Monday, May 12, 2008

a (little) longer story.

i kept finding it hard to start this post, mainly because i didn't know where to start, period. but now that i'm here, i think it's best for me to just keep the story simple. because really, if i wanted, i could type until i pass out from hunger and exhaustion about my ongoing ambivalence regarding the institution of marriage and the role it plays in our lives. plus, you've heard me blah-blah about most of all that here already! so the main question is, i think, what pushed jason and i past the brink of indecision and into a mindset where we decided that marriage was something we wanted to do?

well, about six months ago, as i pondered the topic for some reason or another, i found myself viewing it from kind of a different angle. i remained (and remain, unsurprisingly!) very uncomfortable with the cultural institution and all its attendant stereotypes, hegemonies, paradigms, etc etc and so on. but as a legal matter, i realized that i wasn't against marriage so much in principle as i was troubled by how tied up the legal side of marriage is with the cultural side. i realized that i would never begrudge anyone the ability to petition the government to recognize their relationship with another person as primary (in fact, i wish there were far fewer restrictions on who is allowed to make that request). i started seeing civil marriage as a service the government provides for you - like a birth certificate, or a social security card - that offers you certain protections. and i'm actually all for that! (except in the sense that all societal institutions, government or no, are generally corrosive things built and dependent on systems of domination and oppression buuuuuuut anyway that's another story. and a far more depressing and intractable one.) so once jason and i started talking about it in that light, it just made sense to take that step and get that legal recognition for ourselves. we certainly didn't want a wedding per se, and vegas is the perfect place to do a marriage with no fuss, no muss, and no waiting. plus, vegas is fun! there are free cocktails! and up until that point, jason and i had only ever taken one vacation that was just the two of us, and that was an overnight in iowa - it seemed high time for a more substantial getaway.
so there you have it - desire for legal recognition plus desire for a true twosome vacation equals eloping to vegas. we wanted to "make it legal." and we have. and we're happy.

the end. (again. for now.)

6 comments:

Toast said...

except in the sense that all societal institutions, government or no, are generally corrosive things built and dependent on systems of domination and oppression

Good luck, Jason! ;-)

Cinnamon said...

Well, believe it or not, I completely understand this.

And toast, I think Jason is just fine handling our friend. There's no way he went into marriage blindly. Besides, if my guy can go from "Really, you wouldn't be okay changing your name" to "I really think that our generation is going to change the societal expectations of marriage and unioned couples" then I think Jason will be just fine.

Congrats again, Kate. And the offer for a followup phone call is good any time.

jacket said...

congratulations. I hope you both had a great time in vegas.

Lisa said...

When you stopped I thought you'd stopped for good. And now you're back. And married! I'm glad you're happy and in a good place. Yay!

Kate said...

I often wish I had gone the Vegas route. I wanted to have a party with friends, but without all the cultural crap you spoke about more eloquently than I ever could :). I ended up with all the cultural crap.

At least we try to keep it out of the marriage!

Anonymous said...

Would it surprise you to learn that old friends read your stuff religiously just to see what you're up to and how you're doing? Perhaps I'll have a bit of fun and remain anonymous for the moment, except to say: "Congrats to you and Jason. I'm extraordinarily happy for you and wish you both all the best."

Keep writing for those of us who use your blog to keep tabs on you and Boycat (oh, right, no more cat monikers)...