Monday, June 17, 2013

holy crap, this really is a four diamond hotel - they have gourmet butt wipes! (a post about marriage, kinda)

i feel a little bad because the title of this blog post would lead you to believe that the content is a lot more fun than it is. gotcha! sorry!

i actually did exclaim the above phrase when DM and I checked into our fancy hotel for our fifth anniversary celebration this weekend. i may not have found the butt wipes so enthralling had we not been wine tasting for the previous 4 hours, but i am still dreaming about that glorious goose-down cloud that they call a bed - a three letter word inadequate to describe the heaven that it entailed. sigh.

AAAAANYWAY. fifth anniversary. marriage. wedding. wine. i have been thinking a lot about marriage lately, what with the Prop 8 shenanigans in California and the two very important gay marriage cases due to be handed down by the Supreme Court any day now.

a little background. my mom and my (biological) dad divorced when i was 6 and my little sis was 2. when i was 7, my "step dad" came into our lives, and was an awesome, constant presence there until he and my mother died when i was 18 (we'll save the details of that for another time). i picked up the shorthand "step dad" fairly quickly, though he never officially/legally held that title. it was just easier to say than "my mom's significant other for the past ten years and the father of my little brother and he's definitely way more than just a live-in boyfriend." he and my mom had both been married before, and obviously it hadn't worked out, and they didn't feel the need to have some legally-binding arrangement to validate their love. (having to wend our way through the lengthy legal labyrinths of probate and my little brother's custody after their deaths, i later wished they had made it official, but again, that's another blog post.) they had the best relationship and the strongest love i have ever personally witnessed. they were kick-ass parents, to boot. i have never understood when people say they are staying together "for the kids" because i am fairly certain that my mom and dad's divorce and my mom and step dad's subsequent pairing saved me tens of thousands of dollars in therapy. granted, i had the normal "you're not my dad" fights with Stepdad, but he was just as much a parent, mentor, inspiration and guide as my mother and father. he also came from a rad family so i got a whole new bonus set of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and more. DM and I always lament, out loud, that we are not more like the Stepdadders. they are witty and wacky and outdoorsy and fun. they climb mountains and drink vodka and fix things and build their own cabins and reuse everything (they were 'green' before it was cool). they just don't make people like that anymore! i think my mom fell just as much in love with the Stepdadders as she did with Stepdad. they ended their first date naked hot-tubbing with Stepgma and Stepgpa - or as they called it - hot-tubbing :)

i could wax poetic about the Stepdaders for days, but i digress. the point is, Mom and Stepdad rocked, individually and as a unit. they weren't, and didn't need to be, legally married to have that kind of love, to be partners in life, to be parents together, of my sister and me, and of our brother, their son. they were married in everything but name. growing up, though, i must admit, their unconventional relationship status caused me quite a bit of grief. i went to a fairly conservative private school, and heard  the gamut of religious/conservative bullshit - your parents are sinners, they're going to hell... their sinny-ness is going to rub off on you and you're going to hell... hell, everyone's going to hell... (at least) one girl's parents even prohibited her from playing with me or coming over to my house, because surely i was a bad influence, coming from such soggy moral standing. (on a side note, my sister also attended this school, and i'm not sure how they felt about Mom and Stepdad "living in sin," but i do know that one of her friends was forbidden from hanging out with my sister after our parents died, because, you know, your parents dying in a terrible freak accident really effs with your moral compass, and social abandonment is super helpful in that regard. W.I.T.F.)

so yeah. that kind of sucked, but thank goodness i had some awesome friends who didn't care (and/or whose parents didn't care), and by the time i got to (public) high school, it didn't seem like that big a deal anymore. by the time i got to college, it had come full circle, and i was righteous, in the way that only 18 year olds can be, that i was never going to get married, and that i didn't need "some dumb piece of paper" validating my love and telling me what i already knew. of course, i did still want a large [conflict free] diamond providing said validation. but that's beside the point ;) i held this belief right up until the time when i thought DM, my (then) boyfriend of 5 years, was content being my boyfriend forever and ever. and ever. right about then that "dumb piece of paper" sounded like exactly what i needed!

"a piece of paper won't solve everything, but it's a damn good place to start!" (cue macklemore musical montage.)

happy ending. i got the diamond, the piece of paper (barely - i was caught offguard by nevada's stringent marriage license requirements!), the best husband and baby daddy in the world (or at least the tri-county area), and two sugary sweet little devil babies (it's all that sinning in my blood ;)) i hope some day soon everyone will be entitled to the same happy ending!

oh but that reminds me of something else - we had this great babysitter/post partum doula (i hesitate using the word doula, for fear you'll think i have my placenta in a calico lotus bag in the freezer ;)) back when Jack was a wee colicky little thing (as opposed to the large colicky thing he is now ;)) she was calm and kind and quietly astute. she was telling us that her son and her son's girlfriend had been together for 7 years and didn't plan on getting married because - can you guess? they didn't need "some dumb piece of paper" validating their relationship. i confided that i once held the same belief. she said, "i'll tell you what i told them - there have been times when 'that dumb piece of paper' was the only thing between me and a one-way ticket to mexico!"

i, thankfully, have not gotten there yet (well, i've sort of wanted to divorce one or more of my kids on occasion, but not my husband, yet,) but i am very well aware that the honeymoon doesn't last forever, and that you have to wake up every day, amidst the shit and the snot and the whining and the deadlines and the bills and the mortgage and the never-ending daycare plague and the constant sleep deprivation and the occasional sex embargoes and the petty annoyances and the actually-this-is-a-big-fuckin-deals, and also the snot and the whining, and decide to be married. and some days, hours, and minutes, this is (much) easier than others.

and in this vein, i came across this the other day and found it very wise:

"An Open Letter to All My Engaged and Newly Wed Friends" from The Amazing, Affordable Adventures of Mama, Bunny and Pip"

Whoa that was really long. Sorry. If you made it this far you get a special prize: my love. The End.

[Eight] years ago I married my best friend. I'm a little chubbier, wrinklier, and greyer, but she still looks as gorgeous as the day I met her!


  1. You may have thought that was long and lost people in the middle, but I find your writing style very engaging and strangely....addictive. I found you over at Hump Day Hookup and I will be back!

    1. Thank you! That's so nice to hear! I am just used to the hubs telling me to shut my yap. Or rather, just tuning out three sentences in ;)