Tuesday, September 30, 2008

the end of marriage

Oh no. I have to get a divorce now. Ellen and Portia got gay married. How can my marriage possibly mean anything if just anyone can go and get married? I am so totally affected by someone else's marriage that I can't possibly be happy in my own life and relationship unless I'm judging and controlling everyone else.

No, I’m sorry, my marriage is not defined by anyone else’s and it is certainly not endangered by other loving couples pledging to devote themselves to one another, regardless of the sex of those other couples. And neither is yours.

Andy’s always telling people not to get married. Mostly for humor’s sake, and mostly because he doesn’t want to lose friends to marriage and children and all that nonsense, but he’s also partially serious. Not because our marriage is particularly horrible (this is my hope, anyway!), but I think he does it out of concern that too many people get married for all the wrong reasons and never stop to think about whether they really want to or whether they should.

As a matter of fact, the idea of marriage is far more threatened when a man and woman are forced to marry because they have found themselves pregnant (especially when they were denied the means or understanding of how to protect themselves from just such an occurrence and then forced into a union they do not want, not to mention quite possibly a lifetime of unhappiness and regret).
My marriage is insulted by a man who allows himself to be badgered into proposing to and marrying his girlfriend simply because that is what society (and her friends and their coworkers) expects of him, regardless of the fact that he doesn’t want to marry anyone and probably doesn’t even really like her that much, let alone love her.
My marriage is undermined by people who get married for the sake of getting married, expecting a fairy tale, expecting everything to suddenly be miraculously magically perfect even though it wasn’t before, because they don’t understand what a marriage is about.
My marriage is slighted by people who demand to get married and throw a ridiculous wedding they cannot afford because it’s been their dream since childhood, and find themselves suddenly further in debt when they couldn’t pay their bills to begin with.
My marriage is affronted by such phrases as “bridezilla” and “diamonds are forever” and “postnuptial depression.”
My marriage is mocked by those who think having a baby or getting a pet will somehow make their relationship better, by couples who can’t communicate their needs and wants to each other in anything other than sarcasm and screaming, by people who have to take medication just to be decent to each other, by people who honestly believe their partner is a fool and yet feel obligated to stay with them because it’s “the right thing” or “the expected thing.”
Everyone’s marriage is diminished by multi-million dollar celebrity weddings and by the split-second Hollywood nuptials of people like Britney Spears and Nicholas Cage, the multiple marriages of people like Mickey Rooney and Zsa Zsa Gabor and Billy Bob Thornton -not to mention Jessica Simpson and Shanna Barker and Carmen Electra (note to self: never agree to a reality television show starring my marriage).

Now, these are the things that and the people who shame and disgrace marriage. This is what shows marriage in a bad light. This is what will be the "downfall of society," as they anti-gay-marriagers like to claim about getting gay married. Well, maybe we should spend a little more time looking inward and deciding what is wrong with our own lives and our own relationships that makes them so fragile as to be threatened by two consensual adults professing their love for one another in a way that is recognized by the state.

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