Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Tender Trap

What I've never understood about the same-sex marriage controversy is why anyone considers the institution, the act of marriage itself, sacred. Or even particularly meaningful. You can marry and unmarry and marry again and unmarry again and marry once more and, well, as far as I know there's no limit to the thing. You can marry marry marry until the cows come home, so long as you un un un at requisite intervals. It's just until now it took a specific number of chromosomes to enter the club.

I don't believe marriage is the cornerstone of civilization. Marriage can last for a lifetime, or a day.

Of course, relationships can be solid, unto-death-do-we-part, solid. But that's not matrimony, that's a commitment beyond what 40-50% of us can comprehend.

Those who oppose same-sex marriage call on religion or even the constitution to back them up. A local radio opinionator claims that marriage between one man and one woman is "The foundation of a god-blessed society." I clicked on his bio -- with three marriages under his belt, apparently he subscribes to the Church of the Moving Foundation.

For what it's worth, I think everyone, of whatever gender combination, should be able to give marriage a try, if that's what they want. And try, try again, if that's their pleasure. And I'll attend the celebration, in stockings and heels. But on that third go-around, I don't care who you are, you're not getting one more Belgian waffle iron, toaster oven, Lalique deer, chess set, salad spinner, picture frame, bud vase, or sterling silver garlic press out of me.

Because unless I get married a fourth time, there's just nothing around here to re-gift. I'm keeping the popcorn popper, so don't even think about it; thou shalt not covet.



41 comments:

  1. I have to agree w/you.. and this is coming from someone who was married for 25 yrs.... I've told my girls, that I am pro living together.. I have no desire to get married again. To me if both parties are committed and loyal, why do they need a piece of paper to prove it? I told that to my ex bf and he just didn't get it- and I think it was because he thought what was mine could be his... yep- kicked that azzhat to the curb... Anyway, my daughters believe in pre nups .. so do I... I feel as they do, what you bring (assets) to a marriage/none, you leave with.. and anything done jointly is split down the middle... Sounds logical right? as my shrink would tell me : "when it comes to relationships, there is no logic".. Then again, I know I perplex folks.. I insist on logic...

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  2. Bingo! Hit that nail on the head, shot him daid center or whatever old saying salts your eggs. Oh wait, we'd better not get started on eggs. Also sounds like that opionator needs some seismic bolting to his foundation. The alphabet soup of gender is not what makes for a beautiful relationship. It's complicated. Very. My 38 yr. [more if you count the cohabitation, all here in Altadena]union seems to work at least partly because neither of us made the same mistake twice.

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  3. Wait. There are sterling silver garlic presses? Hmm. I may to un so I can re.

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  4. I agree with you, too.

    But I'm heartbroken you've run out of salad spinners.

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  5. What I've never understood about the same-sex marriage controversy is why homosexuals would consider the act of marriage so important for being equal with the hetero's. Of all the "rights" to fight for, haha! Well, if it was really mainly so they can receive the financial or tax purposes & benefits, such as when one dies, then they should've gone for just the benefits, without disadvantages.

    And, did someone say, "GARLIC"!

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  6. You need a piece of paper so that some large, self-protecting and perpetuating institution can have power over the very core of your being - that is, your sexuality and reproductive strategies.

    That said, a good marriage is a wonderful thing, and I'm glad more and more people have the option to choose it.

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  7. Eternal OptimistJune 26, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    Never say never again, five time's the charm.

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  8. Favorite! Love this. And I think you must have tossed it off pretty quickly. It's very smart writing.

    If you decide not to marry Ken Mac, will you marry me? Give me warning, I'll have to un first.

    On second thought, the juicer still works pretty well.

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  9. Two proposals in one night -- Personal best!

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  10. Law has turned marriage into such a tangle that it's best just to stay away from the preacher/rabbi/whatever and see where the relationship leads. Why same-sex couples see the benefit in it is a bit beyond me, but I wish them well. Maybe they'll have better luck.

    But as an attorney I've seen too many of the uns, and they ain't pretty.

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  11. I'm on my second marriage. Didn't technically un the first, but he died, so there's that and we've managed not to kill one another for over 20 years now.

    I laugh at the "sanctity" thing. Most folks who purport "sanctity of marriage" either have un/re'd several times, or haven't bothered to un while they are doing someone (or multiple someones) while still married and all I can say is "hypocrites"! Like my cousin who attended our wedding, but has a "Yes on 8" sticker in her car window and btw, only seems to date married men...no kidding.

    Why it matters to anyone else whether and to whom I am married has always been beyond me. Anymore than I should be telling some man that whether or not he has prostate surgery has some grand impact on MY life is asinine.

    What I can say is that those on the same-gender list would like the opportunity to fuck it up as badly as the straights. Some may do just as bad a job as the straights, some may, like Phyllis and Del, may make multi-decade runs at monogomy.

    Wait, sterling silver garlic presses? Damn. Been too dang long since I was last married and registered. Now that it's legal, we should just un and re? Nah, too much paperwork! I'll go find a press on my own!

    I'd offer to marry you too, but I think 2 proposals in a night is enough to scare the right wingers completely away!

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  12. Oh goody, how many proposals does that make, I'm losing track.

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  13. Coupla things:

    in California, if my spouse dies without a will I inherit his estate because I'm married to him. Before yesterday's ruling, if you and your partner were gay, it didn't matter if his family had not seen him for 30 years, you were not considered family in the eyes of the law and you got nothing.

    If your gay partner is in the hospital and your state does not consider you legally married, you may visit only during "visiting hours," and not sit vigil at her bedside like any "family member" can.

    etc.

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  14. Karin, if we hire them for our wedding celebration, first we gotta buy their duds. I really like their duds. :)

    I do!

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  15. Love that joke. EVERYONE should be allowed to marry. Male female, animals whoever. Everyone should be able to experience the pain! hahahahah

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  16. I'm a riot at receptions. Invite me?

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  17. I know this debate has been raging on for some time in our culture but my point has always been this: government sanctioned marriage doesn't make sense - then the government gets to decide and gets to discriminate against some marriages? Why would you fight for that?

    I'm hosting a reception that consists of a taco truck and margarita machine . . . I'll host yours too but only if I can borrow the sterling silver garlic press on occasion.

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  18. Bandit, anytime, you're always welcome. And when you're through judging poetry, I do have a question about drywall. Really.

    Bec, the implement is spoken for. But that Lalique deer, if you hold it by the neck and flank, it can squish a clove.

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  19. I didn't even have a registry for the first, it's just too tacky. On the other hand, I make annual registries for my birthday.

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  20. I'm on my *gasp* second marriage. Excellent commentary on the whole same-sex affair...um, debate.

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  21. I’ve wondered why gay people want to join an institution that’s failing so much. Why not ask for a more reasonable, promising, maybe original form of legal union, provided the laws change to give everyone equality in financial and other benefits. However, a gay friend replied that that amounts to “separate but equal,” which was no good in the racial arena and wouldn’t be good in any other arena. That makes sense to me. Besides, isn’t the whole fuss a tempest in a Tea Party Pot? Seems to me the supposedly hard-working, pull-your-bootstraps crowd has a lot of free time to make up shit to get mad about.

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  22. Oh my, madame hiker, hope over experience, eh?

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  23. Beckynot, I think most wedding gifts are the ultimate in recycling anyway.

    Carolynn, I don't know about your first, but your second wedding was ever so elegant. I got married, by choice, in the kind of places where the justice of the peace wears a cowboy belt.

    But Kenny Mac is going to change all that. We're already selecting music for our wedding.

    Banjo, exactly. Why was this an issue.

    Des, no not really, it would just kind seem like a good idea at the time.

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  24. It seems to me that if they just called it something other than marriage, and had the same rights and privileges and legal blah blah...just call it a union instead of a marriage...everyone would be happy...

    Never thought of the separate but equal concept Banjo mentioned...but it just seems like the important thing is that Gays have the same rights and privileges and protections that heteros do...the word is just a word...but has tremendous meaning for the religious...

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  25. As I once said, my dearly beloved and I married alone, and no one was invited. 34 years later, it's working out just fine, and I didn't even get the salad spinner and garlic press, sterling silver or otherwise.

    To each his own; isn't that how you're going to manage in Utah with all of the proposals you've gotten in the past 24 hours?

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  26. Great post and thought-provoking comments. My other half and I were perfectly happy cohabiting, although it was a bit tricky in some circles in the 70's where it was not the common practice it is today, until we started thinking about buying a house. Legal marriage is really a contract to protect both parties, hence the need for a license. This is why equal protection/recognition is important for all of us in such unions. I am secure enough in my marriage that what others do/don't do does not in any way threaten/affect my life. I will always wonder what is so threatening to those who yell the loudest about the need to protect "traditional marriage." Why do they think the tradition is so fragile?

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  27. Great cartoon in the New Yorker: A guy is sitting in his living room by the front door with a big gun in his lap. Wife to her friend: "Now he feels it is up to him to defend our marriage since the Supreme Court won't. . "

    I agree with you that marriage being the foundation of society is BS. Obviously, it's irrigation! I always liked that theory better (about why civilization got going in the Fertile Crescent): here is an activity that required new technology, cooperation over long periods of time, record-keeping, weather watching, and adaptation to change.

    But the marriage thing is all about laws, and legal protection. I'm happy to live in a place where rule of law trumps some guy's whim. mz

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  28. Does anyone want to marry me? I really want a Belgian waffle iron.

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  29. I used to have a Belgian waffle iron Susan..I'd have given it to you with no strings attached...but I think I gave it to the Castaway...the second hand store in Mammoth that supports the hospital auxiliary!!!

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  30. Greetings, all the way from Norway! Well written and said!

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  31. Susan, I'll marry you if we can also get a blender. Mine has totally gone kaput.

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  32. Just hands off Kenny Mac, everyone. He's mine. We've even chosen the musicians to play at our ceremony. http://greenwichvillagenydailyphoto.blogspot.com/2013/06/nebraska-archives.html

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  33. Now that's going to be a FINE wedding!!!

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  34. I guess Kenny Mac wins, because his was the first proposal to Karin! I'm waiting for my invitation to the shindig. After 3 practice runs, this one should be awesome! Love the band.

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  35. the whole separate but equal thing has proven to be nothing more than backhanded discrimination and never works the way the proponents claim.

    The only reason why gov't or religious folks got involved in marriage was to control their people and to raise taxes and fees. Just in SF over the weekend, over 500 licenses were issues to same-gender couples. At between $74 and $83 for regular or confidential licenses, that is over $40k in fees just the City of SF has brought in. Then think about the fabulous weddings, hotel rentals, tuxes, decorations, planners, catering, limos, bands, rentals...and think about the impact! $40k over one weekend! All I'm saying is that the CA State budget had better be WELL padded next June when it is presented!

    @Petrea-in CA, before the DOMA ruling, if a same gender spouse died without a will it was not automatically assumed they would benefit--depended on the judge and in which county. One friend had a 4 year legal battle when his spouse died without having changed his will to reflect their pre-2008 marriage. Finally was ruled that he was an omitted spouse and thus, was awarded spouse status after a lengthy battle with SF Gay Men's Chorus who tried to claim most of the estate. I can also confirm that even in "accepting" places in this state, not all partners are allowed visitation without paperwork in hospitals or other locations.

    @Banjo-perhaps the not so str8 folks might do a better job at retaining their vows since it was so hard fought? ;-)

    KennyMac, you're a lucky man. Now, Karin, how does Albert feel about wearing a white tie for the wedding?

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  36. I haven't heard back from Kenny Mac. Cold feet?

    Trish, marriage has only been a legal contract for ever so long, so I don't know why sacred is suddenly brought into the mix. And it will be very interesting to compare the stats ten years down the line. I'm betting on the very same rate of success or un, but who knows?

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  37. You haven't heard, KB, of K Mac cuz I think he just got married. At least someone who looks like him did - I saw it on TV recently, so it must bee true.

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  38. I totally agree!
    I don't think the success rate of male/female marriages is anything to crow about anyway. I'm VERY happy that this has changed. I'm overjoyed for my gay friends and family members.

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