Dateland: I’m In It For the Warm Cookies

By Jennifer Parello June 28, 2012

Categories: Dating & Relationships, Our Lives

I have a terrible confession. I don’t know why any gay wants to get married. Hasn’t it been great not getting married? Don’t you think that the inability to marry your same-sex partner is one of perks of being gay? No dramas over seating arrangements. No troubling task of having to force rank the depth of your friendships by choosing a maid of honor over all your other pals.  No knowing that you are willfully creating a situation in which your parents and their friends know with absolute certainty that you are having sex that night. No thank you cards. And that’s just the ceremony and reception.
Consider the dreary events and passive-aggressive death matches over child-rearing in the decades to come. I know several couples who have been married over 20 years. These are happy marriages, but they’re still miserable. They bicker constantly, probably because arguing is more exciting than sex.  They start to look like each other. They talk merrily of the day they’ll be old enough to move into a 55+ community because, after decades of the creeping realization that most dreams achieved have been numbing let-downs, this is an easily attainable, low-stakes goal, and the place has a pool.

It all seems so hellish. Even the wedding night sex sounds creepy. And half the time they get divorced and go through public, bureaucratic breakups that involve a judge. The worst breakup I ever had wasn’t documented by some gum-chomping court reporter. My worst breakup resulted in a two-year nervous breakdown, punctuated only by momentary bursts of hysteria as the result of crank calls and anonymous packages I received from her friends. But it didn’t involve the law!

Yet, in spite of all of this, I’ve been thinking fondly of marriage lately. Maybe it’s because my parents just celebrated their 50th anniversary of pushing each other’s buttons. (And that’s NOT a double entendre. They’re my parents, you sickos.) Or maybe it’s because I finally met a broad who I can manage to see myself living with until I’m forced to identify her in the morgue. Maybe it’s because our country’s judges keep ruling down right-wing imbecile’s legislation against same-sex marriage. Or maybe it’s simply because I like to piss-off Republicans. Whatever it is. I think I want to get married.

After almost four years—the first two of which were spent nursing me through the nervous breakdown breakup mentioned above—the thought of marrying this dame doesn’t scare the hell out of me.

But why?

Could it be because we’ve recently endured a 3-month kitchen/bath remodeling dust storm without even threatening to raise a hammer to the other’s stupid, vacant skull that contains no center of good taste?

Or that as my mother scratched “Jennifer/Wendy” at the top of the 50th anniversary invitation list she drafted at the same dining room table where she told me years before that gays shouldn’t come out until after their parents died, my eyes filled with a foreign, salty substance.

Or maybe it’s because of what happened on our flight home from Boston recently. Sitting next to us were two young gay boys. A flight attendant who overheard that they’d just been married, returned with a free glass of champagne and those warm chocolate-chip cookies they serve only in first class.

I looked at how young and happy they were and mentally calculated when the divorce papers would be filed. As I was doing so, Wendy smiled and nodded in their direction.

“I give ‘em two years,” she said.

“Yeah, but people give you cookies and champagne when you get married. I’m sold!”

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