Nov 15, 2010

On Marriage, Couples and Happiness

I stayed up until "late" last night to watch a show in History Channel that caught my interest a few days ago. I'm not one to watch much TV other than the few shows I pick. Supernatural (obviously), White Collar (when they are showing it, which isn't now), News, a Colombian old telenovela (Betty, La Fea, because it reminds me of the days I worked at the Bank. Plus its really hilarious) and the NFL games. Since my cable company decided to take away from us awesome channels such as HGTV and Food Network, my TV-time has been quite reduced. (The cable company moved them to a much more expensive pack, and filled the basic pack with crap channels.) Either way, somehow I came across this show's add - Strange History -  for this episode "Til Death Do Us Part".

The show - well, have never before heard of it - steps somehow on the path of another show called Taboo (Tabú in the Hispanic version), where customs odd to the Western Culture are shown to us. From the add, as they pictures only one story, I thought it was going to be about these three people getting married together. The story immediatelly called to me, particularly because it reminded me of a storyline I had written a while now, and some real life paramether would have been great to support it. It also picked my curiosity that the happy threesome marrying were two guys and a girl, far from the social conception that a bigamic or poligamic relationship means more women than men. Go figure.

The show presented four cases: young wives burned to death in India in what could be called "dowry deaths", girls kidnapped in Kyrgyzstan against their will to be married in a display of manhood by their local men, a couple that met and fell in love through Second Life, and this threesome - or triad, as they call themselves - marriage.

The story of falling in love over the Internet is hardly strange anymore for the Western Culture, where kb's flow down our bloodsteam alongs with our bloodcells. Love at distance, however dreadful for any of us, isn't something so unheard or unexpected. Does it work? It depends. Love at distance isn't something everybody can handle, because each person has a different set of needs and a different way to grade the elements that compose or could be part of a relationship. I've been asked several times about how can I handle y long distance relationship like the one I've with Kari. Personally I don't see anything to handle on it. Is it successful? Yes, it is, specially because by having him a whole ocean away, my chances to pick a fight with him are significantly reduced. =) But just because my relationship is successful, does it mean it would be for anyone else? No, because not everybody is me or Kari.

As for falling in love through an Avatar online, well, people have the capability of falling in love over the strangest treats of others. You don't need to fall in love with the appearance or phisical presence of someone else. Often it's a parfume, a word, a smile, a flick, a joke, a car, a glance, an ass, a drawing, a picture, a bip what makes click. So is it possible? Yes, but then again, it may not work for everybody.

The cases of the women murdered in India because their dowry isn't enough for the family of the groom, or the case of the girls kidnapped from the streets in Kyrgyzstan to be wedded, where a girl escaping her captors disgraces herself and the family of the boy, remind me of things much similar in our Western cultures. Reading Moll Flanders, by Daniel Defoe, I find in Moll's constant seeking for a husband with money enough to support her, in the men around her who look for a woman with money enough for them to live, a feature still present in today's world: the people that marry for money or any other benefit.

Golddiggers as we call them, are not only a group of women, but also men, who dedicate their lives to seek the means to their livelyhood through being kept by others, a spouse most often. Personally I do not know many cases of men looking for women with money, but the amount of women seeking men for their wallet spring around like weed in an unkept garden. Coworkers of mine have often declared that love isn't a good reason to marry, that though they want to marry (or had already), a potential husband shall be graded by the money he spends on her, the kind of engagement ring he slips on her finger and the money he makes. Matters such as genetic base (okay, maybe that's important only to me), personality, afinity, temper, looks, charm, feelings are not to be considered. Many even make arrangements for a beneficial divorce much before the weding even happens. Sure, they usually don't murder their spouse in order to get the money and move to the next big fish, though many stop close from it.

Other selfish reasons also prompt people to marry. Marry because they want to enjoy the political power of their partner, marry so they don't have to be alone, marry to be considered successfull by their peers, marry because that's the next step of life towards living a fulfilling, evolved existence - followed then by children because that's what mature people do -, but there's also the case of those who marry in order to steal the partner from someone else, or those who do it out of spite, to prove to an ex that they are much wanted. It is marriage for reasons far away from the alleged one reason you are supposed to marry for in the Western culture. So, what's worse: marry for money openly for it, or marrying for money but pretending it's for love?

The horrors of marriage are not proper only to Eastern culture, since the kidnapping of unwilling girls by men and their families can be compared with the blackmailing of women who get pregnant to catch a man, or at least force him to keep them. The cases of marriage by coersion, the marriages into which many women rush into in order to escape from brutal family lives and also quite common, or the cases of marriages for visas and permits. These all, whether we choose to look at them or not, clearly prove that marriage is a long since expired institution, a remnant, a romantic carcass that never fulfilled its purpose. Marriage becomes a legal security, a benefit package, a lock that shackles down two people in a long term contract, often subscribed under false pretenses with no clause that allows you to dissolve the contract and restore the previous state if the promese of that pretense turns out to be false, or wanes away.

If you really love the person you are with, what need do you have of a clerical and a legal insurance? None, because in the end marriage seems to be made for all the other reasons the pretense covers for. So, does marriage makes you happy? Only if you think that prison gives home to the poor.

However the one story that got to me was that of the triple marriage, not that I would understand why would they felt the need to be wedded, even if the wedding couldn't be socially recognized. The threesome, composed as I said earlier, by two guys and a chick. had this full circle form, where everybody slept with everybody. Interesting indeed, but far more the words of the lady of the group. She talked about how she never expected to live in a monogamous relationship, how she has always given freedom to her partners in hopes to get the same freedom back. Here I felt identified.

I'm not a monogamous kind of person, and honestly I'm not a relationship kind of person. By listening to her, once again I was put to think about my current situation and how pleased or happy I am in it. I thought whether this is what I want, and the only honest answer I can come up with is "No". No, I don't want to be in a relationship, I never want to marry and I never, ever want to have kids. I do not wish to partake in any social couple ceremony, nor I want to be a component of a couple. I don't want monogamy, I do not wish for the lie called "loyalty" or "cheating". I honestly expect freedom, expression, sincerity, opennes, and all the elements proper of a relationship do nothing - in my eyes and in my heart -  but to cut them. If people were birds, social relationships expect you to lock yourself with your mate in a cage. Do you and realize how even if the cage gives you some security, you'll dream of freedom. In my head, as birds, I rather fly. I'd be happy meeting my mate in flight, sharing a nest, but letting him fly solo and I'd expect to fly solo too.

Now, don't get me wrong here, and here's the core of my message: I love Kari and I love being with him. I loath the relationship, and the ties of it. I hate being tied down by it, but Kari I love. Is love sacrifice? Not for me. Love is freedom, love is new scapes and new adventures. Love is new experiences, all of which the tie of relationships can trample. I'd love to be with Kari in a limbo of relationship where we are all and nothing, friend and lovers but with no lables, with no rules and no pre-fab estipulations other than those that grow from the very dynamics of what goes on between us. It stays together as long as it should, and it falls appart when the time for it comes. No commitment, no deception, no pains and angers, just two eagles circling the sky.

A relationship doesn't produce love, nor is a relationship the sign of love, love grows from people with no rules and no expectations, it just does. Rules and expectations only asphixiate it.

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