so it seems to be the year of the wedding. in fact, i never had so many friends get married within a one year span in my life. seriously. perhaps it is just because i am at that age when everyone gets married - everyone who had a life plan that did not explode in their face. or, a less bitter approach, perhaps their life plan did explode in their face but it ended in marriage.
my life plan involved getting married rather quickly. i made this plan at the ripe old age of ten, because, really, what ten year old boy doesn't sit down with his sister's barbie dolls and dream of his wedding? i grew envious as i watched barbie walk down the aisle to the music of madonna's like a virgin. ken, pantless next to skipper the pastor, waited anxiously for his soon to be bride. marital bliss filled the wall to wall carpeting of the living room and after a resounding kiss they lived happily ever after. so my plan was simple - married at 21, children around 25 and continue being the joy of life until death. sounds simple right?
i attended college. you know that story already. well, you do not know the part where i flunked out, moved back home for six months, got a job offer from the american red cross where i did my work study, moved back to burlington, lived with a crazy woman, met this great girl named maura, went to a party and met gene. there you go. six months and three very major life events in one run one sentence - readers digest would be proud. anyway, there was gene day sitting on a couch. he seemed to be the only normal boy around, well not quite a "boy" but at least in his twenties, even if we are talking late twenties. he was kind, sarcastic, intelligent, employed, funny and reasonably attractive. i was young, slightly drunk and willing to give it a try. we connected in a bibical way, but there was something else there at the same time. a feeling that i had which i had not experienced before as strongly as i was experiencing it then. we connected on a different level. a few months later while drinking profusely at the local gay dive we coined the phrase "you're my favorite" mostly because i thought it was too weird to actually say i love you - or at least while he was awake.
life continued. we had a number of bumps in the relationship but over all i still loved him. we bought a house. we survived a near death experience for me. i finished college. i got a "real job." then the trouble started. for some reason we just were not happy with each other, but we still loved each other. i knew that i had failed. i knew that the future i had planned for him and me was completely gone by the wayside and that i would have to start completely over again.
how could i have failed? what did i do wrong? what did he do wrong? could one of us had saved the relationship through some effort? technically (after a fair amount of therapy) we were not the failure. i believe the line goes something like, "the relationship failed on its own, not as the result of any one party or their actions." apparently, unbeknownst to the little boy planning his wedding with his sister's barbies, that relationships are fluid and it only takes one small diversion to move the relationship away from its intended future. gene and i, although still the best of friends, could no longer be in a relationship together because our goals did not mesh. so, all my friends, were they that unlucky?
obviously not. somehow all these folks got to their goal. their relationships worked. lucky for me though at each wedding there was at least one person who was like me. someone else to talk to about the ridiculous of relationships and the work involved to maintain them. someone else who just hadn't healed the burns of past relationships regardless of the drugs and therapy they underwent. someone else who laughed at the divorce jokes or mentioned the divorce rate during the speeches. we formed a club.