Last Thursday I boarded a plane and flew to Denver hot on the heels of the beau, who was there for work. The reason I went is because I suspected he was having multiple affairs. No, I’m just kidding. Though whenever he travels, which is regularly, I pretend he’s galavanting around on a tour of sexual favors. “STOP HAVING SEX WITH STRANGERS,” I text him every night that he’s gone. This joke never gets old.
I also like to remind him not to die whenever he goes away on business, or briefly leaves the house on an errand, or sits in a chair and browses the internet on his laptop. Danger is everywhere, and he must remain vigilant. “STOP TRYING TO DIE,” I tell him often. I’m pretty sure my tireless efforts are the only reason he’s still alive.
So when I arrived in Denver, I immediately set about accusing the beau of infidelity and recklessness. “You’re probably too busy having sex and chasing death to come get me from the airport,” I texted him.
“We are on our way,” he texted back. Oh ho!
“We? You are bringing your girlfriends?” I replied. “This is going to be awkward.”
Guess who is not the beau’s girlfriend? His boss! His boss is probably not his girlfriend, and yet there he was, sitting in the passenger seat of the rental car like they were on some kind of hot business-casual date. I became so flustered that I immediately volunteered all the bits of information about myself that aren’t usually considered topics of polite conversation between strangers.
“How was the flight?” his boss asked, twisting around to address me as I clambered in the back.
“OH, IT WAS GREAT, I HAD GIN,” I blurted.
“Gin, huh?” he remarked mildly.
“Oh yes, I brought mini-bottles with me on the plane and just asked for Sierra Mist to mix them with so I didn’t even have to buy anything!” I cheerfully elaborated.
This is why I’m not allowed to go to the beau’s holiday party this year.
Shockingly, I didn’t go to Denver for the express purpose of embarrassing my spouse. No, I went for the express purpose of COMPLETELY LOSING MY EDGE. Oh, did I say losing my edge? I meant BECOMING THE MAN. Oh, did I say becoming the man? I meant REPEATING PHRASES IN CAPS LOCK.
Here’s something to repeat, over and over in your brain until it becomes a crackling hum: We are going to buy a house.
Maybe? I think?
When the beau first floated the idea I laughed in his face. Yeah, we can totally buy a house, provided it’s a cardboard one, I said. Which, hey. When I was in second grade my dad stacked washer and dryer boxes on top of each other and cut holes so I could crawl up from one “floor” to another, and it was the classiest thing I’d ever seen. Until it rained, and then it got all saggy and moldered. So my point is, if you’re going to have a cardboard house, it’s best to keep it indoors, under the roof of a real house. Which brings me back to my original point of CAPS LOCK HOUSE-PURCHASING ADULTHOOD TIMES.
For a few weeks I played along: “Sure thing, we’ll buy a house in Colorado, buddy.” Genial hair-ruffle. Kind of like how you placate a young child who has a tenuous grasp of reason and logic plus a short-term memory: “Yeah, of course you can go to the moon. But you have to wait until tomorrow, okay?” Unlike a child, though, the beau kept leaning on reason and logic to prop up his case. Somewhere between the mortgage calculator estimates and the low interest rates I started to believe.
And so last weekend I found myself on an exploratory mission in a rental car, eyes trained on the real estate app on the cell phone in my hand. For two solid days we drove around neighborhoods and looked at houses currently for sale in our theoretical price range. I know, I may as well have just told you I spent last weekend organizing my bills alphabetically before having a root canal, or some other unbearably mature-sounding thing. Allow me to mitigate that by telling you we also stayed up slightly past midnight watching CNBC. Just like we were in our twenties again!
We did other things, too:
- we sampled a variety of tequila drinks at the hotel bar;
- we got stuck in a holiday parade of lights;
- we marveled at the lack of leaves on the trees (seasons actually happen there!);
- we admired the snow-tipped mountains from afar;
- we ate polenta fries for brunch at a vegetarian gay bar;
- we went for a run in a suburban “open space;”
- we had the best mimosa OF OUR LIVES (okay, I was the only one who ordered it, but saying “I” broke the “we” thing I have going here);
- we tentatively tried sushi in the middle of the country;
- we bore witness to some kind of Semi-Naked Santa Run that basically involved a festive group of people drinking at a pub in their skivvies;
- we got bloody noses from the altitude (!);
- and we figured out where we were going to temporarily live in Denver while we look for a house — don’t be jealous, but it’s located behind a K-Mart and across from a “$1.25/scoop” Chinese restaurant.
I don’t know. This thing is happening, I guess. What it is exactly yet, I don’t know.
But I hope it involves lots of sex, and very little death.