In the past week I’ve learned just how EASY it would be to keep the whole truth and nothing but the truth out of one’s blog.
Last week was really fucking hard. My best friend decided she was suddenly moving across the country, all my other friends—and my boss!—were breathing down my neck for me to REGISTER already (more on that later), I had to work late every night, and oh yea, I had a complete breakdown over what-the-fuck-is-really-the-point-of-this-whole-marriage-thing.
But I had planned in advance (imagine that!) my little week of pretty photographs, and fashion, and more pretty photographs. I said I was going to do it, so by golly, I stuck to it, often crying into my laptop as I put last minute touches on posts. The sheer volume of irony involved in choosing my favorite happy, smiley, lovey engagement pics while telling Scott through gritted teeth that marriage is stupid was not lost on me.
I usually make a conscious effort not to talk about these things. Because people talk. Even (especially?) if they love you. And they’re not quick to forget. So in real life? I keep my mouth shut.
But as I thought about what to post this week, I realized that after everyone’s amazing and brave comments the other week, I couldn’t possibly not share what was really going on:
As I began to allude to last week, marriage is an incredibly foreign concept to me. (And a wedding even more so.)
If I think too long about it (like more than 30 seconds), it seriously makes my brain hurt in its attempt to wrap my head around it.
Mostly, it seems a ridiculously long-term commitment for a life that, as I’ve repeatedly witnessed firsthand, is really quite fleeting. Now I know that a lot of people who’ve experienced their share of illness and hardship and death are often more likely to reach out, to commit, to seek stability, but I am not those people.
Like people who are afraid of dogs because they didn’t grow up around them, so I am with marriage.
My parents weren’t married, my grandparents were for 50 years but with more than a few choice words that a young girl can internalize and in doing so choose to grow up never seeing a long term relationship, much less a marriage, in her future.
So when I met Scott, with his—bless him—romantic notions of marriage it was, err, interesting. Convincing me to be his girlfriend was a complicated process, moving in together only slightly less so (it was my house after all), but on a day-to-day level we were (and still are) fine. Better than fine, awesome, great, perfect.
Eventually, I decided that since marriage wasn’t that important to me, it was a gift I could give him. (See Ben Affleck in He’s Just Not that Into You.) Plus a wedding would be fun. (Hah!) And so I proposed.
And then things got complicated. Because THEN I started, for the first time in my life, actually THINKING about marriage. I thought, and I researched, and I read, and I found that it doesn’t have to be what the stereotypes make it, and that there are many amazing people out there redefining marriage and words like “husband” and “wife.” People who have lives that were beginning, not ending, after they got married.
And in my head and my heart all of this sounded totally awesome.
But my gut is still fighting to reconcile this newfound knowledge with the life story I wrote as a 13 year old girl, the one that involved high powered careers and torrid affairs, and uh, no marriage.
This has not been going so well, as more often than not, my gut is ordering me to run at the thought of “in sickness” (uhh, been there too many times), “for poorer” (yup, there too), and definitely, definitely, definitely, from “till death do us part.” It flinches every time we send an email or a check that keeps this wedding train rolling.
As we get closer, the stakes seem to get higher, and the panic a little more…terrifying. Some people may read this and think, “Well, she’s clearly not ready.” And who knows, maybe some years down the line, they’ll find themselves to be right. But right now? I find comfort in the fact that I may never be “ready” or “sure”, because I am not a “for sure” person, and I’m not alone in that.
The kind of person I am, however, is someone willing to take a leap even if it is scary, because I don’t want to live a “halfway” kind of life.
I fly, even though I hate flying, because I don’t want to be the kind of person who lets fear stop them from seeing the world. I will get married, even though I don’t understand it (and so fear it), because I don’t want to let fear stop me from experiencing one of the greatest bonds one can have with another human being.