Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Marriage

I'm sure it comes as no surprise to anyone but me, but it turns out that I'm a traditionalist. Yesterday the princess and I went and bought engagement rings, and while she (very sensibly, considering her job) wanted gems that were recessed into the ring, I wanted a diamond solitaire.


I got it.




But trying to rationalize a whole bunch of conflicting feelings-- diamonds-are-blood-stained-meaningless-symbols, diamonds-are-beautiful, everybody-will-know-what-this-ring-means, why-does-it-matter-to-me-what-people-think, it's-money-we-don't-have, i-really-want-it-- is sort of a representation of how the marriage situation is developing in my mind.

I've been ambivalent about the gay marriage campaign, and marriage in general. I still don't think that it should be the Big Queer Cause sucking up all of the funding and attention--I would prefer that queer and lgbt organizers take up things like national healthcare, preventing/prosecuting hate crimes, and equal pay regardless of gender. Honestly, I think that most homophobia can be traced to a root of sexism, and working on THAT issue instead would improve the lives of so many people.

I also think that marriage is a fucked-up institution that is often the cause of much unhappiness.

Still.

I love the princess. I want our families and our community and our neighbors to recognize the nature of our relationship at a glance. I want to share my health insurance with her without having to prove to some city official that we've lived together for 12 months, which is what's required for domestic partnership. If I ever own anything valuable, I want her to have it after I die.

But more important than any of that, and the real reason I'm marrying her, is that I want to. I just plain old selfishly want to. I want to make a promise to her that I will always put our relationship first, and that I will stick around to work out whatever comes up in our lives together. We're not promising to be together until we die; I don't believe in making promises I can't keep, and I don't know what the future will bring either of us. But I do know that no matter what happens, we'll be in it together, and if there are challenges we will always try to fix things instead of walking away.

Nonetheless, I have a hard time with marriage as I've seen it practiced and talked about. I'm going to get married just the same.

More on this later, I'm sure.



3 comments:

J said...

Nice. Similar thoughts. Buying J a diamond was one of the most stressful decisions that I'd ever made and put me through some pretty big political, ethical, and moral conflict.
But she is a traditionalist, and it IS what I knew she wanted...and there were ways to ensure that I know (well as close as you can get to knowing hoping that jewelers are honest w/ you) that no-one died for the stone.
I wish you guys the best. Stop over sometime for beers and pre-wedding stress stories.

Kate. said...

I feel grateful that I was never burdened with the whole 'fairy tail princess wedding' gene. I had a scary dream last night that my BF and I got married. I told him that it was that we got married and then he died, but really it was just that we got married. Ha! So congrats for getting over that hurdle.

Jen said...

Until one year ago I honestly thought I would never get married. I sort of generically wanted to, maybe *someday,* but I did not at all believe that I would meet a person that I would want to make that kind of commitment to. SURPRISE!

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