I Made My Husband Out Of Paper Mache And My Love Life’s Never Been Better!
A good man has a tough exterior and a heart of gold. A great man has a body sculpted out of chicken wire and covered in old paste-soaked newspapers. That’s right, folks, I’m talkin’ paper mache.
I met my first husband, Clarke while studying abroad in Paris. Clarke was striking, tall, dark, and handsome. He had a successful financial firm back home in New York, so when my semester was up, I joined him on the Upper East Side. What followed was a whirlwind romance filled with the blissful ignorance of youth. We were married after just two months of dating, and were divorced just two months after that. It turned out the man I met at the Moulin Rouge while drunk on absinthe was not the man I married. Sure, our uncoupling was painful, expensive, and required by law, but it was also a massive learning experience. I exited the relationship with a much stronger idea of what I wanted in a partner, and I set out to find my true perfect paper mache mate.
I tried dating lots of different types of men; old, young – I even spent a half year dating only men with lake homes in Connecticut. It became quite clear that the perfect man wasn’t coming for me, so maybe, I thought, he should come from me.
I had some reclaimed chicken wire left over from our urban coop. It was the perfect material with which to sculpt my perfect man. Over the course of a few weeks, I invited past lovers over to take measurements, so I could have the appropriate dimensions for a man who would bring me comfort. I ended up with a form that was about 6’2” and completely transparent. Perfect!
For my paste, I used the classic flour and water combo. I figured, if it worked for elementary schoolers, it would work for me. Plus, I got all the almond flour in the divorce, and I was certainly not going to consume it.
I was very particular about the papers I used. Call me superstitious, but I stuck with the New York Times and did not use any pages containing ads, opinion columns, or sports recaps. My man was going to be all knowledge (and some comics). We were going to get along swimmingly.
Once I had the frame completely covered I set it out on my balcony to dry. It took about a week for it to harden completely (the only thing about him that reminded me of Clarke). I got a couple calls from concerned neighbors, which I guess is to be expected when you have what is essentially a 6-foot tall man-piñata laid out fifty stories up, but once I explained my circumstances, they were very understanding. We even got a few art gallery invites, but that’s something I wanted to wait on until we could discuss it as a couple.
My favorite part of the process was choosing what my new man would look like. I’m a naturally indecisive person, so the ability to completely change my partner with some paint and no outside opinions was a huge relief. I settled on some large blue rhinestones for his eyes, and I love getting lost in them. He’s turned out to be a pretty casual dude and fills out Clarke’s old khakis like a pro. Since he isn’t human, and doesn’t need to maintain a body temperature, I’ve chosen to leave him shirtless for the time being. He has plaster-hard abs; they’re positively starched.
It’s only been a few weeks since my paper mache man’s completion, but I can already tell I made the right choice. We’ve yet to argue, he doesn’t touch my food, and he doesn’t like to go out in the rain either. While I know his biodegradation is inevitable (isn’t all of ours?) I’m determined to make the most of the time we have together. And in case you were wondering he does have a name. It’s Clark. Without and e.