Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dear Phantom Straight Family

About six years ago, when I first started having dreams about kissing guys, I got a crush on the textbook manager at Amy’s bookstore back in Syracuse. I used to work there in the summer, shelving books and talking to Jason about music and such. He was, and is, one of the most married people I know—he never wanted to go out to poetry or anything; he just wanted to be at home with his wife and daughter. I admired and envied the weight of his affection for them, and every time I saw him with his daughter, my heart would just get pangs for the husband-and-father character I’d never have. After that crush helped me realize that being married didn’t make me not bi, it simmered down to family friends and fruitful mix exchangers, but there’s always been such a twinge in me for that missing husband character.

On a few unintentional occasions in the past, I’ve ended up as a family man’s side project. I’ve never worn the scarlet letter intentionally (mostly) or for very long, and I’ve always politely stayed out of the way of his family. I’ve never even Googled a wife or girlfriend, and here’s why: I’ve always assumed she must be beautiful and perfect and have some sort of magic quality that I didn’t know how to have, if she knew how to keep a man’s attention enough for him to want to live in a house with her. I see the flaws in that logic, but it’s the assumption I’ve always made—that I’m missing some quality that is essential for that kind of a relationship.

Lately, the pangs have been louder. I’ve tried to dismiss it as hormones, especially since I’m still pretty sure I don’t want to have kids. (See: space isssues) Amy, who has no biological clock to speak of, struggles to understand why this all seems so urgent, why 36 sometimes feels too close to death. It isn’t, of course it isn’t, but life is finite, and if there’s something missing (And what in the world would this blog be about if there weren’t something missing?) then something’s got to change.

Whether I decide to be open to the possibility of that husband character or decide to mourn the missing part of my family and move on, I don’t want to just assume it’s something only other women were made for. I want to believe that I deserve it as much as those magical wives do.

Hey, do you think this guy’s still single?

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