Love and Marriage

Many readers assume I spend my free time lounging around in a rainbow-flag-colored muumuu, curled up next to my cat while smugly perusing a dog-eared International Male catalog and singing along to the original cast album of Annie. And, sure, I love my special Saturday nights at home.

Every now and then, though, especially during Pride month, I, too, am filled with doubt. Is this lifestyle choice right for me? Maybe I just haven't had exposure to normal values. Maybe my parents' three decades of marriage just wasn't enough of an example of real commitment. Maybe it is ridiculous to think that queer couples can live without any moral compass. It's at times like these that, like anybody else in America needing real guidance, I depend on the popular media to show me the way.

So I watched Britney and Kevin: Chaotic on UPN. How do they do it? It's crazy enough being a multitalented entertainer like Britney Spears without someone asking you to record your every waking moment. Yet, Britney and Mr. Federline soldier on, staking the high ground for besieged straight couples everywhere. I didn't know what a marriage really was until I saw Britney and that Einsteinian hubby of hers making pig faces in the camera lens. Whew! It's freaking chaos!

Oh, but I really woke up to the selfish little gay bubble in which I've been living when I kicked off my mules and tuned into ABC's Dancing With the Stars. Now, I don't know if you've experienced this extravaganza, but some of the hottest names in entertainment—including ex–New Kids on the Block heartthrob Joey McIntyre, a General Hospital starlet, and that guy who played J. Peterman on Seinfeld—have teamed up with professional ballroom dancers for a balls-to-the-wall competition. I have sweat on my upper lip just remembering former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Evander Holyfield's fancy footwork, but it's not the obvious talent out on that floor that I want to talk about. No, I want to talk about the personal strength of competitor Trista Sutter.

Trista, you may recall, was that bastion of happy hetero romance who offered up her services as one of many possible partners for reality TV's The Bachelor. Well, she wasn't ultimately chosen, but that didn't stop her quest for true love: She became The Bachelorette for ABC, publicly whittled away several potential mates, and finally settled on a Mensa-like fire fighter named Ryan, to whom she was eventually wed in a televised spectacular.

Anyway, Trista had to do a sexy rhumba the other night on Dancing, but she hesitated in rehearsal because, you know, she's a married woman. I mean, you can imagine the ethical quandary for someone thoughtful like Trista: Get paid to do an intimate rhumba on national network television with a man who is not your husband, or blow the competition and return to the husband you got paid to marry on national network television? I was on pins and needles until—surprise!—they managed to talk Ryan into making another television appearance to put his stamp of approval on ex–Miami Heat dancer Trista's shocking shimmies.

I tell you, I don't know how you people do it. I just hope, one day, I'll be given the chance to show the same grace under pressure.

swiecking@seattleweekly.com

 
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