Friday, July 18, 2008

I find myself, in the last few years, frequently repeating something that we always made fun of my father for saying: "Oh, someone gave that to me." Each time someone points at something in my apartment or office, at some peculiar artifact, I shrug sheepishly and mimic my dad. It's genetic. People just give me things. It works out really nicely for me, because I collect stories and the stuff that they fix themselves to, and someday I will die buried under the weight of all of those tales. Happily. I love that people think of me when I'm not there.

I am the back-up girl for a lot of boys with a rainbow of sexual orientations. As we've all gotten older, and everyone has started to enter their 30's, the dates have been pushed back, so now it's a lot more of, "If we're not married by the time we're 40, let's get married to each other." It used to be 30. Then 35. I don't mind, frankly. I like the imagining, the theoretical safety net, the warm assurance of eventually having something that I don't really want now.

We're good at planning, my back-ups and I. I'll start a sheep farm with one of them, buy a big house with a wraparound porch and rocking chairs with another. Pancakes, and dogs, and the same fights we've been having for years. I'm a sentimental girl, and these days when everything is uncertain and I am constantly overthinking and giving my heart a stern talking to about timing and feelings, it's nice to have a solidly pretend future to lean against.

I like being #2, in case #1 never shows up, and my friends are equally gratified by being, well, all tied for #2 in case my story book never opens. Sometimes things stay both away and closed, after all, but that's no reason why any of us shouldn't get most of what we want anyway. You know. Eventually.

No comments: