My new favorite program on television right now is Big Love on HBO. For those of you who have yet to indulge yourself in this guilty pleasure, here’s the gist: Bill Paxton plays Bill Henrickson, a product of a fundamentalist compound who still believes in polygamy, though it’s illegal in Utah and has been banned from the mainstream Mormon church. On the show he juggles three wives (all of whom have their own houses side-by-side and share an adjoining backyard), seven kids, bat-shit crazy parents, and a huge amount of debt. Oh, and you also get to see Bill’s pasty white ass in almost every episode. Nice.
Being single, unsure about marriage, and a cynic about love, it should be no surprise that I am absolutely fascinated with this show. Between Big Love and recent news reports about certified nut-job Warren Jeffs, a leader of his own fundamentalist church of Latter Day Saints who is accused by the FBI of arranging marriages between underage girls and older men, polygamy is once again a hot subject. Naturally, no matter what you believe about polygamy (for the record I’m against it), your thoughts lead to a place where we’ve all been — is it natural to be with only one person for the rest of your life?
I truly believe you never find the “One,” however, I can think of distinct qualities in all the men in my life that I love: Dana for his sweetness, Lee for his ambition, Greg for his honesty, Chris for his sense of humor, Eric for his good looks, and Caleb for his ability to drink. Now if I could create my own perfect Frankenstein through a series of an emotional Frankenstein, life would be sweet, but for some reason my boys haven’t agreed to that yet. So since I can’t get all those qualities in one mind, body, and soul, why should I tie myself down with one love? Probably because I would end up on the shitty end of the deal.
As much as I try to pride myself on being a down-to-earth chick, my ex-boyfriends will happily point out that I’m an attention whore. Once I commit myself to the girlfriend role, I demand undivided attention and my insecurities go into hyper mode. I don’t want the man in my life talking to, let alone looking at, any other female I might feel threatened by. Something tells me that wouldn’t go over well in a polygamist household.
So emotionally, polygamy wouldn’t work for me. But what about sex? Honestly, I do cringe at the thought of sleeping with only one person for the rest of my life. But, of course, it’s a one-way street — I’d want to be able to go out and get it on with whoever tickled my fancy that evening, but my boyfriend would be expected to stay home and have dinner ready as soon as I stepped in the door. See what I did there? No doubt you recognized a little role-reversal with just a hint of bitterness. Yeah, I’ll own that.