Friday, May 18, 2007

Family values

As I sit at work today (working! not blogging!), my ex-boyfriend from Iowa is at my house on the first day of a three-day weekend visit. My now boyfriend is also at the house, seeing as it is also his house and he’s too tall to sleep in the car. This visit was planned so recently that I couldn’t get today off from work (where I spend my time working!). So the two men I’ve had the longest relationships with in my life are currently hanging out in my house without me, unsupervised for the day. (Well, they’re not totally unsupervised; the ex brought a friend of ours with him.) Oh, and they met for the very first time last night when the boys arrived and we all headed out to a nice Boystown dinner at Nookie’s.

People who’ve heard about this little setup find it pretty shocking. Which I find pretty sad. I wouldn’t date someone I couldn’t always be friends with. And I would never do anything to someone I dated that would cause us to hate each other. So it’s perfectly natural to me that the boyfriend and the ex-boyfriend would eventually meet and—because they’re both nice, friendly guys who will always be important to me—be extremely friendly. If not outright friends. If they know what’s good for them.

I’m not threatened or disturbed or even remotely bothered by the unavoidable boyfriend’s-ex-boyfriends network. At least not the boyfriend’s ex-boyfriends who were kind and decent. Asshole ex-boyfriends don’t get the privilege of meeting me. Unless we can use the meeting to rub our happiness in their faces.

I’m 39 years old. I have a job and friends and hobbies and conscientious dental hygiene habits and four men I’ve called boyfriends ... which is a much smaller number than you'll find with most gay men my age who still have all their teeth. My first three relationships didn’t last for various reasons, but we broke up like adults (or eventually like adults). The men were all important parts of my life, and my relationships with them made me the unstable, twitching shrew who I am today. My now boyfriend also has ex-boyfriends and the stories that go with them. And it would be pretty dumb—arrogant, actually—for either of us to demand that we completely shut out the boyfriend histories that got us where we are today—namely, in each other’s arms and wearing each other’s underwear because it seems silly to have two separate underwear drawers when we're both the same size anyway.

So the boyfriend and the ex-boyfriend and the friend are spending the day together without me. No doubt laughing at something weird I do or comparing notes on the way I make toast. They’re also installing some cabinet lighting and some ceiling fans because the ex is handy with a wire stripper and he loves a project. So I’ll come home tonight to a shrine of indirect lighting and cooling bedroom breezes. All without lifting a screwdriver. I ask you: What is not to love about this setup?

I wonder how many of Newt Gingrich’s ex-wives and former mistresses laugh about his preferences for oral sex and having affairs with alarmingly younger women as they get together to make “defend marriage” posters with glue guns and leftover cancer medications.

I wonder of John McCain’s ex-wife—the one who raised his children while he was in Vietnam—shares a hotel room with the mistress he eventually replaced her with when they go to marriage amendment rallies with him.

I wonder what Rudy Giulini’s ex-wives and assorted mistresses talk about when they rinse out his pantyhose and reset his wigs for his next appearance promoting marriage as between one man and one woman.

I wonder who among us has the most credible family values.

No comments: