The marrying kind

April 4, 2010 at 3:21 PM 1 comment

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You know what my problem is?

My problem is I picture being married to every man I meet. If you are a man and we have met somewhere — in school, at a party, on the job — I have wondered what our lives would be like together.

The problem is, I also have pictured the deal breaker, and it’s not what you think. It’s not obesity. Nothing wrong with a little fat. It’s not shortness. There is such a thing as being too tall. It’s not a thick foreign accent. My father is one of my favorite men in the world and his spoken English is basically transliterated Yiddish.

No, the problem is that some things I simply cannot live with.

Hello, Wilson Calgary!* You are a sweetheart!

Wilson was a small-town boy in his mid-thirties who endeared himself to me on my first day at IBM by telling me he was a Jew in an Ohioan’s body. He was gay, of course, but sometimes gay men marry straight women. What about Will and Grace? What about Nathan Lane in that Sex and the City episode? Sometimes life imitates TV sitcoms.

But, Wilson, my love, why must you visit Tralfalmadore?

For you lucky souls who got through your teens without reading Slaughterhouse Five, Tralfalmadore is a planet where people live simultaneously in the past, present and future. Time travel is the natural state of human consciousness, so I’ve got no problem with that. The problem is that Tralfalmadore comes out of the same literary imagination that respected David Irving, the Holocaust denier who asserts to this day that the Allied forces were worse than the Nazis because they bombed Dresden.

Wilson, darling, I love that you love Sondheim and that you wear Spanx for Men, but on the grounds of irreconcilable literary differences, you  go on and marry the man you love!

Michael Hendricks, my man!

Michael entered my apartment for the first time with a canister of bug extermination chemicals and the next thing I knew, we were sharing stories about cricket in Trinidad, McCain vs. Obama, blacks, whites, Jews. In my heart I was singing, “I have found him! He’s an angel! With the dust of the stars in his eyes!”

And then he had to spoil it all by saying something stupid like, “I’m voting LaRouche.”

I knew the Lyndon LaRouche people. In the 1980s when I worked a night shift in a type shop, I used to see the LaRouchies get on the A train at Columbus Circle and get off at the stops north of 190th Street. They were lefty cultists who hated Communists, environmentalists, Jews, rock music and God knows what all.

Michael, honey, I’d have made an allowance for your lunatic fringe proclivities. But the last time you showed up with your anti-bug canister, you lauded the nude bicyclists who rode through a Brooklyn neighborhood of orthodox Jews just so they could challenge the way those antiquated Israelites live.

I gotta tell you, I’m kind of a live-and-let-live girl. So, Michael, “Hit the road, mon!”

Jason Feldman, light of my life! Fire of my loins!

Jason was perfect for me: A literature professor who went to Hebrew Day school until eighth grade and can still read Hebrew, Greek and Latin. All of us bluestockings at Jesuit U were crazy about him. One distaff prof — a married lady — liked him so much that she planted a kiss on his mouth when she thought nobody was looking. No shame. At least I’m ashamed of myself.

One time I talked to JF for a couple of hours. I was in heaven. I floated out of his office convinced that if he was ever single again, he would pursue me, sort of the way Victor Frankenstein pursues the wretched demon of his creation across the Arctic.  And yet when I ran into my old professor several months later, he was too busy to talk to me. He hurried off with two grocery bags in his hands and I never saw him again.

Et tu Jason Feldman! Call off the caterers!

Psst! My handsome, Elson Bosworth III!

I know it isn’t easy being a Republican in a corporate communications department where people are so hostile to conservatism that they’d have voted for Ron Paul in the last election if he were the only alternative.

Elson always stood his ground with good cheer and a nicely monogrammed white shirt. He was better informed than the Dems on everything from the economy to Afghanistan, and read a wider array of newspapers than they did. Being married to him would have meant summers on Martha’s Vineyard and dinner with friends of every political persuasion.

But Elson, my soul mate! Why, why did you have to join Parents Against Circumcision? Does that mean no surplusage? Sorry, no can do!

When it comes to everyone I cannot marry, it’s raining men.

Fortunately, it’s springtime now. And in this season of freedom and rebirth, I’m going right back out there with my lewdly romantic imagination at the ready. Because, honey, when all is said and done, I am the marrying kind.

* All names in this blog post are fictional.


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Entry filed under: Love. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Gimme that old time religion A near miss on the New Jersey Turnpike

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Merle  |  April 4, 2010 at 6:23 PM

    Ha, Barbara! I read this through my sleeve because it is just so relateable, I almost can’t bring myself to read it. I too have married each and every man I’ve dated — and then I’ve lived out our lives, ending it on some fictitious deal breaker. This is just too funny!


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