The Mr and I will celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary at the end of this month, and despite the fact that I enjoy the occasionally laugh at the Mr’s expense (like, maybe, here and here…also, a little bit here), I am lucky to be married to someone I love. Getting married is a privilege that is, sadly (and, I believe, unjustly), not afforded to everyone. And, on a less serious note, getting married provided me the opportunity to stop dating–something I was never terribly good at.
When I was a freshman in college, my roommate told me: “Boys don’t want girlfriends. They just want new moms.” Although I’m not sure she was exactly accurate in describing the motives of the average college-aged male, she may have been onto something in describing me.
As our wedding anniversary approaches and I count my lucky stars to be out of the dating world, because for me dating was like a bad version of that children’s book “Are You My Mother?”
I assume that you are familiar with this repetitive–and, if I may, stupid–book. In it, a tiny, baby bird naively goes wondering, looking for his mother. He stumbles around, asking animals, cars and jet airplanes “Are you my mother?” Not surprisingly, none of these things, animals or objects are, in fact, his mother. And his search continues…
Like this idiotic bird, I began my search at a young age. But unlike the bird, I already knew who my mother was–a scary, WASP-y woman I wished was Danny Tanner. So, I was on a different quest. A search for “my person”. Someone to laugh at my jokes and
fold my laundry hold my hand. I was on a search for the Mr, but it took me a long time to get to him.
My first romantic interest was the boy I shared a bench with in my kindergarten music and movement class. We’ll call him Kindergarten Krush. Kindergarten Krush used to pretend to kiss me, and I used to pretend to hate it. He showered me with attention, and I let him share my grape juice box.
But our love affair was brief.
One day, I invited him over to my house to play; I can only assume that I believed this to be the equivalent of making him my official boyfriend. And because of Kindergarten Krush’s obvious affection for me, I was sure we would spend the afternoon doing the things I liked, such as play house, dressing my cat and talking about how great I am.
Little did I know that a board game was about to demolish our relationship.
Kindergarten Krush spent the entire afternoon playing with FIREBALL ISLAND (judging by the box, I assume this is the way the manufacturers wanted this game to be written), a game my older brother had just received for Christmas, and neglecting me.
In retrospect, I can’t blame a 5-year-old boy for his inability to overlook a game with so much fire on its box cover. But as a 5-year-old girl, I was furious.
And it was over. So over.
It was in college that my search led me to a dim surfer we’ll call SCUBA Steve.
SCUBA Steve was a SCUBA major. Because I was in school in South Florida for a second, and in South Florida, SCUBA is an acceptable major.
SCUBA Steve was a kind and gentle soul, who couldn’t hurt a fly. He also–to the best of my estimations–couldn’t tell the difference between the beach and everywhere else.
He was always dressed for surfing, which proved problematic when I invited him home to meet my parents.
After I realized that SCUBA Steve didn’t come with any non-pool-themed accessories, I decided to continue my search.
It’s around this time in the book that the bird–delirious from wandering, I assume–finds himself in some potentially dangerous situations, chasing after airplanes, shouting after tugboats and approaching abandoned cars. “Are you my mother?”
Again, I can relate, as I found myself tempting fate with some terrible choices.
Including dating a 19-year-old frat boy who wore a gold watch without irony.
And entertaining a brief tryst with a man several years my senior who worked as a chef in a restaurant. His hobbies included brooding, treating me poorly and thinking everything was bull shit.
Aren’t we all glad that’s over with?
Like the moronic bird, though, I am indebted to each of my missteps. Because all of the boys and men I encountered on my search ultimately helped to deliver me to my final destination.
So at the end of this month, when the Mr and I raise our glasses to toast four years of marriage, I guess we’ll be toasting these strange characters, too. And how grateful I am to be rid of their crazy faces.
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