Dating was my worst thing. I love my husband very much, but I am also grateful at the prospect of never having to go on another first date again. From people who arrived with their brother, to those who wore socks with flip-flops, ensuring my legs stayed together like they were cemented shut, to those who got particularly hammered and drooled on me—the entire experience of getting to know someone through the torturous medium of small talk, which has to be filtered through little obstacle courses made up of contemporary conversation guidelines—is less enticing than Rick Santorum in a bikini.
The internet made this process somewhat more bearable, with the ability to see some details about a prospective date before having to deal with conversation, and it was an avenue I used before I ended up meeting the man who is now my husband, Mike. But meeting him happened in a manner most people tell you doesn’t result in spouses. We met in a skanky bar through mutual friends, drank ourselves into oblivion and went home together, waking up with various parts of our anatomies clothed, to the point that it was difficult to recreate the lost parts of our memories.
On our first real date a few weeks later, he proved to me he could burp the entire alphabet, and I told him I shared a flat with a gangster. We laughed at someone in the restaurant who fell over, and then we both admitted we were obsessed with Disney movies—the children’s kind—and sang the songs to each other. There was absolutely nothing cool or suave about the occasion (for god’s sake, I was in shorts and he was in flannel), but there was a lot of genuine truth telling. I don’t know how relationships are supposed to begin—as you can tell, I hate the traditional song and dance that accompanies meeting new people—but if they all began as simply as my first date went, I’ll be happy for the young ‘uns who still have to go through it.
There are many reasons my husband and I work well as a couple, one of which is extensive histories, which I don’t want to get too far into as my mother reads this paper. To use a euphemism, Mike and I both made our twenties count, which means we had a lot of practice both physically and emotionally, and were pretty good at both by the time we got together.
I have never discounted emotional maturity, and the importance of decent sex in my relationships. Although the common wisdom will tell you that a carnal night is not really the most desirable beginning to a relationship, ours was, because we were both grown up enough and experienced enough to be able to differentiate the real feelings from the knee-jerk ones.
My point here isn’t to advise anyone what a romantic relationship is supposed to be like, or how it is supposed to start. But there is a lot to be said for using your god given talents when you’re twenty—horniness and stamina—and for authenticity. If that weren’t the case, I wouldn’t have spent Sunday afternoon “co-spousally” performing Under The Sea in my underwear for three unimpressed dogs, six years into coupledom.