The Benediction: Love is Love

ImageI’m not a fan of marriage in general.  I did it once, for all the wrong reasons like so many people who refuse to admit so. I think the institution has become as trite and jaded as “the American Dream“, chock full of false expectations, superficial wants and desires that have little or nothing to do with the happiness of the people who are lassoed into filing the papers. So why, you might ask, am I taking the time to write about marriage equality? Two reasons: First, the ability of a person to marry whomever  you want is basic as hell. For real … why are we even having to debate this bullshit in court, America? I mean don’t we have bigger fish to fry? It is truly embarrassing that we as a nation are having to take to go to court to argue something that is a private matter between individuals with the contrasting arguments being just as bigoted as the counter arguments to the abolition of slavery, integration, interracial marriage, and women’s reproductive rights (wait … we’re STILL talking about that shit too. UGHK … America, just fucking UGHK.) I won’t get into the white male privilege of it all or the presumption that America is an exclusively “Christian Nation“, but I will say that if certain believers in the “America of Our  Forefathers” don’t pull their heads out of their asses, it’s going to be a loooong decade or so … for them anyway.

Now to my second reason. In the same way a person can be spiritual and hate religion, I believe with my whole heart in love and don’t believe that marriage is  requisite for a lifetime of loving another person. One of the first times I’ve been stuck dumb by the love I witnessed within a relationship, was one where the couple was of the same sex.

It was roughly 2 am in the morning and this woman came in through the emergency room sicker than hell. She had pneumonia and was so weak that she could barely do anything for herself.  While I was assessing her, her partner who’d been parking the car came in. She quietly moved to the opposite side of the bed from me and took her hand.  I was just about to stick the sick woman for blood when she sneezed. I froze immediately, to keep from sticking myself or the patient, and looked up to see her partner cleaning snot from her face and clothing without even flinching.  She was caring for her with a look on her face that reflected pure love. Sounds sappy, but it was as if I were supposed to see it.  In that moment something inside of me said “that’s what I want”, “that’s how I want to be loved by another human being.” Those two women were in that thing together for better or worse, and if a love like that can’t be confirmed through marriage then the whole institution should be outlawed.  It has been years since this incident, but I never forgot it or how it affected me.

This past weekend I had the honor of attending the wedding of my friend Séan and his now husband Christopher.  It was my first gay wedding, and I have to say that it was one of the most simple and sweet ceremonies I’d ever attended. Words of love and encouragement were exchanged between family and friends .. like any wedding. There were jitters, blunders, and late arrivals …  like any wedding. And I, of course, bawled like a complete idiot … like I would do at any wedding. As the debauchery and merriment of the weekend unfolded, I found myself wishing that human beings in their infinite pursuit of control and understanding wouldn’t insist on making others miserable along the way.  Love can’t be defined by a court case or really anything rational, if I look at my own life as an example.  Love just is.

Rosie.

Someone to watch over me.

Yesterday I spent most of the beautiful 75 degree day in my bedroom tearing it apart in order to reorganize.  I do this mainly when I’m wrestling with emotions and I don’t want my mind to eat itself.   Fast forward to 11pm last night, not much but the destruction part had  been done as I’d left my house at 2pm intending to get food and ended up staying gone for the rest of the day. As I stood looking at the remnants of my space and thought about the monumental task of putting it all back together again, I began to cry.

This wasn’t a regular cry. This was one for the record books. Huge crocodile tears filled my eyes and plopped down to the floor. One of those Viola Davis Doubt*, streams of snot ran down my nose.  My body shook.  I even got those crying kid hiccups, you know the ones they always try to talk through but end up sounding like they have a severe stutter. I was deeply sad, and I let myself be there until I could figure out why. My eyes were  just at swelling, and my gullet jam packed with Mike and Ikes when it occurred to me that in that moment, I wanted someone to take care of me. I wanted a male somebody to come in and make this shit right. I then did the other thing I do when faced with an internal crisis (I mean beside glutting myself with dime store candy), I wrote.

My writing put me in touch with something I didn’t know was there.  I’m tired of being the strong, smart, independent one.  The one that puts things together, or figures things out. Compound that with me not being one of these dainty little women that men tend to want to take care of and on most days I feel like a female Grizzly Adams.  I didn’t have a father, while I love my brothers dearly they are fairly useless in the area of handy-mandom, my romantic relationship … what romantic relationship? Anyway, the bottom line is that the times in my life when I felt protected and cared for by a man were few and far between.

So I stewed for a bit, swallowed the sticky wad of Mike and Ikes and tried to “activate my faith” (phrases like that tickle me ^_^).  I thought about times that I had been loved and supported specifically by men, in ways that were non-sexual. What I discovered is while those times are scattered, they are there. I have been loved and wonderfully cared for by men in my romantic relationships (even the sucky ones) – in my family (my Grand Pa always came through with a happy meal when I needed it most and my brothers  effectively kept me dateless through my teens for my own safety.) –and in my male friendships (these are men who have “dated” me, danced and laughed with me, given me emotional and financial support without  any expectations).

The more I wrote and thought and cried and chewed, the more I realized how skewed my perspective is. There is nothing I can do about my past life experience. Nothing. So there is no need to let it make my current existence  miserable. My history with men is just that, HISTORY.  I can make new choices, shift my perspective,  find new mistakes to make and  new lessons to learn. I can only do these things if I choose not to fall back into old patterns, which is what I was avoiding by destroying my bedroom in the first place. See. Full circle. Don’t you love how life works? I know I do.

Rosie.

*the magic happens at 1:11.