You don’t have to believe in marriage to believe in equality. That’s what equality is: the opportunity to choose. You can sneak same into that sentence if it pleases you, but for me opportunity is a big enough word. There’s room for all of us. Meet my guest for today’s Marriage Project:
They say every little girl dreams of her wedding day, but I was never a very good little girl. Perhaps it was my feminist mother’s insistence that I remain independent at all times, perhaps it’s the fact that between the two of them my parents have nine marriages in all. Either way, I never dreamed of getting married. I dreamed of motherhood, a good education and one day owning my home.
All these seemed like goals to work toward whereas marriage always seemed like nothing more than a good idea, a nice suggestion. I like the idea of finding that one person in your life who will always be there. I like the idea of building a history with someone, but finding that relationship seems like magic to me, a lightning strike maybe to someone lucky enough to be standing in the right spot.
I look at my friends who have been struck, who have found that magical relationship and committed to it. Two women who have been together going on 30 years, who have raised children together and stuck together through the decades, or two new fathers who after decades of just the two of them have taken that next step and adopted a child. They have achieved an amazing amount of history to me. It’s quite an accomplishment.
Despite my early insistence as a young girl that I was never going to get married, I did once get engaged. We had the culturally approved mismatched genitalia, but we were also horribly unsuited for each other. If I had followed through with the marriage our mistake would have been legally sanctioned and it would have ended shortly after, I’m sure.
I’m not sure what makes a marriage last, but I know people who have failed at it and people who have thrived in it. I want everyone to have the legal right to try, cause you never know who’s going to get it right. And when two people do get it right it’s completely awe-inspiring. It gives even a cynic like me hope that maybe I too could try.