Years ago, Sig Other and I were goofing around and talking about what we would name our fictitious future autobiographies. “Simple,” said I, “yours would clearly be called ‘What About ME?’” Sig Other laughed and agreed that no name could be more perfect. And so it stuck. Now, every time I don’t answer a phone call or email quickly enough or pay enough attention to every detail of Sig Other’s life, a cry will ring out across the internet or phone lines – the cry is a simple “What About Me???”
So tonite, as I sat at dinner with a group of friends on a Friday eve as Sig Other was 3000 miles across the continent, I checked my emails and discovered a text that read, “What about me?” That meant he was winding down his day or going to bed and couldn’t reach me. That meant he felt abandoned.
Sig Other loves attention. Sig Other loves to be the center of the universe, and his universe is mostly me. Sig Other is ridiculously generous, self aware, and flexible. He is also vaguely narcissistic. If Sig Other and I were asked to cast the movie based on the story of our lives, here’s what we’d do: I would make a list of fabulous actresses who are in or nearing their 40s but look much younger thanks to plastic surgery and a series of injectibles. After looking at women inappropriately attractive, I would cast the girl in the starring role who felt the most authentic to the essence of the woman I am. Sig Other would cast himself.
If asked about my rockstar fantasy, I could go into great detail about the outfit I would wear were I to have sung backup for the Rolling Stones on the Bridges to Babylon tour or I’d wax poetic about the little black dress and pulled back hair I’d have sported to audition for the contemporary equivalent of the girls in the Robert Palmer video. Sig Other would be lead vocals, songwriter and producer of his own eponymous band.
This is the fundamental difference between S.O. and myself. S.O. walks down the street assuming that all eyes are on him. I walk down the street and assume that even people who know me don’t see me. Sig Other is the exotic butterfly yin to my camouflage yang. And I like it that way. I like the deflection. I like that he is larger than life and over the top and outrageous. And I like that only those very close to him know the gooey, sweet center on the inside of the hard candy shell.
So when I get the insistent, demanding, plaintive text crying “What about me?” I simply smile and feel lucky and pick up the phone to call my sweet love.