Ah, to paraphrase real-life Queen of Genovia Julie Andrews, the lusty month of May is upon us, and you know what that means, dedicated art reader. The slow realization that you weren’t so much lonely as you were cold this winter has crept up into the forefront of your consciousness, and while his loft in Prospect Heights remains a draw, Brian’s feckless centrism, blow-hard relationship to the Marvel Universe (...why do men insist on explaining superhero movie plots as they’re happening? Shut up and let me swear sexual fealty to Thor in peace, you bearded human hangnail) and tendency to burst into tears after too much mezcal has left you searching for reasons to keep arguing with him about Woody Allen’s legacy in every last margarita spot across Brooklyn. The man’s game is weaker than Betty White’s pelvic floor—the time has come, the Walrus said, to form an exit strategy. Plus you’ve already reactivated Tinder just to look, so… listen to your therapist for once (not about, like, interrogating your toxic traits or anything crazy, just in terms of dumping this particular root vegetable) and rip the band-aid off.
So, where to end it? Not at Brian’s place; that’s a dumb expensive Uber ride he’s *not* going to pay for. Not at your place; he might try to take his shirts back, and probably wouldn’t be happy to find out that you’ve already turned them into painting rags. A bar? Nah. You’re classy. Show that boy some culture before the fact that he’ll have to learn to do his own laundry soon begins to breach that big dumb ego. Plus, then you can actually gaze at something other than the tumescent unibrow you’ve been babysitting for the last year and eight months. Everybody wins!
...I mean, not Brian. Screw Brian.
Here are nine ideal museums in which to unceremoniously dump Brian, whom your friends, mother and boss all loathe with equal fervor.
1. The Louvre, Paris
It’s a crime to feel guilty in Paris unless you’re an Enlightenment-era monarch, and since we both know Brian didn’t put up for a ticket, you shouldn’t have any qualms about pulling the plug in and around the Mona Lisa. The Louvre is the largest museum in the world, so just... lose him! You’ve been to a spin class, like, twice, so you’re basically Usain Bolt; just hang a left at the iconic statue of Nike and sprint like hell until you can no longer hear his incessant, plaintive bellowing in the background. Hide under a chair in the Napoleon apartments, wait until he gives into frustration and starts a shouting match with some poor security guard, slip out the secret entrance in the glass pyramid, and hail a cab to the airport pronto. Brian can handle the hotel tab, right?
2. The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
The Thorne Miniature Rooms in the Art Institute’s basement consist of 68 lushly decorated dioramas built to the scale of 1 inch: 1 foot. Constructed at the behest of department store heiress Narcissa Nidblack Thorne, these period-accurate recreations of opulent domestic interiors from the late 13th century through the 1940s hold a special place in the hearts of many an Art Institute aficionado. It’s also approximately 7,000 degrees down there regardless of the season, a serendipitous detail that will prove a boon when you insist Brian wear his heavy jacket and carry yours during your mutual perambulation. He’ll die of heatstroke, and you can stride sweatily into singlehood 187 pounds lighter, Northfaces notwithstanding.
3. Neue Galerie, New York City
Klimts! Who doesn’t like Klimts? Romantic, diaphanous, and ensconced in a former Upper East Side townhouse? How charming. Plan a cute date with Brian to the Neue, but arrive directly when the doors open; that way, when he gets stuck in the line outside with a miasma of increasingly agitated tourists for the rest of his natural life, you can just take up permanent residence as a shuffling specter in the museum’s attic and completely avoid seeing the man ever again. Give new meaning to the term ‘ghosting’ by transforming into an actual turn-of-the-century phantom. The aesthetic! I’m sure they’ll let you pick out a candelabra for your nightly haunts and everything.
4. Uffizi Gallery, Florence
This spectacular Florentine sprawl boasts some of the most important paintings in the Western canon (Botticelli! Raphael!) as well as sumptuous botanical gardens and an exciting new focus on contemporary fare since its ambitious renovation in 2016. More importantly for your purposes, however, is their high-season gallery navigation policy. Visitors have to stick to predetermined paths when it’s busy, which precludes any kind of vascillatory back-tracking. Work this to your advantage; while Brian is preoccupied with the Birth of Venus, drift as far away from him as you possibly can. Soon, your physical limitations will mirror your metaphorical ones—you can’t retrace your steps, and there’s absolutely nothing he can do about it.
5. The Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts
Nestled in 140 acres of plagent green Berkshires, the Clark Museum pairs the eponymous couple’s storied Impressionist collection with jaw-dropping landscape architecture, like Tadao Ando’s large, minimalistic reflection pools overlooked by a suite of stately Jenny Holzer benches. While these ponds may not be deep, they do share convenient proximity to the parking lot, which means you can push Brian into the water, zip back to the car, and peel off into the sunset, leaving him stranded in scenic Williamstown, MA with no transportation and a soaked phone. It’s art, so at least he won’t drown!
6. Sedlec Ossuary, Czech Republic
Okay, so this place isn’t technically a museum per se, but it is a 14th-century Roman Chapel in the Czech Republic, the interior of which is constructed entirely out of exhumed human bones (shout out to Frantisek Rint, a local woodcarver commissioned to organize stacks of dead monk femurs and skulls into an actual all-encompassing chandelier in 1870. Nothing wrong with that guy, clearly). I don’t have a good reason for dumping Brian in a macabre, Baroque bone church, but there’s also not not a good reason? Don’t you want to watch a grown man cry limned by collagenous interior decor? (No? Just me?)
7. The ICA Boston Watershed, Boston
You’ll have to wait until May 26th to get in on this particular gig, but last year, ICA Boston reconstituted a 15,000-square-foot formerly condemned shipyard space as the Watershed, a site for encountering large-scale installation art , and once the weather warms, it opens to the public. A standard ICA ticket also affords you transportation to the Watershed by ferry, and the effect is resplendent; raw magic invariably takes place with those sorts of proportions at play. Make sure Brian misses the ferry back, or, if need be, just encourage him to take a dip in the Atlantic! That should cool him off.
8. Mutter Museum, Philadelphia
Do you super love gross stuff? In that case, The Mutter Museum in Philadelphia is sure to get you going. This cabinet-set paean to medical history is nothing short of a marvel, featuring such gems as President Grover Cleveland’s jaw tumor, Einstein’s brain, and, of course, the Soap Lady, a woman whose body naturally mummified through the hydrolic conversion of fatty acids into, well, soap. Delicious! Who wouldn’t want to see those things! Brian’s a wimp, as we’ve established, so once he faints in a pool of his own perspiration, make for the door and go get yourself a cheesesteak! You deserve it. You’re doing great, sweetie.
9. Tokyo Trick Art Museum, Japan
From what I understand, the Tokyo Trick Art Museum is more or less a series of glorified film sets, inviting visitors to participate in adorable optical illusions of various descriptions. Amesian distortions and surprises abound, and there’s truly no better locale for ditching the ignominious Brian than a far-flung funhouse; he'll be busy taking corny pictures, and you can just, I don't know, disappear into the wall? Get "permanently" stuck inside a giant glass? He's not too bright; he won't figure out that you actually have maintained all necessary bodily autonomy and that pictures sometimes lie, you know, like Brian.
So there you have it, babygirl. Nine fool-proof sites for executing your mature, thoughtful, empathetic conflict-resolution skills. Your therapist will be SO proud.