Sunday, August 26, 2012

If you love pizza so much, why don't you marry it?

One of the advantages of being married to a dj is that I get to attend a lot of weddings I wouldn't ordinarily be invited to. (That, and killer guns from carrying all those crates of records and equipment, ha ha.) This allows me to muse upon the meaning of love, while people I don't know well go through the rapture of seeing their very best friends make touching public proclamations.

It's also a curse because I have a very antagonistic relationship with marriage itself. My own union has its issues (who knows what they're doing when they're 23 years old?), but I have convinced myself that it's like the Santa Bunny of relationships. There's no way that actual humans could recreate what has been promised to us. At first you stand there, in that frilly dress, and pretend that you've made an adult decision. But some time down the road you realize, I've assigned myself a lifetime roommate, and there's not much romance in that.

I put "believe in love" on the bucket list at one point. That might have been cynical. I think I believe in it, but I'm not sure what kind of love it is. People ramble on about marrying their best friend, and I've always argued that can't be the same person. Your best friend needs to have your back when your spouse is on the rampage. And vice versa, really.

As a woman, marriage takes away your individuality. In the social / family spheres, I am the wife of RB. It's only at work where my own achievements are relevant. I'm not even supposed to TALK to men whom I am not married to. And why would they want to talk to me? I can't offer sex, because I'm having a fidelity contest with this roommate I used to feel romantically about.

We were at at wedding this weekend. At one point in the evening, I had a discussion with an art professor about gay marriage. I've always said, yes, but why the hell do you want THAT institution? He was actually disappointed that gay culture couldn't think of a better way to arrange relationships, which made some sense, too.

So here's my proposal: why don't we marry our friends? Stand up, in public, with our fancy clothes on, and say, I promise to always be there for you? Cut the romance baloney out of it. Romance is for dancing or glancing. Set up household with whomever you please, using contracts. Leave your money to non-profits or the third caller with the right answer for the trivia question.

I'd go first, but I fear we're not ready. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

You've made a decision by not making a decision.

What I really discovered at the brief discussions with classmates last weekend (I avoided the cocktail-dressed standing around event, for the shorts-n-beer standing around event), is that although it seems everyone just wanted to get as far away from Hometown as much as I did, I did not make it. I don't know why this shocks me, but it does.

Yes, I know that comparing yourself to others is the definition of hell. But it is also the point of "class reunion", yes?

It really shouldn't be a shock. I was right there while it happened. And I'm going to generously estimate that 50% of those events where choices I actually made (as opposed to letting things abide), but it still ended up in the exact opposite of my desired result. I have always lived within 5 miles of the house I grew up in. I work across the street from the hospital where I was born. I went to the state university in town, twice.

Yet, I don't feel duped or unhappy. I love knowing all the houses in the neighborhood, and having the back story on so many stories. I feel like I belong here.

And it's not like everyone got away, either. There are quite a few that stayed in Hometown. One man, who described his desperation to get away after high school, basically moved to the mid-state equivalent of our Hometown and created a life he could have just as easily lived in our Hometown. I understand. I know how this could happen.

I just always pictured myself in a major city. But then I took none of the steps to get me there and now I would give up none of my prizes to do it in the present. It's time to let the dream die. Isn't it?