Marriage On My Mind
Before I get started, let me just say that I've been off Lexapro for about 6 weeks now. And while my weaning off has been quite seamless by comparison, I am exploring and expressing a range of emotions that have been prevented for the past 4 years.
This weekend has had lots of marital context. I got to witness two of my good friends celebrate their nuptials yesterday. They have been together for 12 years, and it was clear from the guest list that they were surrounded by people who have watched them grow, struggle, advance, question, love, and finally commit on a legal basis. It was beautiful to watch and listen to the people showering them with memories and encouragement. Congratulations Kirk and Jason!
I also just re-watched The Case Against 8, which is the documentary focusing on the period leading up to California's Proposition 8, a lesson for all of us considering how things are looking politically in this country. I cried when the gay and lesbian couples found out they won. They could legally document their love for one another. I haven't cried in 4 years. I forgot what it feels like. I forgot how liberating it is. I forgot how clearing it is. How healthy it is!
So between that and yesterday's wedding ceremony, I have been thinking about the people I've loved and why I haven't been able to stand at an altar in some elaborate fanfare, swearing to love them for better and for worse. And y'all best believe that if it happens, it will be a spectacle. A FANFARE.
As a single person, weddings are not fun for me. I have had 4 significant, romantic relationships in my life, 3 of which were catastrophic. The first, and the only heterosexual, was my high school girlfriend Stacey. She was not one of the catastrophic ones. We were saving ourselves for marriage like good little evangelicals. Probably because we were both closeted homosexuals not wanting to touch the other's junk, but that's beside the point. I do believe that we were meant to align for a spell. Her sister used to take care of me and my brother while my mom slept through the day. My mom was working 3rd shift at the time as an R.N. and needed someone to take care of me and Garrett while operating on an opposite sleep schedule. And let me use this opportunity to congratulate her for retiring after 41 years!! You can see my congratulatory Facebook post HERE. So through our summer nanny, I met Stacey.
Let it be known that in the South, the corsages we buy for our dates are legally required to be equal to or greater than 3/4 of the date's height. Also, I am sporting an Aeropostale mock turtleneck that I sewed an Abercrombie & Fitch patch on to, in order to seem more popular.
Stacey and I had fun. She was and is a beautiful blonde bombshell with a deep and compassionate soul. It's rare to find someone that gorgeous on the inside and out. I remember her being an excellent kisser. We remain connected thanks to the Zuckerberg, and she now helps raise 2 kids with her extremely lucky wife. She is going to be one of the resources for LGBTQ people I reference on the "Resources" section of this website, specifically for counseling purposes. Complete sidenote - did y'all know that in Alabama, it's illegal to give trans-affirming care? It's a shame there's no resources for trans people in Alabama...
Now for the other three fellas.
Four years ago, I was having severe panic attacks, mostly because of a secret relationship I was having with a former lover who had recently re-entered my life. For the third time. While he was married to another man. It coincided with my religious deconstruction, hence the Lexapro.
We met on my second cruise ship contract where I was a singer and he was a dancer. He was the first man I ever thought I could make a lifelong promise to before the Divine. I am grateful we met because he made me believe in butterflies. He let me see that love can be divine. I broke his heart when we moved to LA because I was too caught up in professional goals, shallow praise from a new gay-borhood that obsessed over youth and beauty (both of which I had), and me not understanding that love isn't guaranteed... I let him go. I believe that if it happens, it's meant to be, but I do struggle with regret over that decision to this day. I do fear that he was my final chance at love. That's probably why when he left his husband to be with me, twice, that I welcomed him with open legs.
Before him was a man I met while working for a gay underwear designer. He used to shop with us and I thought he was the cutest thing in the world. When he would leave the store, I would think, "nobody that cute would ever be into me." Lord, had I known! We had a terribly toxic relationship. I know why we were together, and for the sake of his privacy, I won't say it here. But I know I was meant to be there for him during that spell of his life. I have the emotional and physical scars to show for it.
Before him was a cautionary tale that I still fear to become. He's a good man, good citizen, hard working, incredible lover, and good son. But his own trauma prevented him from ever being able to love me. Or himself.
Now this is not a dish-fest on former lovers. But it is a reflective entry on why I'm 37 and still can not seem to find a suitable partner to live this life with.
I lamented to my brother yesterday about how hard weddings are for me. He and his incredible wife said their vows last November and it was one of my favorite moments in life. I am so lucky to not only have him as a brother, but her as a sister (in-law).
Garrett asked me, "why haven't you found someone yet?" That's different than the usual question from friends of "OMG how are you still single?" Garrett's version of the question didn't carry judgement. He genuinely wanted to know what was blocking me from being able to meet someone as amazing as he had found in his wife.
I told him I had no idea. I mean, if I knew, then maybe I wouldn't be living this life alone, right? Driving back from the wedding, I couldn't quit trying to come up with an answer for him. Am I ugly? Am I crazy? Am I too poor? Am I too self-absorbed? Do I not have enough abs? Am I not caring enough? Because I'm a Pisces? Is it because I'm not vegan? Is it because of religious trauma? Because I'm a ginger? A bad kisser? Too old? An actor? Love my dog more than humans? That wart on my right big toe? Who's to say!
I know those are all silly reasons, but for those of you who have made it this far in life alone, you know what kind of turmoil this kind of question can pose.
There's not a morning I wake up, nor an evening I close my eyes, where I don't hold my pillow, wishing it were a man reciprocating the love I know I have to offer.
I don't like going to the store alone. I don't like walking my dog alone. I don't like watching tv alone. Showering alone. Drinking alone. Cooking alone. Experiencing anything in this life alone.
I know what you're thinking - aww you're not alone, you have so many friends. Cool. True. But that only comes from people in relationships or people trying to convince themself of the same thing. And no shame - whatever gets you through the daunting day.
But I'm bound and determined to answer my brother's question. Not to find out why I'm single, but rather to commit myself to being the kind of man I want to betroth.
Every new year, I promise myself that I won't spend another Xmas alone. And every eve of Autumn, I start dreading the forthcoming collection of holidays because I still don't have anyone to celebrate them with.
I would use this time to assure you that the weight of solitude doesn't control my every waking moment. But I'd be lying through the tear-soaked crevices of my frown.
So for those of you who do this life alone - I SEE YOU. I FEEL WITH YOU. I have faith that you will find your mate in due time because I have faith that I will meet mine in my own.
That is what keeps me going: faith in love.
Every morning, I sit on my roof and I set intentions for the day, prepare for work, and give gratitude. I send my future husband light. I ask the Universe to protect him, to give him faith to meet me, to keep his spirits lifted until he does.
And tomorrow morning, I will do the same as I do everyday. Maybe I'm meant to be single for the rest of my life. Typing that makes me want to see a giant comet barreling towards my window. But if that's the case, I hope I never know it until I'm gone.
Love y'all. Especially the single folks who are living this life and SLAYING it.
Until next Sabbath.