It occured to me tonight, as I was watching inane TV shows that my life is a bit of an irony. Isn't everyone's?
I'm absolutely anti-marriage because I think marriage is social control/religious control/taxation base but it occured to me tonight that I feel a bit left out because I've never had a lovely, down-on-one-knee proposal and the two marriages I've ever been a bridesmaid at (both weddings of my sisters) ended quite badly. And I had to make my dresses - and theirs -for those weddings, so I never got to do the shopping for a wedding dress with the bride thing either.
hmmm. What a dilemma. If someone asked for my hand, so to speak, I'd probably rather give them the actual hand than the metaphorical article; and bridesmaid dresses are invariably ugly, unwearable and the subject of much ridicule, so really, who wants it - not to mention all the stress that goes into putting a wedding together.
I'll tell you a secret: nobody in my family knows whether my partner and I are married or not. We've been asked a hundred times and in all manner of ways but we've chosen to not reveal the true state of affairs. Why? Well, a bunch of reasons.
My mom is a Christian, which, in theory, isn't a bad thing but in practice? Let's just say the dogma gets in the way of real, deep relationships. When my partner and I first met, there was a lot of resistance to the relationship, most of which was due to our age difference. That was an issue, but not as much as the fact that we had the full-meal-deal relationship, without benefit of clergy, which, for her, was just so sinful (she doesn't seem to be bothered by the reams and reams of children being raped by family members every day or that a child somewhere in the world dies from starvation every two minutes. Pre-marital sex? Man, that's top of the heap!)
About four years into the relationship, my partner and I went to Vegas for four days. My youngest daughter made a big joke out of telling everyone my partner and I had been married by a fake Elvis (her presumption). Her joke ended up being our saving grace: see, after that, my family members weren't sure what had actually happened anymore. Oh, and we went back to Vegas the next year. And we made a lot of noise about the drive-through wedding chappel on Vegas Blvd. heading to old Vegas: The Michal Jordan, Joan Collins Drive-thru wedding chappel. How quaint. I bet all their marriages last!
We've never answered one way or the other whether we did or didn't, and we never will.
Now, for all you parents out there, here's how to get your children to never tell you anything: nag, bug, harrass and put down because your dogma is right and theirs is flawed. After a while, you'll be in a position of not knowing what's going on and having no way to find out. Yah. You win. My mother cannot say one word about my and my partner's relationship - any of it, including the physical part - because she doesn't know if we've married or not! Perfect. Works like a damn.
Our decision to remain mum on the question has also quite stopped the nasty age-related slagging, because you can't slag someone's spouse -if that person is indeed the spouse - which is also a benefit.
Here's the drill: a marriage is a commitment between two people and requires a total of two other people and an official to make it official. There is no rule that says you must spend a zillion dollars, stress yourself out and put a year's planning into a one day event to make it legit.
LOADS of people marry in order to have the dress, the cake, the ceremony, the adulation and the tiara, and then wake up the next day going "Holy crap, what did I do?"
Ten years on, we're every bit as commited to each other as the first night we met (that's a whole 'nother blog).
If I could can what we have and how we do it, I would. I could make a billion dollars selling it, but I wouldn't 'cause it's just too precious.