Monday, July 09, 2007

Doubting Thomas

As I said in my previous post, I sometimes feel like I need to justify my relationship because it has been such a short time. And Government Peon drove that point home in her comment on my post. I know that's how these stories usually work out. I do. (And I definitely don't begrudge GP for sharing, it's really the most common outcome of something like this.) I know that I sound naive and starry-eyed and that half (at the least) of my audience has got to be waiting for this to crash and burn. But it won't.

When I was growing up, The Sister and I used to go down the street to visit some neighbors of ours all the time. They were an old couple (in their early 70's at the time I think) and the wife made dolls and they never had any grandchildren so they fed us cookies and doted on us. They had been married for 30-some-odd years and were still wildly in love with each other. The best part of the story was that the husband proposed to his wife within a couple weeks of their meeting and they were married within three months of knowing each other. And they made each other happy for as long as they were together.

If all of this was taking place 50 years ago and Prince Charming asked me to marry him tomorrow, everyone would breathe a collective sigh of relief that I wasn't going to end up the sad, pathetic spinster of the family. But it's just not socially acceptable anymore to marry someone so quickly after meeting them. The standards by which relationships are measured have reached such a strange paradox in our society - it's a wonder that anyone gets married at all anymore. One the one hand: you don't want to settle, so you're always supposed to be looking for the "better" mate (more attractive, more compatible, more intelligent, wealthier). On the other hand, even if you find the "better" mate, if you're not perfectly happy all the time, you can just go ahead and flush the whole thing down the toilet, because why work at anything at all?

That's not how I feel about marriage, and it's not how Prince Charming feels about it either. I think what's important is that you find someone that you can love and that makes you happy and then you just make that decision to be together and to make it work. It won't always be peaches and cream and hearts and teddy bears. It won't always be easy, but there will always be love and there will always be a reason to keep going.

Now I know that I've stepped up on my soapbox, but I guess that it's hard for me to be honest with people about where I'm headed with Prince Charming for this very reason: I feel as if I need to defend what I feel and what I know in my heart. And I will defend it for as long as I need to, because it's worth defending. But years down the road, people will be able to look at Prince Charming and I and tell our story as an example of one of those times when everything that should have gone wrong went right.

Lyrics of the Day

"Give me an answer, fill in a form: mine forever more. Will you still need me? Will you still feed me when I'm sixty-four?" The Beatles When I'm Sixty-Four


Government Peon said...

Like I said earlier, I really hope it works out for you and I'm not saying it won't. There is no harm in taking things slow once you guys are finally living in the same area code or under the same roof even.

On the marriage thing: 50 years ago most people didn't go to college. Most people stayed fairly close to the same areas where they grew up (thereeby limiting the circle of acquanitences) and for the most part, women didn't work outside the home. Think "Leave it to Beaver" days.

Of course everyone breathed a sigh of relief when a woman was able to find a good man to marry since there were not many other opportunities out there for women aside from homemaker.

I think the difference in the way people view marriage today is more a matter of practicality than anything else. More people to choose from and more potential candiates, etc. I don't particularly like the "hold out for perfection" "it's not perefect throw it away and get a new one" attitude a lot of people have about marriage either so I agree with you there.

Matters of the heart are usually far from logical or practical and that is a good thing. I am routing for you guys. I love a happy ending and I hope you'll keep blogging.

Scott said...

I knew I was going to spend the rest of my life with my wife by the 3rd date at the latest. When we first moved in together (way to fast according to everyone) we had to deal with many of our friends and relatives waiting like Jackals around a carcass for it to fall apart. It has never even come close.
We have been together for 15 years, both went to college, and of course we have had to work at our marriage. At the end of the day we hate being apart and the rough spots are nothing compared to what we gained by sticking together. More power to you girl; in the end only two peoples opinions matter when it comes to love. Everything else is noise.

Eve said...

I don't think you need to justify anything. Sometimes thinks just *click* and work out. I am rooting for you!

Tiffany & Co. said...

I'm in a similiar spot as Scott. And I, like you, felt the need to defend it to others, but even more so myself! Luckily, my own PC didn't hesitate on his end, and trust me we have well passed the honeymoon stage, and sometimes it is hard, but this has been my best relationship and I know it's real.

I believe for every crash and burn story, there's a success story. It's entirely to hard to apply statistics to actual people, imo. And to often by reading them, we convince ourselves of them...all we have is right in front of us I suppose.

All the best.

LB said...

GP, you make many good points - and it was that reason that you inspired this post in the first place - you really just got me to talk about something that has been bothering me since PC and I realized how serious this really is.

And Scott, Eve & Tiffany - thank you for your kind words and stories. No matter how strong my feelings, it is infinitely reassuring to hear how it can really work when things happen so quickly. And thank you for the blog-encouragement, I will keep writing, though I may have to consider a change of blog title...

Anonymous said...

Hi LB,

I just had to write - I met my husband when I was 18 and he was 25. Neither of us thought we would get married until we were older.....but, within a few short weeks we just knew that this was it! We married less than a year after we met. That was 26 years ago. We both graduated college - opened a business together...and basically are living out our dreams. I remember my best friend asking me at the time – how do you know he’s the one, maybe there is someone better out there?! Sometimes you just know when it's right. Congrats to you and PC. mags86