07 June 2006

I've had it

When I was five, I announced to my family with great conviction, "I'm never getting married!" This is possibly the best pronouncement I ever made if all those tv mothers and their badgering can be believed because my family has never hassled me about it.

My mom perceived it as a five year old's way of saying she didn't want to be like her mother. I don't know if that's what I was thinking then, but since it's true in some respects now, I don't argue the point.

However, when I was in college, everything changed.

The thoughts are there, but I feel reluctant to type. It's so much easier to be righteous when you're not talking about yourself. It doesn't seem like that should be the case, and yet for myself I find that it is. What once felt like standing up for what was right still feels that way, but it also feels vulnerable.


Despite my conviction when I was five, I became engaged when I was a senior in college. Nothing so strange about that except that it was to a woman. We had matching rings-- puzzle rings, should've known that was a portent-- but otherwise it was a quiet, amorphous thing which we didn't even tell our parents. To us it signified a deeper commitment, but there was never a date, never a concreteness to it. In our case, this was a good thing because things fell apart six months later; but I find myself thinking that if it'd been more official, I might've seen it more clearly and gotten out of it sooner.

Actually that wasn't the first time I considered marriage now that I'm thinking about it. I was on vacation with my family in Rhode Island during a break from high school. We drove past a handsome young man on the sidewalk wearing a long black coat with thick, black, wavy hair. "I'm going to marry him," I thought to myself, watching him until we turned a corner. Alas, I've not seen him since.

In the past few years, many of my friends have gotten hitched, and I confess I find it disconcerting at a time in my life when I don't see myself ever getting married. Some of these friends are also bi, but they've all married men. As happy for them as I am, a small part of me finds their perceivably hetero marriages convenient. Their families can sigh in relief, "It was just a phase, afterall," as they throw their daughters the big traditional bash.

Not too long ago at Everyday Goddess, I read Liz's post on marriage, or rather on not getting married even though she's straight and possible spouse gender is a non-issue for her. I was really impressed by it because it hadn't occurred to me that someone who definitely won't be personally affected by same-sex marriage bans might be willing to give up her right to marry in order to emphasize her support for a same sex couple's right to marry. I think that's pretty damn cool.

All of the political ruckus has added to my sense that marriage is something of which I don't want any part, and yet, I still jot down tunes every now and then to add to my wedding playlist. I may never have occasion to use it, but if I do, I can rest easy knowing that I won't be stuck with "Why do fools fall in love" for the first dance because I didn't have time to think about it; I'll have music that inspires me to sing and dance.

Maybe things will be better in five years.

One year ago at TTaT: Rare Fortune
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  1. Grrr... lost my first comment!

    What was I saying? Yes. Weddings!

    I love the bit about the guy you saw on your holidays. This has been happening to me more and more lately! More so since last week when most of my friends did not turn up for my birthday lunch because they're married and have to take care of the husband or babies. But Mauritius being so small, am sure am going to bump into one of my "am going to get married to him" guys soon enough!


  2. See? There is still a closet romantic in you. May be buried under many layers of skepticism, but it's there.

  3. Fitena: Happy belated birthday! If it's that small, maybe you just have a line-up, so you can pick him out. ;)

    The Retropolitan: lol. Just well enough, thanks.

    Kev: The 12 yr old in me is just making up for lost time because I never thought about it back then. But now I've seen what can happen when you're too busy to think about it, so it's on the backburner. ;]

  4. And would you change your mind if gay marriage was legal? It seem the issue isn't heterosexuals wanting to opt out of marriage (even out of protest), but homosexuals wanting to go the traditional route -- and finding ways to make that a reality.

  5. Neil: True enough. I don't know that I would. Perhaps to take advantage of legal rights not available to me otherwise but not because I have any desire to be a wife.

    I think of Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon's relationship, partners for many years but not married, as a variation to which I might aspire.