Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Happily ever afterlife

Love is a funny thing. Not like ha, ha, funny – except when some of us are having a bad day—but amazing in so many ways. We know that when a relationship begins, the overwhelming element is sexual attraction. We also know that after a while that seems to be replaced by other elements, such as sense of humor, like interests, compatibility, values, morals, religion, economic goals, and sometimes even politics. For the longest time David and I couldn’t talk about political issues because, although he was very vocal about the way he thought things should be, he didn’t vote. For a while he used the journalist excuse, but that doesn’t sell in the long term. And here was a guy that made harassing calls to television newsrooms when the anchor or reporter didn’t cover a story properly. I am a person that firmly believes (especially if you complain ad nauseum about it) that everyone has an obligation to participate in what happens to their government. And consequently, will have an impact on their lives. I think that if you don’t vote you allow other people to make the decision and additionally, if you don’t vote you have no right to bitch about the results. If you do vote I am willing to give free range on anything that is said. If I had my way, (which let’s be honest, makes so much more sense than other ways), I would do in the US what they do in Australia and I would fine anyone who refuses to cast a ballot. And say that knowing that there are people who are not going to vote the way in what I would call the right way.

But that’s not what I wanted to blob about. In order to work, marriage has to be a partnership. Nothing is ever going to be 50/50 but there is as much value in the attempt to participate equally as there is in actually doing it. I have been very lucky, especially where my children are concerned. In the 70’s, when Seth was born, we co-parented (that was the fashion). From middle of the night feedings, to discipline, to lessons on life, his father was always involved. If fact, when we got divorced, Seth lived with his dad because all the psychologists said it would be better for him to have a strong male role model 24/7. I didn’t agree then and probably still have issues, but there was never a question about both his parents being actively involved in his life. With Jordan it’s no different. It may be easier because we live in the same place but so many parents live in the same place and you still don’t see a connection between the child and one or more parents. This was never the case with us. Despite the demands of his life as a journalist, there has never been a time when he wasn’t available to her – whatever was happening in the world. He is involved with the discipline but also the cudo’s. He’s her biggest fan and strongest support. He adores her, and she him.

But marriage should not only be a partnership where children are concerned. It should affect all the parts of your life. Remember the marriage vows, in good weather and bad—or maybe that was the morning news. But sharing experiences, dreams, and the reality of loss should also be done together. One of our blobbees commented on the fact that when a man dies the woman gets his SS, but it is not the case in the reverse. I didn’t realize that, but certainly the same should be true for any spouse. When our partner dies, we suffer in so many parts of our life, that financial should not be one. But even more importantly, it means the husband will do just fine because the woman had no value. I guess if you can afford to buy life insurance, this is less of a problem, but who can afford anything anymore.

So, This took me back to thinking about same sex marriage. Not because of social security but because I believe that people have the right to make choices about their lives. What happens if the voters smartly reject the idea of amending state constitutions to prevent same sex marriage. Does it bring up social security questions like, what happens with the SS if the two partners are men. My reaction is, I guess they hit the jackpot!

This is a totally ridiculous conversation, but lawmakers who are always making ridiculous decisions to maintain the status quo so they don’t have to do much lawmaking, probably think about this stuff. I bet they have conversations where they wring their hands and pace and talk to themselves about what ‘if’s’. Like, “What if two women are married and one of them dies, does that mean the state benefits—well if it’s going to save the state $1.50, then considering same sex marriage is worth the effort.” The stupidity escalates from there. Like, what gender is really entitled to a happily ever afterlife?

Partnership is about choice, caring, love, concern and absence. It should not be about the way men and women make love. And I am hoping that my friends in NJ have the good sense to acknowledge that marital partnerships cannot be measured in gender. They should be measured in commitment. One of our friends said that everyone, regardless of sexual orientation should be allowed to make their partner miserable—without discrimination. That makes sense to me. We’re just sayin...

1 comment:

Walt said...

New Jersey - the Garden State of great ideas!

Perhaps the rest of the country can benefit from our vine ripe tomatoes and sound Supreme Court rulings.