Before the birth of our twin girls, I remember when life used to be about working out, getting stuff waxed, haircuts, long brunches, lively dinner parties with near-beer flowing, and meandering through art galleries in SoHo. Now it's so different. I almost don't remember what doing any of those things is like without a little bit of vomit on me. As dads, we still do everything we did when we were just two gay guys trying to make it through the world in a 32/34 501 and a boys large burgundy Lacoste.
I'm a big believer that our children are living with us. We're not living with them. But don't get me wrong... would I run into a burning building to save them? Sure. Though truth be told, I would really hope that the fire had just started and I could kind of step over the flames, grab the babies, and exit the burning building with no more than a ten-minute tanning bed redness. Would I lift a bus off one of them if they were stuck under it? I hope so. You see, I've always secretly feared that I'm the guy that's not going to get the adrenaline rush that will supply me with the supersonic strength needed to hoist a bus in the air and free my child. It's a terrible vision...
Errrr. Ahhhh! Mmmmm. I can't. I cannot lift this goddamned bumper up! How do people do this?!
Maybe it's my trainer's fault that I'm in this predicament. We spend too much time on my glutes and not enough time doing Romanian dead lifts. Wait! Perhaps I can save my baby and lift the car up with my ass. No such luck. A good dad could lift a 40-ton crane off their kid's foot. Now I'm never going to get the "Homo Bionic Parent Saves Twins" booking on Oprah, and my darling daughter will always have flat feet... literally.
We are beyond blessed that we have not had to face any real danger since becoming fathers. The only place it gets really weird for us is at the local park. On our first visit, we were attacked by a very fancy-celebrity-adjacent-lesbian-mom we know-ish. She sauntered over to me and spoke with a locked jaw. It went like this:
Lesbian: Well, well, well...look who's here.
Lesbian: You certainly picked the right park.
Me: What do you mean?
Lesbian: Max, look around...
I do. Paparazzi pace the perimeter of the playground like a pack of hyenas. Now back to the conversation with my lesbian frenemy. Don't forget the locked jaw thing.
Lesbian: That's Sharon Stone's nanny. The girl on the rocking hippo is Shiloh's best friend and those twins belong to Marcia Cross. I think she's in the bathroom...
Lesbian: Don't say that. You're not supposed to think it's cool. It's supposed to piss you off.
Lesbian: The 'razzi can't come in to the park but the second you touch the path to the parking lot, you're fair game.
Me: That's pretty bad, I said, pushing my daughter in a bucket swing.
Lesbian: No, what's bad is what your baby is wearing.
Me: What? You're kidding, right?
Lesbian: Honey, velour?! They look like they belong at a senior center in Palm Beach. I've got two words for you: Fred Segal.
I had two words for her too, but I kept them to myself. We decided to change parks. Now, outdoor adventures mostly consist of swaddling the girls in papooses and hiking them up a mountain that's in the Hollywood Hills. It's a populated trail. All types: gays, straights, young, old, and quite often, a gaggle of orthodox Jewish moms. Up the hill they schlep themselves in wigs, Sketchers and prairie skirts. Workout wear for Tevye's daughters.
Then a couple of weeks ago, we were trekking across the top part of the trail when I see a figure covered in black bee-keepers mesh coming towards us. As the person gets closer, I have to process a lot of information in a very quick amount of time. My mind clicked details off in this order:
--She's someone's ex-wife.
--Dressed like a crazy person.
--How's she doing that?
--Gloves in 90-degree weather?
--She might be famous.
--She is. She's a well-known actress.
She's now no more than five feet away. She wants to talk. She has that look. I have a strict policy with famous people. I call it, "The Dancing with Wolves Rule": Always let them come to you. Do not approach. Do not make eye contact and never try to feed them. Sometimes tossing snack food into a famous wolf's cage is okay, but only on rare occasions and it must be carb-free. However, it turns out this actress is a happy well-adjusted wolf. She wanted to say something and this is what she said:
Her: Look at that!
Her: So cool.
Me: Thank you?
Her: I've never seen water bottles like that.
Me: Excuse me?
Her: Your water bottles are so cute.
Her: Aren't those water bottles?
Me: You mean like something you drink from, water bottles?
Her: Yes. Very funn-ny. (SING SONGY) Very creative.
Me: They're babies!
Her: (CONFUSED) I'm sorry...
Me: Babies. They're my babies. They're little girls. They're alive.
Her: Oh, I...Oh my God, they're real!!!
Please add totally bananas to my description of said wolf.
Me: Yes, they're my daughters.
Her: (CALLING TO HER COMPANION) Robert, get over here. They're not water bottles. They're babies!
That's a true snippet of dialogue. I still see her from time to time and whenever I do, I immediately break my own "Dancing with Wolves" rule.
Her: (CLIPPED) Hello.
She doesn't remember me. She never does. Wolves have no memory.
Her: Your babies are adorable.
Me: They're not babies. They're water bottles.