Monday, July 12, 2004

Till Death Do Us Part

C. & I went to the wedding of an old friend of his on Saturday. Her second marriage actually. It was a very pretty ceremony. Very traditional, though knowing her and her husband, I expected something completely unconventional. Instead it was just very sweet. I love weddings. The betrothed couple wrote their own vows, which were really heartfelt. It made me wonder...whatever happens after the wedding?

Seriously. Isn't the divorce rate something like over 50%? I've been to several weddings where the couple was obviously head over heels for each other, and yet they get divorced before the 5 year mark. Do people not take their vows as seriously today? My parents have been married 51 years. My inlaws for 40. Is our generation more frivolous? Do we marry now just for the big drunken reception? Does a wedding only give us the opportunity to wear really overpriced clothes, and pay exorbitant prices for munchies and beer? There's a girl I know that is getting married this fall sometime. She scanned her wedding invite into her blog. I swear that it looks like there's a picture of a mushroom cloud on her invites. Turns out that it's a background picture of a garden. Bummer. The mushroom cloud would have been way cooler...and so much more appropriate for her personality.

Before I continue, let me qualify that I, myself, am actually on lucky number 3 (third time's a charm, right?). It took me this long to finally get it right with C. Of course, I'm not the brightest bulb in the pack. Honestly though, I didn't go into the other 2 frivolously. Well...the first one came about because we had dated for a long time and we thought marriage was expected of us. Wait. Bad example. I was young. And OK, the second one was probably more a matter of post partum depression...but I THOUGHT I was in love at the time. Looking back though, that butterfly feeling in my stomach was probably just gas. Who knew? Scratch all of that. We're not talking about me.

I just wonder, of all the weddings we've been to over the past few years, how do you know who's going to be part of the lucky 50%? Keep in mind "lucky" depends on your perspective - it's either the half that gets divorced or the half that stays married. Take the three closest friends that I have had over the last several wait, make that four. They've all gone insane. The first was S. We were the best of friends all through high school and beyond. I was her maid or honor, she was mine (for #1). Her marriage lasted not quite 2 years. Mine lasted a year and 12 days. That's 377 days for those who are counting. My father is one of those who counted, by the way. He loves to say that the marriage ended WAY before he paid off the bills it incurred. He likes to trot that little gem of a story out occasionally, much to my chagrin. It was 15 years ago. You would think he'd have gotten over it already. Apparently not. It WAS a nice wedding though. S. divorced A. because, if I remember correctly, he "got on her nerves."

T. and I were as close as two friends could be. We really bonded (I can thank her for my tattoo - no she didn't put it there, but she encouraged me to "go for it"). She had what seemed like a great marriage to "Big Daddy," but decided to divorce him because she got tired of directing him in bed. I guess you'd think that he would have figured out her "happy spot" without help after 7 years of marriage. You'd be wrong, though. Then there's Chrissy. She and D. are the godparents of the little one. They'd been together for years - since they were kids. She became enamored of a boy band and moved out west (yes, you read that right). Left her kid (my goddaughter) with D. and took off. Luckily he got everything, yet asked for nothing.

The one that really threw me for a loop is L. She and S. were our first "couple friends." You know. Not MY friends, not HIS friends....OUR friends. We met at church. They seemed to have a strong bond. They were spiritual and they were two of the most fantastic people I had ever met. Sure there were rough spots, but they always seemed to work them out. The most amazing thing was that through it all, they truly seemed to love each other. If I had to put my money on any of the couples I have known to make it to the land of shared denture cream, it was L. and S. They moved overseas, she turned into a lesbian and left him (yes, you read that right, too).

So what is up with that? How do you know who's going to make it? And what is "making it" anyway? Is it 15 years or 50 plus years? We're a society of instant gratification, I suppose. He gets "on your nerves"? He can't get your rocks off? He's not the lead singer of a boy band? He's not a woman? Just divorce him.

C. and I are only coming up to our 4th anniversary, but I can honestly say that there is no one I'd rather have eat crackers in my bed. He still makes me laugh. And that, my friends, is what I think keeps a marriage alive. Sometimes you laugh to keep from crying. I think they should put that in the vows - "I promise to make you laugh, through richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, 'til death us do part." To our newest betrothed friends, I pray that the laughter never ends.


PS - In reference to the recent storms: If one more tree limb comes down in my yard or on my house, I'm burning the whole damned yard.


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Name: Cattiva
Location: Virginia, United States

About Me: I'm the mom of three: #1 Son (20), The Princess of Wails (17) and their baby brother - The Baby (6). I was a grad-student working on an MA in history until we were surprised - I mean blessed - with The Baby. I'll get back to it...someday (the thesis, not the kid - I have no choice concerning the kid). I am one of only a few people I went to school with who is actually using their history degree in my career (and to think my Father called it Basket-weaving!). I live a very hectic life amongst massive clutter. I call it a good day if we have managed to get home at night without losing one of the kids (no matter how hard I try!). Friends say I have a humorous take on life's happenings. The sad part is that what I write about is true. I laugh to keep from crying.

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