I’m not convinced that the problem with marriage is that it is broken; I am convinced that a problem with marriage is that it isn’t big enough for everyone.
In the past week, both The New York Times and Slate have addressed modern marriage and its related problems, asking whether privatization of marriage, and state recognition of other kinds of civil care-giving agreements, isn’t the way to go from now on. Keep reading »
Flipping through my mom’s old yearbooks as a kid, I was taken by the bouffant hairdos and the small-town charm of her tiny East Texas high school; I was also amazed that there appeared to be basically two clubs in the whole place. Guys got funneled into the Future Farmers of America. The young women? Future Homemakers of America.
Farmers and homemakers. Boys and girls. Public and private. Knowing the incredible life my mom has lived — as a high-powered vice president at major American manufacturing company, brilliant accountant, veterinary technician, working mom — it really doesn’t seem like “future homemaker” encompasses even a little bit of what she had the potential to do, or what she ended up doing, in her life.
Certainly “homemaking” didn’t sound very appealing to me, either as a kid or a young professional woman. Getting excited about new drapes? Advancements in vacuum cleaning technology? No, when I want excitement, I’ll go for whiskey or a deadline or both. Keep reading »
On Sunday, Patrick and I celebrated our six-month wedding anniversary by watching nearly seven hours of what Netflix claims are “Halloween favorites” and eating a delicious homemade caprese salad, as Patrick decided that six months is the “caprese anniversary.” No doubt he has some culinary deliciousness planned in six more months.
How has my life changed since April 21, 2012? In some ways, not at all. In other ways … not a lot. In still more ways? Not much. In fact, the manifestations of marriage in my day-to-day life are almost negligible, and perhaps because Patrick and I already lived together and wanted to be with each other forever before we decided to put a piece of paper on it. But also perhaps because, after you spend months planning the hoopla of a wedding — even a small one, even an inexpensive one, like ours was — almost anything would seem banal in comparison. Keep reading »
The few times I ever imagined my future wedding as I grew up in suburban north Texas, I imagined it taking place in the church I was raised in, the altar strewn with pretty flowers and the minister who baptized as a child me officiating. This vague idea of what my wedding might be like never quite left me, even as I left organized religion as a young adult. Weddings were a church thing. Churches have ministers. Ministers do weddings. Seemed pretty simple.
But as I attended more and more church weddings as an adult, the more I realized that there would be no way I could have one of my own: it’s not exactly fair to ask a Christian minister to, you know, leave all those Jesus-y parts out. They do tend to like to get in a bit of that where they can.
My husband, Patrick, was raised Catholic. I was a Methodist. While we both spent our youth as devout practitioners of our respective faiths, we don’t currently attend church and don’t have any plans to. We are happily lapsed, though we both look fondly back on our days as Bible-beating teenagers. I, for one, credit the church for giving me moral guidance and an amazing social circle when I was in school. I’d do it the same way all over again. But it’s not who I am or what I believe today. Keep reading »
Minutes before I walked down the aisle, one of my persons-of-distinction, Trenton, pulled a bunch of multi-colored plastic Tiki goblets from a sack, busted open a bottle of cheap champagne from a cooler, and measured out five healthy pours for the five of us in the little dressing room. Most of my pre-wedding moments are lost in a blur of being late to the venue, jumping into my dress and checking my makeup, but I remember that Tiki toast like it was yesterday.
That moment of support and solidarity is what I always imagined a wedding party is for — not to be put-upon recruits in the business of folding silverware (though our folks cheerfully took on this and many other tasks in turning a Dallas rock club into a wedding venue) but to be touchstones in a stressful and joyful and momentous time.
I had four party-persons stand with me on my wedding day, and looking back, I absolutely wouldn’t have had it any other way. Because of my mixed-gender group— Patrick’s side was similarly mixed — we deemed these (very good looking, if I may say so) folks our persons-of-honor-and-distinction, rather than bridesmaids and groomsmen. They are our favorite people. Keep reading »
I made sure to get the thin crust pizza, because I knew that once it was just me and a couch and Liam Neeson rescuing some people from some horrible shit and/or wolves, I was going to eat all that pizza, and I did not want the bread bloat. I was treating myself. I was worth it. I was alone.
For the past two and a half years, in the process of dating, moving in with and then marrying my husband, I haven’t been alone much. I’d almost forgotten how to do it. I’d almost forgotten how to do something I love to do, and something that I’m very, very good at doing. I don’t mean being single. I mean being solitary. By myself.
For most of my 20s, I was in long-distance relationships, make-up break-up relationships or deep into singledom. I had a lot of opportunities to cultivate my own favorite kinds of solitude: taking long afternoon drives out into the Texas Hill Country, getting a six pack of High Life tallboys, watching British comedies all night, going bonkers on multi-hour sewing project marathons that ended in inevitable disaster. Doing whatever I wanted, when I wanted to, and never having to wonder whether eating all this ranch dip at 3 p.m. is that going to mess up dinner plans. Because I didn’t have dinner plans. And I fucking loved it. Keep reading »