My family finally moved in on Sunday.
So, July 11th 2011, Monday morning, my mother wakes up. She smiles at me while I'm fixing up my cereal and yoghurt.
"There's something liberating about waking up in your own house- On your old wedding anniversary."
"Wow. Gawd, that's bizarre!"
"It's like," she continues, smiling, "I get my freedom back."
They would've been married 24 years now.
They've been split up for twelve, divorced for nine.
But they're happy. And so am I.
Image courtesy of LebianDad's-
one of my favourite bloggers for a few years now (Yes, even before Rebecca Woolf)
So, June 24th it was. And news has it that, after the initial, "OMG. YAY! EQUALITY OF MARRIAGE!" people have looked at each other and just gone, "Oh crap."
Because suddenly, everyone's asking, "So when's the big day?" or "Can I be bridesmaid?"
No prize for guessing where this blogpost is going.
I've spent my morning reading. And apparently, lots of marriages these days are open. In their vows, they leave out "fidelity" and "monogamy". No, I don't quite understand that. But all the same, I think people are entitled to do whatever it is they want to do.
I guess, what I'm just wondering is, in this day and age with grey areas and lines drawn in sand, what's the difference between Being In A Relationship and Just Seeing Each Other?
What sets a couple who's living together apart from one that's married? Filing taxes together, medical insurance, is that it?
I don't believe in letting society define things for us either, but I'm just trying to see the logic and sense behind some people and their choices. Then again, maybe it'll just be one of those things that I just don't get.
This whole Open Marriage concept, according to word on the street, is pretty common in gay marriages and in fact, started off in a lot of gay marriages. Although plenty of heterosexual marriages are like that too. And I'm just sorta wondering if maybe, it's just yet another reason for people to go "tut tut" at.
Suddenly, everything about Marriage seems warped and changed and tailored to fit.
I always thought the essence of it was well, sappy as it sounds, love and commitment. Suddenly there are pre-nups and open marriages and/or two gay people getting themselves into a heterosexual marriage so that they can please families and just. wow.
When did it get like that?
When did Marriage involve more than just two people and what they had?
Because when you think about it, you've got the lawyers and the family members and counsellors and the pastors and priests and
that's a whole lot of people, don't you think?
I'm not saying that engaged couples shouldn't talk to, um, whoever it is people think they should talk to. I think it's responsible, in fact. But all of it just seems so mindblowingly messy.
I don't know what makes most people get married these days, or want to. I don't know what makes someone say Yes when the question's been popped.
On my coffee-sipping, people-watching days, I wonder about things like that.
If that man in the elevator, at the urging of his friend, is really going to keep his fiancee in the dark about staying out late for drinks.
If the girl at Fish and Co. said Yes when her boyfriend proposed in front of the entire restaurant because, she didn't want to embarrass him.
If that guy at the Jewelers' picked out that 33-karat diamond ring because his girlfriend gave him a 5-year deadline.
If the middle-aged woman on the train, with a ring on her finger, is only counting down the days til her children are old enough and working so that she can finally file for divorce. Not because she's seeing someone else, but because all she wants to do, is breathe.
I don't want to be bound by laws and writing and pre-written vows that I can find on Google. I don't want to be talked in or out of something either, or take "precautions" because "it'll keep you safe."
Because I've always hated feeling like I'm trying too hard. The concept of trying annoys me- makes me feel like it can just as easily fail. And most things do.
Maybe some get married because they realize they could wake up to this same person for the rest of my life. Or maybe it happens because she's the first person who peels his prawns. Or maybe it's because he's really good with children.
Or maybe it's a lot simpler-
Maybe it's how she distracts me while she cleans up my cuts. Or leaves notes on my fresh clothes for me to find.
Whatever it is, when one finally decides that something's worth trying, I don't see why we shouldn't try for all we're worth,
and then some more.