"Epiphany" in English, the "Ah-ha moment" in Oprah, call it what you will, I had one — at 40. After a lifetime of plunging head-first into all-encompassing relationships with all the wrong paramours, I recently realized that I was, and could be, in love with all of the important people in my life — as a group — and therefore, give my significant other a big, fat break.
I blame fairy tales, rom-coms and Shakespearean sonnets for creating the impossible illusion that there's only one person out there who can give my happy ending. Faced with never having been married and nervous about finally taking the plunge, I woke the hell up. Prince Charming didn't have to be my everything — he could be my awesome-in-his-category. I was the one who was mistaken about needing him to get all of me. If I really mined my other loved ones for some of my needs, everyone together could add up to a version of "yous complete me."
So I made a list of who played what role in my life and their significant contribution to my overall happily ever after.
1. My gay husbands.Yes, there's more than one and I'm never giving any of them up. In fact, they don't want me to. They never feel cheated on and actually encourage our "open" relationship. They're all amazing at answering any emergency texts within seconds (unlike my straight husband) and always notice and compliment all new, cute articles of clothing, and hair color or length changes — even a trim.
2. My business partner. Same politics, same ethnic background, same no-filter, opinionated big mouth. Satisfies all my career mulling/dreaming and bitching about ambitions and fear of being old, as well as deep creative sharing and venting. Oh, and super yummy sushi lunches.
3. My bestie-girlfriend. Stellar gossiping, laughing, crying, whining and analyzing the same parental rejection and judgmental issues for the billionth time with no complaints. Bonus points for also being a champion at boy-squawk (the almost-shrieking of how insane our boys are.)
4. My mom. An endless exchange of mutual cheerleading and minute-to-minute reporting of daily goals and accomplishments, down to the teeniest detail. Complete with her constant reminders that I'm the greatest and that I also better read the New York Times and the The New Yorker more often if I want to be taken seriously.
5. My nieces. Scrumptious surrogate daughters — 'nuff said.
Then I focused on what I needed from my real husband: must love food, cooking, a cozy/pretty home, adore animals, appreciate my gift for gab, be kind, have personal joy or, if having a bad day, the ability to switch gears — take the dog for a walk, eat some pie and snap out of it. Check, check, check, I'm lucky to have found all of that.
I admit that I sometimes want him to be my one-stop shop, so I could talk about my obsession with Calder mobiles while crying because my estrogen is low or have him blow-out my hair after having 4-star sex while eating kettle corn. And I get mad and hurt when he doesn't get why I want all that, because I have no filter and tell him.
Then I calm down and remember that he doesn't have to be Super Hubby and can just be himself and I can just be me and we can sometimes be perfect together and sometimes not.
So when I need fawning over the five pounds I lost from that nasty green juice fast or what a huge improvement my latest shade of red lipstick makes in my life, I make a lunch date with my gay husbands. Or when I have to process my extreme disappointment in man's inhumanity, I call my yoga teacher. And if I need an emergency hug, I just grab my cat.
But when I want to ignite my passion and let my inner (and sometimes outer) sexy flag fly, put on that new lace push-up bra and matching thong … or just wear my flannel pjs and watch "24" or "Starsky and Hutch," wrapped around my all-man man — I know who to roll over and nudge.
The truth is that I'm married to all of you. 'Til death do we part.
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