I'm getting married in less than two weeks and can't think about much else.
Mostly I worry about:
A) fitting into my dress (cream-colored Indian cotton, tea-length skirt) and
B) how we're going to unload sixty Ikea champagne flutes after the wedding.
But I've also been thinking about my fiancee's brain. And my own.
ABCNEWS.com recently reported on a Swedish study indicating that the brains of gay people are more like the brains of straight people of the opposite sex than they are like straight members of the same sex. The study bolsters the conventional wisdom — popular among gays and straights alike — that homosexuality is not a choice but a physical condition.
In purely reductionist (and slightly facetious) terms, gay men have girl brains and gay women have boy brains.
No kidding. You've seen them, two women maybe, boy brains both, deeply in love. They dress like twins — identically cropped hair, polo shirts, khakis.
But what about when a straight woman's brain falls in love with a gay woman's brain? How to describe. Butch/Femme? That's very old school, almost vintage, which is why Margie and I secretly like the terms. I chose a retro theme for our wedding invites.
Margie and I will be wed in the garden behind our newly renovated (well, not quite, but more on that later) home in the Berkshire foothills in front of about 60 friends and family.
We found the little Massachusetts stone house two years ago. The stocky, tough-talking real estate agent from Boston couldn't believe her luck when she let us in. We walked across the orange shag carpet to the enormous picture windows looking out onto acres of garden, white birch and mountain laurel in a trance.
Our teenaged Bearded Collie grinned widely, lifted one leg and relieved himself against one of the wooden supports before anyone could do anything.
The rarely emotive Margie stood in front of the ski-lodge style fireplace and made an announcement. "I love it! We'll take it! I don't need to see upstairs!"
We did take it, but I still had my job in the city. It became our weekend DIY project. And my weekend escape from the chaos of a difficult work situation. And also escape from a level of commitment ambivalence that made my pulse race, feeding my impulsivity. In the country with Margie, there was no temptation.
I had affairs, though, with men. Eventually, I fled our home and, ironically, through an intense but short-lived relationship with a near-perfect guy, I realized the depth of my love for Margie.
He was attentive, adventurous, smart. I really liked him, but I couldn't love him, because I was already in love.
I'm so glad she wanted me back.
These days my mother and I are creating and revising the wedding menu by phone (she lives in South Carolina), and my dad (who lives in Cleveland) has come through with the cash for my favorite champagne and an extraordinarily difficult-to-book DJ.
Margie's 80-year-old mother, Juanita, is making the trip from the suburb of Shaker Heights, Ohio, to sew chair cushions and curtains in preparation for our overnight guests. Margie is her youngest child — her tomboyish baby. Juanita and Margie's older sister knew she was gay before Margie did.