[If you like this IHTM contest entry, comment to that effect below and that will help the writer win the big money. Feel free to critique below too, so we can weigh that in our decision -- Jane]
I met Aurelio on Halloween. His 6-foot frame and heart-shaped ass were tucked into a storebought sailor costume, and I trailed him like a stray dog after a chicken bone for most of the night.
This was partly because native speakers of Catalan have the wildest accents, and it was all I could do to stop myself from repeating every vowel-heavy sentence that slid like syrup off his tongue and partly because it was my job. I was just hired to serve overpriced drinks and overcooked steaks at a music venue in the most tourist clogged part of Manhattan, and Aurelio was a veteran -- he trained me.
I adored him instantly right down to his abominable singing voice and unbridled affection for Beyonce. Anyway, who doesn’t love a good-looking Spaniard in a too-tight sailor suit?
I met Jackson the next summer. It was your run-of-the-mill courtship involving mutual friends, summer air, and a healthy dose of c’est-la-vie. I didn’t realize until his large, Southern-bred hands wrapped around me for the first time that he was good. Really good. Within weeks, we had fallen quite unabashedly in love.
So, I had wonder, when was the most appropriate time to divulge that Aurelio and I were to be married at City Hall?
At the risk of seriously damaging legal consequences (don’t look at me! Cat Marnell smokes dust!) I will admit 2 things: 1) Aurelio is living in this country illegally and 2) I am a really good fucking friend.
I knew he was planning on moving back to Spain after 5 years in the States, so I was pretty devastated. I made most of my friends in this city at that awful waiting job and losing one wasn’t going to be easy. But it wasn’t until we were sitting at my favorite Hell’s Kitchen gay bar before a shift (full disclosure: he swears it is not a gay bar -- and he should know -- but it has a DOLLY PARTON THEMED BATHROOM and it’s in HELL’S KITCHEN, so you do the math) that I heard his real reasons for leaving.
He had moved to America as a teenager without family or friends in pursuit of that elusive prick tease called Freedom. Gayness and gender bending are big taboos in most Latin cultures. Even sans the Catholic guilt, “macho” is very much a thing. And my dear, sweet Aurelio is many things, but none of those things is macho.
Unfortunately, living here illegally also means shit jobs as a busser, a food runner, a waiter if you’re lucky and that’s it. He can’t go to school or ask for help from anyone because he’s undocumented and therefore nonexistent -- albeit taxpaying, which is more than I can say for myself. (Seriously, if this gets published and I don’t get arrested, then O-BA-MA!)
He decided to move back so he could actually go to school and start a career even though it meant hiding who he was and probably never seeing America again.
So I was all, "Fuck that."
We decided to get married (I wish I could show you guys the pictures -- I wore tight white jeans and white bra top with this veil I made out of one of my mom’s old slips that I attached a ceramic bird and black pearls to) and move in together, and to do the damn thing!
In an even more sitcom-y turn of events, Jack had an empty room in his apartment so we decided to make that our new home. It’s now me, my husband, and my boyfriend under one roof, starring in a primetime TV mash up of "Three’s Company" and "The New Normal" -- Ladies and Gentlemen, we bring you Showtime’s "The Shitshow"!
And in the middle of the whirlwind that is Aurelio and I visiting our lawyer, gathering paperwork I didn’t know I had, documenting his fingerprints, and learning everything there is to know about one another -- 2 older sisters! Skipped 5th grade! The right side of the bed! -- I went and got myself knocked up.
Stay tuned for the HBO season premiere of "FUCKING GREAT DECISIONS, DUDE."
Because the sun shines out my ass (read: because I sleep with one of them and did the other one the World’s Biggest Favor), the men in my life are adorably excited.
Thanks to my Latin blood, it is physically one of the easiest things I’ve done (check back with me on that in my 3rd trimester). The insanity of the situation stems only from the impossible paternal dichotomy threatening pretty major legal ramifications.
Yes, shamers and nay-sayers, there are consequences of which we are aware -- but it is, at this point, a threat only -- and if you expect me to get all doomsday because of a potential threat then I am going to assume you’re a terrorist and This Is America We Do Not Negotiate With Terrorists! On paper, this is Aurelio’s baby. It is our paperwork that grants me Medicaid. Our names will be printed on the birth certificate and the little plastic baby bracelet.
But Jack and I are choosing baby names. Jack takes me to my doctor appointments, and holds me when I cry from the crazy and feels up my gigantic pregnant lady breasts. Jack is, and I quote, “Ready to be a father.”
So, logic and legalities aside, this is a baby born into the big scary world to not one, not two, but three parents of its very own ready to forgo pretense and custom for good, not-so-old-fashioned family love.