Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Couple rot and marriage wows

People in the news are remarrying their exes. We talked about this at work today, and discussed whether the odd case was trend enough to warrant further investigation. Sitting around a table, trying to reason the phenomenon (or epidemic, depending on your worldview) one of my colleagues suggested that “maybe people rediscover themselves”.

Everyone laughed.

“Young idealism, I love it!” said one cantankerous hag. Obviously it was a crap reason. Hag had spoken and the story was implausible.

Even after the chatter continued and other topics were moved on to, I think I grudged the woman and stayed offended by this rather brash dismissal of a fairly genuine, if stupid-sounding idea.

Maybe people do rediscover themselves second time around, bitch! How do you know?

I find it sad to have idealism rubbished. Like doom is the only way out. And you’re an idiot for believing otherwise.

It brought back to me a whole bunch of cluttered thoughts.

Like, a few days ago, I had a long talk with a friend I hadn’t spoken to in a while.

“I’m not unhappy..., but we’ve become hostel mates...”

I didn’t push further. This was after all a marriage being spoken about. And even though we have a fairly priceless rapport, and this was voluntary information, the state of someone else’s marriage, and sometimes even a friend’s, is not my business.

To listen is cool. But what is there to ask? Would any answer surprise? Who is really stupid enough to believe their problems are original? However many problems there may be, aren’t issues similar and somewhere connected? Miscommunication, adultery, boredom, and abuse – doesn’t discord everywhere stem from a rotten yet familiar degree of disrespect? Alright, so we don’t have a failed marriages support group. And you can’t buy handmade paper cards and have the proceeds pay for divorce lawyers. But with two TVs, two cars, two rooms, and multiple single refuges, what is left to do together?

Relationships fascinate me. I love a real romance. And witnessing snatches of an ‘ideal’ marriage is always an inspiration. I remember how when we were in college and my friend lived on the third floor; her mother would see her husband off to work at 9.15 in the morning, everyday. And then with her mug of tea, walk to the window by 9.17 every day, so that by the time he descended the stairs and got into the car, their eyes would meet and she could wave to him.

I remember thinking what a beautiful routine to have. My friend of course was less susceptible to her parents’ shenanigans – her father would speak to her mother 8 times a day out o choice and after being married for 22 years – and she, as a rule was more sickened by the fact that they’d probably had sex the last evening and this was the carry-over mush. But yes, with slight variations, this had always been the see-off routine.

As opposed to another friend who’s parents frequently don’t live in the same city. We never talk about those things. It’s just awkward. And I feel siblings are for this purpose precisely, to talk and bitch among themselves. But it was sad to go through wedding albums, with lovely atypical shots and so many of them, but possibly just three in which every member of the family was in the frame, but that two with the parents at the far ends.

The stories are different, emotions not all be the same. But I find so many of the symptoms similar. Tolstoy and his million-dollar openers -- All happy families resemble one another but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

I don’t know a contradiction.


formerly fun said...

I have a wonderful marriage, even through 3 kids, great jobs and job losses, extended family issues, etc.. I absolutely adore my husband. I don't know if there's a magic formula but I'd like to think that we both try every day to make the other happy. And yes, we argue and disagree but we never fight to win, only to workout compromise we can both live with or be heard and understood. Certainly you have to manage your expectations because it is never like it is in the movies but it can still be hopefully romantic and knock you off your feet. And you are right, mutual respect is the first necessary ingredient.

love_bites said...

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Nimpipi said...

formerly fun: wow! hi. what you said was beautiful. That bit about arguing not to win but to workout a compromise -- I think I'll keep that with me for the future! ( Why 'formerly' fun though..?)

love: I saw, i saw. Mostly flattering, I say. Three cheers to me! Reluctantly redoing my header btw..

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