Monday, November 30, 2015

COUPLES THERAPY

I love my Sunday New York Times. I have to wait until my local grocery store opens at 9 a.m. to pick up a copy. Just so I don’t seem desperate for my fix, I usually saunter in around 9:06 with a can of soup and a bunch of under-ripened bananas added to the basket. Then I head home, forcing myself not to scan the front page as I navigate the foot traffic in my neighborhood: a few smokers spilling out of the local bar where a European football match seems to always be on the telly; a dishevelled man hauling his wares in a grocery cart; and a few drug-addled citizens who’ve awakened from their bed-bug laden cots in the area’s SROs. The hipsters don’t appear for brunch until an hour and a half later.

I enter my condo—no wait for the elevator. And that’s when I get my first peek. I get excited. I want to read every lead story. I go through my French press coffee before I’m even finished with the first section. Each story satisfies even as I curse The Times for having every article continue on another page. Back and forth, back and forth I go.

I’m an antsy reader so I don’t get to the lighter sections until the afternoon. In “SundayStyles”, I glance at Bill Cunningham’s “On the Street” fashion photos, I read the “Modern Love” essay and then I come to “Vows”. This is where the hoity-toity couples post their wedding announcements, usually with a photo of the smiling couple. (I don’t get why some don’t submit a picture. No doubt, it’s costly but you chose to be in The New York Times. Splurge for the pic and nix the chocolate fountain at the reception. Chocolate is overrated. Yeah, I said it.)

I’ve never been the guy to steal my sister’s bridal magazines. With the exception of wanting them to play The Carpenters’ “(They Long to Be) Close to You” for my spouse at my wedding, I haven’t ever thought much about weddings. I grew up thinking that weddings were for Other People. My New York Times addiction started about two years ago and I remember being fascinated by the photos of smiling male couples in the “Vows” section. Bold. Empowering. While I’d had the right to marry in Canada for years, marriage equality was still in contention in the U.S., my adopted country where I lived sixteen years, many in fear in Texas before coming out in Los Angeles. I read the blurbs about the couples and, invariably, my excitement and admiration turned to jealousy. He works for a prominent law firm in Manhattan and graduated from Yale before getting his law degree at Stanford. The Other He works as a translator at the UN, after earning a degree at the University of Oslo and a master’s in public policy at Cambridge. Yes, guys like this existed. Now they were taken. And here I was considering a possible hookup with an unemployed guy from Calgary. Damn.

This week’s “Vows” section isn’t so crushing. One lesbian couple—they could be sisters—and one gay couple. The men live in Indianapolis. Normal universities. I’m okay. Wedding envy is in check. I can celebrate their marriage.

And the last line in their blurb even offers hope: “The couple met on a dating website in August 2012.”

Okay, I’m logging in to browse my matches again. Maybe there’s a reason for all these coffee dates after all…

2 comments:

Jack Urquhart said...

I admire your persistence in searching for a meaningful, life-enhancing primary relationship. After having read your posts these last few years, it seems patently obvious to me that you deserve nothing less than that. -- Best regards, Jack

Rural Gay Gone Urban said...

Thanks, Jack. I've always appreciated your comments. Hope all is well with you.