Are you married? How old were you when you got married? Why did you get married? If you're not married, are you planning to?
|Cor & I at the Taj Mahal|
Whereas my dushi and I have been co-habitating for--oh, eight years.
Did we consider marriage? Yep. In 2008, when we spent a few months in India for work (how lucky are we to have done that together?), he proposed. At the Taj Mahal. And I said yes--naturally.
Why are we still legally single? Why haven't we tied the knot?
There were, uhm, logistic issues. Pig flu struck Mexico hard--we wanted to get married there. Some family issues came up, too--my family is sociopathic and psycho in too many ways to explain here, so I'll just say thank high heavens it's a small one--and the original plan to have the party at the house where I grew up fell apart.
We postponed. For a year.
|Our beautiful house, 2010|
Maybe someday we'll make the fifteen-minute drive to Kranchi, Curaçao's version of City Hall, and tie the knot, sign papers, with little ceremony and only a few of our closest friends as witnesses, for legal purposes.
And we're not planning to have children. I may be old-fashioned and a backward Mexican, but I do believe marriage, when at all possible, is a prerequisite for parenthood.
So why not just get married and have it over and done with?
More than the H1N1, more than the cuckoo family, more than the ridiculous amount anything related to a wedding costs (my dress was around USD 4,000!), during the nine months or so the wedding was on, we fought. Over little things, over which things were little and which weren't, over--well, stuff so meaningless that I can't even remember it anymore. But I remember the fights. The stress, the pressure.
|Mysore, August 2008|
We've gone through rough times. Epic fights, profound disagreements, the shock of realizing our life plans didn't quite match. And we survived. Sure, love conquers all, but you know what else does? Respect. And under this deep and irrevocable love, there's a solid foundation of respect that means the world to both of us.
I still wear my beautiful engagement ring. I believe that thick circle of white gold is the perfect symbol of our commitment to each other: full of hope, not obligation.
No piece of paper, no ceremony or white dress, can give us that.
I stopped being myself and became instead a bride-to-be. My beautiful, wonderfully quirky relationship became an engagement, and the magic of our dreams and plans acquired a social context that has no place in here.
Yeah--marriage terrifies me. Not because of marriage itself, or because of the commitment. I'm as committed to this, to him, to us, as I have ever been or ever will be to anything. No--it terrifies me because it comes with baggage--the baggage of centuries of tradition, of expectations that land with a solid thunk into your life as you slip that first (horrible, let's face it) wedding dress you try out while your girlfriends squeal outside the dressing room.
Marriage isn't for me. It's a weakness, a shortcoming. I agree--I admit it. But this beautiful thing we have, this imperfect perfection we've achieved, doesn't fit into the mold, the framework of tradition, of regulated expressions of affection, of certified-and-notarized permission to love.
Mine is a rogue relationship. Like a pioneer of the Old West, although I understand--even appreciate--the benefits of lawfulness, I know I'll start throwing longing looks at the setting sun over the horizon as soon as this town gets a sheriff and a court.