Archive for April, 2013
This is Part 2 of my two part contribution to the Forward Thinking project on this months topic “What Does Marriage Mean To You?” The Forward Thinking Project is an amazing online community project started by Libby Anne of Love, Joy, Feminism and Daniel Finke of Camels With Hammers. For more information or how you can contribute click on the links above.
Part 1 is a satirical imagined conversation between a father and son regarding the meaning of marriage. This post is my personal views on what marriage- and specifically my marriage- means to me.
I’m married to the most complex, wonderful and beautiful woman I know. My wife is my saviour and my nemesis. If Paul was right when he spoke in Corinth- that love is patient, love is kind, it is not proud; love protects, trusts, perseveres- then it is true that my wife is the embodiment of love in my life.
To be honest with you, neither my wife nor I really wanted get married. We lived together for 6 years before we were married. We already had two children (and a third on the way). We owned a house together. In every way that someone quantifies marriage as a lifestyle, we had been married for years before we ever made it “official”.
So why get married?
We- my wife and I- asked ourselves this question. Are we somehow bowing to social pressure? Are we quantifying our relationship by a social convention? Is there any real value to choosing to be married as opposed to living as a married couple? For us marriage was still something that was meaningful- and I’ll tell you why:
Marriage is more than just a social convention. It is more than a legal recognition of your bond to one another. It is not a mere contract, a religious act, or a promise to some imagined covenant with God. It is what it has always been; marriage is the sharing of your love with your family, community, and friends. Some choose to share that with their community in religious imagery and language, some choose to make that expression in a way that is unique and personal. What all marriages have in common is that they are a recognizable symbol of something that transcends the institution itself.
To be unmarried is not to take away from the reality of being in love, or committed, or together- to be unmarried is merely to deprive us of our cultural language-
It is to ask us to succinctly describe a sunset…..
to a blind man……
in sign language.
So when I tell you I am married it doesn’t change the way I feel about the person I chose to marry. It doesn’t make my love any more or less real. It doesn’t make my love and commitment any better- objectively- than a couple who chose not to be married. What it does it make my relationship relateable. It makes my relationship something that has a meaning easily shared with others. When I tell you I’m married I am giving you a dissertation in a single word.
I started this post by telling you how I feel about my wife; all of it is true, and more. I could have written a million metaphors and I still wouldn’t have given my wife her due. Though my words remind me of all the things that make me love her, they certainly constitute a too-long explanation to you of how we relate to one another. All you need to know is what we all know to be the ideals of a marriage:
I love her enough to make her my wife- our love is that meaningful that we choose to share it.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 10 so far )
This is Part 1 of my two part contribution to the Forward Thinking project on this months topic “What Does Marriage Mean To You?” The Forward Thinking Project is an amazing online community project started by Libby Anne of Love, Joy, Feminism and Daniel Finke of Camels With Hammers. For more information or how you can contribute click on the links above.
Part 1 is a satirical imagined conversation between a father and son regarding the meaning of marriage. For my personal feelings on what marriage means to me, please check out Part 2.
Son: Dad, What is Marriage?
Father: Oh boy. Is it really that time already? I’ve been dreading “the talk” since the day you were born…..
Son: Really Dad? You are aware that I am seventeen, right? I mean, I thought that “the talk” was about sex and stuff- we never had that talk either……
Father: And we never will, son; we never will. Sex is a conversation you need to have after an awkward and humiliating honeymoon with your equally clueless wife. It’s the way God intended.
Son: I did hear a bit about it from friends at school. Well, the ones who got permission from their parents to attend the “Commitment Classes” that the Priest came in for. Why didn’t I get permission to go to that again?
Father: He was Catholic and I didn’t want you to start questioning the degree of your depravity, I thought we went over this. Can we get back to marriage?
Father: You see, son, as we all know- the government owns a woman’s vagina. One day, when you are older and ready to breed, you are going to meet a woman who makes you want to pray a little harder to Jesus for the strength to overcome sexual sin- and this is the time you are going to contemplate marriage. When you are ready, you will complete a three way transaction between the woman’s father (her owner), the government (the owner of her vagina), and yourself (the prospective owner and lessee). Essentially you are seeking a licence from the government to transfer ownership from her father to yourself as well as secure a lease of the woman’s vagina from the government. My wedding was beautiful…..
Son: That doesn’t sound all that beautiful, dad.
Father: But it is, son, it is! There is nothing better than a wedding- it’s one of those “milestone moments” in your life- like showing off your first muscle car to your buddies. You wax her all up, get’er real shiny, then burn rubber around the neighbourhood to let everyone know who’s got a new set of wheels….
Son: Are you talking about Mom?
Father: Sorry, got carried away. Did I ever tell you I had a ’74 Charger with a 318? God I loved that car…….
Son: Don’t people get married for love?
Father: No! Who told you that? Love has nothing to do with marriage. Just think about it- if you could just marry ANYTHING you loved, then men would just go around marrying their favourite dog, or their mom, or even another man! Heck, I’d be married to a ’74 Charger. Love is just a pleasant bonus in a marriage, like finding a $10 bill in a pair of jeans you bought at the Goodwill.
Son: So you didn’t love mom when you married her?
Father: Is she in the room right now? ….Yes, of course I did. Love can be something to consider when you get married- I’m just saying it isn’t definitional to a marriage. People who don’t love each other get married all the time.
Son: Then why do they read 1Corinthians at weddings?
Father:First, Paul wasn’t writing that about marriage. Second, you remember when you were a kid and you had a dental appointment that you didn’t want to go to, so I told you there was candy in the car so that you would go with me- and then I bought you a Blizzard afterwards because I felt guilty for lying to you? It’s kind of like that. And by “kind of like that” I mean it’s exactly like that.
Son: This is all quite confusing and depressing, Dad. I don’t think I want to get married…
Father: I know son. I blame the liberals. Do you want to see pictures of me with my ’74 Charger?Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 5 so far )