I am going to start with the most messed-up thing I have seen in a long time--this absolutely disgusting "marriage contract". This is the kind of dude who needs killing, then reincarnation, then re-killing! I post the link because I just have to, and also because whatever you think of my understanding of love and marriage, it can't be nearly as bad as this. Set aside ten minutes and a barf bag...
Or just read on...
This morning I had occasion to compare "Brokeback Mountain" to "Romeo and Juliet." A gay teenage boy said he wanted to love like that. I insisted that honestly, he doesn't really. (Well, maybe he does *now*, but hopefully he'll grow out of it.) I made the comparison in an effort to help him see why it's not a great model.
I never liked "Romeo and Juliet." When I was a kid, I thought they were stupid, letting the world get to them like that. I think of it now as a play about societal opposition preventing love from ever really growing, just making it die in the bud. Of course Romeo and Juliet's love lasted forever--it's because Juliet and Romeo themselves didn't last very long at all. I think, could it have lasted through kids and financial setbacks and Juliet's not being a perfect castle-keeper and Romeo's moods?
I think of "Brokeback" sort of that way. Ennis and Jack got to live a bit longer, but their love never got to mature, and that was the real tragedy. They had their fishing trips, but they never argued over money or whose turn it was to wash dishes or mow a lawn. I would have liked to see their love survive *that*, but of course it would have been a very different movie had that happened. The "fishing trips" kept that passionate lustful love going at a fever pitch, and it was an artificial condition, sort of like my own extended LDR. They were always *dating*, with no further destination in sight.
I don't know. I guess I was raised differently or something--I always wondered what happened after "they lived happily ever after". I even wrote stories about how Snow White knighted the dwarves and Cinderella was super-nice to her maids, once I was old enough to understand the concept of a sequel. My mom always told me that in real life, a wedding is the start of a story, not an end.
I just would kind of like to see more love stories with dishes and aged parents and budgets, and more respect for those love stories, is all. I would particularly love to see them with same-sex couples, just because those of us who are in them seem so very exotic to so many people still.
That's one reason why I document the details--I'm learning as I go along and so is my wife, but I want to let people know that we can learn and are learning. I want to let the straight fence-sitters know. I want to let the homophobes know. I want to let the curious know. And I'm being reminded that our own kids need to see that, too.