Pirate invitations and divorce

Aaaaaaaand... we ordered our invitations last night! (They should arrive in a week, week and a half or so.) When I announced that to S and K who were hanging out in the living room, I accidentally said, "I ordered my wedding invitations! Oh, no, our invitations! I mean that we ordered our invitations!!"

The guys burst out laughing, and C said, "Well, I'm glad to know that we ended up with pirate invitations-- 'aaaargh invitations'!" (L.O.L. Seriously! How can you not be smitten with his cuteness?!)

And with some finagling, I saved us like, 12 bucks on our order. Every little bit counts! I also got my SmartyPig card in the mail, so I loaded it up with what money I've saved so far. Now I can buy stamps for the invites, and I can pay off the dress that I put on my credit card. (They didn't have the green available for a while, so when it came back I wanted to snatch it up as soon as possible!)

It's crazy, knowing that today, somewhere, someone is working on printing out my wedding invitations. Someone who doesn't even know me is seeing those pieces of paper. I wonder if they wonder about the people who will receive them? I would. Like, "Hmm. I wonder who C and C are? What will their wedding be like? I hope they'll be happy. Whoever they are, they've got great taste!" (Hehe.) Maybe I think of that because I worked in a graphics printing shop, laboring with love over someone else's creation. (Last night, as I was doing a final proofread and shifting text around in infinitesimal degrees, C said I was nitpicking. You're darn right! I used to do this for a job! I'm a professional. Sort of.)

Also, funny to note: it was C who admonished me to make sure we had one extra invitation. I couldn't comprehend why, but he pointed out that we'll want to have a box of wedding stuff, so that one day we can pull it out and be like, "And these were our invitations..." He's so smart. But seriously? How did he think of that and I didn't?!

And now, on a more solemn note...

I belong to a couple of "indie-wedding" websites, and in one of the forums I posted this little rant yesterday.

"Divorce.


Good grief, I even hate the sound of it... yet it's so common. Thrown around all the time. Nonchalantly. Like two people who built up years of shared history and inside jokes and back-and-forth banter and serious, heavy, mutual decisions didn't decide to call it quits and go their separate ways.
And that's what scares me the most, I think... the fact that, in order to be divorced, you must be married. You have to plan the ceremony and the reception, and say those vows, and promise to be with your partner forever and ever, until one of you is pushing daisies. You have to have once been where I am now: the single side of a wedding, planning to connect your life with someone else's in a very meaningful and permanent way.
But then, it's not so permanent after all, is it?
In the past three weeks, I've heard divorce announcements from two close couple friends of mine and rumblings from my parents.
Really? I mean, really?!
It's like I'm standing near a swimming pool, and all these people are jumping in the pool, splashing around, having a great time... to all appearances. But when I take a second look, I see that only a few people are actually hanging out in the pool. Most of the people are jumping out and shaking off, and I think to myself, "Why the hell would I get in that water if everyone else is getting out? What, is Jaws lurking or something?"
Because you know that most of these peoples had the best intentions. (Just like me.) And you know that they loved their partners. (Just like me.) And you know that they totally thought they were doing the right thing. (Just like me.) And they never, ever envisioned themselves splitting up later down the road. (Just like me.)
It's enough to make me question the purpose of the whole thing. Like, what's the point? You just end up splitting up later, anyway. Because it's not that I don't love my mate and want to spend the rest of my life with him. I totally do! I just... am shaken to my core at the fallibility of what I had once perceived to be an unshakeable ideal.
And I can't help but (morbidly) wonder... all these neat weddings that I see on OBB and APW... how many of those cool "Wordless Weddings" couples will actually stick together long-term?
Or maybe we have a better chance of it, here in the tribe, because we're intentional, honest communicators. We think critically through issues, and we strive for authenticity. We try to practice the things that make real life, and real relationships, work.
So maybe I shouldn't be so scared, after all. Maybe I should look at this as a chance to prove the world wrong. I mean, sure the divorce statistics are totally nauseating. But if I don't go through with my wedding, how can I ever hope to sway them back the other way?
(Not so much a "Primal Scream" as a "Primal WhatthehellamIdoing?! Oh Yeah, That's Right".)
So what say you, tribe? Is divorce just "one of those things" that just happen in a relationship? Like you have no control over it? (Like "falling out of love"?) And how, how, HOW, does one avoid being jaded by the sea of relationship flotsam?"
I called J and got her perspective. (We actually came up with the pool metaphor simultaneously, if you can believe that! Go besties! lol)

I talked it over with C last night, and realized a few things. Firstly, I really, really, really want this to work, and I honestly believe we have a great shot at it... and because I want it, I'm scared to get hurt. I'm afraid that horrible things will happen. I'm freaking out because I like/want this, and I'm just waiting for the bad thing to come along and ruin it. Right?

Secondly, I haven't really had much in the way of good role models to prove to me that the institution of marriage is a.) lasting, or b.) worthwhile/enjoyable/mutually beneficial. Like, even if people stick it out, they're miserable. Right? (Hello, sitcoms... ugh. I hate tv.) Now that I'm more grown up, sure... I can think of maybe one or two, but probably not more than I could count on one hand. So no wonder I'm wary.

C's perspective is a little different. He pointed out that, yes, there are still people in the water, so you know that it's not all a failure. Secondly, bad news travels more than good news. People don't talk about the ones who stay together until they split up, and then you hear all about it. The ones who are solidly, quietly together? They get no medals, no awards, no news coverage. They're just... there. Like, he brought up the old couple who don't have much to say to each other anymore because they've said it all. It's not bad, it's just that they're super comfortable around each other and they pretty much know what the other is thinking/feeling/how they would react, etc. Or the other kind of old couple that kind of banter and tease each other and stuff, but you can tell that they still really like each other. (No malicious teasing, here.) He says to look at them. And he thinks that we can be that someday.

Also, apparently marriage/divorce is like a shark attack. How many shark attacks actually happen? Not very many. But you hear about every. single. one. So it seems like there are a whole bunch. However, in reality, it is more likely for you to be struck by lightning three times than to be attacked by a shark. It goes along with that bad news thing. It's not exactly the scourge I'm feeling it is (because, obviously, there are still people in the pool), but if all I'm hearing about are the shark attacks, it's gonna feel like it's happening a whole lot more often than it actually is.

So that's C's take on it. There was more, but I was/am tired, and that was the meat of the conversation. I came out okay on the other side, more ready than before to take this plunge.

I mean... who else is gonna protect C from shark attacks??

1 thoughts:

  • Jolene | November 2, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Funny! Our group was talking about divorce rates last night! It is a nauseating fact of life right now. Close to 50% of Americans will divorce. And as the number of marriages you have increase, the percent probability of ending that one with divorce goes up considerably (The divorce rate in America for first marriage is 41%. Second marriage is 60%. Third marriage is 73%). Staggering.

    I have faith that you and C can/will make it work. I have hopes for that too, in my future marriage. Let's prove to the world that it can work.

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