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four Bs of love

The Jane Austen Marriage manual does not start with the four Bs of love: 1) beer 2) back rub 3) barbecue 4) blowjob. No, the Jane Austen Marriage Manual’s quote on the back says something akin to “for every woman who wishes a Mr Darcy would sweep them off their feet and pay for all their credit cards.” The Jane Austen Marriage Manuel is for women who have no IDEA how to be married, will never BE married, or are about to be DIVORCED. Unknown-1

I am sad to see this drivel on my Texan in Yaletown’s shelf today as I am cleaning. My Texan is home and thanks me for the little tarts I left at Christmas. I have an affection for Tex: so far from home and crammed into this 50×50 foot suite. I notice Tex is getting good at walking diagonally, squeezing past furniture in narrow passages. Tex is very American. Disneyland paraphernalia is everywhere: Gavroche, the bedside lamp, big yellow Mickey Mouse shoes for slippers, Princess figurines, a Disney storage box, Disney pillows, Disney blankets…the entertainment centre in this place is stacked with gaming stations, joy sticks, Indiana Jones and the Pirates of the Caribbean…there are three boxes of cereal on the sparse counter: all sugar coated. Tex doesn’t use the china. Tex uses paper plates for all meals and then throws them away. Tex has a fridge full of bottled water and a take-out chicken. The ecological footprint here is Sasquatchian. Tex is sanitary but never dusts, so there’s a thick layer of fuzzy grey on absolutely every primary coloured Disney article. How can this married couple stand it? I don’t know. If only Mr. Darcy would come in and sweep, cook, do dishes AND dust.images-1

“What bakery did you get those tarts?” Asks Tex. “Tartine on Beach.” “They taste so good, so real. Not like – well – sometimes in Disneyland they’ll pull out these sweets that look amazing but have very little taste whatsoever.” I smile, “That’s because of the shortening. It’s all crap. It needs to be butter. That’s why I like the tarts at Tartine. They’re small. But they’re so good, you don’t need a lot to be satisfied.” Tex nods.

I hit the floor and scrub on my hands and knees, back and forth and back and forth and back and forth…still fuming about the Jane Austen book. Or something. What? What?! Fast food hot and ready hydrogenated vegetable oil princess plastic hire it out Mr Darcy bullshit shiny million little potions along the tub and still not beautiful enough. Who cares how some women treat their husbands?! Who knows how their husbands treat them back? Maybe he doesn’t even like beer? Staying in one of the most beautiful cities in the world in the trendiest neighbourhood and then complains about the price. All of this Disney Austen American dream is simply plastic wrapped Dissatisfaction.Unknown-2

Tex asks in an unusually small and vulnerable voice that makes me turn and stop.  “I just cleaned the sheets, but if you could make the bed the way you do…I’d appreciate that. I like the way you tuck me in.”

Tex is as surprised as I am to have this said out loud and gasps a little, caught. I smile gently and suddenly see standing in front of me a great big child. I say in my Mom’s voice, “I would be happy to tuck you in.”

Tex trundles off to eat at one of Vancouver’s finest restaurants – for lunch. I wipe the footprints off. Then sit on my knees in the middle of the kitchen floor and breathe. I contemplate for the first time in a while what it would be like to be partnered again. What he would have to put up with. The things I have to offer beyond the four loving Bs. What I’d be prepared to put up with, haha. I’m certainly mature enough to know I don’t want a Mr Darcy. Beyond that…could I someday be happy? Hm.

I pack up my gear, lock the door and catch my image in the elevator mirror. What a mix I am with my mop and rags, my cashmere coat and my ridiculous eyelashes. I am smiling for no particular reason.

I could most certainly be happy someday. I already am happy. Mop and all. I already am satisfied.

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