Everyone's Getting Engaged
To start with a grand exaggeration, everyone I know is getting engaged.
Today in class, one of my classmates was showing off her new ring, and while everyone ooh'd and ahh'd, I sat behind her eating two hardboiled eggs.
Pathetic, or blood-sugar conscious?
I'm not even entirely sure that I believe in marriage. For starters, my parents are very divorced and watching that marriage disintegrate left me with a bad taste in my mouth over the whole concept. Plus, facing the reality that still, in some parts of the world, marriage is only legal to heterosexual couples makes me want to rage against the entire institution and like, flip tables over and throw stuff. What an archaic system.
Recently, as more and more people my age are getting closer to saying "I do", I've noticed them lose sight of themselves. It's almost as though the goal is the wedding and the journey to that day is now the purpose. Their purpose. And when the vows are said and done and the rings have been exchanged, what are these people to do with themselves? Why, have a baby of course! It's been scary to watch friends and total strangers on social media completely devote their lives to "the way things should be". I guess I was never one for a cookie-cutter life.
Since my opinion is simply that, I've asked a few friends how they feel about marriage to see if the way I feel is felt by them, too. Here's what they shared with me:
"Marriage is a government issued contract that binds two people together for forever until they get divorced. I have no romantic thought about marriage."
"I think that there's something sweet about someone making a silly commitment to you and making what seems like an unrealistic commitment to you. It's so sweet and satisfying. To me, that's what marriage comes down to, not this patriarchal system. It's about your partner showing you how much they love you and it comes down to them wanting to show you. That, I think, is the sweetness and novelty of marriage these days."
Which was followed by:
"Kaela, I know you, you're gonna counterargument this and be like "fuck marriage, I'm a woman, free the pussy".
"Marriage has always been very special to me and I've always had a great image of what it should look like due to my mom and dad. My parents were never the norm; they engage in their marriage daily with a fierceness that can't be described. Sometimes, they have there squabbles, but I've never seen two people work better together in my whole existence. They can't be separated for two long because they love each other so deeply and yet, they manage to remain wonderful, unique individuals. I can't help but always picture lovebirds (yes the actual bird, or are they called doves?) when I look at my parents together.
No relationship is easy, and that's why I think couples shouldn't get married until they have the means to live both as a pair and as individuals. Marriage used to be what people did, because... thats just what couples did back then. Now it should truly be about how well you work together and how much you love each other! If you can talk to each other openly about anything and remaining trustworthy and loving then you can consider yourself on the path way to marriage. Unless thats not your thing, then by all means don't get married! No one should ever feel like marriage is a must in relationships, but for me it's something that I'd love to have one day. As a gay man the right to marry is an amazing thing that people have worked so hard to have, and one day, I think I deserve to have what my parents have had for over 40 years."
"Even though I know so many people who are divorced or are the children of divorced parents, I think I still have a pretty romanticized notion of marriage. Especially today when there seems to be this widespread fear of commitment, I think it's beautiful when people are so convinced that they've found the person who they want to spend the rest of their life with. You have to be a little bit brave to get married."
As expected, the feelings towards marriage were varied though quite reflective of the individual's own upbringing. As it would only be fitting to end with another grand generalization, it seems that among my friends, those who grew up with happily married parents are the same one's who have a more positive association with the word than those who didn't.
But again, that's a generalization. So share your thoughts on marriage with me. Or tell me something funny. Let's do anything to avoid focusing on today's inauguration.