cafe mama

a domestic realist blog

do we need marriage at all? . 26 june 2015

another rainbow

I've always cried at gay wedding photos.

I don't like many wedding pictures any more, honestly. I'm incorrigibly convinced that we'd be better off without any bonding when it comes to love. The court-ordered custody counseling guy said, 'love is a biological urge lasting two years.' I don't know if I agree with him entirely -- love is a story we tell ourselves over and over until we can't believe ourselves any more -- it can last decades if our stories are rich enough. If the characterization works and the narrator is believable and we keep coming up against interesting problems. I'm not arguing against love. I believe in love seven ways to Sunday. I believe in true love and electric love and love that sparkles my eyes and reaches deep into my soul.

I believe in love that wakes up every day and chooses.

I'm thrilled about the supreme court's gay marriage ruling. Ummm; I'm bisexual. Somewhere right after I turned 40 I, entirely by accident, asked myself a question whose answer surprised me. In a quiet space between wake and sleep I held my sexuality on that level that exists where our conscious meets our subconscious and entered a spark that would be my revelation. I guess... well, should this be about me? I suppose that's how this works. Maybe two years ago I would have been so much more thrilled about a nationally-accepted gay marriage, and I wasn't really identifying as bisexual then, so where does that leave me?

It leaves me here. I don't want to marry anyone, ever, and I'm skeptical there's any good reason for an institution which pretends we're monogamous creatures who can own each other. I don't want to own anyone, male or female, although I sure as hell want to sleep with other free beings of both genders.

I analyze relationships; it's a hobby I have a lot of chance to practice. People travel together for new love and torrid affairs and bachelor parties and honeymoons and anniversaries and family vacations and I'll tag along for your conference -- they come on my tours. I listen to men and women who talk about their wives and husbands and lovers in their presence in the third person and that tells me everything. We're such messy people. We grew up hard and lots of us were traumatized. We don't know how to keep the trauma to ourselves. We bond ourselves to others because of our fears. Because we're afraid to be alone; we're afraid of being left. We're afraid we'll wake up one morning and someone will say "I'm leaving" and we'll have nothing there to hold him, to hold her. A promise then. A promise made before our institutional gods. Our vows; our contracts.

When I started entering into love without contracts I was promised by the man I called the love of my life, "I'll never leave you." I believed him in that surface of my mind in which I allowed myself to live. I promised him, "if we break up I won't write about you." I knew when I said the words I wouldn't keep it.

I can't keep promises and neither did the love of my life. His institutional gods had too strong a hold on him.

Marriage can hold people who are prostrate well enough to their institutional gods but nothing can hold the light in my love's eyes when he looks at me. Nothing can hold the smile that roots at the center of my heart and beams out into my shoulders, my hips, my knees, my wide wide lips, my fingers and toes when he and his heady self overwhelm me. Nothing can hold her moans. . .

The truth, as my friend Jen said, is that nothing holds love to any of us. We are completely alone unless people we love choose us. I've promised never to marry this man I love; I'll make the same promise to this woman. All the contract I can make is that look in my eyes; that smile. That's all that holds me. That's all I want to hold.

When such an historic day ends how can I celebrate it right? I'm glad more people have access to equality. I hope fewer people want this sort of equality.

Now that we've made it equal, can we ask whether we need it at all?

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read my previous post . amory, a prophecy . 21 may 2015