But seeing the invite reminds me that there is a club that I can't join, and whether or not it's a meaningful distinction to me, it's meaningful to the world. And because it's meaningful to the world, it has an effect on me. It reminds me that there are people my age who continue to sit at the "kids table" during family holidays because one becomes a "grown-up" by getting married. I mean, at least I don't have to put up with that, right?
I am reminded of a friend telling me that once she got married, suddenly her married friends and relatives started telling her all these stories they had never shared before.
And I wonder how much I believe in marriage as validation. As much as I'd like to deny it, do I still believe that marriage is what makes a relationship real? Do I still believe that a real relationship is proof that I am worth something? Sometimes I think that I'm proud to have been engaged, because it means that I can say that being unmarried is a choice I made. Someone wanted me. I have proof. As if my entire adult life were validated by that one moment.
I tell people that I wish I'd kept the ring, like a badge or a scar. I am proud of myself for leaving him. It wasn't easy. But I wonder if I wish I'd kept the ring for other reasons. If I think of it as a kind of achievement, an award I won for being desirable. When I was eighteen years old, there was a boy who wanted me.
|Hyperbole-and-a-Half, as always, gets everything right.|
I don't know where this is going. I went to bed feeling lousy. For entirely other reasons, I woke up feeling lousy. I've been feeling lousy a lot these days.