|"The Oldest Story" sculpture intertwines in dozens of ways|
We can rail all we want at the demise of traditional marriage but looking at the divorce rate it apparently wants to be changed. As Mexico considers a new temporary marriage I try to swallow my alarm and take a serious look.
Though we've done it forever it seems we have yet to examine the structure of our relationships very carefully. Marriage in particular; while it's apparently been good enough so far just to keep from killing each other, I think we can ask for more from it.
Like you perhaps, I always preferred to think of marriage as a standard item right out of the catalog. Therefor I found it difficult to acknowledge there are a great variety of good marriages: couples that live separately– even on different continents– or share a bed but little else, or everything but a bed, or trade health care for sex, or... I could go on. You name it- someone probably calls it their marriage! My own parents had arrangements that would maybe make your eyebrows go up and down, but they were very happily married for 54 years! It may be temping to look down your nose at that, but on my dad's last visit to the hospital Mom gently wiggled his toe in the bed and said they were more in love than ever! How can anyone presume to think there's a better marriage than that?
Marriage isn't what is done, but what is shared, much of which is certainly indescribable, even to those involved. There must be perfect marriages somewhere, but beyond clear abuse how can anyone tell two consenting adults "Hey, you're doing it wrong"?
Much as I'm sure we all would like to thing of a single romantic image of the "successful" marriage I suspect that the good ones are as various in form as are people. So next time you hear someone howling to preserve the sanctity of traditional marriage, ask yourself what in the world that means. I say mix together people who love each other, add a lid, cook on medium heat and if they come out happy, that is a good marriage. That'll make a tradition I can get behind!