All my life I have had contempt for people who stay in relationships that aren’t working. Sexless marriages, or unions that involve a lot of screaming, or “business arrangements” abound (especially the latter in Malibu) and I have always been Judge Judgey McJudgerson about it. “Why would people stay married?” my ex-husband and I would ask each other, as we frolicked through the streets of New York City, traveled through Europe and then settled in various beach-side suburbs of LA. We were insufferable.
“The dining dead,” we would smirk, as yet another couple sat across from each other with nothing to share. We never stopped having endless things to talk about and laugh about, before and during marriage. One night at the trendy West Hollywood eatery Jones we were all over each other, as usual, when my then-husband spied a colleague across the room, which is not an easy feat at Jones as the lighting is low. The guy didn’t approach us, but the next time my ex-husband heard from him, he mentioned to the guy that we had seen him.
“I thought you were married, man,” the dude had said with a mixture of judgment and envy.
“Yes, that was my wife,” replied my bewildered ex.
Apparently we looked so happy, sexy and intimate, that the man decided that my ex could only have been having an affair.
And we were. For at least twelve of fourteen years, we worshipped each other, and people were alternately sickened and inspired. He fixed my daddy issues. I satisfied his lifelong fascination with redheads and “foreign women.”
We met when I was 23 and he was 37, and I never “dated” before that. I slept with people and then if we liked each other, we became boyfriend and girlfriend. There was some drama and A LOT of heartbreak, and I did get a sense when I met my ex that he would be rescuing me from all of that. I just didn’t know I was going to end up seeing dating in the 90’s as the “good old days.” Before texting, and Tinder and kids, there was only chemistry and “Your place or mine?” I never in a million light years imagined I would be meeting men in the same place I get my cat videos. Though not on the same site. That would be weird. (Although maybe that could be an app—Boyfriends And Cat Videos—call me Venture Capitalists, let’s deal.)