How I Fell in Love with Superheroes or Life is Better Behind the Mask

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My gay ex-husband and I were great friends.  Sure, I did not always know he was gay, I just thought he was shy with girls and a bit on the nerdy side.  Little did I know…  However, I did pick up some geek-like interests in my tenure as his wife.  One of them is a mild to moderate interest in super heroes.

My ex did have a “friend” dating way back to junior high school who had a high paying, very specialized job in a small town was well-groomed, and not all that unattractive if you like well-groomed sort of cute short guys with very good jobs, and who doesn’t?  However, he NEVER, EVER had a girlfriend?  Really?  He had perhaps the third highest paying job in a small town with few jobs to begin with and no girl snatched him up?  And he was “best friends” and roommates with my well-groomed, sort of cute, high paying nerdy husband? Yeah, right….  Anyway, my ex’s “friend” had an immense collection of comic books.  This “friend’s” interest sparked interest in my husband, in comic books only I’m sure, and his interest sparked mine.


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I was not really a convert until the Spiderman movie in 2002.  I think it was when Peter Parker first got his spidey-sense and kicked the bully’s ass in school when a classmate said, “Wow, Parker, you really are a freak.”  Peter Parker can climb freaking walls and swing to buildings through webs he projects from his wrists and he can still cannot get any respect.  Sigh, I guess high school is still high school even for superheroes.  He can fight crime, but cannot get the girl.  Of course, I think Mary Jane is a bit of a gold-digging bitch, but that’s another story.

I think what appeals to me about superheroes, especially Marvel superheroes, is their humanity.  It is as if their extra-ordinary powers highlighted their ordinariness.  In the case of Peter Parker/Spiderman we see that beneath the mask and even with all his powers he is still lonely and needs to be loved.  Remember the scene in Spiderman II when he stops the train from going into the river and falls exhausted into the passenger’s arms and one of them says, “He’s just a kid, no older than my son.”  These faithful New Yorkers paid Spiderman back for protecting them by protecting his identity.  I love that scene.


I am also attracted to superheroes not so much for their power, but more for their need to privacy.  I suppose I too hide behind my mask.  My mask and secret identity protects my private life and my family while giving me the power to speak freely about “impolite” topics like love, sexuality, and relationships.  Although my ex is pretty much “out” in his town, I still do want to protect him yet tell my story at the same time.  Maybe Charlotte Jay’s story is bitter pill taken more sweetly wrapped up in a bit of sardonic humor.

There are all kinds of new summer super hero movies out that I will have to have someone else take me too.  The last two Harry Potter movies I had to see with two different guys because I cannot seem to maintain a relationship long enough for a two part sequel.  I had seen every other Harry Potter movie and read most of the books with my ex-husband.  It was kind of sad. I have also had to see Ironman II, Thor, Green Latern, and now Captain America I will have to find some other man to take me, but it will not be the same.

My ex-husband hurt me a lot, most of which unintentionally.  I miss our lifestyle.  I hate having to struggle financially like I am, but I try to see it as an opportunity for self reliance.  I have never had to make it “on my own” before.  It is scary.  Throgh this experiment in self-reliance, however, I find a deepening spiritual relationship.  I hope I can find a balance so I can still speak freely (and humorously) in Loveawake blog.  But I think I really miss my best friend.  My best friend who used to dress up with me at Halloween.  I will never forget the year we went as The Flash and Wonder Woman.  That was great fun.  I cannot see any of my current beaus going for that.  Besides, let’s face it.  Gays through the best costume parties.  Maybe he and I were so good at being other people and reveled in “theme parties” because we were so good at pretending.  But I’ll tell you what, life with him, as fake as it was sometimes, I miss it.  I miss our carefree made up life.  Real life is hard, and not nearly as much fun without capes.

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