Thursday, July 05, 2012


This blog is about Love. This blog is also about Marriage. This blog will [try to] connect the dots between these two fundamental entities embedded in our humanity. This topic has been tackled by several million dozen people before, myself included, and almost always discussed with greater intelligence and success than I am currently capable of. It is with regard to that truth that I attempt it, some may so to no avail <---me, I am the one who says that. 
To define my role in this argument I will concede to being the product of two divorces and the sum of one divorce. I have been in love a couple of times and I have loved many times. I consider myself very lucky to have been conceived of love (?), to have grown up surrounded by love, and to have been a very fortunate receiver and provider of love.
Now that I have inserted myself into this dialogue fairly and honestly I am ready to fully make an ass out of myself. 
Anyone who knows me presently may be under the impression that I hold marriage in scathing contempt, and they would be half right. Of course, anyone who knew me 15-20 years ago would also be under the same impression, and they too would be half right. The truth is, I never wanted to get married. I never dreamed about a wedding day or a romantic candle-light proposal. When the JC Penny catalog would come to my childhood residence I would look at the bras (because I one day wanted boobs—and something to put them in) and I would look at flower girl dresses (because <sigh> I one day wanted kids—and some dumb fancy dress to put them in).
If you’ve been alive for even a minute you soon realize that you can’t always get what you want but if you try real hard you may get a poorly conceived Rolling Stones song or a failed marriage and the inability to have children.
Life is unfair, etc. 
Another memory from childhood involves sitting together as a family watching Married With Children. I love(ed) this show, as it was the first exposure I had to this brand of “disfunction” presented in family life (I was too young to have seen All In The Family at the time...I have since remedied that). I use the quotation marks around disfunction to denote sarcasm. It was refreshing, even in grammar school, to see such a relatable depiction of spousal, sibling, neighborly, and community love. Which is to say, an honest love that sometimes didn’t look like love at all—but rather contempt, complacency, anguish, and many passes at suicide. Even Buck, the family dog, suffered as a Bundy. And Whoa Bundy did they suffer, but they suffered together—as a family—and for this fictional family that was what love was about. 
Ah, the absurdity of familial love. 
But what about the absurdity of matrimonial love? Thrice divorced, four-times married Hoboken hoodrat/casanova Frank Sinatra, singer of Love and Marriage, (later optioned by Fox as the opening theme for Married With Children) might even say that marriage is an institution that you can disparage. It seems he did quite often. But I am speculating. 

BFF Love in 2007 in front of Buckingham Fountain, also seen in Married With Children

I told you I have tried to tackle this subject before. I did so pretty ungracefully and also self published it on the internet. I'll just let you read it for yourself.

This Myspace blog was written four years ago. It only garnered 136 views and 5 comments. A friend's wife reposted it, which was very flattering even though she neglected to give the writer credit. 
But this banal banter was just intended as silly noise. Much like all other things I write or say—it is to be taken with a certain level of skepticism. You can be certain it was written with a healthy dose of it.

Current mood:sleepy                     March 24 2008

Marriage is a public admission that you need to fight with someone everyday to feel alive.

Marriage is a good way to incur credit card debt.

Marriage is countless bad dates with other random couples...just because they are a couple too.

Marriage is a phone call to the cops at 2am.

Marriage is just like waiting tables; a character building occupation that everyone should experience once (but only briefly so they don't run the risk of watching their spirit die).

Marriage is not having to date anymore (whew!)

Marriage is not getting to date anymore (what?)
Marriage is an easy way to diminish self esteem.
Marriage is true intimacy : )
Marriage is (weddings specifically) a real financial burden on your friends so make sure you don't run out of booze. Skimp on food if you must...just don't run out of liquor, wine, and beer. It is important to serve all three. No one's going to dance to Kris Kross if we can't properly get annihilated.
Marriage is making sacrifices you didn't expect to make (like seeing your friends).
Marriage is like's not for everyone.
Marriage is above all--a legal contract and just like should think twice before applying it to you.
It needs to said (to anyone I've ever been married to [that's you babe]) this bears no reflection on you. These are just observations I'm sharing for funsies and because I can't sleep (although I desperately need to). Ohana and love always!!!
And for the ten people I know who are happily married...I'm not knocking you. Much respect, love, and well wishes for the future.
I have to make these disclaimers because it's increasingly obvious that a lot of us (myself included) take ourselves way too seriously. I just like drinking, writing, writing while I'm drinking, and sharing useless thoughts with the few people who find me charming when I'm really just being obnoxious.

So, how does one pontificate on the subject of love and marriage? There simply are not any facts about love, just human experiences with it. And love isn't easily defined (although my favorite definition is Merriam's #8: the score of zero {as in tennis}).
The first known use of the word marriage was 7 centuries ago—and we still can not agree on it's definition. 
You see, this is my ambivalence on broaching the subject. It is an impossible task but yet I am so compelled to dive head first into the ewwy gooey mess that is love—and every conversation about it. 

Most people think I am a cynic, and I am happy to let them think that. I encourage them really. I spew a lot of vitriol when talking about marriage, it's just become a part of my routine now, my brand, my persona, my performance. I don't know how to turn it off, 
I don't know how to shut it down—I don't know how to shut the fuck up. 

Here is the truth. I am a romantic. Yuck, I said it. Even after spending every waking moment of my life not wanting to get married, I went and got fucking married. I was really in love, I was really happy, and I was willing to do anything to make my partner happy too. Sidebar, I was also really young—capricious youth—but I certainly think our story was meant to be written, and I've never regretted my decision to get married. 

Elvis sighting, NV 2003
We vowed to adopt each others hound dogs (check). We vowed to never step on each other's blue suede shoes (that part was easy—we didn't own any).
We tried to take care of each other in sickness and in health. Sometimes that is hard. I drove him to work every day for months when he was having seizures and when I needed a root canal he fought me. He fought me on spending the money, even though I was in desperate pain. It wasn't really about tooth number 19, or the money, it was that he liked fighting me. I couldn't figure it out, why he liked fighting me so much. After 5 years it was hard not to think of his fighting as love. He loved me. He loved me a lot, and often when he was drunk, and often in front of friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors. His love was sometimes embarrassing. His love was sometimes scary. He almost loved me to death once. But I did what love does, I endured. I endured up until the day he asked me for a divorce. I knew this time it was not just a threat, as asking for a divorce was sometimes a part of his "loving me rhetoric" when he was really drunk. He assured me he was sober and that he had given it thorough contemplation. I breathed a huge sigh of relief and promptly gave him a divorce. 

Okay, you got me. There is nothing prompt about divorce. That part was painful, that part was ugly, that part was messy. That is the part I do not wish upon anyone. I constantly defy marriage because today, if you are going to get married you also run the risk of getting divorced. When I cringe at the announcement of impending marriages it is not born from bitterness, contempt of the institution, or the inability to be happy for my loved ones—it is because I want to protect them. I want to protect them from the dissolution of marriage that we Americans have a 40-50% chance of encountering (if current divorce trends are maintained). I want to protect them from sitting at a bar popping pills and chasing them with vodka like so many of my regulars at the bar did 5 or 6 times a week after they suffered their own divorces. I want to prevent them from literally drinking themselves to death like my friend Kipp did 8 years and 4 days ago because he was unable or unwilling to recover from his divorce. I want my friends, and well everyone with exception of Ann Coulter, to be happy. But the truth is this, and it’s something that the online version of Merriam-Webster neglects to include when defining love, love can sometimes destroy us. 
Does my caution of marriage stem solely from my own divorce? Was the foundation already present because I came from a twice divorced home? Was my fear of marriage confirmed when I studied Criminal Justice for 3 years and wrote papers on the topic of reducing spousal homicide through reporting domestic violence? I don’t know. I guess all three are likely. 
It is worth mentioning that the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Report, column 15: Relationship of Victim to Offender, offers summary codes. For example: (HU) Husband, (WI) Wife, (CH) Common-Law Husband, (CW) Common-Law Wife, (MO) Mother...etc. 
This list goes all the way down including (EH) Ex-Husband, (EE) Employee and stopping lastly on (ST) Stranger and (UN) Unknown Relation. 
So what does this prove? Does it prove that your husband or wife is your future executioner? No, clearly not. I’m certain it proves nothing. It does however suggest the already commonly accepted notion that, as humans, to know us is to want to kill us. 
You [human] are much more (insert made up percentage here) likely to be killed by someone you are acquainted with than by a stranger. Assuming of course that you are unlucky enough to be killed.

I often [always] tell people that I will never get married again. But I also said that I would never get married once. I've done a lot of things I've said I would never do, most of which are too embarrassing to list here. But I'm not completely obstinate on the subject. To prove this I have made a [clearly] reasonable second husband collage to back this up. 

Albeit, most of these men would have to get divorced for the purpose of being my second husband or I may have to convert to Judaism. I'm fairly open to both. 

I have not even addressed the topic of marriage equality. That is a whopper, and I honestly feel it deserves it's own blog—or maybe it is just this simple;
We may not be able to define love or marriage but we should fucking celebrate all love and honor it amongst all consenting adults. 

He makes silly faces

a lot

My ex-husband, he isn’t a monster. He is my friend. He is my family. He is someone I love.  It is not his malfeasance we are divorced. We both fought, we both tried to make our own brand of love work and we both failed at it. But this [see pictures] is what our love looks like now, after our divorce. Many people stay married because they love each other, or have love for each other. And herein is what I take issue with. Love, for me, is simply not enough to make a relationship last. There are many fundamentals to being in love and being in a relationship, and Christ—to belonging to a sacred union that my own best friend can not legally enter into. Love is a foolish defense for being with someone. Love is an affectionate emotion that I often prescribe to my coffee. But there are expressions of love worthy of exploration: mutual respect, trust, admiration, and appreciation. Not to be confused with deference, adherence, or other archaic forms of submission which anyone who has been married under biblical sermon has vowed to do. To quibble with Sinatra one more time, love and marriage do not go together like a horse and carriage. Well, maybe at one time they did; but we are not a one horse town anymore folks. We have hybrids now. 
People speak of “unconditional love” and, FUCK, what does that mean? We try so hard to find love and now there are conditions? There is so much conflict in even discussing is no wonder we affectionately refer to it as a four-letter-word. 
So again, I’ll speak through my own experiences on this one too. A long time ago on a soap opera I loyally watched growing up (General Hospital) a character (Carly) said these words (I remember verbatim), “Jason loves me because of who I am and not in spite of it”. 
Laugh all you want, but those words haunted me. I remember thinking, “what a truly great way to love people, I’m going to do that”. I have since always tried. I have found that it is not always easy to love everything about someone, but you can love that you don't love everything about them, if you will. I don’t know, it’s like meditation. It takes practice.
I think it is up to us, individually, to define what love and marriage means; as it so clearly means so many different things to so many individuals. I wanted to start a dialogue between us, that is, myself and my six followers. 
I’ll go first:
When I was 15 I thought I knew everything about everything. I’ve spent every year since then understanding that I know nothing. The nothingness in my head struggles daily to develop ideas, opinions, feelings—a somethingness about my environment...any semblance of truth, fact, certainty. Those ideas, opinions, feelings we spend so much time forming, they can be all the somethingness we have sometimes—and they can be hard to let go of. But we should, because they are not truth, fact, certainty. And that is my truth. 
To me, love is an energy. Like everything else in this world; and energy does not die—it goes on forever—or it changes form. 
I’d like to hear (read) your thoughts and feelings about love or marriage.

Because maybe I would like to change my energy.