Friday, February 10, 2012

Love and Marriage

It is important to me to make it very clear that I have no distaste for people who marry, or people who divorce. This thought is about a question I have asked myself and was not able to answer. 

I have thought a lot about marriage over the years. I thought I wanted to get married, and I admit that some part of it still appeals to me, but I can not answer 'Why?' 
Why do I want to get married? I have absolutely no answer.
I even looked at forums that people had posted on the internet answering the question "Why do people get married?" and most of the answers I got were based on dysfunction and assumptions.
'Why do people get married? Because a relationship without marriage is meaningless. Your partner could just leave you at any moment and this can cause insecurity to grow in a relationship.'
Another answer I read was along the lines of this: 'I got married because I wanted to have children and wanted a partner who would be a good parent'
I am paraphrasing multiple answers I read, so as not to infringe on anyone's intellectual property.
It's interesting to me how someone could pull out a statement like "I think you would be a good parent." Compared to what? 
What makes a "good parent"? Someone who doesn't beat their children? All that is is a judgement, another behavior I do my best to avoid, although I know that I certainly slip and jump to criticisms/judgments.
To me, if you are going to become insecure about whether your partner will leave you or not, you will do this always until you are able to use wiseminded techniques to catch your train of thought before it goes off the tracks. 
For example, I can choose to assume that my boyfriend is not answering his phone because he doesn't want to talk with me, or I could assume that he is just away from his phone right now. What I choose to do is make no assumptions at all, and accept that my phone call did not reach him and that I may not talk to him right now, instead of weaving an imaginary story about how he doesn't love me anymore or some other fantasy dialog that I can never really know.
I do not know exactly what someone is thinking, I never will. But it simply does not matter, and I find it far more relaxing to just be in the moment.

So, what is it about marriage that is appealing?
I do not desire children, I do not worry about whether or not my partner will waltz out the door at any moment, I do not participate in a religeon that condones the necessity of marriage, I do not need to prove to family and friends that I am in love with my partner...What else is there?

Love, I have, but I don't think that marriage is necessary to "prove" my love. That goes back to being insecure about the relationship.
Financial security is not a reason I feel good about for myself.

My parents were married, and spoke highly of their wedding, though neither could manage to speak a word of praise about the other.
They never divorced, but they hadn't lived in the same house my whole life and didn't live on the same property from 1999 when my mother and I moved to Austin T.X., to 2008 when my mother died. They rarely spoke with each other, and fought when they did. In spite of their unhappy experience, I do not feel anger towards marriage in general.

If you feel inspired to answer the question "Why do people marry?" or "Why did you get married?" then please, feel free to answer, but I shan't tolerate hateful or judgemental attacks. 
If this post has offended you, please, ask yourself  "What story have I told myself about this?" if you can answer, then ask again "Is that really true? Would I bet my life that that is true?" For example, I have used this to curb the thought "I am mad because she's a bitch and does all she can to hurt me!" However, when I asked myself if it was absolutely, undeniably true that she was a bitch and doing all she could to hurt me, I could not answer yes. I answered no because there was simply no way I could know what her intentions were. This is a technique a very excellent therapist of mine taught me, and it has been a wonderful levee of reality for me. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Growing up H.P.

                                             (Image above: Photographer unknown.)

I would say that J.K. Rowling's books had a profound effect on a good chunk of my childhood. My parents and siblings loved the books, especially my father. 
He and I used to stay up at Barnes and Noble for their midnight sale to buy a copy of the latest Harry Potter book every time one was released.
I used to sit in the cafe, eating "chocolate frogs" and "Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans" pretending I was in Diagon alley until they called our names, usually around 4 AM.

My father even made his own version of Butter Beer and Pumpkin juice, neither of which were quite as splendid as I had imagined them to be.

I grew up listening to Harry Potter either on tape or by my parents reading it aloud.
We started listening to it in the car on our long road trips every year from Texas to Wisconsin.
When we were home, I used to make forts out of two chairs facing away from each other, with blankets draped across the top making a narrow space I would hide in and make a bed out of sleeping bags and blankets, with a boombox beside me playing chapter after chapter of J.K. Rowling's lovely books to lull me to sleep. 

My parents were both witches, but in a pagan sense, nothing like the characters in Harry Potter books. Women and Men were both considered witches, wizards and warlocks were something completely different, and no one could really explain to me what a real equivalent to a wizard or warlock was. No one made candles float in mid-air, or cast spells with a wand. However, the fact that "witch" has been used in so many different ways, from green Wizard of Oz witches, to my parents, to anyone magical and female in the Potter books, made things confusing to me. Especially when I heard about the Potter protesters who were against promoting "witchcraft" to children when I knew from my parents that, other than the word witch, there was absolutely no connection to what my parents were and what the characters in the book were.

From age eight to eleven my mother helped me pretend Harry Potter was real.
She would do something called "Tree Mail". What this was, was me writing a letter to Hogwarts, tying the paper to a tree, then the next day it would be gone and in a few days I would get a reply. She would tell me that an owl had come to pick it up and drop it off.
It was always really exciting for me to find a scroll in a tree, but really anything in the mail was terribly wonderful to me. 
Some of the replies were lessons, English, math, botany, science, and sometimes fictional things like reading Hagrid's monster manual and then writing essays on the creatures.

My mom would always print the letters from Hagrid on a decorated paper that was supposed to look like it had coffee stains on it, despite the stains being slightly purple or pinkish because our printer was low on black ink.

I always knew it was her, just like Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy, but when I was Eleven I wrote her the letter shown above which reads: "Dear Dumbledore, I wanted to ask when will I be accepted to Hogwarts. I am 11; I thought 11 was the right age? Please respond. I have a eMail: 
Please respond either by Tree Mail or eMail.
Thank you!
P.S. If I am accepted to Hogwarts, I have no money. What am I supposed to do?

Rowan. H."

Dumbledore never replied, and even though I knew it was not real, a little part of me still hoped I would get whisked away to a fantasy land of wizards and witches. Alas, the day still hasn't come.