I've never truly thought about Bill's taste in women before. But today, today, I guess that I had to.
We had a class discussion today, about marriage and the different variations it has. That sinking feeling came to my stomach for a minute, and I felt trapped. I couldn't leave, that would be too conspicuous, but, at the same time, I was afraid, because I knew they'd be talking about people like me, and families like mine. I was afraid, for a minute, that someone else had figured it out, seen something they shouldn't have, and been just a little bit too smart.
My paranoia turned out to be unfounded. They weren't talking about us, about Bill, Nikki, Margene and the kids, they were talking about homosexuals.
Strange, but I've never really thought too much about it. I've always known that gay people exist, even growing up Mormon, you still see things sometimes, like the way Jacob looks at Anthony, and the awkward passes young men make at each other. Puberty is a funny time that way, and I was a quiet child. I saw a lot of things I wasn't supposed to, and I know what I'm supposed to feel about it, but, these days, I don't feel I can really judge anyone else.
Anyway, the discussion in class started a strange train of thought, a question that's eating at me a little. Because of Bill, I have Nikki and Margene, but what if I were gay? Would I have made the same kind of choices, even without Bill?
I don't think I would have more than one wife. I don't think I could handle that. Even now, with Bill's help, I can't help but be overwhelmed with them. Men are easy. Being with Bill is probably the easiest decision I've made in my life. I really do love him, even when everything is a mess, and we're both upset and frustrated. I love him. That's easy. Women, now, women are hard. If it were just us, everything would be simple.
Shifting from a household with three women down to a household with only two must be so much simpler. Still, I'm used to my life the way it is. Who could I have that would fill the roles Nikki and Margene do for me?
I suspect, were I gay, that I'd have someone like Nikki in my life. Someone who keeps going, no matter how tough things get. I admire her determination, how unwavering she is. She's capable of white knuckling her way through anything, and I'd need someone like that to hold me together, I think.
Nikki is a good mother, an even better cook, and capable of fixing just about anything. Having her is like having a second husband for when Bill's not around. She's the next best thing.
As for Margene, well, she's something else. I don't think I could be married to her alone, as much as I love her. She's so sweet, and so well intentioned, but she doesn't really know what she's doing. She would never intentionally hurt me, I know that, but sometimes, I don't trust her. I know it makes her feel so small when I take things out of her hands, but I was never good at playing William Tell. I'm always afraid her hand will slip.
I'm not sure what Bill was thinking when he married her. We already had a big family, and Margene, sweet as she is, just isn't such a practical choice.
I saw her today, scrambling to scoop up her boys and keep them from falling into the pool. She was running behind as it was, trying to get lunch together, and it was almost time for her to pick the kids up from school. She was exhausted, though she hid it well, and sweating. The sun beat down on her, and her whole body was shining. She had that smile still, that perfect, Margene "everything is wonderful" smile, and, in that moment, I completely understood Bill. In that moment, I almost fell in love with her myself.
Yes, Margene is impractical. But then, everything beautiful is.