By Tony Fitzpatrick
Love is a slippery fish. People perish every day for want of it, or a pantomime of it, as if they were on fire. Nothing has been lamented more than lost love, love gone wrong, or the making or unmaking of the human heart. It is written about ad nauseam in every annoying love song, each one being “someone’s song.” Makes you want to blow chunks. When your friends fall in love, they are disgusting—the cooing, the walking around with a simpleton look on their face, the spring in their step, the flush in their cheeks, the chipper-ass good mood they are always in. You want to slap the shit out of them.
You want to tell them: In a year, Bunky? She’s going to hate you! All of the witty repartee she giggles at girlishly now are the anecdotes she’ll be rolling her eyes at in a scant eight months. The lingerie? A year from now she’ll be washing the windows with it.
She’ll make sure you know, in no uncertain terms, what an annoying asshole you are, how disgusting your habits are, how you snore and fart and smell like a zoo animal, and how all of your friends are mentally deficient as well.
You’ll change too. You’ll notice that, in her sleep, well, Cinderella snores like a fucking camel, is always cold and regards you as more of a schtupee—a longshoreman to schlep her shit around when need be, a slack-jawed oaf, a gofer-type dimwit, a pack-animal to be ordered about willy-nilly. Do your push-ups, Slick, because you’ll be moving shit around all of the time—like couches, chairs, mattresses and any other heavy fucking object she can think of. You are her footman, her fucking roadie. You should have a laminate around your neck.
You’ll have to be nice to her asshole friends, a clatch of embittered harpies who are all single or divorced because of an excess of “personality.” She’ll ask you if you know anyone who is looking to date one of these bargains. When you reply, “Nobody with a working penis,” she gets pissed, tells you how “unevolved” you are, how you “just haven’t grown.” And you don’t give a fuck, you just want her to not stand in front of the Sox game and to please, please, please, honest-to-god, shut the fuck up.
So you nod, you agree, you cast yourself into the herd of dickless Ken dolls who just want some peace and a good-faith blowie now and then. You are her stooge, her lackey, her spider-killing dipshit, because, you, asshole, are in love.
She will look at you with a different light in her eyes and look on her face—the one she gets when you drive through a neighborhood that smells like ass. You will swear you can see the invisible thought balloon above her head as she glares at you. There is one word in that thought balloon; that word is douchebag.
And if you wind up going all in, walking down the aisle, you poor bastard? Know that the look of glowy wonder she gives you as you and she stand at the altar professing undying love in front of God and everyone? The look she is giving you is not wide-eyed adoration, it’s her coming to the realization that she doesn’t have to blow you on a regular basis anymore: birthday, Christmas and, if you have kids, Father’s Day. That look is your beloved knowing she bagged one. It’s like your head is being mounted on the wall like a fishing trophy, or your brain being slapped into a jar of pickle juice like in Frankenstein and, you, stooge, don’t even know it—because you are in love. You will notice other things as well. All of a sudden you realize you don’t like anything she likes, everything in your house is fucking taupe—whatever the fuck color that is. She’s thrown all of the good snacks out—the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, the Ho-Hos and Entenmann’s—and replaced them with fucking rice cakes. Who eats this shit?
Instead of shooting the shit with your friends over beers at the bar, you’re going to dinner parties with assholes named Herbert and Gerard who want to talk about the market. You think they mean Trader Joe’s or Dominicks. She likes movies with English people in them who are all dressed up and being pithy and smart and correct. You like “Kill Bill”—Uma Thurman in the stretchy yellow number that makes your whole body hard—plus, she cuts heads off: what’s not to like?
There are a million things about her that piss you off, and still? Your life would suck without her, through every tentative step in your journey. Every time you’ve checked, she is still the one standing next to you and reaching for your hand.
She’s the best person you know—you lucky asshole.