Sunday, December 14, 2008

On Marriage

[The photo above was actually taken at City Hall here in DC]

Honestly, I just don’t get it. One moment you are sitting in a dive bar with your guy friends drinking beer after beer, mourning yet another Redskins loss and arguing over whether sex with a blonde is actually better than sex with a brunette (welcome to my last couple of Sunday afternoons). And all of a sudden you are married with two kids, living somewhere “quiet and safe,” and hoping the market recovers because you really need that college fund to start compounding. What. The. Fuck.?

Having never had the pleasure, I really, REALLY would like to know what makes a person decide to get married in the first place?


Could it have something to do with that 14th century construct called ROMANTIC LOVE? You know…“I am so in love with you that marriage is the only thing that can fully express the depths of my commitment to you,” or the venerable “Baby, I love you so much that I need to be married to you!”

But wait a sec! The last time I checked a person can, in fact, love someone strongly, fully, and deeply without being married. Why does a couple need a piece of paper to prove to them that their romance will continue unabated, that their commitment to each other will long endure? I think the most disturbing question of all is this: is it possible that some people get married because they are afraid that if they don’t get married their love could run its course and flicker out as many loves tend to do? Are we so afraid of being alone that we seek to trap those we love with a signed piece of paper and a rehearsal dinner?


Love and marriage definitely gets more complicated when kids are involved. There is no question about it: kids are better off when they are raised by two parents. But where does it say that both parents have to be married to raise a child? The way I see it, if married parents really can’t get along they will just get divorced. Similarly, if unmarried parents can’t get along they will just end their relationship. What’s the difference? And, isn’t it far more traumatic to go through a divorce than to end a relationship?


Maybe this whole post is essentially moot given the gay marriage issue. Depending on the state, marriage may, indeed, be the only way that some couples can protect their assets, maintain legal custody of their kids, and have a rightful say in how their loved ones are cared for.

On the other hand, marriage may, indeed, be the only solution for many couples, but only because of the current lack of safeguards afforded by contract and family law. NOT because marriage is some kind of panacea.


For many people, having children, indeed, the very act of sexual intimacy requires that you be married in the first place.

Well, you got me there. I guess if you’re really into someone and your heart tells you that you can’t even get to second base without stepping inside the church/synagogue/mosque of your choice then who am I to criticize. Actually, I admire a person that can place so much of themselves in the hands of faith. Personally, I would need to get further than second base before popping the question. A LOT further.


Oh, who am I kidding? I can sit here and criticize marriage till the cows come home but the real reason I’m not big on marriage is because I’m just plain terrified of it. You spend years putting up walls around yourself, hoping to protect every inch of your heart from every kind woman with a nice pair of legs and a penchant for being brilliant. Then, one day, one sneaks behind some crevice you never quite got around to fortifying and she manages to scale the walls. Suddenly you are that dude with the two kids, a house in the suburbs and the college fund. And then you start asking a bunch of painful questions like “Where did all the beer go?” “When was the last time I watched the Redskins with my friends?,” and, the most crucial, “Is sex better with blonds or brunettes? I just don’t quite remember…”

I don’t ever want to ask myself these questions. Besides, I already know the answer to the last one.

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