We have a continuing conversation in my relationship about weddings, rings and marriages. Most of the time its a on going joke about how one really doesn't want it and the other does. The core of it is that its not really that funny. While it could be conceived as a deal breaker, it wasn't until the very recent that I realized its far from it.
Our generation ( the late 90s, early 2000's kids) had no idea that marriage would ever be a thing for two gay boys. I have friends of an older gay generation and they have the same experience with the idea of ever being out and spoken about. The migration of gay rights has certainly surprised and shocked most of us, and I can only imagine what a kid born in 2011 will one day experience. For myself, I never imagined the right to ever be a goal because it was never even a probable goal line.
We recently celebrated 9 years of relationship and for many, its a life time or a stretch never met. We are happy, and celebrate each other daily. The idea that a ring or a piece of paper is required to some how solidify any of that is a fairytale myth that doesn't always fit in your storyline. The reality is that marriage works for some , and doesn't for many. As a child of divorce, I have seen a marriage deteriorate and the good reasons to bail out of it. I hate the phrase " come from a broken home" as the most likely result was "a better home" was created as two people who were most likely miserable found a way out and hopefully ... happy.I think all children of divorce have a real understanding that " till death " also means " doesn't mean forever" and empowers them in their own.
The realization that I don't need a ring as lead me into thinking I do. ( see that? I do , Clever right?). It's not for you to see I am taken, or for him to get down on one knee and act out the fantasy, but to buy and give myself something that says you have done it. A symbol that reflects my work , my education and drive of what I always wanted and how I finally got it.
No marriage works unless each party comes to table already whole. If one enters the relationship weak or limping, the other becomes the crutch. The bearer of all the work and the horse pulling two tons of baggage up the mountain side. If one portrays to be something they are not, the sheet is quickly pulled out from under and in time, the real you will be exposed. Just like the Cinderella syndrome of ring, wedding and honeymoon, there is a false sense of what is really in the air. Now, don't go thinking I am somehow anti marriage. There are so many that take the path and it works, and they spend the next 60 years making it work. ( $5 says they will be on the Today Show during the 8am hour to tell you , to tell the world, "see? you should have this too!" )
I am avoiding saying " marry yourself" as it might sound like some sort of cop-out to avoid getting what you want. ( it sounds dumb and corny too). But what if we create these symbols to speak to our individual excellence instead of projecting to the world some sort of " must do" or even yet, an idea that we have to be what the word expects. It's high school, college, date and marriage for most, to avoid the prying eyes of the world asking" she is 32 ... why is she still single?" and for men... " he must be gay". ( Yes, any never married man over 34 is gay, don't email me asking, he is)
The fantasy can be a reality of loving yourself. No chapel required.