Friday
September 29, 2006
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Volume 34
Issue 39
 
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Wednesday, Jul 17, 2019

 

 



 
Tour De Life by Beau Burriola
(Almost) happy for you
"Married?!" Izzy asked, genuinely surprised at the announcement.

"Yes!" Julia cooed with all the excitement of a new cheerleader getting her first pom poms. She launched into an excited description about all the wedding planning, menu costs, and a whole magazine full of wedding details I've managed to avoid over the years. I didn't say anything to either one of them and instead sat strumming my guitar. I looked up and smiled at her, but didn't have much to say.

When we started taking guitar lessons in May, Julia said that she had just met "The One," a motorcycle-driving rebel sort with all of the qualities you might expect The One to have: he rode motorcycles (and she loves motorcycles), he was super hot, and he treated her like she wanted to be treated. Her description reminded me of the dating game shows I never much understood, packing up a whole personal life compatibility summary into a ten second laundry list, all wrapped up with a dashing smile by Bachelor Number Two.

"But didn't you just meet him at the beginning of the summer?!" Izzy asked, reading my thoughts.

"Yeah, but when you find the right one you just know." Her words and her suggestion of fate and purpose, sickly sweet with naivety and hopeless romanticism, had a strange effect on me. You just know. The world just tells you. Everyone lives happily ever after. Everything is meant to be. Like so many greeting card slogans from the Wal-Mart aisles of my childhood, her words felt exactly as genuine as the glittered "Wishing you and yours a very Happy Holidays" cards stamped with "from your friends at Blaine's Insurance Company."

I wanted to be happy for her, and I was, but it was more complicated than that. More bluntly, I was mad that this girl could meet someone over a summer and get married before it even gets cold out at night, but even if I were to spend decades feeling out the right person and doing all the work to make sure my relationship lasts for a long time, I may never be afforded the same privilege. She jumped right over the hard labor and intensive investment that I try to pour into my relationships and right into a place I can't get to, however ready I might be.

"It's not her fault," David told me unnecessarily over martinis at Rosebud afterward. Of course he was right. I didn't intend to launch a protest against all marriages. I'd get over it and stop being childish. Tomorrow.

Staring into my martini, I imagined a world where the only people allowed to marry were people who had built relationship skills and were relatively healthy individuals first, instead of the tired standard of two people with opposite genders. I imagined, cynically, all the straight people who would have a big red "REJECTED" stamped across their marriage applications because they were in such a stampede to get to the altar and didn't bother much about who they married or what that meant. That seemed like a much better way to regulate marriage.

It looks like it could be a while before the gay citizens of this state are finally allowed to marry. It seems that in this era of judicially-sanctioned discrimination, gay people are expected to first convince a majority of people that will never understand us that we should be afforded the same rights they already have. It's backwards, ridiculous, and undoubtedly temporary, but for now it is what it is, so I'll do as all the other gay folks do: I'll (eventually) be happy for folks who can get married, I'll tell myself I'm probably better off without all the ceremony and marketing anyway, and I'll continue to watch the "flash" marriages around me rise and fall so that I know what to do and not to if my turn ever comes.

Beau Burriola looks forward to the day that he, too, will be able to stampede to the altar. E-mail him at beaubrent@gmail.com.
visit Beau at www.beaubrent.com

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