“it’s as if he were created at the factory just for the purpose of Loving me absolutely and completely.”
with potato-chip crumbs, dog hair, loose peanut M&M’S, and other debris, but none of that mattered to Christopher. It’s as if he were created at the factory just for the purpose of loving me absolutely and completely.
Because I didn’t accept myself “as is” earlier in life, in order to reach Christopher, I had to trudge through a minefield of exceptionally wrong people. I cringe to recall Shawn, the menswear designer who offered to “edit” my closet and then proceeded to throw away all my clothes except for a single pair of Levi’s 501 jeans and a navy blazer my dad mailed me one year for Christmas.
There was Mitch, with whom I couldn’t have sex because he reminded me of an insect but whom I nonetheless stalked online, posing as hot guys who wanted him in order to catch him cheating on me. And even though I cheated on him numerous times, I did this “to see if I could still even have sex.” Thus, my own infidelity was all in even then, I didn’t realize he was a douche?
But Dennis was by far the longest mistake of my dating life. Early on when I asked him blissfully, “Are you as happy as me?” and he replied, “No, not as happy as you,” I should have ended it. That blatant inequality of affection really doesn’t have the durability to last a lifetime. But I stayed. I did more than stay; I insisted to myself for years that he could come to love me. Especially the version of me that would appear once I improved and became more normal.
I learned to distrust my instincts. This is the psychological equivalent of stabbing an olive fork into the flesh of your soul. After Dennis, I never again turned away from my instincts.
Christopher had been there all along. Because he’d always been my literary agent. No one knew me better when I was my true, actual self—as opposed to my contrived “dating” self— than Christopher. Sure, he was paid to endure me, but my instincts told me he Dennis several months later and made it last 10 years longer than it ought to have. And then I blew up my world, and all the pieces fell onto Christopher’s desk.
I was a wreck. But I was no longer capable of bullshit dating stuff. With Christopher, I don’t put my “best foot forward” or turn on the charm. I do not hold in my stomach. My behavior is extreme, manic, confusing, and irresponsible. Any other guy would have run out the door, horrified, leaving me to fester in the pit of my Whitney Houston videos. But as Christopher tells me, “I knew how awful you were when I married you. I love you!”
The parts about me I felt were defective, he sees as essential. What I considered a flaw, he views as a charming quirk. Am I crazy? Of course I am, but I’m exactly his brand of crazy. augusten Burroughs is the best-selling author of runningwithscissors and the memoir, Lust&wonder.