I can honestly say that the idea of getting married was not a big deal to me until 2003. Before then marriage was something I had hoped to do, but mostly because I wanted to have sex and still be allowed to go to church. I wasn’t that interested in becoming a “Mrs.” or buying a starter home or getting a ring. Ok. Maybe I wanted the ring. But mostly I just wanted to have guilt-free sex.
Things changed, however, when I joined a sorority. It was then that I was introduced to the candlelight ceremony. I’m pretty sure every sorority does this, but for the uninitiated readers a candlelight ceremony was the ultimate in sororitydom.
The candlelight ceremony was how you let your sisters know that you’d gotten pinned (if you were dating a fraternity guy) or engaged. So the newly engaged sister, and those close to her, would bring a candle to the meeting and let the president know that there would be candlelight ceremony that night. At the end of the meeting we’d form a circle, turn off the lights, light the candle and pass it around while we sang a song about pretty girls in rose and white. You let the sorority know you had been pinned or gotten engaged by blowing the candle out when it was handed to you. Squealing would then begin. Because what’s more exciting to a woman pursuing advanced education in a field she’s passionate about than GETTING A RING FROM A BOY? Right?!?
Getting engaged (or pinned) is like picking teams at recess. And as you watch all your friends march down the aisle you can’t help but wonder, at times, why doesn’t anyone want to pick me?
What’s worse is that once girls get picked to be on Team Married they seem to do everything they can to make it look like the most fabulous thing to ever happen to them. Everything in their world magically falls into place and they have pictures on Facebook to prove it. Their new fiance or husband never does anything wrong and they haven’t had a negative feeling since. Well, other than being tired from all the love and wonderfulness going on, of course! And married people, especially the wives, offer their condolences for you not being married. Because who wants to miss out on this awesomeness??
I used to believe it. That getting that proposal and ring and wedding and marriage license would mean that I would be happy forever with my fabulous spouse by my side. And having the person who completes you in every way would mean you’d feel forever cherished, desired, loved, appreciated, supported and never alone. Til death do you part.
But it’s not true.
A ring, a wedding and all the guilt-free sex you can handle (more lies) don’t get rid of any of the bad feelings…
You still feel lonely when you’re silently eating warmed up lasagna together on the couch watching another episode of CSI.
You still deal with the insecurity about your breast size when he takes too long to change the channel from the Victoria Secret fashion show.
You still feel ignored and not very special when he tells you that watching that episode of CSI was date night. Duh.
You still feel sad when he doesn’t get just how devastating the “retirement” of Samantha the American Girl doll is for you.
You still feel irritated because someone can’t seem to ever fold your underwear correctly.
All you did by getting married was make a decision. You decided to enter an agreement to do your best to love each other through good times and bad. And more than half of you are going to decide you made the wrong decision within 5 years. Life did not, and will not, become perfect when you said “I do”. It just became different.
So if you think, like I did, that life is somehow not complete because you haven’t found your until this gets too hard forever love, then I would like to shake you. Shake you until you see that there is, more than likely, tons of things in your life to be thankful for and to enjoy and to be excited about that have nothing to do with your marital status.
*Before anyone thinks this post reflects the status of my marriage, I’ll let you know that I’m more likely to write funny posts when things are “eh” and these kinds of posts when things are “awesome”. I do, however, cringe about my A-cups when the Victoria Secret commercials come on.