I finally got married when I turned 40.
After enduring a hellishly long, Bridget Jones-esque gestation period as a single woman I finally found someone in Los Angeles who wanted to marry me. I waited a long time because I really wanted to find the perfect one for me. Get it right the first time. I have no idea if I have accomplished that. (How could we really ever know?)
But I like being married. Marriage is nice. It’s comforting and cozy. I like knowing someone’s always coming home, that someone knows my routine and if I go missing he will call the authorities. I like knowing that even when he’s out late on a Friday night blowing off steam after a long week and not picking up my calls that he’ll be back. I like knowing that even when he is being an asshole and I’m giving him the finger behind my laptop that he is obligated to love me because he promised the pastor that he would. I need that. I remind him when he’s being a real fucker that he signed a paper saying he would love and honor me and that, given his behavior at the moment, he is in violation of that contract. Therefore, going forward, there will be a fine affiliated with that behavior. I’m gonna start writing him tickets. Like the city of L.A., I think I can produce quite a revenue stream from these marital citations. For example, cussing first thing in the morning: unacceptable. I do not want to wake up to him yelling “FUCK!” because he doesn’t want to get up when the alarm goes off: $25. Not fixing the broken window I have repeatedly asked him to fix: $50. Snapping at me rudely when I am being a sweetheart: $75. Blaring reality television when I am trying to write a piece about him behind his back: $100. It goes up from there. We have the kind of marriage where we would do really well if one of us traveled like 4 weeks out of the month.
It’s funny living with a stoner. He’s a highly productive stoner. Hard worker, good breadwinner, a real sweetheart most of the time. But I get tired of all the popcorn kernels in between the couch cushions and finding the refrigerator door standing wide open in the middle of the night or trying to soak up spilled bong water on my new sisal rug. The other day I picked up our wedding photo to dust behind it and there was a tiny roach resting on a penny. The tiniest little joint you ever saw. I know he intended to come back for it and then forgot about it. I’m not sure how he intended to smoke it. It would vanish between his lips. But that little bitty thing was of some value to him. So I took it to him. And he was like, “Awesome! Where’d you find that?”
I’m not a good stoner. I just get a burst of creative energy, rearrange every piece of furniture wherever I happen to be at the moment and pass out.
I wish I had gotten married sooner in life, but we don’t always get what we want. And I have to remember a lot of people have it way worse than I do. And I worry about them. A lot. People affected by the genocide in Darfur, the poverty in Haiti, the sex industry in Bangkok, the tragedy in Nepal, anyone that suffers from chronic migraines or any chronic pain, people with a missing child, homeless and abused animals, people with severe addictions, war veterans suffering from PTSD, incest victims, pack animals who are forced to live alone, most horses, polar bears, Mormons, migrant workers, anyone with a limp, civil war amputees with no anesthesia, most people I see in thrift stores, old men, people in nursing homes, people who work in nursing homes… I just feel horrible for them all and I don’t know what I can do about it except try to be nice to everyone I encounter.
Which doesn’t always work out. Especially if someone’s being an asshole. Then I feel that gives me permission to unleash the volcanic fury that lies dormant within. Like the other day.
I had to park in an underground parking structure. Which I hate. I took a ticket and I knew I only had 20 minutes to get in and out of there before they start charging. Shouldn’t be a problem. I just had to drop something off real quick. Except some people don’t know when to stop talking and let me leave. When I got to the exit I put my ticket in the machine and it asked me for $30.00.
RUFKM?? Oh, hell no. I told the parking attendant I just had to drop something off and could I please be on my way. Nope. He made me go back and get validated. Get motherfucking validated. Another 20 minutes and several assholes later I had reached my boiling point in that underground prison and I lost it. I lost my shit right there in that echoing, cement, petro-chemical trap screaming at the top of my lungs to noone in particular, “I hate fucking parking structures!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hate this fucking city!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
But of course I don’t hate this city. Of course I love this City of Angels. My home town.