I always thought I wanted to get married… When I was little I fantasized about my wedding day. Not so much the man standing beside me (he was more of an accessory), but more what I would wear, the artistic inspiration for the event, where it would be, what we would eat, how many people would be in attendance. That sort of thing. So, I guess it had nothing to do with love, and everything to do with wanting to be the belle of the ball by having my $30,000 day like everyone else.

As I got older, I just figured I would be fine with marriage, since it was a concept that I have been relatively comfortable with since childhood. After all, I am a woman. Isn’t that what we are supposed to do? Meet a man, get married, pump out a kid or two, then spend the rest of our days with a nasty little martini habit and a really great vibrator. That’s why we’re here right?

Then… why did I want to vomit and run when he got down on one knee? Why did my surroundings begin to spin like a merry go round, while flashes of dagger glares, back handed compliments and 30 extra pounds played through my mind like a never ending nightmare.  I thought men were the ones who were supposed to freak out about losing their freedom, identity and sexual prowess.

Suddenly I began questioning my beliefs, my morals, myself… My place in this world.

I knew I had gently allowed things to move in this direction, and by gently I mean actively. But now that it was here… I wanted to abruptly shove it back the other way.

Return to sender please.

I like my last name. I like not knowing what tomorrow brings. I like being a free agent, and not having a dog leash attached to my neck while some man shows me off like a cheap Armani suit. This has nothing to do with love and everything to do with fear. Marriages fail, people cheat, get bored, and quietly resent each other until one of them has the balls to leave. Women stare at their husbands while they’re sleeping at night and secretly plot their deaths.

Who was I kidding… I have the attention span of a gnat and (in case you didn’t notice) a bit of an anger problem. I’m not marriage material. I’m reality TV and front-page scandal material.

I guess I surprised him by saying no.

Maybe he was only asking because he thought that’s what I wanted. Maybe I was only making him think I wanted it, because I thought I SHOULD want it. Maybe neither one of us “really” wanted this at all.

Maybe none of us should want this.

My sex life had come to a screeching halt, which was nice.. Because my dog had become a little too comfortable watching us go at it every night.  I was expecting to see him with a pair of 3D glasses scarfing down a bag of popcorn with his tongue hangin’ out of his mouth. And nobody wants their pets watching them shag. So the mental and physical break was sort of welcome.

There was this lingering feeling of “what next… what do we do now”… But I never really owned those feelings. Those were the feelings of decades of repressed women, media empires, and religious tradition leaking their way into my unconventional psyche.

I think it’s an inherent flaw in myself and others to assume that in order to have a successful relationship, marriage is the next logical step, when statistics shout loud and clearly quite the opposite. I am the confused result of 30 + years of classical conditioning, media, bad 80s sitcoms, and drunk abusive neighbours who really had WONDERFUL marriages (I swear). I’m like a post-apocalyptic outlaw trying to sit down to a nice wholesome dinner with the Cleaver family. I mean really… What the fuck would we talk about?!

I can’t help but admire people like Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, who have been happily unmarried for years. There are lots of examples of unmarried couples who somehow manage to dodge the dismal statistics that marriage seems to thrust upon the rest of committed society.

Then there’s the ones with balls. The free spirits, the anti-conformists, the ones who dance to the beat of their own drum. They go out; fuck and love freely, accept experience and variety into their lives, and often later the companionship of many cats.

Either way… Isn’t it better than snickering in bed every night while you imagine your husband choking on his dinner and dying?!


15 thoughts on “Unhitched

  1. Loved this post. Marriage isn’t for everyone. For me it has been great, none of the angst ridden nightmares you talk about. But, for others it just doesn’t suit. I have seen it go terribly wrong for others and it’s not pretty. You have to do what’s right for you.

  2. Humans are no different from apes when it comes to the primal desires of sex. Unfortunately, centuries of prudish wonks have created taboos which denote us as either players or sluts, should we deviate from these narrowly defined “norms.”

  3. Jen: Yes that’s true. It kinda makes your head spin to look at the statistics of failed marriages. It’s approaching 60%. That’s crazy!! However, there are some very good examples of people who love each other and have wonderful marriages. I’m glad it’s been good for you! 🙂 Too bad there weren’t more marriages like yours out there to serve as an example. Our world could use that.

    MVD: I couldn’t have said it better myself. I don’t believe that our innate primitive instincts tell us to settle down and get married… Quite the opposite in fact. However that’s what we’re told to do! It’ll be interesting to see where we end up in another 20 or 30 years. Will people even bother getting married anymore?! Or will we return to the family ideals of the 50s.

  4. I think in today’s time it has become more acceptable not to be married. I don’t think people view unmarried people as lepars anymore,especially those of us who are married we totally can accept their choice.
    I like a skit Wanda Sykes did” The guy comes home and asks her what’s for dinner and she replies” I don’t know whatever you want, I already ate. Why can’t we continue living the way we were before,but together?”

  5. if anyone feels ya, i feels ya…

    so much pressure is thrust upon us to find that Special Someone [cough cough] so you can be fruitful and multiply and preserve a legacy…and, boy, on paper, it looks great!

    …or maybe it’s just that i’m one of those unlucky schmucks who can’t make a relationship work because I’m a manchild in search of a parallel universe…

    It’s anybody’s guess…

    Anyway, i gotta go choreograph a new dance and write a new drum solo… got some bangin’ to do, you know…


  6. I think sex is overrated.
    It’s boring and it smells. As John Lydon said, it’s just over two minutes of squelching.

    Anyway, apart from that, you could do worse than read some of my short stories.

  7. thanks for a great post – refreshing spin, good humor.
    My question is – is there a serious part to this?
    Marriage should be considered serious. More serious than sex but even sex should be given more thought at times.
    “…wanting to be the belle of the ball by having my $30,000 day like everyone else…” – wow doesn’t the marketing machines of this wedding industry do the trick?

  8. Nicely weaved post. Something that may be overlooked here is that administrative and/or religious marriage comes second to effective marriage (the union of two adults who usually have kids). Policy of marriage which evovlves over time and cultures.

  9. I love this. You need to hear some of the things i hear about my decision not to marry. As an African, it is almost a taboo for a woman not to marry. They tell me i should get all those ‘foreign’ notions out of my head and this from friends my age!!! My mother feels ‘too much travel’ has corrupted me. There’s no doubt that if i marry, i will definitely end up as a failed marriage statistic. I so like my freedom!

  10. i think i want my mum to read this. haha! i don’t want to marry and i most certainly don’t want no offspring squishing out of me though i would ideally like to be single and adopt a li’l girl. and my mum and HER mum go through some facial yoga routine every time this talk comes up. i HEART this post, like i do a lot of what you write. nicely done =)

  11. maybe if you had got the dog involved things would have worked out?

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