This year- Day three.
My dad called on Monday night all "oh, I thought you'd be out celebrating." Nope. The reason I didn't answer the phone right away was because I had dozed off on the couch by accident. My dad tried, as much as he could, to be polite about how sad he found that to be.
Eh, I was tired.
Yesterday my friend Chelsea sent me an article from the Atlantic about marriage/divorce and I found it very sad but also thought provoking. Basically, the writer is getting a divorce from her husband who she has no spark with at all anymore and realizing how many of her friends are in the same sorts of marriages (and have been for like 20 years).
The piece ends with this: "In any case, here’s my final piece of advice: avoid marriage—or you too may suffer the emotional pain, the humiliation, and the logistical difficulty, not to mention the expense, of breaking up a long-term union at midlife for something as demonstrably fleeting as love."
I have never been married but my breakup a couple of years ago was more like a divorce than I would have liked. Luckily, we had no kids, but it was still emotionally draining and humiliating and difficult and still makes me sad sometimes. And I hate to admit it but it has made me less than enthusiastic about marriage in general. I used to think I would never get married but at some point I really thought I would marry Mike and that he was the one for me. Luckily, that did not happen. Now I am again wondering if marriage is for me at all. I have dated etc... in these passed two years but I have spent most of my time figuring out how to be alone in case the rest of my life will be spent alone. It's better to be prepared, afterall.
I sent the article to a friend who is about to go through a divorce and she just read the beginning and already related to it a lot. This is someone who I thought had a great marriage up until last year. Another friend, who I thought had a great marriage, got divorced last year. Who the hell has a great marriage? Where are these people hiding? I am apparently a terrible judge of it all.
How can you prevent the things laid out in this article? How can you have great sex for twenty years? How can you keep that "spark?" How can you still enjoy each other's company after you know all their stories and all their quirks? Is it even possible? I can't imagine someone still finding me interesting after 20 years and that is not me being self deprecating, that's just the truth.
Last weekend, Kelly mentioned that she just realized that it will be even harder for her to find a husband because she doesn't want kids at all. She thinks most guys she's gone out with do want them (but she was like 22 and it didn't matter because that was something far away in the future but as she gets older it becomes a more pressing concern) and that would be a deal breaker. I want to adopt kids, which also turns off a lot of guys. Including my ex boyfriend who said he was fine with it until it came time to actually looking into it and doing it and then he was all "I was hoping you'd change your mind." But what if we married one of these guys and then years down the line they were all "oh, I assumed you'd change your mind" without realizing it?
I do think that people don't work hard enough, in general, at keeping marriages together these days. I have seen it with my own eyes and it makes me really sad. However, I worked harder to keep things going in my relationship than I have probably worked on anything in my life until I realized that the reason there was so much work was because I was doing it all myself. That can not work. I moved out. Though I was sad and missed him and everything, I was also incredibly relieved and exhausted. Like a dark cloud lifted from my life.
My friend Kathleen has parents who have been married forever who still have the "date nights" and call her up tipsy etc... I think last year her dad told her the secret was to find someone who would not just run away when things got rough. If you both stick out, you will be fine. I totally believe him. I just think the odds of finding a person like that even when I am already a person like that, are very slim. And what if I find that person and then in 20 years they're all "oooh, I thought I was like that, but it turns out I'm not, peace out!" as they run out the door?
Maybe the thing that really bothers me about things like marriage is how little control I have over the whole thing. I could fail at it no matter how much I try or work or want it to be awesome, and I don't like failing at things. In fact, I hate it.
After I read the article I was thinking about how the only person I could really imagine marrying (or being forced in some way to spend the rest of my life with) is someone who has never been my boyfriend. Between that and all the questions I've been asked this week, I'm pretty confused. Maybe I make terrible decisions about my own life? Or maybe I'm totally blind to something everyone else sees? I really have no idea.
But, really, in the end, this article and everything it made me think about, just made me think of marriage as a sad trap that you willingly put yourself into. I realize that is a negative point of view.
On an upside, Eugene sent me an itunes gift card for 30 dollars last night. I can buy one song for every year that I've been alive so I had better make some wise decisions. He apologized for it not being a thoughtful gift, but I think it was actually extremely thoughtful. Then again, I think it's the thought that counts so I give a lot of slack to anyone nice enough to give me a present. I am lucky to have the friends that I have and I know that.
What shall my song choices be?