I never thought marriage would be something I would consider, growing up and watching my parents and others I figured, Why bother?
I mean, a ring, ceremony, a parade and a lifetime of misery wasn’t something I wished to ever experience.
Like every child that says they’ll never, you find yourself saying I do.
One of the major deterrents to marriage was the wedding itself…the stuffy dress, the uncomfortable posing, the family that interferes with every detail, or the drunk bridesmaid (my usual role). The fantastic cliché photographs on the beach perfect like the perfect couple. One thing I learned from being a drunk bridesmaid, is that weddings are the most stressful for the bride in expectation of a perfect day and everything working perfectly.
My husband and I have an unconventional relationship.
We decided our wedding day should be on Halloween, because we both love Halloween. It’s one of the only days nobody cares what you are and everyone has fun being something else. We also imagine being old and senile, how could we forget that day?
We had planned to elope and have a private ceremony, we had everything we needed. When we woke up, the sky was grey, and it was cold and the air was full of foggy mist.
I decided that the day would be perfect despite that, and went about starting the day preparing myself for one of the most important days I’d never thought I’d ever have with the most amazing person.
I went to the bathroom and realized, that my perfect day was just an idea in my head when I looked at the toilet paper and the red tide rolled in. Great! So, I put on my wedding dress that fit perfectly just a week prior, and I was so bloated I could not zip the zipper! I began to panic, then flew into a rage taking off the dress, throwing it across the room, hitting the space heater, landing in the dog’s food dish with wet food in it.
I didn’t think things could get much worse, so I sat down sobbing in my stockings, and Adam sat down next to me and comforted me. He helped me put on my dress and grabbed this huge safety pin off of an old kilt I had, fastening the back for me. He said, “See, it’s going to be fine. You look beautiful.”
I guess the reason I’m writing this, is because I hear and see a lot of cynical people that don’t believe in love because they’ve been burned, or they envisioned love or marriage being a certain way. That marriage was an ownership, or just something people do because they’re supposed to.
I know I have something rare, but one of the things that makes us different, is we love each other for our imperfections, our quirks, and our understanding. Though I expected a perfect day like every girl, things didn’t go perfectly, but it was perfect with him.
We’ve had awful arguments, we learn from each other, and we communicate with each other and choose our battles. We grow together because we want to. Perfect doesn’t exist, it’s an illusion.
The right thing sometimes is wrong, and many people place more value and importance on why things don’t work, won’t work, devaluing the contract between lovers, pushing their needs and the willingness to put your own aside…marrying the wrong person or someone they thought they knew, who never was.
Everything happens to teach us something, whether it be about ourselves or others, what we want or what we don’t.
People place more value on things, than partnership, people, or interactions. Some people view people as things as well, and things get old and once something is old you get rid of it and find a new one. That is why marriage doesn’t work…mental laziness, lack of empathy and the unwillingness to communicate or compromise. The me first world with the comparing and competition with the Joneses. (who are total assholes by the way.)
I am not writing this to critique humanity and its decisions, or to compare myself to anyone else. I’m writing this because I see so many skewed misconceptions that actually devalue the essence of the rituals society adheres to. The politics, people themselves and religion have all taken a stab at the ceremony of love, making it the “marriage industrial complex.”
Perfection is an illusion, it’s surface. It’s not concrete real or attainable. It is what you learn from the imperfect things and what you do with what you learn that makes things real.
Sara Wentworth is an artist, writer, and status-quo-bunker based on Cape Cod. She and her husband Adam are the crazed minds behind Secret Society Art. Check out their stuff – but the Aldous Huxley portrait is mine