So the inevitable factoid finally came up: Gay marriage is legal in New York, and yet David Sedaris still won’t marry me.
Why? I’m perfectly nice, reasonably intelligent and can type more than 60 words a minute. I also make a mean rosemary roasted chicken and don’t need to refer to directions in order to operate an unfamiliar microwave oven. I once saw Liza Minnelli on the sidewalk in Manhattan and didn’t ask her for her autograph or attempt to snap an unflattering photo of her – due in part to the fact that I didn’t have a cell phone back then and only CIA cell phones had things like cameras embedded in them. A podiatrist once claimed I “have really nice feet” and I always say, “God bless you!” when people sneeze, as I think Gesundheit! sounds pretentious. My salt and pepper shaker collection is a sight to behold. Proficient at alphabetizing, I’ve organized my DVDs so that a poo-throwing chimp could locate my copy of Sliding Doors in three seconds flat.
Despite my impressive attributes, I’ve been told that there are a number of reasons why David Sedaris would reject my marriage proposal:
1) David Sedaris is a gay man. I am a straight woman. And yes, I realize that the legalization of gay marriage really has nothing to do with whether or not David Sedaris can or will marry me…but it was a great hook.
2) David Sedaris has a partner named Hugh. I have a husband named Matt who already tolerates the fact that I have one gay husband (okay, it’s not legal. Geez, like I’d become a bigamist for someone who isn’t David Sedaris).
3) David Sedaris is a famous writer who has sold over seven million books. I’m a
famous writer (and probably a stalker, in the mind of David Sedaris) who has sold about seven copies of a chapbook entitled, Mind the Gap .
4) David Sedaris speaks French. I eat French fries with gusto and can, when pressed, use words like quiche and voilá appropriately.
5) David Sedaris has a famous sister. I have a cousin who lives in a trailer with two of her three grown kids and several of her grandchildren.
6) David Sedaris charges 55 bucks a head for decent seats at one of his readings. I ply friends, acquaintances and total strangers (some shoeless) with the promise of free liquor and sandwiches in order to warm a few seats at one of my poetry readings.
7) David Sedaris has a Tweet-a-Day Fan Site with 17,000 followers (he follows zilch – not a single, solitary person – not even Alan Cumming, who follows him). My Twitter account is followed by 62 people, at least 12 of whom are employed in the sex industry (I follow 86 people, including Alan Cumming.)
8) David Sedaris reads his essays aloud on This American Life and on David Letterman’s show. When I read an essay aloud to my husband in the privacy of our living room, he demands that I hand him the computer so that he can read it himself because “I’m a terrible actress.”
9) David Sedaris has given up smoking. I’m thinking about taking the habit up because it might be the best way to lose weight and/or fool others into thinking I’m a supermodel if I do it while sipping champagne and whining about what a bitch Gisele is in person.
10) David Sedaris lives in London. I live in Florida, but insist that my husband – gay or otherwise – reside in the same country I do, otherwise it makes playing board games and sharing popcorn difficult.
It’s probably all for the best. I’m sure after a few long years together, I’d tire of David Sedaris saying all the clever, pithy things first. As he ran out of humiliating stories about his own family, he’d inevitably begin scrabbling through the plethora of material available about mine – and then what would I write about? “No, David, you can’t write about my first period. I don’t care if it’s funnier when you tell it.” Our perfect, asexual life of shared erudite magazines and talking about his latest book deals would eventually sour like a pitcher of sweet tea left out on the counter for too long. I’d eventually stop reading his essays altogether, and would start rolling my eyes above the rim of my martini glass as he told the one about my father challenging the school bully who punched me at a football game to a round of kung foo fighting – I know, it’s funnier when he tells it – to our friends over dinner. It would end badly. His Grammy (by then, he would have finally won) broken on the floor, copies of my chapbook thrown into the fireplace, and Matt and Hugh, standing side-by-side, arms crossed against their chests, shaking their heads in a way that says, It was never going to work. What were they thinking?
So by not marrying me, David Sedaris, you’re doing us both a favor. Years from now, I’ll still be enjoying your books, and Matt won’t have left me because he became sick to death of hearing “David this” and “David that,” as I bitched about your continued success and the pressure of living in your shadow. I don’t know where you’ll mine your new material, but I suspect we’ll be hearing about the first time Hugh had a wet dream, at some point. And that’s okay. Because it’s funnier when you tell it.