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January 23, 2008

Maridise Lost

I went home with Michael the night we met, and figuratively speaking, I didn't leave again for those 7 1⁄2 years. The breakup sucked, the more so because it was no one's fault. Our relationship had begun to suffer the inanition of many marriages at seven years. (The seven-year itch isn't a myth; the U.S. Census Bureau says the median duration of first marriages that end in divorce is 7.9 years.) Michael and I loved each other, but slowly--almost imperceptibly at first--we began to realize we were no longer in love. We were intimate but no longer passionate; we had cats but no kids.

Things drifted for a while. There was some icky couples counseling ("Try a blindfold") and therapeutic spending on vacations, clothes, furniture. We were lost. The night Michael wouldn't stay up to watch The Office finale with me, I knew I had to move out. Yes, he was tired, but if he couldn't give me the length of a sitcom--Jim and Pam are going to kiss!--then we were really done.

We'll say! Finito! Caput! Or as they say on reality TV, "Duh..."

Reading this, the Princess found herself biting her knuckle to hold in peals of laughter. The title of the article made it particularly delicious:

Are Gay Relationships Different?

Is there some special Hell reserved for those who would fight to the death for the right to get, but not to stay married or should that prime parking spot in the Afterlife be held for Time magazine for publishing such self-pitying, self-absorbed, self-congratulatory drivel? Who do they think they are: Slate Online?

Several months ago, the Princess was asked for a few verses on the subject of love and marriage. The occasion was the upcoming wedding of one of her male progeny. Later that summer, it occurred to her while listening to the readings that hers had been rather strikingly different than the ones being read at the ceremony.

To longtime readers this may come as no surprise. Most have managed to suss out by now that the Blog Princess is a bit of an odd duck. But she couldn't help but notice most of the verses were all about togetherness and the joys of connubial bliss. Hers, on the otter heiny, were about the importance of recognizing that when we marry, we are not (in reality) Twin Souls Joined in One Body.

Oh, don't get her wrong - she can get as dewy eyed as the next female about love and marriage. She cries - reliably, like a baby - at chick flicks. But love is more than just a rapturous, transcendentally soul searing emotion that grabs us by the heartstrings (or the G-strings) and transports us in waves of ever-ascending ecstasy straight to the heavens where thunder rolls, lightning flashes and the very clouds roil about in a cataclysmic release of pent up energies as doves, butterflies and unicorns frolic in a joyous display of primeval vitality as old as Adam and Eve.

Especially when your Twinned Soul eyes you warily in the middle of an argument an Extremely Important Discussion and utters the fateful words, "Ummm, are you finished yet? Because you know... the alarm goes off at 4."

Not for nothing is this man a Marine. Any man who can utter those words (well that may not have been *exactly* what he said, but then he's not here to defend himself, is he?) while staring down a diminutive banshee riding a wave of estrogen that would make a tsunami look eminently surfable would not only track Osama bin Laden to the gates of Hell, but laugh in Death's grinning face as he did it. No, her verses celebrated the virtue of separateness, of space within a loving marriage: of realizing there is no one person who can possibly fulfill your every need. Much less make you happy.

Happiness is a responsibility that cannot be delegated.

All of which leads the Princess to think that it matters little why we flirt or even why we love. The whys and wherefores aren't nearly so important as the simple fact of love. The inescapable truth is that love is, above all, an active verb and what we cannot mend in ourselves, in our partners, or in life, we may as well join hands and have a good chuckle at.

Or as spd rdr quipped in answer to that age old question, "Are gay relationships different":

Cruel sitcom kisses
Sofa pillow playmate cold
Maybe some new drapes?

Posted by Cassandra at January 23, 2008 12:52 PM

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Comments

I would think not if they are committed. The superficiality of the relationship didn't surprise me; but then in reading it, I was reading
it from a feminine perspective.

After seven years together he expects a romantic
moment on a sitcom/drama?

Good helk.

And there is something rather 'Fantasia' like about your mythical beasts, weather and suchlike
frolicing.

This is disturbing.

Virgos are seldom disturbed.

Posted by: Cricket at January 23, 2008 04:33 PM

You're a dead woman ... heh.

What do you expect? I think I long ago forgot what it was like anyway :p If a unicorn shows up in a few months, I shan't be the last surprised.

Posted by: Sister Mary of the Mixed Metaphors at January 23, 2008 04:42 PM

[confusion once again sets in - bthun staggers then shakes head...] [turns and proceeds to garage in the hopes of avoiding yet more valuing differences sensitivity training]

Posted by: btNOCOMMENThun at January 23, 2008 04:54 PM

Not sure there was any great point here, except my annoyance at people making all sorts of high falutin' excuses for not bothering to honor a commitment.

I just thought the article was funny.

Posted by: Cass at January 23, 2008 05:11 PM

Funny is an understatement...
Here comes da Penquin! Let's go Elwood!

Posted by: "Joliet" Jake Blues at January 23, 2008 05:21 PM

And just to clarify my meaning in the NO COMMENT comment... if possible. =8-)

I used to find myself scheduled for valuing differences and sensitivity training by my previous employer on somewhat a regular basis. At least until they realized that sending me was a waste of money and effort, not to mention space.

I hated those seminars and ever since, I am conditioned to avoid any situation or making any comment that might result in big brother rounding me up for more conditioning.

Posted by: Pavlov's bthun at January 23, 2008 05:40 PM

"And just to clarify my meaning in the NO COMMENT comment..."

Um, bthun? I think you just made a comment. But that's ok, *big wink* I won't tell anyone.

0>;~}

Posted by: Sly2017 at January 23, 2008 06:17 PM

Dammit! You *vill* be thenthitive, you big brute!

Posted by: Ve Haf Vays.... at January 23, 2008 06:20 PM

"Um, bthun? I think you just made a comment. But that's ok, *big wink* I won't tell anyone."

Heheh... I would have remained mum (JJB excluded) if I had not *sensed* that I might have been insensitive in my ham-handed no comment/comment based upon Milady's follow on to my initial no comment/comment, or... oh forget it.

Jake! Elwood! Wait up...

Posted by: bthun at January 23, 2008 06:29 PM

Do you smell smoke? Did anyone else hear that bell?

Posted by: Pavlov's bthun at January 23, 2008 06:32 PM

I would take in a mini-poster that said, "Sexual harrassment will not be tolerated. It will, however, be graded." And a doorhanger that said, "I'm the person your mother warned you about." Once those made their debut in class, I was usually asked to leave by the first coffee break.
heh
0>;~}

Posted by: Sly2017 at January 23, 2008 06:32 PM

Well, I was nearly kicked out of my Humanities 101 class as a returning adult student for my running commentary on the course material.

All I know is, I was one of three women in a roomful of Marines, most of whom used to eye me surreptitiously every time I opened my mouth in class and then mutter something to the effect of:

"Day-um... *I* wouldn't have said *that*... heh."

Posted by: Ve Haf Vays.... at January 23, 2008 06:36 PM

...all of which reminds The Editorial Staff of our favorite snark at the spousal unit whenever he was forced to attend Sexual Harrassment seminars. Again (you have to add the butter-wouldn't-melt-in-my-mouth Southern drawl for full effect)

"Now just hold on, babe... I would have thought Marines were just *naturally* good at that sort of thing. So how come you have to take a class in Sexual Harrassment?"

[pause for effect]

"Are you slow or somethin'???"

Posted by: Ve Haf Vays.... at January 23, 2008 06:40 PM

Well, he is an occifer......

*skipping away through the trees and breeze*
0>;~}

Posted by: Sly2017 at January 23, 2008 06:48 PM

Ve Haf Vays, you are awesome! :D

Oh, I wish I had someone to say something like that too... *sigh* (Yeah, feeling a bit lonely these days. Not dark, just seem to be particularly noticing the absence of things I'd like to have in my life.)

And that article is hilarious!

Posted by: FbL at January 23, 2008 08:07 PM

I just pinned down a frolicing unicorn.
Seems he was wanting to play some silly
games...

Posted by: Throbbing Sex Kitten at January 23, 2008 08:28 PM

Does that unicorn know how to raise a low-hanging trapeze and/or wind-up an unspun disco ball? I hear Casa Cassandranitanova is in need.....

Posted by: Snarkammando at January 23, 2008 11:03 PM

Are Gay Relationships Different?

Yeesh. I reckon so, by their very (unnatural) nature...

Posted by: camojack at January 24, 2008 01:25 AM

Well, that's not a subject I'm prepared to go into.

What irritated me about this article in particular was the same trivialization of marriage that I see in a lot of articles about straight marriage. IOW I saw no difference: a relationship failing b/c the people involved never really seemed all that committed to making it work.

I would think that, all things considered, gay marriages probably have more things going against them than most so that might make them more of an uphill battle in some ways than a straight marriage would be. On the other hand if you consider yourself married (with or without blessing of the State) then the commitment is made. There's an end to it: buckle down and put the work into it.

I am not terribly patient with whining about "I knew our relationship was over when he wouldn't stay up to watch "Friends" ", or whatever the heck that was all about.

Sheesh. If I threw a hissy fit every time my husband didn't want to do something with me (or he pitched a fit every time I didn't seem interested in a 'Skins game) we'd never have made it thus far. People need to be able to stand on their own two feet in a relationship, to have their separate interests, and not go all co-dependent.

It's REALLY freaky to see MEN do that kind of thing :p I'd expect that behavior more from women, but I imagine that wasn't really the issue. It was probably just the straw that broke the camel's back.

Posted by: Cassandra.. at January 24, 2008 06:00 AM

Sorry Fbl :(

If you need something to distract you, can you smack the stuffing out of Sly for me? :p

Posted by: Cassandra.. at January 24, 2008 06:03 AM

Ahh, what the heck, I'm already bagged, tagged and in the chair so I have nothing to lose by asking...

It's REALLY freaky to see MEN do that kind of thing :p I'd expect that behavior more from women
Having lived a sheltered life, apparently, is it a bad assumption on my part to think that one's role is not the male and one's the female in that, ahhh, sort of, ahhh, relationship? I'm of the opinion that camojack has a point in that Mama Nature favors combinations that procreate. So in my estimation Her Gaeaness took all bets off the table WRT these pairings.

I mentioned this topic to Walkin' Boss last night. She has a better understanding of human nature in the areas of relationships and love than I can claim. So as an experiment, we watched the horse shows on RFDTV together. Did it strengthen our marriage? We could not detect a change, but we had a good laugh at the expense of the nonsense portrayed by the vocal member of the dissolving coupleship.

Once the snark starts it's hard to control, so afterwards I went on a semi-controlled rant about Duncan Hunter endorsing the HuckaLiberal. I would shake my head, but it's locked in a clamping device right now. And I finished the evening off with a little diatribe on the looming April 15th Render Unto Caesar Celebration and the future prospects of the nation considering the remaining field of mostly notsoPresidential candidates and the contested seats in Congress.

So here I am this morning, undergoing more UL Approved sensitivity training.

Damned Patriot Act!

Ahh well, I'm almost fully charged and will now go serve my penance in rehab, so I'll wish the community of villains a great day today and give thanks to Milady for a most snark-worthy posting.

Posted by: bthun at January 24, 2008 11:03 AM

If you need something to distract you, can you smack the stuffing out of Sly for me? :p

And we certainly have mountainous evidence that she is most certainly is in need of a severe smacking!

Posted by: FbL at January 24, 2008 02:18 PM

phtttthhhhh!

Ya got nuttin' on me.
heh
0>;~}

Posted by: Sly2017 at January 24, 2008 05:01 PM

Is there some special Hell reserved for those who would fight to the death for the right to get, but not to stay married... - Cass

Your Thursday night lyrics:
When children have to play inside so they don't disappear
And private eyes solve marriage lies cause we don't talk for years
And futbol teams are kissing Queens
and losing sight of having dreams
In a world that what we want is only what we want until it's ours

Posted by: Pat Monahan at January 25, 2008 12:07 AM

"Well, that's not a subject I'm prepared to go into."

Chicken.

"It's REALLY freaky to see MEN do that kind of thing...

Define men. I think you're like me in that you don't believe that the term applies to every male. Personally, I think "gay man" is an oxymoron.

Posted by: camojack at January 25, 2008 01:31 AM

That's a subject I know people have strong opinions on, camo. I don't think that way at all.

Ironically there was an article about a gay couple (two men) I read two days ago who sounded as though they were very well grounded. From what I read, I'll be surprised if their relationship doesn't make it. It's funny -- gay or straight, I think you can tell just from how people talk about their relationship, from their attitudes, from how serious they are about putting in the work that is required, what the likelihood of success is. And there have been (shut up Grim :p) a lot of longitudinal studies, which are the only kind that make a whole lot of sense to me, that have followed couples over decades that bear this out.

They've shown that there are some fairly obvious markers even early on that predict there will be trouble in a relationship (lack of respect shown to the other person is a huge one, for instance - what relationship can survive that?). I am not sure being a 'man' or a 'woman' is all that tied up in your sexuality. But that is just me. I have gay friends who are more 'manly' or 'womanly' than some of the straight people I know: they do a good job of epitomizing the qualities I think are important in a man or a woman.

I personally have wrestled with why someone turns out gay. We are not going to solve that here and it is a contentious subject on which I have my own opinion and am content to let others have theirs. I ain't gonna convince anyone else. For me it is enough to judge people on their merits; whether they are a good person or not, and I have known too many fine people who happen to be gay to let that get in my way. The world is, IMO, a better place for their presence. The only people I have a problem with are those who want to bring their sexuality into my living room, and there are plenty of straight people who want to do that!

Those people, gay or straight, I have zero use for.

Posted by: Cassandra at January 25, 2008 07:30 AM

"For me it is enough to judge people on their merits; whether they are a good person or not...
The only people I have a problem with are those who want to bring their sexuality into my living room...

That pretty well brackets a good way to go through life... at least in my estimation.

I could not care less what people do in the privacy of their own homes. I start having a problem with folks who not only advertise their differences, but get in my face demanding that I provide an affirmation of the rightness their difference(s). I guess that it's not hard to see why I never passed remedial valuing differences/sensitivity training.

Posted by: bthun at January 25, 2008 08:18 AM

> On the other hand if you consider yourself married (with or without blessing of the State) then the commitment is made.

That was my take on it even at 17.

Marriage is a state of mind, not a legal arrangement.

There are issues which the law has place, but, for the most part, either you want to be together or you don't. And if you did and now you don't, you have to ask if it's salvageable or not, and if both of you are willing to do what is needed to salvage it. Otherwise, just go your separate ways in as friendly a manner as possible... And always approach any future with realization that neither side intends evil (hopefully, anyway) -- things have just happened.

(Not to suggest I don't think a good relationship should not be on guard against that sort of thing all along, but sometimes S*** Happens, and things wind up in a bad state before anyone realizes how bad it is)

Posted by: obloodyhell at January 25, 2008 01:24 PM

> Define men. I think you're like me in that you don't believe that the term applies to every male.

Well, it certainly doesn't apply to John Edwards. Or Harry Reid. Or Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, or Alec Baldwin...

And I think "Quivering Pile of Blobbering, Simpering Jello" is much more appropriate to Michael Moore. I assume it's male, but I'd hate to be tasked with having to dig in and prove it.

Posted by: obloodyhell at January 25, 2008 01:32 PM

That's a subject I know people have strong opinions on, camo. I don't think that way at all.
Posted by: Cassandra at January 25, 2008 07:30 AM

Are you saying that you think that the term "men" does apply to every male? I seriously doubt it...

Posted by: camojack at January 28, 2008 01:47 AM

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