Wednesday, March 19, 2014

maiwiage

settle a bet for me.

i believe in "True Love." i believe in "The One." i believe there's a lid for every pot. i mean. okay. there are 7+ billion people in the world. maybe there are a few lids that would fit really well. but my point is, i believe that it's out there. for everyone. that everyone can be, and deserves to be, madly in love with their partner. that does not mean that love is a fairytale, that you don't sometimes want to punch that special someone in their stubborn face or run away to mexico for a few days weeks months, that you never fight or he never makes you cry. but, i believe there is someone who, excuse the jerry maguire reference, completes you. who can make your heart race and your knees weak and make you laugh and make you think. someone who makes you happy at the very center of your soul.

my husband says i'm wrong.

he says we are lucky. that marriage is sometimes, maybe even a lot of the time, about convenience, about fear of being alone, about fear of the unknown, about settling, about preferring what you have to nothing. he also thinks that not everyone is equipped for that head-over-heels kind of love. he thinks some people just aren't "the marrying kind." that we aren't an inherently monogamous species. i think all of that is BS. i think they just haven't found the right person (yet).

DM is not alone in his thoughts, though. a good friend of mine calls it "Big Love," and views it as the exception, not the rule. she and i were talking more about it and she said maybe Big Love is when you get everything you need from one person. she said everyone she knows with The Big Love would, without hesitation, name their significant other as their best friend. i don't know. maybe Big Love is just a euphemism for codependence. but it works for me.

another friend, when asked about proposing to his now-wife, responded "well, at some point, you just gotta shit or get off the pot, you know?"

just.... please. for future reference. if i ever learn that my significant other said this about me, direct me to the nearest divorce lawyer.

also. in that metaphor. what am i? the shit? or the pot?

ugh.

i worked for this professor. (the one who made me a mix-tape. more about that later.) he once asked me: "who is the person you love the most and who is the person you have been the most in love with? are they the same person?" me: "is this a trick question? of course. why. it isn't for you?" him: "no."

i just don't get that. wouldn't you want both? a friend of mine was recently in a long-term relationship. he stayed with the girl for too long, out of some ill-conceived sense of obligation. he loved her but he was not in love. but she thought he was The One, and he felt like he owed it to her to try to make that true. i'm sorry, but, eff that, man. i hate to sound like a smug biatch, but i've been lots of people's The One (okay maybe three people's. ;)). and that sucks for them. but at the end of the day, that's not really my problem. and anyway, if they think i'm The One but i don't think they're The One, then i'm probably not actually The One. you dig? i can only hope that the universe will right the wrongs along the way. the bottom line is, just because you love someone doesn't mean they can make you happy. there's a difference. sometimes, love isn't enough. (< have you seen this movie with julia roberts and brad pitt and a gay james gandolfini? cinema gold.)

along those lines, i just read this post - "Why Finding 'The One' Is Nearly Impossible But We Do It Anyway." he makes a good point - that lots of times you think you found "The One," until you find out they are not, in fact, The One. so it's really sort of about finding Mr. Right Now instead of Mr. Right?

and i guess all of this begs the question - what if there is The One, but you don't find The One, and your uterus is quickly approaching it's expiration date (or maybe you're just tired of cooking for one. in the latter case, i think i can help you out ;)) but, then what? i guess this is a major flaw in my reasoning. because some of the best people i know are still single, and not necessarily because they want to be. one of my favorite friends recently said "i think it's time to start thinking about settling," and i was like "NOOOOOOOO, you can't! you are too great to settle!" (also her dates provide too much entertainment for her to stop going on them ;)) in the early days when we talked a lot about lurve, DM and i always agreed that we would rather be alone than "settle." but, i guess that's really easy for me to say since i found "the one" when i was 22 years old. who knows what i would be thinking 12 or 20 years later. maybe something, anything, is better than nothing. but from my happily married high horse i just can't see that being true.

an old friend of mine (who is going through a divorce) posted this depressing ode to the mediocre state of marriage: "Good Enough? That's Great." am i nuts for thinking that "good enough" isn't? this: don't date a girl who reads. "you will accept nothing less than passion, and perfection, and a life worthy of being storied." that's what i want. that's what i believe we all deserve. am i high? (editor's note: no. i am not. unless you mean high on life. then yes. yes i am. sometimes. other times life is a very bad trip.)

this whole train of thought reminds me of that viral post by seth adam smith - "marriage isn't for you." he discusses some guidance he received from his father on the eve of his marriage to his childhood sweetheart: "You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy." okay. maybe i'm just selfish, and i'm no therapist, but... that seems like spectacularly bad marriage advice. isn't this the type of situation where you will plug along through the business of making and raising human beings, and then said humans go off to college, and you look at your partner and say, "why did i marry you? oh yeah. because marriage was for you. because you were going to be a great dad. and you were. but the kids are gone and it's just us... and... now what?"

and hey. who knows? maybe, someday, i'll find myself there too. and maybe, at that point, you start from scratch and learn to love eachother all over again with a new set of rules. or get divorced and adopt a bunch of cats. i do not know these things. i have no crystal ball. i cannot see the future. but i'm not in the future. i'm here. now. and i can't imagine doing what i'm doing every day (wrangling babies, referee-ing peewee WWF matches, cooking for implacable food critics of small stature, cleaning shit i just cleaned, again, laundry that never, ever ends, bills that annoyingly require payment each and every month, etc. etc. etc.) with someone who did not make this endless stream of quotidia bearable...

[on learning to love someone - i thought this post was interesting: I Didn't Love My Wife When We Got Married, on PopChassid.com. i respect where he's coming from, but then i'm like, i really just don't think you should have to work that hard to love someone. at what point does it turn from the effort that all relationships require to trying to fit a square peg into a round hole?]

this also reminds me of some people i know who stayed together in an unhappy marriage "for the children." that's so backwards to me. i can guarantee you if my mom and dad had stayed together i would be 113% more fucked up than i am right now. i mean, there's nothing better for kids to see than a happy, healthy marriage, but i believe the converse is also true.

don't get me wrong. my marriage is not all unicorns and rainbows. we've had our ups and downs. and it's not like it doesn't take effort. some days it takes a great deal more effort than others. our love has grown and changed and looks very, very different than it did over a decade ago, before marriage and mortgage and minis and full time jobs and too-long commutes and the Groundhog's Day repetition of bedtime battles and toddler tantrums and festive fetes every other freakin' weekend. but if i had to do all of that without him i would lose my ever lovin' mind. seriously. sometimes my husband and grilled cheese sandwiches and looking at pictures of my kids after they are sound asleep are the only things in the world that make me happy. i love that man. he keeps me sane. he's my partner and my sounding board and my best friend. and i feel so sad thinking that this is just due to some stroke of luck or rare divine intervention or alignment of the stars.

on the tangential topic of "the bad-assedness of married sex," i saw this post recently and the title scared the bejesus out of me but the message is really rather spot on: "I Didn't Have Sex for a Year, and I'm Still Married," by Natalie Singer Velush on the Huffington Post Blog.

sorry that this sort of reads like a schizophrenic book report. i have many thoughts on the subject and a lesser ability to weave them into a coherent message. mainly i just want to win the bet. tell me, is there such a thing as true love?

p.s., i had a dream last night that i posted this and then promptly found out DM was sleeping with his secretary. stranger things have happened. let's just hope if that is how our story ends, he chooses something a little less cliched. actually, i often joke with DM that divorce would be awesome. every other weekend off? hollaaaaaah!!! but i'm (93%) kidding. just wanted to clarify that with the universe ;)


quotes from the perks of being a wallflower by stephen chbosky
to blave...

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