Have you read Min’s take on marriage? Or what Dooce is going through, while separated from her husband? Relationships in the Time of Blogs — a modern-day take Gabriel Garcia Marquez would likely not appreciate — is a strange era.
“His friends are adding me on Facebook. What does that mean?”
“He asked for my card. Now what?”
“He didn’t respond to my email.”
By contrast: my parents met when they were in high school. They loved each other then. They loved each other raising two obnoxiously stubborn kids, one house in the burbs, one minivan, one million weekend hours spent a swim meets, and one spoiled rotten dog. They love each other today, 35 years after saying “I do.” A day my father wore a ruffled tux and my mom a handmade lace wedding gown that could have rivaled Kate Middleton’s. (A day my Uncle Rett apparently poured all the groomsmen and the groom more than one shot before they skipped down the aisle.)
My parents don’t tweet. Or Facebook. They do shout at each other over the television from the other room on occasion. Sometimes they even text — often with hilarious results. But for the most part, they just look at each other and talk it out. They still hold hands. And they’ve made my brother and I forever hopeful that this is what a good marriage looks like: conflict, resolution, a lot of talking about emotion, and fierce, stubborn love.
That’s exactly what Min’s saying in her post. I’m hopeful that’s the comeback story for Heather and Jon. When in doubt, always root for love.
My friend Adam and I had a lengthy conversation last week about what marriage means. He thinks I’m wrapped up in the notion of an antiquated tradition when committed relationships can mean the same without the title of “wife.” (Mind you, the man is happily married.) More and more of my friends are saying the same. While most of my girlfriends are married and a few of them have even moved abroad with the help of companies like Mayfair Immigration, I have a handful of friends who are not interested in marriage or children. Or want one, but not the other. And proceed gleefully without worrying about social norms, tradition, or expectations.
Is marriage antiquated? Life is what you make it. If you want to look at marriage as a symbol of women being chattel handed over by their fathers to their new property owners, there is plenty in the books to make your case. And if you want to see it as a ceremony symbolizing commitment and love — well, there is a billion-dollar economy ready to make even the sanest woman nutty over birdseed, bubbles, and tulle.
The point is — I don’t know. The older I get, the less what I thought I knew seems true. I don’t know what should remain private, and what to share. There are days I want to scream from the top of the social media rafters that relationships are hard work. That I’ve spent enough time alone in the last decade, being with someone is a pleasant but odd adjustment. That figuring someone else out and honoring them is a tricky tight rope to walk. That my parents were so very lucky to find each other when they did, but that I recognize now more than ever they haven’t stayed together by chance — but by choice.
So, sometimes I yell to him from another room when a movie is on. Occasionally I embarrass him with tweets. And often as I can, I hold his hand.
This is all I know for now.