(Musical Project post forthcoming…I’m just moving at a leisurely pace.)
Note: I do not believe we have any obligation, as humans, to pair up. I believe that some people are genuinely happy being single.
Note: I believe very much that any adult, gay, straight, transsexual, bisexual, etc. should have the legal right to marry whomever they choose. So, forthwith, when I refer to marriage in the following, what I am referring to is a couple who has had a ceremony (legal or not) to formally declare themselves in love and together. While we continue to fight for equal rights, I want to acknowledge that no law or legal document can dictate who we love and how committed we are to those we love, and certainly nothing I say in the following paragraphs is limited to those within the scope of current antiquated statutes.
When one attends a certain amount of weddings in a short time period, she finds it difficult not to mull the concept of marriage and all it entails. I have just returned from my third wedding of the year, and am about to embark upon a trip to Cleveland where I will take in another, and then off to Columbus go the Morgans to attend yet another. We’ve had to decline a few more. And we are awaiting invitations to one after that. To say that 2010 has been very much about havin’ and holdin’ is an understatement to say the least.
Let this post not be read with snarkiness. Each of these unique ceremonies have been and, I have no doubt, will continue to be overwhelmingly joyous occasions. It’s just natural that I sit here (wed for 4 years, 1 month, and 9 days) and reflect.
I think about marriage a lot. Is it relevant? Is it necessary? Is mine like yours? Is yours like mine? Why are there so many divorces? Does it even matter?
Before you get married, you only know of marriage what you have seen. And you have only seen other people’s marriages. And then, of course, there are the artistic forms of marriage we see in movies, books, music and art. But really, these range from simple reflections of marriage to complete fictional representations. Marriage is the combination of two unique people. And unique it will therefore be, and only truly experienced by the two people in it. Marriage is nothing like I thought it would be, and that, my friends, is a really good thing.
It’s not that I thought it would be bad. It’s that I thought it wouldn’t be anything. I thought it wouldn’t be different. But it is. You are treated as part of a married couple by people from the outside. And from within, you share a level of intimacy that is only, I think, experienced once you are married. And if it’s right, it gets better. And better. I think the ceremony of the wedding is important, too. Ritual is important. Ritual separates what is special from what is mundane. The funny thing is that in a way, marriage makes the mundane special.
I’ve talked here before about my decision to change my name. My Mom had argued that when you change your name, you are becoming a part of a team, in a sense. And she is right. Knowing it isn’t just you facing the world alone is a powerfully calming feeling. It’s easy to think about marriage in the terms of possession: mine, his, hers, ours. He’s mine. She’s mine. But that is flawed, and inaccurate. I am still so very much me. And I have to live my life. And he has to live his. We can’t live them for each other, nor does it really matter to whom things belong.
The last wedding I attended was my sister-in-law’s. I was her maid of honor, and my husband was a groomsmen. The combination of being sibling and sibling-in-law while also being in the wedding party was a pretty up and close and personal look into another couple’s life as I’ve ever been, minus perhaps my parents. I can say without hesitation that knowing these two are together fills me with joy. Honestly, they are a great couple. The weekend was perfect. Many happy tears were shed along with some sad ones, as we left our loved ones behind.
I know we are lucky. We have two families that have really combined in the most wonderful way. I know that this is not often the case. But even if it weren’t, we would still be a team.
He makes my life easier. And I make his easier. And we never get tired of each other. Sure we tiff. I have a firey personality. I’m short-tempered and easily irritated. I get snippy sometimes. I know it. I’m not proud of it, but there it is. I’m human. But lucky for us, marriage is human, too. I suppose some might say it really isn’t. It’s divine. Maybe.