Some of you might have noticed that last night I was out selling Snarky Cards at Zeitgeist in The Mission. I have returned home to San Francisco, to celebrate my ex-fake-husband’s 30th birthday.
I’ve taken the opportunity to get the Hell off my couch, jettisoning myself out of the Art Shack, which is stuffed to the brim with cats and people right now. Steve and Emily have a guest room, with a ginormous, comfy bed. There’s a swimming pool nearby and a bart station. So I can swim in the morning, and go out selling in The City at night. And I can return home, to the comfy bed, and bask in the love of my friends.
Steve and I started fake dating 8 years ago. It took us two years to fake-marry. And then it took that two years to explode in our faces. No-one really gets my fake marriage. Most people assume that I married someone so that they could stay in the country. Steve was born in Rochester, NY. And he and I didn’t actually marry. We just had a purely emotional relationship. Partly because I think he wasn’t attracted to me. And partly because I wasn’t capable of more than a fake relationship. We acted like we were dating. And then, when I moved into The Funhouse, we acted like we were married. And our divorce was painful and long. Yesterday, at his party, all of his friends stood around, and told stories about Steve. He’s kind of a private person, as his sister pointed after he got embarrassed, and stole out of the room in the middle of our hoots and reminisces. I didn’t really get that until all of the people who love him were in the same room with him (not his idea). No wonder our fake-marriage didn’t work. I’m not even a little bit private.
I can’t imagine keeping my life private, and that’s, like, one of his goals. His sister was really happy to meet me. “Well, he didn’t want to introduce me to you when we were fake-married because I say the word cunt, and you’re too delicate.” I informed her, feeling triumphant that we’d finally met, despite Steve’s best efforts. “I wanna hear more about this fake marriage!” She leaned her pregnant belly into the question. “Well, it’s a lot better now that we’re fake-divorced.” I was feeling smug because Steve and I are so close now. But a room full of people objected. “The divorce was horrible!” Jen cut her eyes at me, making sure I remembered. Jon nodded his head, looking frightened. “It was like a real divorce.” Randy explained to his still-confused sister. I looked around the room, at my friend’s pained faces, as they mentally relived my fake-divorce, trying to figure out how to give the whole thing a sensible narrative. And I saw Emily trying to scoot between Steve’s sister and her husband, and I realized what had happened. And I realized that I could finally say it. “Yeah, and it would have stayed horrible between us, if not for Emily.”
“Really?” Steve’s sister sounded surprised. Maybe in the real world ex-fake-wives don’t usually get along with newer, perfect girlfriends. “Yup. Emily is the bridge to all things awesome. She’s the one who got us all here.” It was true, but I was also happy to tell the story of me and Steve without getting stuck. “To Emily!” I raised my glass and everyone in the room toasted the girl who fixed my best-friendship.
We were just trying to recover from our fake-divorce, when he brought Emily to Portland two years ago, to see me and some of her friends. I spent the whole weekend putting off being alone with them. I brought them to the bar, and then I disappeared to go off selling Snarky Cards. I made plans and then broke them, until finally he called and said “Could we please have breakfast before we leave town? I’d like to spend time with you.” So I couldn’t get out of it without looking like an asshole. I got high before I left the house, to loosen me up for whatever discomfort there was in front of me. I felt awkward as the three of us waited for a table, until Emily turned to me, and said to me “Steve tells me that you’re the reason that he’s good at communicating. And I just want to thank you because communication has been a big part of our relationship.” I froze, like I’d been caught doing something wrong. And then the last remaining bit of me that hadn’t forgiven him dropped, and smashed, and I fell in love with Emily a little bit. “Oh. Uh.” I stammered. “I didn’t realize he still said that to people.” She nodded brightly. I was amazed at how simply she’d put me at ease, and mended my relationship with Steve in one swift move.
Emily’s like that, her clear honesty sees you through uncomfortable moments, and where Steve and I break down, she picks up the slack. And so I have my best friend, Steve, back, and a bonus new best friend.
I realized, once I got here, that I haven’t been sleeping for the last month. Not just because I have been sleeping on the couch, but also because I’ve been worried about the next stage of Snarky Cards. I’ve been trying to figure out what kind of person I want to be in business. I’ve been wondering how to choose business partners. I’ve been trying to figure out what the next stage is. And I’ve got all these instincts, and intuitions, and feelings. And I’ve largely been trying to quash them. Because in business you go by numbers. And intuition is a woman thing. And Vagina’s are a weakness. Or at least, that’s what I’ve heard in all of the other business situations I’ve been in. And I’ve had over 30 jobs. I’ve been in a lot of business situations. Before Snarky Cards I had a sales career, an office-bitch career, and a book career. And I always closely watched the executives, the decision-makers. And I tried to figure out what I liked about what they were doing, and what I didn’t and what I’d do differently, if it was my company.
And somewhere along the way I let it sink into my beliefs that having a Vagina, and feelings, and letting those influence my business decisions would mean that I made bad decisions. But looking around the room yesterday, at the faces of our friends, I realized that Steve and I built a life together, and when it fell apart, they still loved us. And they still want to celebrate us. And without all of those feelings, and all of those friends, I wouldn’t have been able to get this far.
My life has been saved over and over again by my feelings and my intuitions. So, it’s OK if my business runs on those same feelings and intuitions. I can be successful on the strength of my friends love.
Emily let me borrow her scanner, so that I could bring you New Snarky Cards. So if you wanna check out my etsy site, just remember that it’s brought to you by my Vagina. And my intuition. And the love of my friends.