My new blog header got me thinking. I'm 45 and I have been dating since I was, what, 14? Ever since that night when I went to miniature golf with Wayne Herron where he wanted to stick his hand down my pants out behind the shrubbery and I wouldn't let him. What an auspicious beginning.
Thirty one later, I have never married. That seems weird even to me. And despite the fact that he was a pushy, horny little freak, I probably can't pin all the blame on Wayne.
Did I have a desire to get married? Sure, yeah, once, desperately, but that was also the point of my life at which I was the most insane. I can also say that I am positive I would have been miserable with him, and that I would have divorced him and that he would not be a nice person to get a divorce from. So in my book he saved me a lot of trouble by refusing to get married (after he proposed, mind you).
When I told my mom I was moving in with Mr. Stapler, she said "But you have failed so many times before."
That was a bit of a karate chop to the gut.
My mom thought I failed. Ouch. Being a failure in the eyes of my parents is one of my worst fears and one of the things that keeps me from drinking cheap gin all day and living in a cardboard box as I have always aspired in my heart to do.
I had never looked at the end of my relationships as failures, which might seem strange. I have cried many big breakup tears and spent weeks moping around with wadded-up kleenexes in my hand, but I had never considered what I did failing. I always just thought I was moving on, and that I HAD to move on. I didn't feel that I had an alternative.
A friend asked the other day "When you look back on all the men you dated, don't you think it would have been ok if you had just picked one and married them?"
"Hell, no," I thought. I am thankful that I never tied the knot. None of them were horrible people, they just weren't people I wanted to spend decades with. Maybe no one IS.
And anyway, I'm boycotting marriage until everyone can get married. I feel strongly about gay rights, and right now it feels like getting married would be the moral equivalent of sitting in the front of the bus in Alabama in 1964.
So all you men who are lining up to ask, just don't bother. Get back to me after legislation changes. Thank you.
Some damn fine writing over at Linkateria today.