“You can’t spell ‘arboreal’ without ‘bore’, you know,” her wife gently teased. “You can’t spell it without ‘real’ either,” she teased right back. There was a little bit of truth in her joking of course, there’s almost always at least a bit of truth in every joke, she was in fact bored out of her damned skull there in the Arboretum, but she didn’t mind being bored all that much just then. Her wife was a science professor at the local college, after all, this “outsidesy stuff” as she called it was what she’d spent her life fascinated with, from childhood on the family farm all the way up to her PhD. Her love for the stuff mystified her, sure, but it made her genuinely happy, so she was glad to see the love of her life overjoyed, even through she was absolutely stultified by all these trees that looked like any other trees, herself.
Anyway, she knew this cut both ways. She was a theatre person and would drag her wife into an arts and crafts store where she would be just as bored as she was there, from time to time. There was the costume shop she called “The Building Where Joy Goes To Die”, not even getting into when they’d go to a Michael’s or Joann’s and suddenly the joke tables would turn and it was her wife quipping about how the poor floral designer was going to die of “glitterlung” or how they’d leave reeking so much of artificial cinnamon scent people must think they’re strippers.
The scientist made the best of it in her artist wife’s world too, making a scientific discovery on accident when there was a line for the women’s restroom and she ducked into the empty men’s loo, that the cleanest places on Earth are the men’s rooms in arts-and-crafts store, positing that almost no one uses them and the few who do are nearly always fastidiously clean gay fellows. She felt a little bad, stereotyping gay guys like that, being as she was a bisexual married to a wife who was such a pure Gold Star Lesbian, she’d never even kissed a man outside of the trappings of a high-school musical performance of “The Pajama Game”. She felt bad, in terms of sexual solidarity, but as a scientist reflected that some stereotypes exist for a reason and, anyway, saying someone leaves a public bathroom pleasantly tidy is hardly the most negative stereotype around.
This is what love is like. Not pretending to agree on everything until you burst but being happy for each other’s happiness and doing what you can to get you through the things you will never understand. “Wasted away again in Arboretumville,” she sang to her outsidesy love, “savin’ seeds for that one Norwegian vault, some people say that there’s a woman to blame…”
“And I know,” her wife continued, “it’s this woman’s fault” and then they kissed each other softly. Because that’s what love is like too.
Last updated March 30, 2019