OMG 2 posts in one night. Hey, when inspiration hits you gotta run with it.
So I’m uptown babysitting my precious Ry bear, and I’m watchin Mamma Mia!. Now, I recognize that this isn’t the greatest musical adapted to film, probably because the music is ABBA, but Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried are AWESOME. So cute. Meryl can do no wrong. Here’s the trailer just for fun-sies.
Obviously marriage is a large theme of the film. And there are some really lovely mother/daughter scenes. And as I was watching, I started wondering about my own parents. See, I don’t want to get married. Ever. And don’t roll your eyes like ‘Oh you’re just a baby!’ ect. Marriage is a particular kind of life, just one kind of relationship, that is complicated and privileged and oh so political. It affects everything from your name to your health insurance to your cultural status to your gym membership. And it hasn’t historically been good for women, being that it used to be (and sometimes still is) the trading of property. Property expected to shut up and bear children, honor and obey. And we don’t let the gays do it even tho over 1/2 of husbands and wives divorce. So I’m not into it. (Read The Trouble with Normal by Michael Warner for some really excellent scholarship on this issue.)
Here’s a confession though. I’m really a romantic person. Seriously. I can tell you all about the name of the 1st boy I fell in love with, and my top 5 kisses of all-time. I love romantic comedies, especially old movies with Audrey Hepburn. And my parents have been married for 28 years, I have their wedding song tattooed on my wrists, and I admire their relationship so hard it hurts sometimes. I very believe in love. But love is hard in this day and age, and I can’t bring myself to hope for a life where I’d give up some of my autonomy and dedicate my days to one other person. I mean, why can’t I share health insurance with roommates, or have a party with a lot of cool gifts for me and my best friend just because we’ve known each other for 25 years (love you CEM). There are so many ways to organize your life. It’s just this one heteronormative (fav word) way that has gotten raised up above all others. Even though it doesn’t always (1/2 the time, actually) work. But sometimes I feel guilty. I mean, I’m sure my parents didn’t predict that I’d grow up to be such a beast feminist. And I know they want what I want, and they support me totally (not just this blog either, but like my academic career and my life in NY… it’s outrageous). But does my dad wanna walk me down the aisle? Does my mom wanna help me pick out a dress? Do they worry that I won’t have anyone to take care of me the way they take care of each other?
I don’t really know the answers. They are probably in the range of ‘well, sort of, but…’. I have been in love, in lust, indifferent and heart broken, and I hope that I can continue to have a range of relationships, with people who teach me new things (or at least provide me with good sex). I wanna fall in love again (when I have the time… then again it always seems to happen at just the wrong moment so I shouldn’t be picky), but I also don’t wanna become single minded. Its been my experience that friendships take a back seat to relationships, and I don’t think that needs to be so. I never want that, because my friends have been there for me through all that shit I mentioned above and god bless them they put up with my rants and I owe them all that I am. So I guess I can only try to be present in the moment, say thank you to those I am grateful for (for all of you reading, FYI) and try to do what makes me happy. I hope my parents understand. I’ll be lucky if I find someone who is half as wonderful to me as they are to each other. Hopefully I can find love and have a life that is just off the beaten path, outside the heteronormative box, in some kind of queer space… Ah, the dream that dare not speak its name. Here’s hopin…