Michael is older than I am. He told me that he stayed in his marriage for one thing, actually two things, and they’re both his children – a pair of little girls that he spends all his time with. It’s easy to focus on them and ignore her.
They met in college. He loved Ohio State. She loved Ohio State. Isn’t that enough to support a marriage? They were both huge college football fans and they could talk – I’m not sure if it was intimate, but sometimes just being able to open your mouth for a certain period is intimate enough. It was a different time, he says. AIDS was big. You didn’t know who had what. And all my friends were getting married, so I thought – maybe it’s time.
I think about what he says, he didn’t really want to get married, he decided that it was probably the next thing he should do. Relationships out of natural progressing – a lot of my friends do it. I have another friend. Carl. Well he may not believe it, but I feel that his relationship falls into that category. I introduced him to his waitress. Funny story, I actually got her number before he did, and when things were going well with the other girl – I introduced him to her. My girlfriend calls it the “bait and switch.”
In the same week that they met, they consummated the relationship, and nine months later they had a son. The “Oops Baby” but he’s a beautiful boy. He doesn’t cry and actually smiles all the time. You can’t help but to love a kid like that, but the man confided in me and told me that they had problems. Then he proposed. It didn’t feel right. All these decisions that my friends have told me about their relationship – in order to progress them, seem like they were done to cure whatever problems or stalling they were enduring.
In “Four Weddings and A Funeral,” one of the characters says that a marriage comes about because after all the time they’ve spent together, they’ve everything there is to possibly say. So one day, one of the party members says, “Let’s get married.” Then the two have so much more to say. They have to plan, decide on guests, refreshments, where to have it, where to go afterwards, who is to be seated next to whom, what ex, if any, will be invited, the same decision making process also lends itself towards child molesting uncles and violent, alcoholic aunts. How big will the wedding party be? What type of service will it be? Essentially, marriage is the solution to an uncomfortable silence.
I’m sure Michael doing “Eight Balls” on his wedding night and Carl drinking like a fish are tell-tale signs that this is probably not going to work, but when you think about it – it does put the fear into you. No matter how well you are doing, you can’t help but to look a relationships that took a wrong turn somewhere. Were they happy like you once? Was there something they didn’t see? The truth is – relationships are frightening, even when you are happy. I see Scott Baio, 45, and Single, and part of me has a fear. But my girlfriend and I talk about it, and the simple answer we come up with is – talk about it, no matter how frightening it is and do as little thinking about it as possible. Fly blind, because I’ll watch out for her and she’ll do the same. Thinking? I don’t need to do any stupid thinking?