Monday, August 05, 2013

Two company

I married Ramya two months ago. Thank you. It has been a fun journey right from the development stage and the wedding has been a cool twist in the tale. While it has been a regular, clean and fun relationship all along, the fact that it was meant to become a marriage at some point infused some seriousness in the matter; what I would think is a positive and valuable addition. Not seriousness to make the relationship intense and energy sapping but enough to structure it. However, as gen Y beings, we needed some reasons and rational values to make us take it seriously beyond just new clothes and happy moms. Why marry now? Why marry at all?

Fantasizing about big weddings is probably the number one quality reason for a gen Y wedding - you are fulfilling your fantasy and that is great. Except we did not fantasize about getting married. We were still wondering why we should care; a little over a year ago, we had no idea that this would happen. Would a married status make it unbreakable, perfect and happy forever? There are a growing number of examples that say not really. On principle, people should honor a relationship with or without the marriage tag. There of course is a substantial lot that does not care about such principles, should they get in the way of their pursuit of pleasure. I had a friendly acquaintance once tell me in very learned fashion that only married individuals were off limits to her, every other form of a relationship did not warrant her respect. The onus was on them to stay in their pants if they wanted to. While I agreed that the ones in the relationship carried a greater responsibility, I wondered (rhetorically) if she would have been perfectly OK with someone else exercising the same rule with her significant other. In current society, that is at least mildly disrespectful and few enjoy that. It was also interesting that her territory extended beyond just the population that agreed with her; even the ones that would prefer something long term would get teased. But I digress. So maybe a wedding is to prove a point to such people that this one is mine and mine alone. Or to state that I will honor this relationship even if I did not honor other ones. Or maybe it is a license to have children and not be frowned upon. After all, a wedding is a social construct. Maybe it was to tell society and ourselves that this relationship needed to be respected, since just principle and honor do not work well enough. 

That makes it sound so hollow though. Some of us that wish to embrace the "natural" human tendency to have partners as and when we please would easily dismiss marriage as unnatural and conservatively imprisoning. However, jealousy, possessiveness, positive companionship and the need to be part of a stable team are all natural and need to be accounted for. There are people that talk about how rewarding a long term marriage that played by the rules can be. No matter what you want your relationship to do for you, even a marriage may not guarantee it, because the world does not owe it to you. What you want can also change with time and marriage does not completely insure you against that. The bottom-line is we all want different things at different times and marriage may be just one umbrella that does not fit all. Our reasons just have to be our own. Preferably positive, sacred-sounding and not hollow. 

I function better as a team. It may be an obviously losing team at most sports but just the fact that I have a loyal team is good enough for me. My marriage is an inauguration party. In some ways I am adding a team member, in other ways I am joining a new team. I am happy about it and I want to share it with people that are happy for me. Why now? Simply because the timing was right. Timing is a very undervalued element in relationships; I would say that timing factors in at about 50% in determining the longevity of a relationship.  

As individuals, we were as ready as we could be. As a family, we had the resources now. We had the right level of freedom to make it happen. We had the maturity to appreciate and value a good relationship. We had the pliability to change and start living together. Most of all, we had each other.