Day 10 – What does marriage mean to you?

My relationship with the concept of marriage is… complicated.  And paradoxical.

The first thing that you have to understand is that divorce is a tradition in my family that goes back generations.  My father is on his third wife.  My mother is now single after more than 25 years of marriage to her second husband. My grandparents on both sides were divorced.  My dad’s-mother’s parents were divorced. My dad’s-mother’s-father’s parents were divorced.  All of which means that I have very little faith that any marriage will last.

Then there’s the political issue of marriage.  When this list of questions was first written, gay marriage was not yet legal, that was a struggle still in process.  I have a certain political opposition to the fight for gay marriage because I see it as largely a battle for middle-to-upper class white gays to try and reclaim their lost privilege, while screwing over those of us who don’t fit their assimilationist lifestyle.  It discriminates against those of us who don’t believe in monogamy, or who want to live a largely single lifestyle.  I am personally one of the people who favors the “destruction” of marriage as we know it.

At least the secular one, anyway.  Marriage should be the domain of the churches, and let each individual religious group decide for themselves how they want to recognize relationships.  But the legal benefits of marriage should be stripped away, and people should be given those benefits regardless of the status of their relationships.  There is no logical reason why hospital visitation rights should be based on marriage.  A power of attorney should be binding in a way that other family members should not be able to force it to be overridden.  This is where we really had the opportunity to liberate ourselves from the way things have been, and we blew it entirely.

And yet…

I am also the bride that has been planning her wedding since she was a little girl. (and yes, make no mistake, I would be a total bridezilla).  I have pinterest boards planning menus and favors, and flowers, and seating arrangements, and ceremony scripts, etc. etc. etc.  I’ve planned for weddings in either spring or fall, chosen potential colors, debated time of day to hold the ceremony, found locations…

I do want that celebration.  To bring my friends and family together to celebrate my relationship(s).  But I also have very specific ideas about what I want, what is important to me.  And the way things are for me right now, I don’t think I can have those things.  Those things are important enough for me that I would rather not do it at all if I can’t have those things.  For one, I want a religious ceremony, in my religion, and I don’t want to have separate ceremonies for different groups of people.  As things are now, this is pretty much impossible, because I am the only one in my quad who is actually out about everything.

The quad brings up another problem.  I am in a relationship with three other people.  If I’m going to have a Wedding, I want a ceremony with all of those people.  I’m pretty sure I’m the only one of us that actually wants this.  Two of my partners are already married, I was at their ceremony and my other partner and I were stuck to the side, having to pretend that we were just friends of the other two.  I don’t want that for my ceremony.  But again, I’m the only one of us who is out about everything.

And of course, a wedding costs money.  Money that I don’t have. And especially since I’m the one who has very definite plans for what they want, I should be footing a significant portion of the bill.  And where things are now, that’s just not going to happen.

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