“When a woman marries again, it is because she detested her first husband. When a man marries again, it is because he adored his first wife. Women try their luck; men risk theirs.”
— from The Picture of Dorian Grey, by Oscar Wilde
He walks past. I can smell that he’s wearing Creed ‘Silver Mountain Water’ (erm, I have a long and complicated relationship with fragrance), he has one blue eye and one brown, and he has headphones on.
Ah, I’m crushing. Again.
I am a serial crusher. It’s always on the same type of man. No, not always bearded- surprise surprise. It’s the illusion. The mystique. The suggestion of depth; where every little mundane detail Means Some Thing.
It’s just one big imagination fest.
I had a crush on a boy I’d seen out and about, this crush went on for a month or two. He dressed amazingly well, but not “gay amazing”. He seemed friendly enough (but not to me; I seem to be completely invisible to him), and, outwardly he would seem to like the same things I do (hatred of Rihanna and radio, etc.)
So a few weeks go by before I pluck up the courage to be brave. So brave and noble, I ask his colleague what his name is.
Cue sound of miniature violins. It wasn’t Johnny, Mick, Frankie or Dave. He was christened with the most unfortunate of names.
Next reality check, his colleague quips “Oh him! Allllll the girls ask about him. And the guys too.”
I am finding it hard to resume my crushing, but, I push on.
A week later, my friends and I are driving down the boulevard… and I scream. “WHAT!!! IS IT ONE OF THOSE MOUILLE POINT RATS?!!!” No. No. It was Mr Sadname, walking, hand in hand, with the most beaniest pole surfey wonderful young blonde girl.
Mystique, out the car window.
We see it all the time. We have friends who’ve done it, hell, I’ve done it.
We’ve all ‘settled’.
Like rollerblading tipsy without kneepads, it all seemed like a good idea at the time, until someone got hurt.
Oh I understand the deep need for a spooning partner, a good bout of tonsil-hockey and someone to share a chocolate fondant with. (Share! Fondant! HA!) I am not insensitive to these primal urges. But that’s what gay husbands, body pillows or booty calls are for, right?
In this quagmire of dating in our 30’s, as FNAW (Feministical New Age Women) it’s easy to find the whole ordeal quite tumultuous and stressful. You meet freaks. This is Cape Town, after all. So when someone comes along who is not a freak, you think twice. He has an RGSOH (Ridonk Good Sense of Humour). Or he is an amazing cook who happens to specialise in chocolate desserts. Or he likes Tame Impala and Whitest Boy Alive and The Presets. Or he isn’t busy raising a child single-handedly. Or he isn’t on methadone ‘for therapeutic purposes’. You know, all very rare and attractive things, at this point of life.
So yes, judge me if you like- I have been lured by these very mesmerising things.
Like shopping at Mr Price. But it looks SO RAD on the hanger! On the internet! And then, you try it on and OH HELLZ NO.
The good news is: I am reformed.
All it took to see the error of my ways was One Short Date. One sad date where I got the sneaking whiff of a “You. I could settle for you”- shocking, but believe it. Its odour is unmistakeable. I am just the right amount of self-assured to be ok with admitting that for someone, I was not The Prize.
It was fantastic.
I know I’m hilarious. I know I make a mean roast with all the trimmings. I know that I have sexy eyebrows and am not an idiot. So knowing that my combination of traits wasn’t sending this particular man into the stratosphere with excitement was quite alright with me.
Instead of settling, I suggest we all trade up. Being single is nice. It really is. If you don’t think so, I would tend to ask you why. Why trade it in for anything less than a really good fit?
“Ooooh. I want to get in your genes.” My gay husband is very sexy, yes. But this sort of sexy talk, I was not expecting.
“Oh honey no, these old Seven For All Mankind? I got them on sale.” I say, blushing.
“No babe. I want your genes. The twirly DNA that make you you.”
I am not nearly drunk enough to be having this conversation.
So I crank up the sound system and we drive in silence, listening to Donna Summer.
My genes? My eggs? My children? Can’t we just share self tan like the good old days?
My GH and I are soulmates. We love each other to the moon and back. We have a marriage with a strong foundation of trust, honesty and a shared passion for sequins and leopard print.
Our relationship is drenched in compassion, understanding, deliriously ridiculous private jokes and dirty humour. We’re both romantic, ambitious, relentless, stubborn, vain, completely OCD and very clear on what we want.
We’re both single (for all intensive purposes). We’re both happy. And it seems one of us wants a baby.
It could be perfect. Separate houses across the street. His penchant for art history and knowledge of musicals. My penchant for philosophy and Film Noir. Successful Double Income With No Family History of Bi-Polar Disorder or Pyromania.
A little human with both of our traits.
That much awesomeness would just be unfair on the human race.
So for now, we’ll stick to puppy shopping, thank you very much.