DISCLAIMER: this blogger neither supports nor refutes the sentiments of the above t-shirt, she just thought its very existence was funny & used it here.
On the way to work I sat on red watching a woman attempting to make a left turn at a busy intersection. She had to wait almost til her own light turned red, but this wait didn’t distract her from her larger purpose: giving the man next to her the business. This woman was clearly older, black and in her mid to upper 50’s. Her mouth ran a mile a minute with her jaw set in defense against life itself. She had the look of many older women 'round the way with her short hairstyle perfectly coiffed and her long acrylic nails painted hood rich. Her window was down and her voice was carrying across the intersection and through the whoosh of heavy morning rush hour. Her tone was sharp and her words abrupt. As she got more into her turn, contemplating secondarily whether to bogard or wait it out, I was better able to see who was at the other end of her verbal bullwhip. Next to her sat a man close to her in age, give or take a year or two, head hung “mighty low” and face frozen in a state of permanent submission. What he was experiencing in that snapshot was part of a larger picture of his world, listening to this woman beat him down in word and deed on a regular basis. He probably didn’t hear a word she said, probably stopped listening years ago.
For some reason, after they finally made their left and I was able to proceed south toward the plantation, I was taken back to a conversation had with a friend of mine over the weekend. As a married man, he’s done what was expected of him when he reached a certain age: long-term girlfriend eventually becomes the wife. Because. That’s all. Just because. Before I get into the conversation, I will say that I have a growing number of MALE friends who are stating now, years into their marriages, that marriage is a flawed concept that no one truly understands until it’s too late. Back to the conversation with my friend…we’ll just call him, uh, Young Love, said marriage is a selfish and unnatural concept. If I could guarantee a certain person was reading this right now, I can see her eyes rolling back in her head as she declares, “here we go again!” You’re right. I’m really interested in this topic because it keeps coming up, and not even because I won’t let it die. It’s such a point of contention with people that I’ve STOPPED bringing it up. I barely even participate in it when it comes up for fear of the eye-daggers and the continued loss of friends.
Since this conversation wasn’t sparked by any of my own embers, I feel it’s ok to put it on the table and see what other people are thinking. Young Love said things that I’ve considered and agree with. 1. Monogamy is unnatural. 2. It selfishly implies that 2 people will be able to grow and develop solely under each other’s nurturing eye and tutelage.. 3. Choosing 1 person negates attractions to others, or states that other attractions are not beneficial or serve no purpose in a person’s personal development. To put it short-it's a stifling state. Or can be. There were other parts of the conversation but this part, though similar to some of my own perspectives, made me think. It made me wonder why, if I feel this way too, was I willing to accept a proposal? In this instance, I have to say that while I’m not the 30-something who’s checking every prospect for his husband potential, the idea of marriage is somewhat appealing. What I hate is that I can’t lock into exactly why. I DO believe that humans are social creatures, but marriage is about, among other things, exclusivity—emotional, sexual and, I assume, financial. Got it. Just not sure it’s entirely possible or makes much sense now.
Back in the day, families were essential to the development of communities with common goals. Families were essential to a family workforce. If you have land and no one to work the land, you didn’t make a profit. If you have land, the cheapest labor is family labor. That was then. Today we’re all a part or products of a microwave society. Everything has to be quick and we need lots of options. The workforce is competitive. Post-agrarian jobs,
What I’m saying almost sounds like I advocate being a Ho. Not true. I LOVE committed relationships. I’m just not sure that just one is the answer. Why is it so hard to fathom being committed to more than one purpose with more than one person in a respectful construct? It seems better to me than having things go down behind each other’s backs, or having to try marriage 3 and 4 times before you get it right? By then is it even right or are you just tired and decide this is it?
I don’t hardly propose to know the answer; I’m just open to the consideration of a multitude of possibilities. All this consideration might prove to be as pointless as making a gazillion To Do Lists and never actually doing any of the things on it. I could ponder for so long that all my good attraction years pass me by and leave me on the lonely end of the spectrum. I’m just curious what folks think about this as more and more people in my life begin to admit to questioning their participation in this (their words not mine) antiquated ideal. As a woman, I’m almost positive that should I be involved in something that inspires me to consider marriage, I’d probably say yes should the question be posed again. Why? Everyone around me will continue to make decisions based on what everyone around them is doing—getting married. That would leave few people brave enough to honestly seek out a different path that could potentially garner some better results. That equals no options for me. So…like them, I could potentially end up all bound by a wedding band, wondering if there was really a better choice I should’ve made. I wonder if that poor older gentleman wishes he had some other options when he chose ol' Bitter Brenda.
Le sigh…this debate is never-ending, even when I don’t have a viable debater to go toe to toe with, it rages on in my mind. Despite what my eye-rolling friend may think, I really DO wish this topic were moot. Oh well.
Watch me move.