Monday, June 1, 2009

To Find Love, Abandon Standards

Picture at right, is Augusten Burroughs. Pictured below are my parents on their wedding day in 1956 (see bookjacket). This was a great day; I wanted to make it into a fine, ironic dustjacket for my divorce memoir, but Fate and PenguinUSA would have none of it. Fourteen years later they were divorced. They went on to marry a total of three other people and they never stopped loving each other; divorce is a tight cornered game without explicit rules.)

I grudgingly admit that for the kind of attendance and service I desire, marriage is the only game in town. I want to learn about true commitment and connections. I honestly do. I think most men are full of grace and heart, beneath their hard, shiny armor. I think love fills their workman's boots, I think it seeps from their lock-box hearts into the atmosphere as they sleep.

So I asked Augusten Burroughs, a fiercely candid man who is happily coupled and also gay, which gives him an objectiveness impossible to find elsewhere. I pry hard for valuable, insider trading tips. Here are his edicts on mating, fresh from the information highway.

Re: Standards
BWABEE, STANDARDS get in the way of finding TRUE LOVE. Because you know what? The man who is RIGHT for you is going to look nothing like what you imagine. I, for example, always knew I would end up with an Iranian physician -somebody with chiseled, masculine features, a 5 o'clock shadow that began to appear at noon; a man who wore Armani suits and just reeked of brilliance and utter competence. Somebody who would surprise me with a gold Rolex Daytona just "because it's Tuesday and I love you."

Instead, I landed a guy who, the year before last, gave me shampoo for my birthday. And who has no interest in physics or cosmology and no matter HOW MUCH I SCREAM AT HIM or try to explain it WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND these things which matter most to me. But? he cooks. If somebody is mean to me he withdraws a meat cleaver from his back pocket. And even though he's about as romantic as a shoebox, he's perfect for me. And he's ten years older. I mean, when he's sixty? I'll be ONLY 50. So no, throw all your expectations and lists and MUST-HAVES directly into the trash and start over.

Here are the ONLY requirements:

1. Must have own source of income.
2. Must not be a criminal
3. Must not be married
4. NEED not be handsome but you MUST find him attractive, more so on each date.
5. Reads
6. Is patient, non judgemental and has no history of mental illness -especially manic depression, chronic depression, treatment-resistant depression or any other fucking flavor of incurable depression.

and that's really it.



Linda said...

NO! You ARE a survivor, Suzanne. This is good. You are a strong, smart, passionate person. Own that! You go, girl!


those cards KILL me. i ALWAYS get THE TOWER, THE HANGED MAN, DEATH, AND the one with the woman with ten swords in her corpse. something i get THE MOON, which is hugely ambiguous and general advises me to Touch Base With Reality. xo sf

Linda said...

Can you pick a card for me and tell me about it? I can use all the help I can get right now.


linda! email me at