I wanted to wait a day before I commented on a California court’s ruling that SF Mayor Gavin Newsom overstepped his authority by handing out marriage licenses to gay couples (a predictable outcome) and that the thousands of marriages that took place would be immediately annulled (a bit less expected).
I wanted to wait until the dust cleared, until all of this was officially over, so that I could really feel the rush of the return of meaning and security that re-enveloped my own heterosexual marriage. Once again, my wife and I felt like we were on solid, heterosexual ground. The sense that our marriage had been somehow rendered obsolete because of the gay marriages that took place just blocks from our home at SF City Hall was finally lifted from our home. Once again, I felt I could arch by back and thrust my hips proudly. Penile-Vaginal based marriages were back, baby.
We celebrated by ordering dinner in. She dressed in an apron over a dress, her hair up in a bun. She arranged and rearranged some flowers in a vase as I excitedly scoured over the network TV listings (knowing that for the first time in months I wouldn’t be left only with the choices of watching Bravo, HBO, Showtime or reruns of Will and Grace). “You know what Honey Bunch?” I said. “Truth be told, I really never thought that Carson Kressley was all that entertaining or funny.”
We both smiled at the return of the freedom and power to say such a thing. It’s the kind of unexplainable security that could only come from knowing that with one swift court decision, our city was ours again, our marriage had it’s value and meaning restored, and the missionary position was back in vogue.
Our town was pure again, at least for a moment. And why not? Why should it always be us? Let New Jersey deal with it for awhile.
Saying grace, my wife couldn’t help but giggle as she glanced over at me dressed in the most heterosexual outfit I could find in my closet (and yes, it’s just a plain old clothes closet again): Torn sweatpants, steel-toed hiking boots, tube socks, jockey longshot briefs (my sweetest victory as the pressure to achieve metrosexuality had led me to wear an uncomfortable thong for months), a sweat-stained football practice jersey; all along with greasy hair and one sideburn purposely shaved an inch and a half shorter than the other.
As I ate delivered junk food out of the box with my bare hands and twisted off the cap of a 40 ounce brew with my teeth, my wife interrupted my to ask: “Did you moisturize this morning?” She already knew that the answer was no. And it turned her on.
This kind of sacredness had been lost from our household up until only hours before.
After dinner I went out to the driveway to work on the car for a few hours. I don’t actually know how to work on a car, nor was there anything noticeably wrong, so I just dipped my head under the hood holding a dish-towel and a plastic wrench as conservative talk radio piped out of my car stereo. When I peaked out from the under the hood, I saw the other hetero-husbands in my neighborhood working on cars, mowing lawns, re-shingling.
I stood up and saw the guy across the street from me reaching under his hood for a dollop of grease. He rubbed it on his ring finger and slid his wedding band back into place. And with that I knew: It was safe for us heteromarrieds to come out again.