Three years ago, Jay and Bee met at a downtown bar shadier than a pair of cheap sunglasses, and even though their relationship got off to a rocky start, Jay and Bee somehow made it through all the KK en kak. It took a little patience, a lot of love and just the right amount of understanding before Bee finally purchased the perfect pair of his and his platinum bands. After months of planning, Bee turned his proposal into a work of art (literally) executing a romantic proposal that would put any rom-com to shame, and while I could not be happier for the recently en-gay-ged couple (because there is no one in the world who deserves happiness as much as they do) I couldn't help but panic...was I next?
"So when are you guys getting married?" It was as if I could actually see the words coming out of their mouths in slow motion, each one slapping me harder than the next. Speechless, I quickly used this opportunity to seize a delicious hors d' oeuvres that Tannie Marie had baked, and stuffed my face with as many of them as possible. My logic was that it would have been more rude to talk with a full mouth of half-masticated carbs than it would be to answer a question I try my hardest to avoid. When did I become so anti-institution? Was the concept of marriage really so frightening or had it never been a priority of mine? Was the convention of it all so unappealing? For better, for worse, til death do us part, in sickness and in wealth...there is one major flaw in this agreement; we are all imperfect humans bound to fuck up somewhere along the line. It's as though we are setting ourselves up for failure. What if a spouse had been cheating all his life and died after contracting a deadly disease from his whore? What if they lost all your collective savings (because they are entitled to half now) due to some gambling addiction? And then it hit me...I was scared of marriage because I was petrified of divorce.
The dissolution of a marital union is one of the most difficult things for anyone to go through especially if the ceremony lasts longer than the marriage. *Flashback shimmer* It was the summer of 2008 and my dear, young friend Tina had just met the most amazing guy. Within the first month of dating they had moved in together, two months later they were married and five months after that they were divorced. She knew the marriage was over after experiencing an uncomfortable itch in her lower pubic region which was later diagnosed as crabs...not the hors d' oeuvres kind. We called it her microwave marriage and even though she bounced back in no time, the failure of not making it work left a lasting dent on her confidence. She went through a very dark phase before finding the light in husband number two. Was this one experience enough reason to justify my irrational fears or was it merely an excuse to prolong the inevitable day of reckoning? Was this merely an extension of my general fear of failure or was I somewhat of a commitment-phoebe? My friend Trace has been together with her fiance for eight years and has no intention of getting married. Is this abnormal social behavior or maybe, just maybe, there is a small percentage of human beings who are simply not interested?
I believe that if it ain't fixed, don't break it. My parents have been married for nearly fifty years and are still going strong. Perhaps their fairytale marriage set the unrealistic bar that so many couples are too afraid to drink from. Perhaps it was because they came from a generation where fixing the problem was much easier than walking away from it. Perhaps as we grow older the things that society regard as essential basic needs are no longer valid. Whatever the case, people, the only vow I'm taking is one of silence especially when it comes to the topic of marriage.
When it comes to that binding union, I couldn't help but wonder, what if I never do?