Got My Eye On “That Guy”

Last weekend I packed up my mom, my niece and as many troubles as would fit into my suitcase and headed north. Waayy north—damn near to Canada. And after a 12-hour train ride and four hours of driving with just a dented metal divider separating me and my pretties from a six-story drop into the Pacific Ocean, we landed in the very sleepy (when not high on Humboldt County’s best or hopped up on methamphetamine) seaside town of Albion. OMG…meth is the white crack!!! But that’s a whole ‘nother story.

Anyhoo…along the way, I had plenty of time to think and so I did…about life, about being a thirty-something, about my career, about…marriage. For those of you who have been journeying with me for the past month, you know I’m big on lists. I love a list. Nothing like organizing and charting and tracking to fulfill my OCD cravings. What you don’t know is, just shortly after trying to rehab my unruly (now ex) boyfriend, I kinda sorta met the guy who seems like the one. The ONE one. Yeah, I know…it’s pretty huge. And suddenly, I’ve found myself a little list-less.

The fact is, he’s better than the “my husband” list I started compiling in Geography class when I was about sixteen and have dusted off and added onto for the last umpteen years. Much better. Granted, my list has morphed over the years…like, from “must love Prince ” to “should love Prince or at least be OK with the fact that I really love Prince and have a dream about him about once every three months.” But I’m still one of the pickiest, why-can’t-I-have-it-all chicas I’ve ever met. And detailed. I always thought it best to be really specific because God may have a sense of humor, but I don’t. Handsome, smart, wonderful, successful…gimpy leg? Not so much.

For the most part, I have really great taste in men, but I have to admit, I’ve always been a sucker for Flashy Guy. The guy who looks so good that even when I’m mad at him, I’m distracted, thinking, damn, he sure is fine. And when he walks into a room, men stand up a little straighter and suck in their guts and women get all batty-eyed and start talking and laughing a little louder because suddenly something’s so frigging funny. Hot blooded, hot temper, a ton of charisma and slightly unpredictable. Delicious.

But I can’t help but notice that my most happily married girl friends didn’t um, err pick flashy guy. They picked the great guy. The one at the family reunion that your mother and grandmother are like, “So and so’s husband is soooo great. He’s just such a nice, young man.” That guy. And I look over and That Guy is orchestrating a frigging little league game with everybody else’s kids and he’s wearing really sturdy shoes and perspiring a little through his t-shirt, but he couldn’t care less because he’s that guy. Aww…that guy.

Which brings us back to Albion, where we stayed with three friends who are sisters…all married with children. And when they’re not balancing one baby on their hip while baking a chocolate cake from scratch and making homemade plum jam simultaneously—I swear to God that I’m not lying-women still do that, and I saw it with my own eyes—they’re being wives to their three very different husbands, the observation of which caused me to have one of the biggest ahh-haa-haaas I’ve had in a very, very, long time.

Husband Number One: Flashy Guy

Really cute. With that mischievous look in his eyes. (BTW—it’s mis-chie-vous not mis-chie-VI-ous. I can’t stand that.) Anyway, just one look at him and you can tell this isn’t his first picnic, yet he’s kinda sweet in a brooding, troubled way and he’s fun to party with. CUT TO: Five years into marriage, he’s now a bit too friendly with the bottle and consequently, life is no longer a party for him or my friend.

Husband Number Two: Introverted, Relationship Guy.

When I met him, he seemed sweet and really attentive to my friend. He works with kids and is the type who’d rather spend quality time with his wife and daughters than in a man-pack eating Cheetos and guzzling brews. He seemed so aww…That Guy guy until about three years ago when he kinda imploded on himself and now has panic attacks in movie theatres because it’s dark and there are just too many people around and I wouldn’t be surprised if he eventually builds an underground fort because the world is getting oh so dangerous.

Husband Number Three: That Guy

He’s handsome, hard working, polite, social, works out with his buddies and after more than five years of marriage, he always puts his arm around my friend when they’re sitting next to each other. She’s happy, he’s happy, kids are happy, everybody’s happy. Is it a frigging raging fiesta at their house twenty-four-seven? I doubt it. But that’s why it’s called matrimony, not party.

Which brings me back to New Guy. He’s the type of wonderful and generous and responsible man that I’m sure the Universe has been trying to give me for years, but I was too busy trying to do a Steve Austin on Unruly Boyfriend to let him in. Yes, it’s early and I ain’t telling ya’ll all of my business, but what I’m saying is this—marriage is not for everyone. Honestly, all of those muffin pans and strainers and Cuisinarts and shit in my friends’ houses kinda gave me the willies. But, just like men shouldn’t try to turn a ho into a housewife, we women should stop trying to turn Flashy Guy into the perfect husband. So, instead of whining about no more good men, prisons, crack and the white man getting your man, maybe try looking for That Guy. Chances are he’s a lot closer than you think.

Kali Love is my sometimes brilliant, often obnoxious, alter ego. If I’m Chuck D., she’s a bit, well…Flava Flav with hers. So to protect my career as a writer/producer/Veuve Clicquot-sipping philanthrope, I shall re