I don’t believe in marriage. It’s an unreasonable proposition. A choice that’s right for some people, not for all.
Now before you start calling Dr Phil or the friendly neighbourhood shrink, hold on to your horses.
I’ve spent enough miserable nights and days wondering why mine was not the perfect marriage, blaming either R or myself (depending on which side of PMS I was sitting on) for all the ills of the world.
But then whose definition of perfect marriage were we trying to measure up to?
Truth is we surprised not just our friends, but ourselves too, by getting married — we are both so fiercely independent and wary of letting people into our spaces, our biggest success is that we share a home.
I am a bit of a coward and knew I was incapable of handling the pressure of having children out of wedlock. And children I wanted. So marry I did. To the man who then and now is the kindest and most inclusive person I know; Who can cut to shreds with his silence and smirk; Who can embrace you from across the room with a twinkly smile; Who has his many moments of both high humour and chilling indifference; Who can be inappropriately funny in bed and just as inappropriately serious in company.
A man who is so respectful of his parents and so in love with his mum, with neither of those two emotions being driven by fear or guilt.
I knew as far as choices go, it would be difficult to make a better one.
Yet, this marriage has never claimed or pretended to boast of harmony, peace, nightly orgasms and unconditional love.
It’s been about loud arguments, bitter disagreements, cold silences, pointlessly crazy foreplay and conditional likes.
It has also been about quirky sense of humour that only the two of us get like the weird pillow talk we enjoy — “hey V, Osama killed this morning” **cuddle up** “wow, that’s so cool. give me the gory details”;
It’s about farting, burping and talking of inconvenient truths with great abandon to the utmost embarassment of O;
It’s about understanding the irony-filled soft corner he has for nutjobs like Gaddaffi, Saddam, Mubarak, Glenn Beck and Osama, and still not judge him as a sympathiser.
It’s about never seeing eye-to-eye on finances, but never stopping each other from indulging.
And in the worst of moods and mental turmoil — except when it involves him — it’s about not being able to think of anyone else to go and sob my guts out to, and vent my completely unreasonable justifications.
If I were asked if this is a good marriage — I would lie and say ‘yes’.
We have stubbornly guarded our individuality and demanded space from each other — both of which are proscribed in the manual Marriage for Dummies.
It’s a marriage, and as most marriages go it’s a drama in infinite acts; And as most things connected to me goes, it’s not very well thought out or executed.
What would be a suitable analogy here? Say, a non-believer who goes to the temple/church — with a lot of scepticism and a teeny bit of hope.
When someone talks of their soulmate, I gag, just before I burn up with envy.
When I see couples complete each other’s sentences and thoughts, I think ‘dimwits’ and then go home and try to leave a sentence incomplete, standing stupidly open-mouthed, only to realise R thinks my thought is complete and requires neither extension nor response.
We are in complete sync when it comes to coffee, travel, family, parental ineptitude, and being anally selective about people we socialise with; when it comes to everything else, we are in disagreement.
I don’t know if we have gotten closer, or if we are on the path to happily ever after. I do know that we are two people whose similarities are jarring and whose differences are loud, who are probably loyal to each other out of laziness more than intent.
So 15 years of being together, a dozen as mrs and mr (and by the way, i haven’t taken the mr’s name, and have dropped the pater’s), I am still figuring out what the eff a marriage is supposed to be. Why the hell does mine resemble the say ‘no to war’ posters and not the visuals on the pages of O magazine.
What I know for sure (my Oprah moment!) is text book wedded bliss is not my lot, hence that should be neither my goal nor pursuit. This is a relationship between an effortlessly good and often unreasonable man, and a calculatively correct and an easily distracted woman trying to ensure that their children are not too screwed up, and in the absence of good sense can still manage to have fun.
I don’t know the dos of a good union; but I do know the don’ts — don’t try to live someone else’s happy-marriage-stereotype.
Happy anniversary to me and mine…