June 22, 2005

Marriage. What is it good for? In honor of my dear friend and bear Homie's impending nuptials to the lovely and of course bear-friendly Michelle, I shall now ruminate upon the subject of holy matrimony. Perhaps dedicating said rumination to Homie and Michelle isn't the best course of action given my own personal thoughts on the subject but Homie is a smart bear (and Michelle must be pretty savvy herself to have captured his interest) so I think he'll appreciate any thoughts from me being dedicated to him, no matter how obscurely unrelated said thoughts actually are to reality.

Marriage really works well for a lot of people. My parents, my sister and brother-in-law, lots of good friends at the G, my Elven parents, the aforementioned Homie and Michelle... the list is literally endless. I don't know if you've noticed, but a LOT of people out there are married these days. And I say good for them. Good for those couples who have found each other. Good for those couples whose souls find unity together and whose dreams come to fruition in each other's company. That isn't sarcasm, either. I applaud those who make marriage beautiful. *applauds* HOWEVER...

There are a lot of people for whom marriage isn't the answer and I strongly suspect that I am one of those people. Humans are, at their base core, animals. We are animals with souls and, depending on your theological bent, eternal destinies. Certainly we have opposable thumbs. But at our base, we live and breathe to perpetuate the species and stay alive long enough to do so. The idea of a monogamous relationship is more or less counterproductive to instinctive species perpetuation. Meaning as a genus we aren't designed for loyalty but for longevity. I know the Bible says otherwise but in case you missed my last post where I told you where to go and what to read on the way, the Bible Belt all-American family node of momdadtwokidsdog may not actually be God's ultimate plan. His own son was an unmarried stirrer-of-holy-shit. Think about that. Certainly the Bible says not to commit adultery but there are also plenty of examples of God's chosen men doing things in the name of love and divinity that society today would faint over. Jacob. Worked seven years to marry Rachel and had Leah pawned off on him on the marriage night. So he worked seven more to marry Rachel too. Only nowadays we preach about his love for Rachel and avoid using the word "polygamy" for fear of, um, learning something. Abraham. As Gotthammer Mike pointed out, his wife Sarah was seemingly barren so to avoid the sin of adultery he just slept with the maidservant to keep the young'uns in the "family". Only of course nowadays we only preach about Isaac. Lot. My favorite. The only holy man and family to be saved from the accursed Sodom and Gomorrah. His wife gets salted for her disobedience and he and his daughters end up hiding out in the wilderness so his daughters, fearing they'll never procreate (and perpetuate the species), "lay with" their father to avoid the curse of singledom. But "Incest: The Game The Whole Family Can Play" has still never caught on.

My point, besides grossly clever puns, is that marriage has been loosely defined and weirdly rebelled against for time immortal. Divorce is nearly as common as marriage. Single parents are nearly as common as married ones. Common law couples have the same rights as legally wed ones. And now gay ones do to. Humanity, as a rule, is more innately concerned with the pursuit of pleasure and the continuation of the species than about lofty ideals like undying loyalty and love beyond death. Unless said things are depicted aboard doomed ocean liners by people like James Cameron. *gags* Those who are married need not feel in err. Everyone must adhere to that which governs their own soul. You can't be what you aren't. But by that same rule, we single people should not be made to feel that our lives of independent, sex-riddled, childless adventure are somehow intrinsically wrong and going against everything the species stands for. I am not in a sole committed relationship. Nor am I likely to be in the near future. Aside from the fact that I'm wildly unskilled at navigating the nuances of them, I'm not interested in them. I like being single. And I resent the societal push towards marriage that increases with every candle that appears on my birthday cake. As though I somehow am less of a contributing member of the race because I insist on doing for myself what husbands do for other women. As though I somehow am a waste of time because my version of perpetuating the species involves an endless search for the most virile partner with whom I won't actually procreate because I hate children. Nonetheless, I am instinctively on the prowl for the best possible sexual mate. Marriage doesn't appeal to me. My parents' marriage appeals to me on the level of my admiration for the stable and supportive childhood I was given through it. My sister's marriage appeals to me because I've always wanted a brother and now I have one. Homie and Michelle's marriage appeals to me because I see joy, pure and unmanufactured, in the eyes of Homie when he speaks of Michelle and I know that some things are just meant to be. But marriage is not a God-given right and union is not the ultimate goal of life.

Of course, I could be wrong. I mean Lord knows if Marton Csokas proposed to me just to prove a point, I'd become the biggest hypocrite this side of the Pharisees. And I have always lauded the wisdom of the Baroness Von Schrader in The Sound of Music who, faced with daunting societal pressure to be properly wed and with a large family to care for, did the only sensible thing she could - seduced a stupidly wealthy man who already HAD seven children and then pawned them off on the curtain-wearing nanny so she could plan parties. These examples aside, however, I am most impressed by people who make up their own minds about things. If you fall in love and then, beyond that, realize you really do like your partner and want to be with them, get married. Thumb your nose at cynical single vampires like me and walk the aisle in triumph. But if you're single and, God forbid, ENJOYING IT, continue. There is no need to feel either guilty or like a failure because you aren't contributing to Vera Wang's retirement fund or overpopulating the world with precocious youngsters.

Feel free to disagree. Just for godsakes don't propose.