We know we promised a column on “the perfect partner,” but after the recent inundation of celebrations of the gay-marriage legal victory, we had a few qualms.
Canada’s move is truly a significant rights victory on a global scale and anything that freaks out the US is always a good sign. And while we must remain vigilant against the provincial leaders and organizations that are trying to thwart this tasty victory, we do have reservations.
What happens once the delicious dawn of legal lesbian marriages gives way to the dim dusk of lesbian divorce? We fear that it won’t be pretty.
Caution: the images contained here may be offensive or disturbing to some viewers.
Let’s look at the facts: First, lesbians are notorious for moving in after the first date. Second, lesbians seem to use “commitment ceremonies” as often as straight people use children to “save the marriage.”
To their credit, lesbian couples work incredibly hard to achieve relationships that are somewhere on this side of completely dysfunctional. We try to achieve a parity that many straight people have never even imagined. But the desire to smash the stereotype that “homosexual relationships don’t last”-now combined with the illusion of stability that legal marriage may create-might do to lesbians what sticky divorce laws have done to straight people: keep them together when they ought to go their own separate ways.
Lesbian and Hollywood celebrity love affairs have a lot in common: most of us have a number of intense, highly public relationships that go down in flames (for the celebs in the tabloids; for the dykes, we might as well have tabloids). True, some of us stay together as long as Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell or Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward have done. But face it, as with Hollywood, there is more drama in divorce, and now we’ve just made it legal. Eek!
Okay, let’s not panic. No million- dollar movie contracts, or houses in Venice Beach are at stake. Let’s examine the existing patterns of lesbian breakup and see how these might play out in court.
Scenario 1. One or both of the partners is really emotionally damaged and unwilling to look deeply at her own issues and so takes partner after partner down her road of pain. They say crazy things, they occasionally get violent, and when they break up, any friends they have left say, “Not a moment too soon!”
Pre-legal marriage ending: Whoever has the biggest truck moves one of the gals out (yes, they did move in together). A few possessions get left behind, a few slip away, there is a big fight over the pets, but mostly, recriminations continue only until the craziest person sets their sights on a new mate.
Post-legal marriage ending: Oh, it’s going to get really ugly down at the court house. Dykes screaming at each other, lawyers galore, and whole softball teams lined up with their trucks to cart away everything, and we mean everything, the losing party once owned. Ouch! There goes the flat screen TV.
Scenario 2. Both women really loved each other and really tried and it just didn’t work. Separating is a very good decision for everyone, and happens quite amicably even though there are wounds to heal.
Pre-legal marriage ending: Luckily for single lesbians everywhere, both parties will find happy new relationships. Over the next year there will be a few phone calls about where the measuring cups ended up, and whether the Weber cooker is available for the weekend. The dog has two places to stay, and never has to go to a kennel again.
Post-legal marriage: For a small fee (we don’t know how much yet, but we’re told that average heterosexual dissolution costs $350, more if there is joint property to write about), the parties go down to the courthouse and get official dissolution papers. They feel kind of embarrassed because, after all, they did make such a fuss at the wedding. They try dating again, but instead of just being a single gal on the make, they are now “divorced.”
Scenario 3. Some weird thing happened and one or both of the women are temporarily insane. They break up, but it’s the dumbest thing they ever did.
Pre-legal marriage: They get back together in six months.
Post-legal marriage: They pay for a divorce, go through the embarrassment of announcing the divorce, and regret both the marriage and the divorce. They either: never get back together because they “believe” in marriage and it’s too embarrassing to get re-married (really, how many times can you get presents from the same people?), or they get back together and never speak of marriage again.
Now, worried as we are about lesbian divorce, we do have a few solutions. We’ve noticed the very large number of new advertisers offering wedding related services, from catering to lawyering to photographing to certifying. It seems every entrepreneur can find a use for gay and lesbian marriage. We’re planning a divorce mediation consortium called Lesbian Avengers . . . but we can’t tell you about it until next month, so What the Fuck!