I, like most women in New York City associate firemen with sex appeal. There is something inherently seductive in being a strong person who runs into dangerous situations to save lives. Unfortunately, so many just see the strong body and big muscles and think it’s hot. Let’s face it: Most women objectify firemen the way most men objectify Victoria’s Secret models. It’s rarely the heroic selflessness of the individual that is a turn-on in and of itself.
In thinking of this kind of objectification, I recall having dinner with a girlfriend at a wine bar in the East Village, and there was a car fire. Every woman in the outdoor seating section turned, not to scope out the potentially dangerous scene; it was undoubtedly to check out the strong men of the FDNY.
When The Man received his run letter, I realized that my reaction to the fire trucks was significantly different. Where once there was little to no change emotionally, I notice now that there is an inner ache that is hard to handle. The first fire truck I saw after I knew my man was going to be a firefighter, I cried.
Some of you probably think I’m crazy, but hear me out.
Once upon a time, they were just trucks of faceless men rushing to the scene where people’s lives and belongings were at risk. In a very short amount of time, I will know one of those faces. It belongs to the love of my life– the most beautiful face I’ve ever seen, a face that I have kissed a half-a-million times, and the one that I have come to love more than that of any other man.
And there is a scary reality that those men on the trucks face every shift they work: Not every man will make it out without some sort of injury, and not every man will make it out alive.
I know that I can’t continue thinking of his career this way, because I will drive myself mad, but it’s a scary truth that I need to face, along with our friends and families. It’s something that every partner of the men and women of any fire department needs to take into consideration when deciding if this is a lifestyle with which they are ok.
The Man is someone I can’t picture my life without. I am trying to quell my fears and make the most of every moment we have as we continue to build a life together.