I never liked the idea of marriage. The white gown, the pink flowers, the fake smiles from distant relatives. The commitment to another person for the rest of your life. It’s just not realistic, really.
I never fantasised about marriage as a little girl. Dressing up in a white sheet and pretending my girlfriend was my husband was never a game I played. I would have rather climbed a tree or sled down a mountain. The joyous ringing of the wedding bells never rang in my ear.
This could be because I am a C.O.D., Child of Divorce. I witnessed a very messy divorce and grew up with parents who couldn’t even co-exist in the same country let alone the same room. The passionate love for each other quickly transformed into passionate hate for each other.
The beautiful life they built together smashed into pieces. The big white house, the off-to-work morning kiss, the beautiful diamond ring, the Mercedes Benz birthday gift, the six-year-anniversary spangling gold necklace, the pool in the backyard for the kids. To everyone else they looked happy. Beautiful home, two blonde-haired bright-eyed kids, perfect marriage, everything you could ask for. They were the Jones’. But to me, even at the young age of six, it felt empty.
My Mother’s smile was no longer genuine and her bright blue eyes looked dull and faded. Even though I couldn’t express what was wrong, I knew in my heart something was not right.
My Dad moved into an even bigger white house and filled it with even more empty promises. An empty Step Mom and an empty Yorkshire Terrier.
I remember feeling scared in the even bigger white house. I looked out the square window next to the top part of my bunk bed at the sparkling lights of San Francisco whilst my brother slept peacefully below me. The buildings looked so innocent and small, so far removed from the rest of the world – like me.
I yelled for my Dad but he couldn’t hear me, he was on the opposite side of the even bigger white house, down the deep hallways and past the numerous vacant bedrooms and meaningless framed art. The art full of colour, felt colourless.
I knew at that moment I never wanted to get married.
I knew that love wasn’t real. I knew that two people in love are the same as two big white houses and two big feelings of loneliness and emptiness. I knew that Cinderella and her Prince were big fat phoneys.
Fast forward twenty years and here I am – not married. Yet, to the biggest of surprises, I am in love. Big time. We even have a child together. The ultimate act of love.
Even though I never truly witnessed a strong, healthy relationship, I feel like I have found the one. Not that I believe in soul mates, but I do believe in being practical. Right place, right Hockey tour, right time, “shall we do a Jagerbomb together?” He asked me right when the thirst for a Jagerbomb struck. “Yes, please.” BOOM “soul mates”.
The concept of “love” is hard for me to grasp. Love isn’t always happy, giddy, and warm. Love can be annoying, hard (…not that kind of hard, jeez), and itchy. So itchy that it makes you want to scream.
If I could rewrite Cinderella I would make sure to include a scene where Cinderella hasn’t shaved her legs in two weeks and the Prince is sitting on the couch watching Football all day. Although it isn’t glamorous, it is love.
In a way, it’s a good thing I am a C.O.D., Child of Divorce. I learned the real meaning of love. Sometimes it doesn’t last, sometimes it does. Sometimes you want to hug each other, sometimes you want to hit each other.
So, when the decision to have a child with my boyfriend arose, I went with my new concept of “love”.
Although I don’t believe in happily ever after. I do believe that right here, right now, I am happy. I believe I don’t need a wedding to prove my happiness. I believe that in order to have a lasting relationship – however long it may be – you have to work for it.
Through trial and error, I’ve learned relationships are work. Both people need to have the same end goal, they have to want to be together. It’s like any job, you have to love being in it so that you want to work for it in order for it to be a success.
And you never know, maybe I will get married one day. At least I’ll be realistic about it.
The product of our love….