Marriage, Why?

28 Jun

I’m a woman in America over 25 which means that everyone keeps telling me how much I want to get married. How important it is to land the man, pick the dress, calligraphy my bridesmaids gifts. I do have horrible handwriting and love fancy calligraphy but;

How would I know if I wanted to get married? What does it mean?

Does it mean a wedding? A dress? Health insurance? To be square with your deity of choice? An opportunity to tell your whole world that this person is the bees knees? Financial stability? A guarantee that your partner will always love you? Sexual exclusivity until you die? Chosen family? Children? Someone to take care of you when your life is hard? Help in times of sickness? A commitment to supporting your choices, dreams, desires as you discover them? Waking up and having breakfast together? Doing the thing all your friends are doing? Fidelity?

Which of these are guaranteed because you’ve signed a contract with each other and the state? Which are important to you?

Weddings hold little fascination for me. I’ve never been much for throwing parties and I hate decorating. I like attending them but coming up with a color scheme for an event is my literal nightmare. Plus, isn’t it a bummer to decide that you can only have one favorite-ever dress? And that it has to be white and that you have to wear it only once? How about instead of deciding that there’s one MY DAY where I look better than I ever have or will, that I’m my most beautiful every day. That every dress I spend my hard earned money on should be a dress that I want to be seen and loved in. Instead of creating a false scarcity on my beauty there can be an infinite supply. Cause my beauty is infinite and celestial, lets be real.

Health insurance, yeah that’s a thing to consider. Thanks America.

An opportunity to tell your whole world that this person is important to you. This is the one that gets me. I want this. For various reasons bragging my love hasn’t felt very safe in my life. So I have a story in my head that this would be very healing. But wedding days are crazy and from what I understand the dominant feelings people actually experience are hunger and foot pain. I’d like to work on feeling safe shouting my crushy feelings from rooftops before I go around making expensive legal decisions.

Religious considerations. Probably a concern for some but not particularly me. “Hell” concerns me less than my rent. Though if I were to have some sort of ceremonial/party experience of showing off my partner I wouldn’t mind if a rabbi came by to say something that no one would understand and kiss me on the forehead.

Financial stability. Is this actually linked to marriage? Does getting married guarantee that you’ll never be destitute? If there’s a person committed to supporting you, then wouldn’t they want to help you financially if you needed it? But they aren’t required to, is that a big risk? If you’re in financial trouble and married will that partner automatically be the best person to help you? Will they be guaranteed not to resent you because of your rings? Not everyone can marry someone who earns more than they do, marriage is two different people, not a mobius strip.

Relatedly who do I tell if I kill someone and need help burying the body? It would be nice to have someone who is allowed to not testify against me. Am I the only one who finds that sort of romantic?

A guarantee that your partner will always love you. I’m not gonna link to divorce statistics. That feels rude.

Sexual exclusivity until you die. Do you really even want that? Do I? I’ve never wanted to be sexually exclusive to anyone honestly. My mother always told me “I had a long and fun single life before I met your father.” I think I’m pretty good at having my cake and eating it too. And lots of people are exclusive without marriage and lots of marriages don’t include sexual exclusivity. So we can unlink those two pretty easily.

Making a family, whether that means the two of you, or the two of you plus a few. The chosen family that you make as an adult and don’t marry are important still, right? The roommates you split life duties with, the friends you have standing dates with. The people you trust enough to travel with. Are they less your chosen family for not being contracted as such?

And babies, we all know you don’t need a marriage license to make one of those.

Help and support in times of struggle, sickness, and plain old soul searching. What is commitment and how do you feel like you have it? When I have any clue at all I’ll be sure to share it. Anyone can choose to give you those things. Hopefully a person who loves you can choose to keep wanting to give those things over a lifetime. But how do you receive that? How do you feel secure in this person to support you? In this essay lifetime I will show…

Mornings. I love breakfast. I love morning sex. I love cuddling to the sunrise. This one is hard for me. I think of the morning as my most productive time of day. From about 9am-noon I feel like my brain is full of potential and creativity. If I’m freaking out about something, it’ll be here, now, wanting to be addressed. If I’m feeling frisky, wanting to be sweet on someone then that’ll show up too. But lots of people who are married don’t live together. And obviously you can live together, or have sleepovers with people you’re not married to. Show of hands?

Fitting in. It has pros and cons. To each their own.

Fidelity – noun; faithfulness to a person, cause, or belief, demonstrated by continuing loyalty and support. What is the venn diagram between fidelity and marriage? Obviously this can exist within a marriage but regardless of what any magazine says, no white dress can guarantee it. And if you want fidelity in any partnership then how do you communicate that, model it, ask for it? By saying this?

I love you so much. So much that you can’t scare me. So much that I want all the ugly parts of you. So much that I want to know the completeness of you. So much that I want to see all the boring, sad, angry, and shameful parts of you. I want to hold them all carefully and look at them with you. I want to see you and watch how you change. I want to share in your times of joy and I want to support you when you are working through the issues in your life.

Doesn’t sound like a totally raw deal to me…

You’re So Sweet To Me

7 May

My mom used to say “I just want you to find someone to love.”

My partner tells me “You are so sweet to me. You are being so sweet to me.”

It turns out that I enjoy being gushy. I enjoy being a completely goofy romantic. There are so many fun sweet things to say and do and make.

With no fear that I’m going to be laughed at. With no fear that I’m going to be misunderstood.

I want to give that ooey gooey melty center to someone who knows what it means, what it costs, what the associated fears are.

I love getting to be that drippy heart, it’s such a treat to get to show it on my sleeve. It takes a lot of practice to feel comfortable being that person in front of someone, even when it’s so graciously and appreciatively received. It is shockingly hard to push that edge for myself. But I can feel it already being so worth it.

Laughing at Thunder

1 Apr

In Judaism you don’t tell anyone you’re pregnant until as late as possible. Don’t brag, don’t count on chickens before they hatch. A flood isn’t out of the question, Nothing is guaranteed in this life.

Don’t smile too loudly. The heavens might hear you and smite you down.

Maybe other people or peoples have that too. That superstitious streak. That abandonment. That cope.

So what do you do when that cope becomes a curse? How do you break yourself of the habit when something comes along so wonderful that it’s cruel to hide it from the world?

Can you adopt a totally different unified theory of everything? Switch from blaming Fates and Bad Air to preaching Germ theory.

I imagine instead of a straight jacket it would be like a light sundress. Casually, tossing over my shoulder “I’m in love with the most beautiful man in the world and I don’t care who knows it.”

Because it feels amazing to say true things. And I am.

I Wanted To Take A Bath

3 Dec

So I took off my clothes and started filling the tub.

I set out a few candles around the bathroom; the sink, the window ledge, the toilet tank. I turned off the overhead and lit a match, moving from one candle to the next enjoying the rushing sound of the filling bath.

I turned my back to the sink with its three evenly spaced candles to pick some music for my soak and my gaze was met by curves descending like vines from the ceiling. When I moved they moved. My body, my hourglass, my S curves in triplicate, projected larger than life onto gleaming white tile.

I threw on something slow and watched my body in kaleidoscope. Twisting and turning, one curve turning into another, coming to a point, revealing itself to be a shoulder, a nipple, a hip.

I moved around the room and saw myself on all walls. Here, looking like three backup singers in impressive synchronicity. There, looking like one body as seen by a drunk three-eyed observer, gently rolling in and out of focus with herself.

A non-strip non-tease for an audience of herself plus water and fire. A sister goddess indeed.

Perfectly Themselves

6 Nov

I’m leaving this here as a reminder for myself.

Let people unfold in your presence.

Meet them where they are.

I Love My Body

8 Oct

This is very effective advertising. I will be watching this show.

Making Gold

23 Jul

This weeks sermon comes to you from having your own personal crisis in the most seemingly hostile of environments. And living. And learning that you can do that and not only be fine, but better than you were before. Absorbing rejection and living anyway, to realize that you can make it through anything. You can experience your worst fears and get confirmation on your cruelest thoughts about yourself and still wake up the next morning.

And if you are lucky then you get to the next morning and look around at the people who were there with you and you get to be grateful for them and love them harder than before. It may have been your worst day but it still wasn’t the worst day you could have had. Because you didn’t have to do it alone. And the people who supported you are not always the ones you expect. Maybe you have a family you never knew about before. People who help you climb by picking your feet up and placing them where they need to go. And people who listen and give zero advice, just hear and reflect back.

These are the things you learn from having the worst day imaginable in the most hostile environment imaginable.

That you are the strongest you imaginable.

When They Say They Have A Crush On You

2 Jul

Believe them.

Take the yes, don’t accuse them of lying. Gracefully accept the love.

O Brave New World

29 Jun

Dude, did you know that men are like, nice? Like really nice. Like hug you while you cry, rub your back, not look even the slightest bit embarrassed that you’re doing this in public. – Nice.

Like looking deep into your soul and saying “You are not something to be ashamed of.” – Nice.

Like “What are you thinking when you stop your hand right above the band of my bikini?” “Just how nice your belly feels against my hand.” – Nice.

My face is so leaky because the inside of my brain is just a photo reel of all this niceness now.

How could I ever have not known this?

I must have known this?

When did I know this?

And why does it feel like such surprising news?

I love men. Some of my best friends are men. Some of my favorite people in the world are men.

So why didn’t I trust them to be this? Or to be this with me?

And how did it come to be that now I do?

No matter. Now that I’ve seen this beautiful new world I’m never going back.

Even if this person disappears, I know what how it feels to kiss someone who thinks I’m fireworks. I’m kissing people who make me feel like a beautiful burning star. That’s mine now.

I’ve Got A Beautiful Head

2 Jun

I shaved my head. Here’s why.

Last year I worked with Eve Ensler, stunning, smart, she wrote The Vagina Monologues and I met her because of her new piece, partially about her battle with cancer.

For purposes of comfort and the show she kept her hair short after her recovery. And you couldn’t get away from her beautiful face, like her eyes took up her whole head. She would jokingly say “I have no hair” and I kept thinking “of course you have hair, I’m looking at it right now. And it’s lovely.”

It was around the same time that I was falling in love with my haircut. I think each person has a perfect cut if they pay attention. Something that makes them feel like themselves and requires the right amount of care. With my undercut asymmetrical bob I found that. It made me feel fancy. I thought,

“Well great, I just need to maintain this forever!”

And then immediately vomited in my own mouth.

I kept thinking about this podcast about lawn maintenance in america, how we plant grass and we don’t let it live, keeping it in an unnatural life cycle, we mow it and mow it and mow it, keeping it in adolescence forever.  Michael Pollen wrote “Lawns are nature purged of sex and death.”

Hair grows. That’s all it does. Maintain this forever? What a chore!

I’d rather use the fact that it grows rather than run from it.

That’s when I started running the idea by a few friends and co-workers, “Is this crazy? Should I stop thinking about this?”

“Well you’re thinking about it a lot, so it sounds like you really want to do it and you should.”

Then the final straw.

My hair finally made it into a ponytail for the first time in years. I looked in the mirror and realized;

I’m going to look beautiful.

And that’s when we got out the clippers.

And I was right. I do look beautiful.