Wednesday, July 13, 2011

That Price Is Right

Joe is tall, good looking, and says whatever the hell he damn well feels like saying (and usually, it’s something inappropriate). He’s my idol. I plan on being just like him when I turn 64.

Well, at least 2 outta 3. That ain’t so bad.

The last time I saw him, he was telling me about when he used to live in Miami, and his neighbor would call him the f-bomb. On a particularly sunny morning in Miami (as if there’s any other kind), his neighbor called out “good morning f*g,” from his stoop, and Joe turned and said, “and a good f*cking morning to you too; keep this sh*t up and I’ll stick my d*ck up your *ss and we can both be f*gs together—you can take me antique shopping, you piece of sh*t.”

What’s not to admire?

Every time I see him, he gives me a great big hug and updates me—complete with pictures—on his two border collies at home. Even though he tends to whisper when he’s telling a good story, you can hear his laugh two rooms over. I was hanging out with him the week after New York passed the gay marriage law.

“You know, it really doesn’t matter whether or not my partner and I can get married,” he told me. “We’ve been together 15 years. Why would we want to get married now? Just to get divorced?” He then told me about how smart his mother was; never divorcing her first husband, so that when he died, she collected all of his pension checks. We both had a laugh at that; milking the system? That’s the American way of living right there. But, I had to double-check. I had to be sure. So I asked him flat out, would he really not get married to the guy he loved?

He said that going this far without government validation didn’t make their relationship any less real. Maybe they’d do it for the benefits, if Florida legalized gay marriage in his lifetime (and, he quietly informed me, he wasn’t holding his breath), but otherwise, he “couldn’t give a flying rat’s *ss.” They still fight like a married couple. They still care about each other like a married couple. What would it matter?

Lee, who’s 62 and divorced with 2 kids, and a grandkid, agreed. Marriage for him was a disaster. Probably because he likes men, he’d be the first to agree, but he tried to make it work with his wife, and it just didn’t. Life’s funny like that, am I right? C’est la vie?

I myself...I’m not in my sixties. I haven’t had a relationship that lasted an entire decade (just think of the time warped photos; I still look back on pictures of my parents when they were dating and ask them if they really went out like that in public. Sometimes my dad says, “we were young and stupid,” and gives me the once over). But, you know, as crazy as it seems, I believe in the sanctity of marriage.

That’s rich, right? The guy who thinks God may be an overzealous lesbian and who pictures hell as an upper-college level trigonometry class where Satan the professor randomly calls on you to answer the questions, and everyone around you gets the material and had 8 wondrous hours of sleep last night while you’re trying to pass off the fact that you hadn’t even had time to shower that morning as embracing a low-water, pro-environment lifestyle? He believes in marriage? He saw what Britney Spears did. He knows what’s up.

But, when you come down to it, I really do believe in, and support marriage. It’s not this wonderful union where birds chirp in the morning and your spouse gets up at the crack of dawn to make you breakfast while you sleep in (and for those of you who have this, be grateful, you sons-a-bitches). It gets ugly. You’re left alone with them after a long day at work and you just feel tired and want to lash out at someone. And then, they wake up next to you, and in choosing to swat you or the alarm, the alarm tends to win only because it’s making more noise at that particular moment. It’s a scary thing, this thing called marriage. You discuss bowel movements with each other, hopes and dreams and really stupid ideas that you would have otherwise kept to yourself...if you’re not prepared for that (Disney’s not so hot on that sort of preparation these days), then yeah, divorce might be eminent. But at least you tried.

*Consolation prize*

I haven’t really told anyone this. I don’t like to jump into personal politics, because it feels too good when we win a battle and it hurts too much when we come up short (it’ll leave a guy emotionally unstable, I tend to think). But, this shirt?

I’d wear it.

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