I was lucky enough to perform at Women of Letters over the weekend, it was such a powerful, uplifting and moving day. You must get along to one if you can. The theme was: “A letter to the thing I didn’t know I wanted” – I chose to write it to my husband Scott, he was in the room when I read it out.
I thought you may like to read it so I’ve popped it below.
To my husband Scott, the straight man I didn’t know I wanted.
Darling husband, as you well know – I’m as camp as Liberace’s gay lovers’, gay dogs’ gay lover’s diamond encrusted, bleached to perfection, anus.
There’s no denying it.
I’m a gay man trapped in a straight woman’s body who looks like a lesbian, I cover all territories. I’ve loved gay men from the moment I became aware of them, well before I met you.
Around the age of 17, when I got my first serious boyfriend, I realised that a straight man could never fulfil me in a way that my gay friends could. So I decided that I’d be very happy, once I was done with all the sex stuff I needed to get out of my system, to marry a homosexual man.
I saw my future groom to be somewhere in the realm of George Michael circa Wham with a little bit of Ricky martin thrown in for some masculine highlights..
I also pictured what our life would look like, we’d decorate and redecorate the house forever and workshop our outfits endlessly.
In the unlikely event that we ever needed sex, we’d jointly target footballers and tradesmen and get it done in half an hour, then go back to being us. We’d live in a house on a hill, have 34 small dogs and a gin fountain. I’d wear turbans before the complete facelift in my 60’s and there’d be a long winding staircase that my gusband would carry me up each night.. Yes, you’re right in thinking that my ideal life greatly resembled the plot line of Sunset Boulevard.
So darling, as you can see, I’d constructed an elaborate fantasy that did not involve meeting you.
The most heterosexual man on the face of the planet.
Someone who can be the literal enemy of style.
Someone who has ZERO interest in Beyonce.
Someone who on a regular basis questions why we need throw pillows in our life..
When we met in late 1999 at the Victorian Institute of sport, I noticed you straight away. It was your utter ruggedness that first struck me, your strong meaty hands also caught my eye. They seemed to be hands that could kill a bear, hold the heaving weight of the world that I carried on my shoulders, and tie useful knots should the occasion call for it!
The second thing I noticed was your jaw; strong and prominent.. One I immediately wanted to touch and run my fingers along. You looked like a surfer, and oddly I liked that. As you well know, I’ve been bought up to fear sand by my Italian immigrant Father, so that was a revelation.
I remember catching myself in the moment, and wondering what the hell was happening to me?!
Why was my chest on fire? Wait.. Why am I seeing our wedding day before we’ve even uttered a word?!
Oh God I’m seeing just a lovely, SIMPLE ceremony, on the beach!
I’m in.. DEAR GOD.. I’M IN BARE FEET!
Where are the matching white linen Versace suits? The doves? The horse drawn carriage for the groom?!
But there was no going back, I was completely smitten with you Scott Moloney Barrow.
I remember our first conversation, I requested your help with some stretching. I found out you that you were in fact; a keen surfer, base baller (explains the hands) and could do the splits three ways, hello ladies!
The gays of course adored you, they all fell in love with you.
You were some exotic creature to us.
Calm, measured and unflappable.
You didn’t moisturise or manicure yourself in anyway.
It took you a year to ask me out, but that is the last time we did anything slow ever again. When you took me out to dinner at Revolver for Thai you didn’t realise you were locking into a glittery, unpredictable, emotional tsunami. Because I pretended to be neat and normal for a good 4 months..
Then I fell pregnant. We’d been living together for a week..
Marchella arrived just over one year after our first date.
Then you got a job in Adelaide and we moved.
Then I got on Australian Idol
Then I got a job on Breakfast radio in Perth and we moved again
Then I got pregnant again.
Then we bought our first house.
Then I got post natal depression
Then we got married.
Then I quit my job in Breakfast radio and we had to move back to Melbourne, in with my parents.
Then I took up stand-up comedy and we were POOR. You had to work in a factory and I was taking anything I could get.
Then we separated for a year
We both moved back in with our parents
Then we got back together
Then we bought a house
Then I wrote a book, a song, went on a national tour and started radio again.
Then not surprisingly we got separated again
Then we got back together again
Then I got another job in breakfast radio
And here we still are.
After 3 interstate moves, 2 children, 2 dogs, a wedding, depression, 2 separations, your unemployment, my unemployment and numerous extended family dramas- we are still here.
A rock steady crew team.
Thank you for getting me.
And accepting me after you got me.
For being kind when I’m fragile.
For being my moral compass.
And continuing to love me not matter what – Which I accept, probably isn’t always easy.
And for pre-reading my emails and columns and books before they are unleashed upon the world. Your level head and good heart have saved me from numerous law suits. As you know I tend to lead life with “get fucked I’m right” and your ability to soften that to a “Lets agree we need to workshop that further” is truly appreciated.
Up until I met you, I’d surrounded myself with enablers of my drama, fast paced mind and poor life decisions. You appeared and showed me another way, granted I have spent a great deal of our relationship fighting it but now I see how you gently guided me out of many storms.
You’re the soothing balm to my sunburn, the valium to my anxiety and the extra strength canniston to my thrush.
While writing this letter I tried to imagine me now, explaining to 18 year old Em, the man she’d end up marrying.
She’d be horrified..
“He’s a cyclist?! He wears lycra with zero self-consciousness?! He recycles?”
It’ll be 17 years together this September you majestic dickhead, and things certainly don’t look like slowing down anytime soon.
Let’s hold the fuck on and see what happens eh.