I lived with a boyfriend for several months when I was unemployed. Actually, we were unemployed together. I gave up my spot in a flat with roommates, lied to my strict Catholic parents, packed a suitcase and moved in with him in his loft across from Costco on 11th and Harrison. When he landed a consulting gig in Boston, I was the happiest person on earth. I liked the solitude of living by myself most of the week which made our weekends together much more enjoyable. I was on the dole with no rent payment and bound for an elite business school. Life was very very good.
During our time together, we used to listen to the same music over and over: Air, Tenacious D, Dido, Transport, The Secret Art of Science. Whenever I come across those artists again, I think, what if. What if I hadn’t gone to grad school? What if we ended up getting married? I was so attached to every single boyfriend, I always imagined a wedded life together. Always. Where would we live? What would our kids look like? I hope he doesn’t mind that I raise our kids Catholic.
I remember the conversations I had, our proclamations of forever after, I will always love you. Now here I am engaged to someone else saying those very same things. What makes this time different? Well, for once in my life, Dean is willing to stick it out. I think all the other guys got tired of my bitchiness and wanted out–immediately.
But boyfriends weren’t the only ones. I seriously considered marrying my gay best friend. We made a pact just like the movie “My Best Friend’s Wedding.” Upon turning 40, if we were still single, we would sign that marriage license. But even in our early 30s, we would sit on his couch quipping, “I’m not joking. Let’s do it.” Then we’d clink glasses and continue watching TV. Why not? We loved each other, were comfortable with one another, and imagined all the money we would save.
Most of all, we just loved spending time together. Because isn’t that the most important thing? I think society’s gotten carried away with a marriage meaning certain things: weddings, the trophy wife, the hard-working financially stable husband, counseling, IVF, holiday cards with the dog, the cat, and the twins, the suburbs.
I would have sacrificed those things for a lifetime with my best friend.