That elusive thing. That social standard. That female social standard.
In fact, when I was a little girl, I never had this big dream of being a bride. You know how some women say that as a child they always dreamed of their Big Day? Their husband-to-be? Their wedding dress, their cake, all of those celebratory matrimonial wedding things?
When I was a little girl, I wanted to grow up to be Madonna. Specifically, the “Like a Virgin” Madonna. The one who danced all around Italy in awesome clothes with ripped shirts, full, voluminous hair, spray-painting naked statues while she coyly made eyes at someone and then escaping away, spray can in tow, to a gondola, to be whisked away, by what else? A lion. (Ok in the video, it was a man with a lion mask). I watched a lot of television and had Far-Fetched Brain stories.
But a bride? That was the furthest thing from my mind.
I never wanted to get married.
So you can imagine my family and friends’ shock when I announced I was getting married. I met someone. I shocked myself, too.
I never dated much and only had one Serious Relationship so you can imagine the shock on my beloveds’ faces when I told them I was betrothed.
I was recently asked, “Why did you get married?” And it got me thinking.
Really simply, I got married because I was in love. Nothing layered. Ultimately, that’s why I did it. Was I ready? I think I thought I was. I thought this was the next step. I admit, I was rushed and impulsive in my decision, but it was a choice that I made and thinking back on that part of my life, I still remember, distinctly, sitting on my bed with him telling me that we should get married as soon as possible, and me responding to him, that it seemed really fast.
But even as I walked up to the place where I got married, and was wracked with nerves and this feeling of just anxiety and the opposite of stillness, at that moment, I was, in love.
And that’s why I got married.
There is a quote by Zsa Zsa Gabor, that says:
“Getting divorced because you don’t love a man is almost as silly as marrying a man because you do.”
So, just because you love someone doesn’t mean you should marry them. And that’s true, I think.
To go there I have to go to a really personal part of my brain. I have to admit, to myself, that I made a rash decision, that not everything was rainbows, that this love I had, wait, this Love that I had (because it was something furious) was not all that I could be or align myself with. This is a hard thing to admit, because when I go There and think to the deepest parts of my brain, I know that for me, I am not sure I am capable of loving someone as fully as I should (have), as I did (or do), and that I sometimes do not think that that loving depth is reachable within me.
I am not saying I am devoid of emotion, because there is a lot of “soft” there and a lot of “love” there, and I was, in fact, in love, but that Romantic Love is something that scares me and when I get to the deepest part of my brain and I go There, I’m not sure it’s something I could really give, beyond that feeling of “love.” Meaning, there are a lot more things that went into play that perhaps we overlooked.
Walls. I have walls up. I know this. I feel it. I do it. I am it. I just feel like, when I look back on the Why… why did I do it, in spite of everything I should have just Really Thought About, ultimately three things are true:
1. I was In Love
2. It was my choice
3. Love isn’t everything
Now, the idea of marriage scares me. Terrifies me. Going into it, it’s amazing how easy it seemed. How easy it is to sign your name on a line, on this Contract, on this legally binding document that seals you into a partnership with someone else. I can say this now, but back then, this is not how I felt. In fact, I was offended one time when it was referred to it as “just a piece of paper.” But now, I see what that meant. Because the paper, the contract, that leaflet, that piece of tree, really doesn’t mean anything. Because the commitment, has to come from your heart. That’s where the real marriage is.
And to sign a piece of paper, a contract, this legally binding document with someone seems a lot crazier to me now than it ever has or did in the past.
Everyone goes in with best intentions. Women marry for all sorts of reasons: social expectations, familial expectations, to escape, for money, habit, security, because it’s the Standard thing to do, because they see an opportunity, a visa, because it’s the next “right” thing to do, because their pre-conceived “time” is running out. Some even marry for love. I was the latter. But now, looking back, that just seems like the craziest thing to me ever.
Why did I get married?
It would may be offside to say that it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Because at that moment, at that time, when I did it, that is what I was thinking.
That Love was the reason for marriage.
I just didn’t see everything else that got in the way. Or everything else that was missing. Or needed. Or paramount.
But I learned that: Love does not conquer all. And marriage did not conquer me.
So… Why did I get married?
Because at that time, swept up in that emotion, I thought it was the right thing.
Because there was a time I Believed.
But when everything was stripped away, from just that feeling, that belief, I found it to be not all that I could see or be or give or do or want for me. I found out that on their own, some loving emotions do not a marriage make.
So my believing turned into disbelief. But there was a time…