I was 21 when I got married. I’m still not sure why. I think it was because that’s just what you did in my smallish home town. You graduated school, maybe took some college courses, got a crappy-but-okay job, and either met someone to marry, or married your high school sweetheart.
Check, check, check, and check.
It didn’t last and five years later I left him, and marriage, behind.
When I met Jason I already knew that I didn’t want to get married again. It’s not that I don’t believe in marriage; because I do. The idea of commitment and longevity, for better or worse, richer or poorer, are the cornerstones of our almost 15 year relationship.
I just don’t believe in second marriages.
I did that thing. Where you stand up before friends and family, church and state, and vow that you will stay with someone forever.
And then I didn’t.
What would I say this time? Look deep into Jason’s eyes, who I really do adore more than anyone on earth, and tell him “I really, really, mean it this time!”.
Our commitment is to each other, with each other, and will be told over the course of time.
We don’t, however, live in a bubble. In fact, we no longer live in our home country where our ‘common-law’ status affords the same rights and freedoms as conventionally married couples (including, I’m proud to say, gay couples). And therein lies our current dilemma.
Jason’s job search is going well but most of the inquiries, opportunities, and conversations with potential employers have come from the Middle East region. Dubai, Qatar, United Arab Emirates. Countries, and cultures, that place a very high value on being married. As in, as a woman, you cannot be seen with a man who is not your relation unless you are married.
And so it might be time to get married.
I know. But if we want to live in the world then we have to play by its rules. We’re here to observe, and watch, and experience, not to change the world and make it conform to our ideals. Well, not these ideals anyway.
I mean, really? I love that I can live my life equally and freely with Jason in Canada but there are far larger issues to tackle in the world than whether two people should be able to shack up in the Middle East. Really.
Slow down though; don’t be sending a wedding gift just yet. The old playground tune may say ‘first comes love, then comes marriage‘ but in our case it’s ‘first comes the job, then comes the wedding’.
We’re not planning the wedding just yet but we’re excited about what our future may hold; including maybe, just maybe, being married.