2003-08-17 - 8:43 p.m.

In the past I have had a serious problem with the whole marriage thing. Not that I thought people shouldnít get married, because that wasnít my whole thing was about. I just didnít, and still donít really, understand the importance of it and I was, am, irritated by the level of importance that other people place on being married. How many times in a day do I hear people ask, ďWhen are you ever going to settle down and get married?Ē Which always cracks me up because number one, there is no one more settled down than I and number two, I have a better, more intimate, more concrete and happy relationship than any of these married people have. I know this for a fact, but no one seems to take my relationship seriously unless I am married. The girls at work are so impatient for me to get married that they have now taken to calling Eric my husband instead of my boyfriend. Iíve been thinking about this a lot today, mostly because this morning before work I started a short story about just this thing. I really needed to understand WHY people think marriage is so important and WHY they think two people in love HAVE to get married to make their relationship right. I also needed to understand why I sometimes lapse into that very girly habit of wanting to get married. Why I sometimes blurt out when I am extremely happy and excited around Eric, ďLetís go get married,Ē because sometimes I canít believe that comes out of my mouth. Not because I donít love him and donít plan to spend my life with him, but because I donít really believe in marriage.

The conclusion I have come to is that we, as a society, are still in our youth when it comes to relationships. We havenít yet gotten past the marriage thing, so to us, as a society, we still think that getting married is the ultimate commitment, that it is the only thing that can happen that will sayÖI love you. It is proof that someone loves you. I suspect that in the future marriage will be non existent. We have grown past taking our children outside and whipping them, now that is bad, but in the past it was common practice. We have grown past putting black people in the back of the bus, but once upon a time that too was just the way it was. Marriage will someday no longer be the thing to do. Just being with someone, sharing with someone, living with someone, that will be the proof that you are in love. But for now, while this marriage thing is still in our blood, I guess I will go along with it. Because somewhere inside me still lurks that thought that marriage is the ultimate proof of love. Only, when I get married it will be for real, not because I have to, or feel it is the thing I have to do. It will be for love, it will be the proof of my love.

I will not be like the people I am surrounded by. The people where I work get married because that is something they feel they need to do. They are filling some void in their life. I see these girls, they start dating someone and sometime around the year marker they start getting anxious for the proposal. This is when they start getting really lifeless, just going through the motions of life. They have no other interests except those of their significant others. Then they start suspecting that all their hints and bullying are going to come to fruition, you can tell when this happens because they suddenly start paying more attention to their finger nails, letting them grow, keeping them painted, just so when the ring finally comes their hands will be ready for showing off. And then it happens, they get engaged and they strut around like they are queen of the world. At this point I give them about a year and a half of happiness, depending on how soon the wedding is. The bridal books will start showing up at work, they will be stressed out, but happily so, everyone clucking around them, tsking the work involved in planning a wedding. The talk around work for the next months will be nothing but wedding talk. And then the day comes.

And six months later that very same blushing bride will come into work in tears because her husband didnít come home until 4 am and didnít call. Because her husband wanted to go out with his friends. Because her husband never helps around the house. Whatever. It becomes a husband bashing party now. So then, because filling whatever void it was that she was missing wasnít accomplished by getting the husband, she gets pregnant. And we go through the whole thing again. Happy happy and then BAM. Unhappy. Not with the child, of course, but happy Mary Blushing Bride Mama still hasnít filled her void and so she has another baby.

And all these girls ever needed to do was find their own life and hopefully find someone who shared and added to life with which to spend their days. It just seems that at a certain age people just marry whoever happens to be there. I almost did it once upon a time and I thank my stars that I came to my senses before that happened.

Anyway. I am just thinking.

Good night.


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