Today is Marvin's birthday. In case you just got here or something, Marvin is my ex-husband. The former little missus.
I met Marvin in college, on the first weekend before sophomore year. We'd all schlepped back to school, and my roommate said, "I know a bunch of guys who've moved into what will become a truly unsanitary house. You wanna go see them?"
Of course I did, because remember college, when you didn't have anything to do but get in the car and drop in on a group of 19-year-old boys? I do that now some Saturdays and it's never as comfortable.
Oh, how I loved me some Marvin Gardens the second I met him. Look at him, all deep and unsmiling and playing his guitar like life is unsmileworthy. He was just my type. He was indifferent to me, which made him even more my type.
It took me that whole school year to get Marvin to ask me out--he thought I was obnoxious and too funny. Can you imagine? You all know for a fact that could never be true. Look at all this nonobnoxiousness.
I would also like to point out that he liked me only after I'd gotten a nice perm and went to the tanning booth. So I was hotter, is what I mean, because who isn't made hotter with a perm and a fake tan? I'm getting a little hot just THINKING of myself.
Anyway, I finally reeled him in, and I was berserk about him. You don't even know. Oh, I thought Marvin was the bomb. Once, I drove over to his unsanitary house--and you know what? He never drove over to my house. What the hell? Why'd I put up with that? Anyway, I drove over there, and all his unsanitary friends were on the roof drinking beer, which is a good combo, almost as good a combo as a perm and a tan. I waved at them and went to the front of the house to join them on the safe roof, which I'm sure was structurally sound.
The point is, there was Marvin, at the front of the house, sitting alone playing his guitar.
Of course, it took me 10 years to get him to marry me. Ten years and three geographical relocations. He left Michigan State to go to college in Boston, and I pined for as long as you pine when you're 20 years old. I think I pined for a good month or two. After Boston, Marvin moved to LA, and I eventually moved to Seattle. We'd talk maybe once a year, and every time I talked to his morose self, I'd think, Oh, THAT is the man I love.
Finally, in October of 1996, Marvin came to Seattle to visit me.
Marvin sneaked this picture onto my camera the weekend he visited me in Seattle. When I developed the film, there it was. Marvin, you could totally use this for your OK Cupid profile pic. Nothing's hotter than a selfie in the bathroom. Except for a perm and a tan. I also recommend that.
What I wanna know is what would make you say, "Oh, hell yeah" about a woman with that shower curtain? "Yeah, she's got taste like an 89-year-old. Break me off a piece of that."
And you know, these things happen. Neither one of us was a terrible person, although out of the two I was terrible-er. But we didn't cheat on each other or smash each other over the head with plates or anything dramatic like that. It just didn't work out.
But I have nothing bad to say about Marvin, not really.
Dear Marvin's Potential Second Wife:
You could do a lot worse. This person will make you laugh, and bring you surprise gifts, and tell you just what you need to hear when you're feeling bad. He stays in pretty much the same mood all the time, a mood I like to call amusing Eeyore. He'll call just when you're thinking of him, and he can play any song on any instrument, just like a little human juke box. Okay, yes, you have to listen to Rush. But the position of second wife is a position I highly recommend. You will never be bored.
So, happy birthday, Marvin Gardens. I am glad to be in your life. A perm part of your life, if you will.