As Drew Barrymore once said, “To be a good writer you have to write what you know. Well, this is what I know.” Marriage has been on my mind a lot in the last few months, but in a different way than I’ve previously experienced. Suddenly all my daydreams of white picket fences and happily ever afters are going up in flames. I stand in the midst of them, smoke wafting all around me; and instead of watching horrified, I’m waving good-bye with a smile on my face. Suddenly, I’m relieved to see them disintegrate before me. It’s like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I have been liberated. Let me explain.
Marriage is another reason I feel I was born in the wrong time era. For me, marriage is till death do you part, not till I get bored with you or till things get too hard. It’s not till the fluttery feelings fade or until I can’t stand to look at you because you reflect me and I’m ugly right now. It’s a commitment that is based on more than our flighty emotions. Believe it or not, marriage is about more than just me and what I want, especially when children are involved. So, it’s no surprise in our narcissistic, “Me” generation divorce is the highest it’s ever been and we barely bat an eye anymore. It’s more common for people to separate than to stay together and slowly, but surely the idea of marriage has become antiquated with many deciding to take a hard pass. Nowadays all it takes is a well timed statement expressing their deepest regrets and “commitment” to the future, we shed our single tear and the next minute we’re back to talking about selfies because it’s so commonplace, why waste time and energy on it? And this is what I’m supposed to look up to? or learn from? Someone needs to change the vows we make at the alter to “For richer or richer, in health and only health, till I’m done,” because we clearly aren’t abiding by the ones we say now. It feels as though we’ve redefined commitment to suit our needs and desires with no regard to sacrifice or honor.
You might presume that my thinking about matrimony gives me a better chance at a successful marriage; but I’m only one half of a relationship. That’s the real dilemma. The success of your marriage is dependent on an unpredictable human being that can lose their minds at any moment and do a 180 degree turn away from you and your marriage. Relationships are a huge risk and with the mentality shift of “Let’s see how it goes,” instead of “Till the end,” who wants to bother? Not me.
I know some of you may be thinking that this is an irrational fear and that I should just get over it because I’ll be missing out, but… I don’t want “divorcee” to ever succeed my name. It’s not in me, it’s not who I am. I don’t know what fairy tale I was living in before, but now I am painfully aware that there is no guarantee of that in life, now more than ever. So I ask myself, to marry or not to marry? It’s a weighty choice because I’m not about being in relationships just for the sake of being in them. It has to be going somewhere, have a future. I’m also not the type to live with a man as though we were married when we aren’t. Yes, that means no sharing a home and no sex. So, where does that leave me? I would say that qualifies me as a nun. I wont ever say the words out loud because celibacy is not something to be taken lightly. It’s a commitment that should be entered into thoughtful and confidently without feelings of anger, bitterness or disappointment clouding your judgment.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m really hoping that in a few years I will be eating my words; but I can’t deny that the older I get the easier it is to remain single. Thirty is two years away and though that is by no means the end of the line for me, I would just like to point out that if we were living in the Regency Era I would practically be a spinster. Age isn’t the issue here though, it’s desire. It’s deciding if someone or something is worth the risk, worth the possible consequences. Day to day I literally feel myself get more and more jaded. I can’t even watch a romantic moment in a movie, one of my simple yet profound joys in life, without scoffing under my breath about how unrealistic it is or how that would never happen in the real world. What’s worse is I will literally go off in rants. I was watching the proposal scene from the movie “Leap Year” on YouTube and I laughed while saying things like, “Enjoy it will it lasts, cause it wont” and “You’re idiots, you’ve known each other for a week.” Though there is truth to some of the things I stated, it’s a movie, it’s not supposed to be realistic. Movies purposely tap into the things that don’t happen in real life, into fantasy. I’m aware of this and yet I can’t just enjoy a sweet moment of suspended reality. Nope, I have to muck it up with my cynical realism. This is where I’m at.
In conclusion, the jury is still out about this issue and to be honest about how I feel about this new version of myself. I used to be a hopeless romantic and now that the rose-colored glasses are gone the phrase, “ignorance is bliss” comes to mind. Help me out Little Darlings? What do you think about what I’ve said?