other way around.
·   Should he role-play mildly abusing you so that you can practice your standing up for yourself and feel safe to tell him, “You know what? I don’t like you, I don’t need you! Get out of here. I’ll ask for a replacement!” Yeah!

I’m aware some difficulty might arise with the paper trail the Placebo Boyfriends will have to fill in, for the documentation part of the job. I hope a way will be found out of the piles of Progress Notes and Goal Setting Plans and Meeting Minutes that might drown them under the table. Therefore:
Possible Concerns!

·   How many victims/clients should a Placebo Boyfriend serve? 10? 20? 15?
·   How often and how long should the face-to-face meetings be? Ten minutes? An hour? Half an hour. Daily? Weekly? Twice a week?
·   Overtime paid? We have to keep them happy, otherwise they’ll slam the receiver in my face! “That’s it! Enough! I won’t take this abuse any longer even if you pay me ten times more! I got my own bitch at home!”

Well, hoping my proposal caught your attention, and you see its potential, so we will perfect it together.

Yours truly,

Ludmila Popovics
Dwelling #6969
New Hope Domestic Violence Shelter

An audio version will be broadcast tomorrow, Thursday March 14th, 3 p.m. and shall be archived at

If you’d like to throw a bit of money my way to keep my endeavors going, and also enable me to spread the money to my various causes, the pursuit of happiness being one of them, I’d be ever so grateful.

March 28, 2013
New York

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