So, my mom is getting married and it has got me thinking a lot about what marriage is really all about.
Today, I went with her and her boyfriend to look at engagement rings. I don’t know if that’s normal for a couple to do that together, but I was there with them, and it was an interesting process. First off, rings are freaking costly. I’ve never had to buy ANY kind of ring before, but engagement rings cost THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS. That’s crazy to me… In my head, it’s just some sparkly rocks and metals on the periodic table, but to a couple that wants to get engaged, it is EVERYTHING… the embodiment of their love and devotion. I have a soft spot in my heart for romance so deep down, I appreciate the sappiness of this all. haha I will find myself looking for a ring as well someday and I’m sure it will be just as overwhelming and expensive then as it is now. There are so many freaking options. I never knew that there were different kinds of gold or how many different shapes or styles these rings could have… I had never heard the word “scintillation” used in relation to a diamond. I had never held or even LOOKED AT an engagement ring before today. From my perspective, there is an absolutely staggering amount of pressure put on the man to get the ring right… But I guess that you’d do anything for the woman that you love! haha
With all the options, you might find me about do this:
But going to look at rings with them got me thinking… I’ve never really SEEN marriage. Very few of my friends’ parents were married when I was growing up. What I knew about it while growing up was that people got married when they “loved” each other… but I didn’t even know what THAT meant. I had seen people kiss and I had seen pictures of people’s weddings… the bride and groom together, the way they dressed, the wedding cake. Stuff like that, but it didn’t really mean anything to me… It was all just pictures, and I couldn’t have possibly known what it felt like to be married. I didn’t even know how a married couple interacted.
I was raised by my mom and my grandma, two VERY independent and powerful women. Maybe that’s why I can relate so well to the writings of feminists? haha But yeah, my mom never married my father… I guess he wasn’t really ready or maybe he wasn’t responsible, it doesn’t really matter. I ended up growing up without him, and didn’t meet with him again for years… Until I was nearing the end of middle school. My grandma’s husband, Edward Stuart, was a badass and heroic man, but most of what I know about him is from stories my mom, dad, and grandma told me. He died when I was only 5, so I didn’t really get to know him well or experience the marriage or love that he and my grandma had.
I guess, I didn’t learn much about love or relationships until I played Final Fantasy VIII… hahaha Okay, it might be strange that I learned some of life’s most important lessons from a video game, but I don’t care. Squall and Rinoa’s powerful love cannot be surpassed by ANY OTHER COUPLE!!! >:)
Even though they had a very intense love story, THEY never got married… at least, not during the game. They are very popular characters, so there is likely a fan-fic or two out there if I’d like to see that happen… hahaha
I have thought about marriage before. I mean, you kind of end up doing that when you’re in a long-term relationship like I was, even if it wasn’t easy or perfect like all the actors make it look in the movies. I learned a lot about love being in that relationship… but that still didn’t teach me anything about marriage except for the fact that I was capable of wanting it.
I guess that the biggest problem for me is that when I was growing up, a lot of my friends’ parents had crazy relationship issues. I viewed relationships as basically a lot of fighting over things that never really mattered much to me such as money and silly possessions… I felt that if love could be destroyed by petty needs such as these that it wasn’t worth it. After seeing so many of them end up divorced, I started to lose faith in the whole idea of marriage, and that stuck with me through most of my youth. It took until very recently to learn two important things… 1) That some people just get married for the wrong reasons and that 2) love isn’t always enough…
Relationships don’t always work out. It can happen to the even the most prepared couples… Because of that, I ended up promising myself that I’d NEVER marry anyone whom I might end up divorcing… I’ve seen the effects of divorce by observing my friends and their parents. Parents that once loved each other became enemies and waged a war that no one would win. They tried to hurt each other, but ended up hurting their kids, who were always trapped in the crossfire. All of that really saddened me… In my mind, marriage is permanent. Sure, divorce is an option, but not one that I will choose. True partners work together and have one common goal; to be happy, together. They support each other, they grow together, and they work things out. There are definitely situations where people NEED a divorce… sometimes people fall out of love and find a way to stay friends… that’s not so bad, but it’s a lot less likely. When you’ve created a life together, you often find yourself fighting to keep it, even if it can now only belong to one of you.
The man that my mom will marry is really awesome. He’s kind, caring, hard-working, passionate, dedicated.. Those are things I think make a man worth being with. He’s the first person that I’ve ever considered worthy of celebrating Father’s Day with, so I think that means a lot. Seeing them talk about getting married has been giving me a much more optimistic viewpoint on relationships and everything involved with them. Marriage is really a beautiful thing, and even though it might get hard at times, I WANT it someday. It might be really complicated and all wrapped-up in tradition, but it is something that I want to experience. I’m not big on doing things the traditional way, but I really am inspired by all this marriage-talk.