There are seven fundamental types of catastrophes. Beauty is not one of them.
Wow, that was a long break huh? Yea it was.
Nothing traumatic or devastating occurred (thank goodness), just my odd self-discipline time-out tactics kicking in and cutting me off from all those vices I indulge in passionately… like blogging, until I accomplish a goal or two. I’m weird. I know.
But I’m breaking my own rules on this one because I have something on my mind and well, what better place.
So, Saturday was my anniversary with the mister, sixteen years to be exact.
And while I don’t share that sort of stuff publicly, he decided to post a loving message on Facebook. He’s the social one, I’m the recluse, so our whole existence is a balancing act of extrovert VS introvert tendencies. His sweet post resulted in congratulatory comments as well as a few texts from friends & even a card from our awesome neighbors. All well & good. But I knew it was coming……
The wiseacre “so when’s the wedding?” remark. That was it. Nothing about his actual post. No congratulatory statement, just ….”so when’s the wedding?”.
Well, I’m not one to get up on a soapbox or ruffle feathers but since we’re so often asked and in such brazen fashion, here goes …. Marriage is not a valid measure of the importance, success or relevance of a relationship. Marriage legalizes but it is not reflective of what actually exists within or missing from a relationship. Likewise, not being married doesn’t reduce the importance, imply a lack of success or categorically suggest irrelevance of a relationship either.
If that were the case, I know married people fully deserving of having their marital passes thoroughly [and I mean thoroughly] revoked. Those who have conformed outwardly while living other lives inwardly, in direct opposition of their vows & unbeknownst to their spouses. I know I walk to the beat of my own drummer here, as I tend to do with most things…but it seems “married” translates as a coupledom winner’s circle, the ne plus ultra of what it means to be in a stable, healthy, and happy relationship. But I think we can agree that every relationship has its own DNA. No two are alike and the scale of ideal differs for everyone. Sure, wedding planning seems to thrill many, but show me a marriage that compares to the hype, planning, overall excitement and celebration of that one day.
Which is why I’ve always thought it should work in reverse – put in the work by building the family [if that’s your plan], buy the house, live under one roof, exist with bills, deal with in-laws, compromise, fights, careers and all the prosaic deets that make combining two lives real AND THEN if after 10 years or so, you’re still riding the relationship high….go ahead & invest tens of thousands of dollars, call upon your family & friends & tell em’ to don their Sunday best & help you plan or celebrate making your thing legal. Go all out! After all, you’ve lived it long enough to know if you have what it takes to maintain a sempiternal love. By then, you’d be fairly certain it won’t falter due to lack of preparation, a mounting disdain of regret, or irreversible changing personalities.
Or, if you’re cool with just being in a serious relationship void of legalities and ring finger indentations, then ya know…. that’s cool too. Point being, it’s a personal choice.
Just like having [or not having] kids is a personal choice. Never ceases to amaze me how comfortable people are with asking me… “sooo, you REALLY don’t want kids?”, with a look of repulsive shock as they await an explanation. And I’m not just talking about good parents, even the shittiest parents who feed their toddlers McDonald’s for dinner chased by M&M’s for dessert. Those who fail to potty train by a reasonable age or bother disciplining properly, if at all – just all around shitty parents have questioned my lack of procreative interest. But, it would be all-out rude of me to flip it & ask … “and you want kids why?” … say it out loud, sounds rude doesn’t it?
So it’s not mine or anyone else’s place to diagnosis or suss out the reasoning as to why marriage or children are not part of a serious relationship. I try to spend my time focusing on me & mine. I implore everyone else to do the same. Just too many people in this world trying to open doors with the filthiest of hands.
Moral of the story: Individuality is real. Not everyone wants what you want. And it doesn’t imply there’s anything wrong with what they have or something is missing. No relationship is perfect but if it’s perfect enough for you, salud! Common choices are not meant for all of us. Understand, consider & accept before speaking – that’s key. And if you’ve asked & heard the answer many times before, don’t continue to question for your own sheer amusement. You already know. The older I get, the less tongue-biting control I seem to possess. Know that too.
And just for clarification purposes, I’m not some revolutionary man-bashing, feminist-marching, patriot of an all-woman-world, hear-me-roar uber-liberal DIY’er who makes her own shoes from leather satchel scraps…. NOTHING could be farther from the truth. I enjoy my relationship and I love my man. I just tend to think off the beaten path on almost everything traditionally taught. It’s just how I’m wired. Fortunately, I unexpectedly fell for someone who just happens to share the same views. Yay me! I’ve known I wasn’t keen on the idea of kids & marriage since I was six. And I’m perfectly fine with that… I just want everyone else to be too.
And, no, I’m not against marriage, I support my friends’ marriages, I come from a long line of really long marriages. I’m happy for them. I celebrate with them. I respect the choices of others without question. I don’t pry, meddle or manifest some sagacious facade regarding the shambolic problems of others. I don’t offer unsolicited relationship advice to anyone. And throughout the years, I’ve witnessed the discrepant romantic perils of others come & go but I don’t judge or indulge. Everyone has their own journey. It’s not my nature to impose. Yet I’ve had “acquaintances” do just the opposite to me – blatant malapert attempts to pry, disguised as friendly concern. But I’ve never been one to share. Most people don’t genuinely care & simply wish to gather fodder for their next gossip session anyhow. Furthermore, most are incapable of managing discretion so the only way to ensure your privacy is by respecting it.
One Day I just might marry, or I might never. I’m just not married to the concept that I need to be in order to validate, make official or somehow ultimately define what I’ve got.
And for the record, whether married, committed or dating…..here’s my short definition of a successful relationship:
At the end of the day, when the love, respect, dependence, obligation, independence, loyalty and understanding are equally shared, upheld & valued, then you got something there. That’s the foundation and whatever you do or don’t do with that is perfectly fine with me. Otherwise, there’d be just as many divorces as there are marriages…oh wait, that’s already happening.
And with that, I hope I’ve thoroughly answered the one question that’s been endlessly asked of us for the last sixteen years….and if not, I’ll be happy to redirect future inquiries to this very post. 🙂
Be back soon