My mother is getting married. This is something she said she would never, ever do again, and yet, here she is, engaged to be betrothed.
How did this news make me feel? (Blank face.)
Honestly, I didn’t feel much. The announcement pulled about as much emotion from me as say, passing a stranger on the street or flipping through a TV guide. I am not sure why this is. Maybe it’s because to me it would be no different than how they are living now. Maybe it’s because I sort of saw it coming. Maybe it’s because I have very little faith in marriage. Maybe it’s because I am angry with my mother.
Before I continue, let me stress, I am happy for her. I just didn’t jump up and down and scream and twirl and say things in a high-pitched voice like “oh my gawd! We must get to picking out invitations and favors at once!” And to be honest, I don’t think this is anything against my mother, necessarily. I’m pretty positive that if one of my best girlfriends came up to me and delivered the very same leak, I would probably be excited more for her, a performance, if you will, while inside I’d be thinking ‘Til death do you part? Out of circulation? Forever and ever, amen? For all eternity? Just last week you were telling me you had a crush on the guy that pumps your gas. You flirt with him, for Christ’s sake! Wait, you’ve only been dating ten years?! Is that enough time to know?!
Logically, my mind can’t help but run over all of these things once introduced to the notion that someone is going to tie the knot. I am no psychologist, but I have a few guesses as to why:
1.) To me, it doesn’t seem like an actual commitment. Other than sharing all your assets legally and allowing the government to step in and decide if you can or can’t break-up, and who’s the bad guy, and who gets the big screen TV and toaster oven, I don’t see much of a difference from being married to coexisting in the same apartment as boy and girlfriend. If you break a promise as girlfriend, you’re just as douche-y as you would be as wife. However, as I’ve never been married, I cannot actually claim any expertise on this, but I’ve heard… which brings me to number two.
2.) On any given day, I can probably locate a variety of marital affairs, adultery, philandering, right in one single small town. I can identify right now in my mind, a plethora of people who say they aren’t fully “in love” with their spouses. Yet, they plow through their days as a married couple and then one day you see them both showcased on a crime investigation show about love gone wrong (also known as I can’t take this anymore so I’m going to chop your head off with this katana). This, of course, relates to my final reason, or at least final one I can think of at this moment.
3.) I’ve been involved in an extramarital affair. Not necessarily one of my proudest moments, but definitely a year or two that taught me a lot of life lessons. So I’ve seen the show that a marriage can become firsthand. To top this tale of betrayal and secret love off, I was in a relationship myself and was proposed to. I said yes in the attempt to get over a married man, and maybe as a little ‘fine, I can’t have you fully. I’ll show you! I’ll get married, too! Take that!’ I eventually would call that marriage off, end it with the married man, and continue on with my life with a different view of marriage altogether, as you have just read.
Needless to say, my faith in the institution of marriage is a faltered one, but is this why I’m so uninterested in my mother’s wedding? I do not think that my mother and her man are going to end up unhappy or finding their kicks elsewhere or anything like that. I think they will be happy. I think they do love each other, which in the end will be their salvation from any affairs or misery or decapitation. And I don’t think marriage is all bad, really. I have witnessed some really great relationships where two people never even dreamed of sleeping with someone else or cutting their better half’s head off.
Yet, it doesn’t really feel like anything new or old or exciting to me. I’m indifferent.
I remember when my parents decided to get divorced, or rather decided to tell me and my brother about it, I felt unaffected. I also remember feeling quite concerned about being so unaffected. And then I felt bad. Shouldn’t I care about this, I thought? So I tried to concoct something crazy to go and do to prove I was a normal child and that divorce was just terrible; I went and sat in the bathtub, with no water in it, and fully clothed. (My creativity was clearly at a low that day. I could have at least filled the tub with water and then sat in it with clothes on.) My mother came and consoled me by saying “It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault at all.” (I think at this point I forced some tears, but I can’t remember that exactly. I’m just hoping for the benefit of my performance I did.)
Duh. I knew it wasn’t my fault. How could it be my fault? I certainly wasn’t the one married. However, I think that very moment was pivotal in my relationship with my mother. I think that moment began the reason that I feel so little about this whole marriage thing. Mainly because that was the moment I began to become an adult while it was the same moment my mother began to digress into childhood.
So here we are today, present day, and my mother is getting married. She’s marrying the father of my best friend since I was five; a girl who used to build tents out of sheets with me while we sat under them and wished we were sisters. She’s marrying the father of a boy I dated for a month or two; a boy who will now be my step-brother, which means I have, uh, dated my step-brother. She’s marrying the man that she loves, a good man, an honest man, a man I like very much.
My mom’s engaged and all I can think about is how she screwed me out of a brand new car.