Well I re-facebooked (as you know, if you are reading this). I think I went 12 or 13 days without logging in, which was good. We went out to dinner tonight with some friends (Crab burrito… WHAT. Very tasty but overwhelmingly rich. Probably wouldn’t do it again. I should stick with fish tacos which tend to be lighter, but I am so picky about my fish tacos, most of them come with that white sauce and a load of cabbage, I want pico de gallo and spicy sauce. I got addicted to the fish tacos at this place back home where they have a mystery spicy sauce. Hadn’t found anything in CA that compares until just last week, actually, when I had a mahi mahi taco at a chain restaurant. Surprise! It was delicious!) and when we got home I said to my fiance “I think I’m ready for my facebook password back.”
I was, to be honest, slightly nervous about what would greet me when I logged back in. I almost didn’t do it. What was I expecting to go wrong? I’m not sure. Accusations of being a drama queen, I guess. Which would pretty much have started me back on the spiral road to ruin again. If that had been the case, I would have probably just logged back out again and kept fasting. But actually, the comments on my last post were uniformly supportive. Despite what the gargoyle continually tells me, I have pretty wonderful friends.
And even better, the very first thing I saw was the announcement that a pair of friends are getting married. Which is truly wonderful. These friends have been together for-freakin-ever (I think ten years? Maybe even a bit longer). I’ve known the lady half of the pair since like the second grade, and the male half since high school and I am really happy they are going to make it official. Which seems like a silly way of putting it, I guess. As I said, they’ve been together for over a decade already! But I feel like marriage is… I don’t know. I am not sure how to articulate it. I know some people don’t feel like marriage itself matters, and that a relationship is a relationship, but, for me, marriage is qualitatively different.
Part of it is that it’s permanent. Ok, the marriage itself can be ended, but there will always be a record of it. It’s a permanent linking of your two names, no matter what happens after. There’s something very powerful in that for me. But I never was very interested in marriage for its own sake. I didn’t really care much about it until I got into this relationship. I knew I wanted to marry my fiance (this is a really awkward construction; I haven’t come up with a blog pseudonym for him yet, sorry) pretty early on in our relationship, and I have never really doubted that conviction. It took him a while longer to come to the same conclusion, but I was always very open with him about my intentions. I wanted to get married. Not in general, just to him. I still feel the same way!
Back in my early twenties, I used to joke that I was interested in getting married, but not in being married. Which actually cracks me up in retrospect; because nowadays I am very much looking forward to being married, but I am kind of dreading the wedding itself (I’m sure it will be fine!). In those days, I welcomed the idea of a spectacle, but I hated the idea of intimacy. Back then I thought that being close to someone, being in a relationship, was work. And in a way it is. But this relationship never feels like work. In six years, it’s never really felt difficult.
Which seems kind of surprising, I guess, because a big chunk of that time we were living in different states. Literally the first thing anyone says when they find out you’re in a long distance relationship is “Oh god, isn’t that hard?” And I don’t know what to say! Because… not really?
Ok, yes, it has some unique challenges! But it was never as difficult as the alternative would have been (by which I mean breaking up, not moving, although moving was also quite difficult and annoying). Knowing he was out there, knowing what he meant to me, and not talking to him would have been devastating. By contrast to that awful prospect, a long distance relationship seems like a piece of cake!
None of this is generally-applicable life advice, of course. These specific circumstances worked for this specific relationship. If it had been someone else, it probably wouldn’t. But the same is true of every relationship: they are all born out of specific circumstances, and each one is unique. I really believe that a significant part of love is making the choice to love this person. The initial emotions aren’t something you have control over, but you choose what you do with them. You can choose to go with it, or ignore it, or probably zillion other things. And if you choose to love, you get to keep making that choice. Every day. And I think that, fundamentally, is what I find so compelling about marriage. You make the choice in many little ways, over and over again throughout your life; getting married is only one of the ways you can show that you’re making the choice to love each other; but you do it publicly, formally, in a way no one can mistake. You change each other in a quantifiable way; you become family.
That, I guess, is why I care about marriage. It’s why I am so grateful that I can marry the person I love. It should be a right; but right now it is a privilege and a luxury. I am looking forward to the day (I know it is coming) when no couple who wants to be married is forced to remain unmarried because somebody thinks their love shouldn’t count.
I hope it gets here soon.