To have and to hold until...the buzz wears off
On the topic of marriage--saving or destroying--I don't understand the point of getting married if you're not going to stick with it. Maybe that sounds incredibly juvenile, but you didn't have this whole big $15,000 ceremony with people jetting in from around the country to prove to the world you were in love. The people who mattered already knew that. You did it to take it to the next level, to celebrate the commitment, to stand up in front of family and friends and co-workers you felt obligated to invite and say "I love this person so much, I want to be with them for the rest of my life." If it was just "I love this person so much", it'd be okay to split up if/when that changed. But the reason you started spending all your free time surveying card stock samples, was the commitment piece of it. The key idea was you wanted to swear to stay with it forever. Love changes. It's capricious. You can be wildly in love without commitment or intensely committed without love. But love wasn't the main point. It was the idea of "creating kinship" that drew you to it. Making the relationship permanent. Making the person a part of your family.
You don't go into it with the mind set of "I'll stay with this as long as it is fun and amazing and I feel supported and I am free to be me and every day is a new adventure." Do you? I mean how can you say, "I'm just not feeling it"? You can say that about a movie you walk out of, a party you want to leave, even a job or a neighborhood, but not a family member. Just because what he said was not the funniest thing you heard that day and her eccentricities are starting to grate on you and just because you don't make a cute couple anymore, you can't get out of it. You are bound together. Better or worse. What part did you miss? Were you asleep during the ceremony? Did no one ever explain this to you?
I think having doubts about a person is okay. You can still get married even if you're not 100% sure you found "the one" or he or she is the ideal mate. But you can't get married if you have any doubts that you might one day want to leave. You have to know going into it that you won't change your mind. That's the whole friggin' point. Or else at the very least issue a disclaimer. I mean you're not a 5-year old playing Cinderella. Your friends are not dressing up as Gus and Jaq. You and someone else whose shaving habits perhaps already annoyed you decided you wanted to share a life together, have a family in whatever way was meaningful to you -- with kids or without, with cats, dogs, goldfish, a sprawling 5-bedroom house, a high-rise in Dubai or a tent in Jim's parents' backyard. The only thing that mattered was barring physical or mental abuse you were not going to leave. Ever. Period. If that was ever in question why did you argue over Lily of the Valley bouquets? Why did you order 10 pounds of spanikopita? Why did you get others involved? You could have just gone steady. Or exchanged rings and popped a bottle of champagne and texted everybody a photo. Then if you broke up you'd be breaking a promise to each other and maybe to G*d but you wouldn't owe anybody a "Just kidding".
This is not in defense of never getting married. In my case I feel like friends and family came to enough gigs over the years. They don't need to watch me and Alex dance to "It's Raining Men" on top of that. Plus we're not religious. We don't look good dressed up. We have more faith in music than vows and we have my grandmother's great-working blender from the 50s that I use nearly every day. So we haven't walked down the aisle. But it wasn't a definite decision against. It's just something we haven't decided to do. Just like we haven't moved to Oklahoma. It just hasn't really come up. Nothing against Oklahoma or people who choose to move there. And unless they made us dress up and watch them move and sit through 500 pictures of the cake they ate that day, they don't need to stay there.
On that note, I'm off to my cousin's wedding on the coast of South Carolina. See ya soon.
(To other half of anonymous X: I know you told me not to blog in anger, but I've thought all these things for a long time. Still, your x-wife, you know, she's really such an asshole.)