So, I was proposed to this weekend.
I said No.
And I kept the ring and the Significant Other.
Everyone who knows us thinks we're crazy- Significant Other is crazy for asking, and I'm crazy for saying no.
And they all want to know why.
Here it is: I've got a real problem with marriage. It's not because I'm divorced, and that is the conclusion most people jump to first. My problem with marriage began when I was a very small child. We moved around a lot- more than anyone else I know, even military kids. We were following Dad on his jobs...but Dad was always still far away, and Mom and I were stuck in some awful place that was in closer proximity to him, but never near him, over and over again. And I thought: 'if Mama wasn't with him, we could live wherever we wanted.' And then when I was seven or so my oldest brother got a divorce, and while I was not directly involved, it still bothered me a great deal. In fact I asked my father why it was that they even bothered getting married since they were just splitting up anyway...it would've been cheaper just to live together and get some boxes when it was time for someone to move out. My father didn't like this logic AT ALL. Then, when I was about 13, the older brother got a divorce, and after living through that mess (in which I was directly involved because my mother and I were taking care of his children), that was the death rattle of any idea I ever had of marriage being a good idea. And still I tried it for myself. I don't really count that very short period of time as anything more or short of a leap into insanity, and it was, all things considered, over very quickly.
These are the conditional aspects that led to my negative feelings about marriage. The internal ones are much less dramatic. I just feel like marriage could be likened unto suffocation, like I lose my ability to breathe freely. It's like I become trapped, imprisoned in a cell with glass walls and ceiling. I love my freedom, I love my identity- there's nothing sweeter in life to me than knowing I'm free, that I am me, that I have no master. And it physically pains me to think that "I" may dissolve into a "we"...I don't want to lose me. I've had to fight so hard to have this "me", to own my life...my mother always told me that I was the only thing in life that no one could take from me unless I let them, and that no one could ever take my mind. And marriage just sounds like the death knell of freedom...it's very distinctive in its long range ring.
I love my Significant Other, almost more than life. I'd do anything for Significant Other, and I hold dear to me every single moment we have together. But, I am here because I want to be, because I love him, not because some paper says I have to, not because it's too expensive not to, not because I'm too scared to go it alone. I'm here by choice, not by force. And Significant Other stays with me by choice, because __________ loves me more than anything. So, why go fuck up a good thing?
I told Significant Other that we have to grow up first, that we have to get our shit more straight, before it's ever going to be a feasible thing. That means one day I may have to reprogram myself. That means one day, I'm proposing to Significant Other, and I'm going to hope that I don't get my soul crushed.