By: Ann Brown
Claudia and Doug came up with two stellar words last week to describe when people sleep around and then blab about it:
Dickileaks and vagileaks.
Although, come to think of it, vagileaks was how Claudia described what happens when middle-aged women laugh too hard. But it could work both ways.
Now me, I don’t sleep around and tell. Mostly because Robin wants to believe he married a virgin thirty years ago. Or at least, a refurbished virgin (“if you haven’t seen it, it’s new to YOU”). So he isn’t down with all my stories about the old days.
Except the story about that boyfriend I had in another country. Before I spoke the language. The one that was so kind and spoke to me really slowly so I could understand. And he was so beautiful. So we didn’t really have to talk much.
And then, a few years later when I was living in the States again, a friend from the old days came to visit. And after a few uncomfortable conversations about my old boyfriend, she let it slip that my slow-talking, gentle, beautiful boyfriend was, in fact, mentally challenged. Like, alot. And that all my friends really wondered what the fuck I was all about, coming to their country – an intelligent young woman – and shacking up with the village simpleton.
Oh, Robin cannot get enough of that story. In fact, when he was going in for cancer surgery a few months ago, he asked me to tell it again, just to cheer him up. And I did. And it did. He just laughs harder and harder every time he hears me tell it. He practically busts a gut at the end, where people say to me, “What? You didn’t even KNOW he was, you know, mentally challenged????” And I have to say, in my defense, that those first weeks in a new country, our vocabulary was pretty much well-matched. And so what if he used a comb to cut his chicken or washed his hair with moldy leaves. It coulda been a cultural thing. Who was I to judge?
And of course, comes the inevitable question of when, exactly, did I figure it out and is that why we broke up?
I really, really, really want to say that I figured it out in a few hours and gently exited the picture, leaving him to his second-grade workbooks.
But the fact is (and this is where Robin actually forgets he has cancer, he is so cheered by the story) I finally figured it out seven years later, when my friends came to visit and told me. Yup. I never figured it out by myself. I know, what the fuck is up with that? I can’t believe it myself. I never noticed.
Well, I do know why:
I am pretty much all about ME in a relationship.
It’s a blessing and curse, I suppose. I could have a boyfriend who, I don’t know, is missing a nose, or raising wild monkeys in the living room, or who dresses up like Eva Braun and it would take me a long time to get it. I once lived with a boyfriend who actually barfed in bed next to me after hanging out in bars most nights and I never figured out that he was a drinker.
Yup. Me me me me me me me me me me me me.
Oh, and you.