Saying “I do” is Simply Not Enough

Posted: June 11, 2014 in Being Pro Social
Tags: , , ,

When I wake up in ten days, I’ll be married. First time. Last time. Only time. And I’m good with it. I’m taking a lot of flak around work for it. It’s good natured and well intended flak (at least I think it is) but it’s flak nevertheless and it’s all coming from the married guys. “You’re in your thirties. You’ve held out for so long. Why now!? Why!?” “When I was you’re age, I just wanted to eat her up. Now, I’m 61 and I wish to hell I had.” And of course my favorite: “Say goodbye to your sex life…it won’t come home with you after the honeymoon!” Maybe they know something I don’t. What I do know is that the clock is tick tick ticking and I have yet to write my vows. It’s not for lack of trying, that’s for sure. I sit down…I start…and nothing comes. Do you remember “Mini Thins?” They were OTC diet pills sold at gas stations in the 90s – legal speed, basically. When you ate too many, you could feel your hair grow. Seriously. They also made you feel like you really had to pee but when you’d lock and load on the nearest tree, nothing happened. It’s like that. There are no words spewing towards the screen at full force, hitting and splattering everywhere, pooling into a puddle of sheer marital perfection. Nope. Not even a trickle. Hell, I’d settle for a leaked drop in the old skivvies after giving up and putting everything away but, alas, it ain’t happening. I guess I don’t really know what to say. Or what I’m supposed to say rather. I’ve only, after all, seen three weddings. One was last week. The preacher spoke all the vows and if I know anything for sure, it’s that Adam and Eve have nothing to do with marriage vows and if I mention anything about anyone having to obey anyone, the deal will be off. The other two were in American Wedding and Bridesmaids, respectively. Something tells me I shouldn’t consider the Jason Biggs character as a role model, of any sort, that I’d be better off finding a Mad Libs Wedding Vow edition. To be completely truthful, some part of my brain, at least for a second, actually gave serious consideration to the Mad Lib plan. Maybe I’ll file it under Plan C, the obvious path to take when Plans A and B either fail dismally or never get made to begin with. It’s not looking good for me. I even looked up the definition of vow. I’m that guy. From what I discovered, I’m either making a solemn promise or giving myself up to some dreadfully repressive sort of religious monkery. Depending on a particular persons perspective, like the guys at work, it could be both. I suspect, however, that I should refrain from shaving my head bald, chanting, abstaining from sex and showing up at public events barefoot and bathrobed. And intentionally setting myself on fire. At least until after the wedding…and definitely not during. It does make sense that the wedding vow is a promise that one person makes to another, or rather, a set of promises that two people make to each other. That was basically what the preacher said except he wrote the promises himself and my two friends simply agreed to them. That seems entirely irrational to me. Considering that wedding vows are, for the most part, a binding legal contract that you only get one shot at and that there are no established provisions for negotiation of terms, I think I damn well better write my own. God only knows what a preacher might sign me up for. Maybe it should read like a disclaimer or a warning label on a pack of cigarettes. After all, I’m supposed to lack the mental capacity to experience things like love and I am, according to some people, devoid of any sort of conscience and capable of nearly anything. All this could be true, but I just wish I was as capable of composing wedding vows as I am of being a colossal prick whenever I choose to be such. I could just make some shit up. I excel at that, at least. Instead of creating something real, I could just create something touching that makes everyone cry. I could probably even cry myself. But, that simply won’t do, even someone as disconnected as I am can understand that. Following the definition of “solemn promise,” it seems that vows need to be composed in a way that communicates one persons feelings toward and devotion to another person. And they need to be honest…not just an honesty that feels right at the moment, but one that I am, ultimately, capable of living up to. Holy smoking gorilla shit Batman, I think I’ve just had one of those epiphanies. From what I can make out, wedding vows exist as a pledge to maintain and continue a specified set of behavioral patterns – consistently throughout the marriage. So, like I said, they need to be based upon expectations that I have the capacity realize in my life. So here goes… I promise: to be both supportive and faithful to engage you with honesty (except when I know I’m not supposed to) to protect you from harm (this includes not hurting you) to recognize and engage your needs/feelings in my decision making processes to hold you in higher regard than all others to maintain a willingness to place your needs above my own and respect your boundaries to respect your personal identity and encourage your growth as an individual to recognize the individuality of the marriage itself and nurture it’s growth to maintain a culture of emotional stability and openness/awareness and this last one is going to be the hardest: to not sneak up behind you, make a buzzing sound in your ear, jam my thumb in the crack of your butt before screaming “CARPENTER BEE” and running away, laughing like a mad man. I think that’s a good beginning. I also think it’s a high standard to set for anyone, much less a guy with a limbic system that only fires on two cylinders. Of all the married people I know, none of them are meeting my list ten out of ten. I think if they were, mutually, they wouldn’t have the problems that they tell me about and that I see. Marriage, just like any relationship I expect, needs more than just love or affection in order to be successful. It needs a code and the code needs to be followed. This is where wedding vows come in and why it’s so important, at least in my case, to create and take ownership of the guidelines of how I will interact with my wife for, well, forever. It’s a big deal, for me. As for her, all these things come naturally; she doesn’t need two stone tablets filled with little rules to keep her honest and upright. Things like that are usually only needed by early child sacrificing Hebrews and sociopaths. Me…I need that shit. Or rather, she needs this from me, the same way the rest of the world needs me to follow the “no violence rule.” I’ve been violence-free for going on 12 years now, by the way. A man, especially a man such as myself, has got to have a code.

  1. M.E. Evans says:

    I just love this. Cheers again!


  2. narcopathcrusher says:

    I agree with the way you view marriage and the article is very well written.


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