the Scarlet M or my take on Marriage

17 Aug

I’ve been thinking about this since the Party Bus, in which it became quite clear to me that being married is like wearing a giant M across your body that screams for people (specifically men) to run far far in the other direction. And I’m slightly perplexed why. Am I hoping for too much that people aren’t existing to only fuck one another? That is to say if you’re single you’re only out to find someone to hook up with and thus ignore everyone else and if you’re in a relationship you can’t focus on anyone but your significant other?

Perhaps I have a very skewed idea of what male/female relationships are like, or what marriage means to other people, but I disagree and am sort of offended. I don’t consider being married to mean that you shouldn’t venture 30 feet from your significant other and that you can only speak to people the same sex as you. Its 2009 and I’m not that kind of girl, I didn’t even take my husband’s last name. I don’t see why being married should prohibit me from talking to men (or make them not talk to me), or flirt with me, or dance with me. I’m not going to go home with them, and if they try to feel me up on the dance floor I’m going to ask them to get me some water and run away. But I think we can have fun before that.

I wore my wedding ring when I went on the party bus (why wouldn’t I?) and had a great time and was having a wonderful time with 3 boys (who apparently never learned to look at someone’s left hand) until the moment they found out I was married and literally disappeared right before my eyes. After 4 hours of talking to me I thought we were getting to be friends, apparently they were just hoping to get in my pants and upon realizing they couldn’t decide to focus their attentions elsewhere. What is up with that?!

I find that the same is true of my actual male friends (i’m speaking more to my friends in Chicago, as my friends in MN have always known me with the husband). There’s a certain subset of them who continue to treat me the way they’ve always have (and should) but a certain group of them to do sort of make me feel like I have the plague because of their limited interactions with me to which a friend of mine poignantly mentioned that I was married as though that should explain why my friends wouldn’t talk/flirt/compliment/dance with me.

I guess I just don’t see marriage that way. Perhaps to me there’s a very fine line between marriage and a regular relationship that doesn’t exist for other people. I’m supposing that’s why they’re so afraid of the concept. I’m sorry romantics out there, marriage isn’t going to change your relationship no more than losing your virginity changed you. You’re still the same people, with the same feelings, you just have a shiny ring and a signed contract saying you hope this thing is going to work out.

Perhaps I’m too realistic, perhaps I’m jaded. Who knows. I love my husband, probably why I married him. I certainly hope/intend to stick it out with him until the end. But only as long as we’re happy and still giving each other what we need. I don’t feel anymore bound to him than I did before we were married except that it’d be a real hassle to end it. I think that entering into a marriage thinking it’s going to be happily ever after until death do you part is naive. One certainly hopes for that but I acknowledge the possibility that it just might not.

I don’t think that married men/women shouldn’t be allowed to have friendships with people of the opposite sex or talk to strangers at a bar. I would hope that you trust your significant other enough to know that it wouldn’t go beyond that. Plus, a person isn’t any less likely to cheat when married then when in a regular relationship. Being married doesn’t change who a person is or how they feel about things. And I hate that other people seem to think it does and thus treat you differently.

Perhaps I’m too sexual of a person and that offends people or perhaps simply I want attention from men that society feels is inappropriate for a married woman. I’m going to be honest about these being possibilities. But I’m also going to be honest about the fact that I don’t feel like I should be treated different because I’m married and I hate when people answer questions with “You’re married” as if that’s supposed to change things for me. Maybe other people go through a magical transformation when they say “I Do” but I didn’t. I’ve always been me and I have no intention to change that just because I know that I love my husband and that right now I can see myself being happy with him forever.

4 Responses to “the Scarlet M or my take on Marriage”

  1. Art August 18, 2009 at 8:50 am #

    You may not care, but the single guy on the party bus _is_ trying to get laid. That’s the problem with women: they don’t understand that yes, ALL SINGLE MEN AT BARS are trying to get laid. You may not like it, but it’s a fact of life.

  2. Julie August 18, 2009 at 2:01 pm #

    I was just going to say what Art said. Random guys at parties, bars, or party buses aren’t at all interested in making friends with you. Not at all. Your scarlet M shows them that you’re not available for such things, so they move on! They’re looking to maximize their time, and by being married, you’re wasting valuable time that they could spend hitting on someone else :) I’m right there with you on the male-female friendship thing, I think it’s great and important to have opposite sex friendships — but you aren’t going to find that at (most) bars.

  3. M August 18, 2009 at 2:09 pm #

    I agree with both of you guys. I do understand that probably in that scenario sex is the #1 reason you’re at a bar and I think I do need to be more understanding of that. It’s just frustrating because when I go to a party (which sometimes is at a bar) I am somewhat going to make friends, but I’m in a different situation than those people so my motives are obviously different.

  4. eigenman August 25, 2009 at 11:51 am #

    That’s not quite true. I like making friends with women who are (i) married or (ii) not attractive to me.

    But I don’t go out for this purpose, that’s absolutely true. It’s just something that happens sometimes.

    Maybe this will change, I think I’ve found a regular sex partner. Strange times.

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