Matrimania Gone Wild: Facebook and Random Baby Edition

I got married on Friday. The entire deal cost about $380, including the dinner, the cost of a new shirt and pair of jeans for me (yes we got married in jeans), and what it cost to pay our wedding official. The next day we woke up and did what we usually do on Saturday. We got up, ate breakfast, got dressed and prepared to start our day. We also both checked our e-mail and Facebook pages, as we do everyday, where we both updated our relationship status. Within moments our Facebook pages started blowing up with some of the most obnoxious, yet well-meaning congratulatory well wishes. Now, the people who know us well were cool. They knew that we are two of the biggest critics of marriage but that we had our reasons why getting married was the best option for us; one was a romantic reason,  the others were practical reasons.  But everyone else peppered us with questions and comments like:

“Why are you on Facebook on your Honeymoon!!!” (emphasis mine)

“Congratulations Mrs. X !” Not having bothered to ask whether I am keeping my birth name, which I am. We also received a piece of mail addressed to Mr. and Mrs. X, which pissed me off to no end.

When we arrived at my sister’s home to see my parents again before they went back to California, I was asked by my mother “So, how is the new apartment?” She knows very well that I have lived there for 2 weeks. The apartment was the same as it was 2 weeks ago when I moved in and the same as it has been every time I have stayed overnight. My husband has lived in this apartment for almost a year!

Then, some friends of my sister’s who recently had a baby came over. They are great people and I like them a lot but my mother went absolutely gaga over their kid. She was shoving the kid in both our faces expecting us to react to it in that insane way people react to babies, which he and I don’t do. Again, my mother knows full well that my husband and I have no interest in having children and do not particularly like spending time with them either. I think she thought “Well they are married now, maybe they feel differently…” Well let me be clear to everyone:

Fuck. No.

I feel exactly the same way about everything as I felt before I said “I do”.

This morning over breakfast, we were discussing how crazy people were acting. We couldn’t figure out why, because nothing about our relationship has really changed. Then it hit me. Something really BIG has changed: How other people view our relationship is what has changed. We have a status in our community that comes with certain ridiculous expectations that are completely inconsistent with both of our personalities. But people expect your personalities to change to accommodate these expectations. Let me say it again: Fuck. No. Most people have bought into this bullshit line that marriage is transformative and changes you into a different person. Well it doesn’t and it hasn’t.

And I’ll tell you this: These bullshit reactions from my mother and some of our Facebook friends is the one thing that kept this weekend from being perfect.

These people need to calm the fuck down.

Rate Your State Part 10: The Old Dominion

Virginia sucks. I mean it really sucks. I should know, I live in Virginia. The reasons why it sucks are many: not even Democrats like taxes here so the roads and highways are horribly maintained and the highway signs are confusing, the people in the Northern part of the Commonwealth, particularly Fairfax County (where I live), are terribly rude and snobby, and the politics are terrible. Most of the tax revenue comes from the North, but the social politics of the southern portion of the state can often rule in statewide elections. Furthermore, as the capital of Virginia is the former capital of the Confederate States of America, every major (and minor) road and highway is named after a Confederate General or segregationist politician. The earliest highway, Highway #1, is know as “Jefferson Davis Highway”. Being a person of color (that color being black), this offends me a bit. More Civil War battles were fought in Virginia than anywhere else, so in addition to having drive on Jeff Davis Highway, there is a battlefield monument every few miles. I used to work in an office that was right next to the Bull Run Battlefield. Yuck!

It is the state in which are most favored Founders were from: Washington, Jefferson, and Madison. The Commonwealth of Virginia ratified the constitution on June 25, 1788. In 2006, Virginia passed an amendment to the state’s constitution in order to “protect” marriage. Sigh. It states that:

“That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions. This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.”

Double Sigh. So needless to say, unmarried couples, gay or straight, are summarily fucked by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Do Not Pass Go. Do Not Collect $200. Just go home and cry in your unenforceable unmarried cohabitation agreement you unmarried loser. I think Virginia deserves a negative score. The Unmarried Estate Blog is hereby introducing a negative scoring system: The Fuck You!

Virginia’s Score: 5 Fuck Yous!

Fuck You!

Fuck You!

Fuck You!

Fuck You! and

Fuck You!

Grrrrrrr….

The Cult of Couplehood: Movie Theater Edition

I moved in with my partner on Saturday. Last night he and I were sitting watching a Cubs game and I decided that I wanted to see a movie. I wanted to see Julie & Julia before I started a weight loss program today, because I read that the film is like food porn and didn’t want to watch it when I had to be eating salad and fresh fruit all day.

The fiance wasn’t really in the mood and wanted to stay and watch the game, so I went by myself. By the way, it was food porn!

The point is, I called someone on the way home and told them I just came out of a movie and her first question was: “Who did you go with?” No questions about the movie at all. I go to movies by myself all the time. Apparently this is a weird thing to do for many people…

Solo Movie Watching is on my list of single habits to keep after you couple up – anyone have any other suggestions?

Wisconsin’s New Domestic Partnership Law

This law took effect August 3, 2009. It allows inheritance rights if one partner dies without a will, family medical leave, and hospital visitation rights, among other things. However, to register as a domestic partner in Wisconsin you must: Be 18 years of age, have shared a common residence for at least 30 days, not be nearer next of kin than second cousins, not be married or in another domestic partnership, and be a member of the same sex.

So once again, we have another domestic partnership law that does not include opposite sex unmarried couples! First, it is discriminatory and second, doesn’t it help destroy the “it’s just a stepping stone to gay marriage” argument that the Christian Right has when you open it up to opposite sex couples?

Sigh.

Rate Your State Part 9: New Hampshire

“Live Free or Die”

New Hampshire is the only state I know whose motto sounds like the title of a Bond film. You can just imagine some svelte young woman on the tarmac in Manchester (their largest city), turning to Daniel Craig and purring “Welcome to New Hampshire, Mr. Bond.”

OK, maybe it’s not that glamorous. But the Granite State is the home of a very important presidential primary, has no sales or income tax, and gave us both Robert Frost and Dan Brown.

Although, for a state that has the word “Free” in its motto, the freedom to form the relationship of your desire and have it equally recognized and respected is no where to be found there. You guessed it. If your unmarried partner dies without a will – no way.

Caveat: New Hampshire legalized gay marriage this June. However, this does nothing to change the state intestacy laws. Those who for whatever reason are unable to (loss of social security benefits from a former spouse) or don’t want to marry are still in the same boat. So, Congratulations, New Hampshire? Hmmm…not quite sure how to react here. No love. So since unmarried people in New Hampshire are not living free, is death their only other choice?

Marriage: So Easy A Caveman Can Do It!

After breaking the news of my change in relationship status to my family I heard a funny story.

I have a younger cousin who lives in the Midwest. He fathered two children shortly after graduating high school, has had unsteady employment, and never went to college. I get the sense that he is not very involved in his children’s lives. I have met my adorable little cousins and the last time I saw them, they were starving for their father’s attention.

My aunts and uncles are concerned about him as well. But instead of asking him when he will attend college, settle on a substantive career path, or be a more attentive father, they keep asking him when he is going to get married. He then proceeded to tell his parents that he would get married when I did. I think he will be shocked to discover that hell has officially frozen over.

Now of course the reasons I never thought that I would marry and the reasons he never thought that I would marry are very different. I never thought I would marry because I never thought I would find a feminist man – a man who is not obsessed with gender roles and wanted a truly equal partnership. In short, I thought I would never find a man I would want to marry. He likely never thought I would marry because no one would ever want to marry me (his cousin who thinks there is more to life than eternal servitude to men).

No matter. I tell this story to illustrate a point. People seem to be wrapped up in this idea that marriage can civilize an uncivilized person. Instead of focusing on the things that, in my opinion, do civilize a person – education, a better job, etc… – they focus on marriage, as though marriage alone will make my cousin a more responsible person and a more involved father. That is crap.

It is not my job to civilize my partner. He is a grown man. He is not a toy manufactured by Mattel (“s0me assembly required”). My family thinks that there is some girl out there who will “assemble” my cousin and transform him into a model citizen. This is a big part of the Marriage Myth.

Memo to the Ignorant Christofascist Marriage Peddlers: Marriage will not civilize an immature 29 year old Man-Boy. And having delusions of grandeur that it will, is only going to ruin the life of one person:  The poor soul who marries him.

Sarah Haskins and the Cult of Couplehood

Sarah Haskins is famous online for her hilarious feminist comedy sketches on Current TV. Here is one that deals with dating advice. The constant cramming of this garbage down single women’s throats is a key element of the singlist, matrimoniacal culture. I refer to this as The Cult of Couplehood. Rule number one: all single women are of course looking to couple up at all costs!