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?!