Augusten Burroughs Bucks Tradition, Writes a Decent 'Modern Love'


Has the New York Times‘ “Modern Love” column taken a turn for the tolerable? First there was the thought-provoking Jessica Bennett essay about the meaning of marriage, then there that story of the old couple who were each widowed and found each other late in life that made me cry, and now it’s novelist Augusten Borroughs writing about what happens when you get married and you’re gay. Which might sound super boring and been there/done that but it’s great!

Borroughs’ essay is about the feelings he had about entering an institution that changes what you call the person you’re with (boyfriend, partner, husband, wife), as well as what you’re expected to do and say (have a reception, register for gifts, be excited). He describes feeling like he wasn’t doing anything right, save for a few choice moments:

“The one element I got absolutely right was our wildly inappropriate rings. As a gemologist and lifetime jewelry collector, I chose them both. Most self-respecting men would not wear diamond rings as large and flashy as these. We’ve often joked (because we’re deadly serious) about what ‘bad gays’ we are, and with no big ceremony, no gifts, no trip and no children, we confirmed it. Our wedding was apparently about jewelry, which is gay, but bad gay.”

Though at first glance this piece seems like its going to be primarily about the value of feeling “official” about a relationship and how marriage equality allows that, the truth is that it’s got incredible Rom-Com potential: Burroughs reveals two-thirds of the way through that he married his literary agent Christopher Schelling, who he had been in love with for ten years before convincing Schelling to date him. A decade of unrequited longing! Who is optioning the movie and when can I buy tickets?

Losing a ‘Boyfriend,’ the Best Way Possible [NYT]

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