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These eyes of mine just won't shut

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Aug. 19th, 2012 | 03:36 am

  In my exhausted state, I'm a bit worried this will turn into a ramble of sorts.

  Ok, here's a mouthful: My sister in law's sister got married today. Andrea is Erin's sister, Erin is married to my oldest brother. This probably doesn't matter to anyone at all. Moving on. Andrea got married today to some dude named Rex. Erin's family are all Mormon. Rex is morman. Their wedding took place in a traditional mormon temple. Sadly - or maybe not so sadly - no one in the Wilkerson gang was invited to ceremony. Including Erin (who is an outspoken atheist in her family). Even though Erin was the matron of honor. Pretty shitty. Regardless, we (Travis, Erin, Adva, Dylan, Bethany, Jason, my good friend Jon, and I) were all there for the reception. The reception was of course dry, as in no alcohol. Most of the other guests were mormon. So you might imagine the whole event was pretty mild. A lot of talk about "Our Heavenly Father" and so-on. The religious stuff doesn't really bother me; it's who they are. The moment when the Bishop talked about how marriage is between a man and woman as ordained by God...well admit I cringed and rolled my eyes. When Andrea read a poem to Rex it was slightly sad. The whole thing sounded like something from a Hallmark card, and Rex's response was equally unmoving. I suppose I am used to very different weddings. Dylan and Bethany's wedding was awesome, and completely unique - just like them. Live music, excessive drinking and dancing, lots of toasts and tears. Travis and Erin's wedding was also very cool and fun. They also had live music - a Balkan band - and lots of fun chaos. Today's wedding felt so...bland. I feel bad writing this. It's just what I've been thinking about. Love and marriage.

  I've been outspoken about my opinion on marriage. I've always felt that it was unnecessary, and that people who support LGBT marriage should boycott marriage until marriage equality is achieved. When I met Jason my opinion began to waver. and I feel guilty about criticizing my family for choosing to marry. Why was I so gun-ho for so many years?

  I think the answer is fairly obvious. I knew, at least subconsciously, that I didn't want to marry Shaun. As every anniversary passed, the thought of marriage would flutter through my mind and something inside of me told me not to marry Shaun. Instead of facing the fact that I didn't actually want to commit myself fully to this man, I rationalized these tendencies, going on and on about how marriage is unethical. I always told Shaun if we ever married, I would never take his name. I remember sitting outside of Travis' apartment talking to Bethany. Something you should know about Bethany is that after a few drinks, she doesn't hold back. This gets her into a lot of trouble. Well, we were sitting out there, and this was at a point in my relationship with Shaun that we barely ever spent time together, and I told Bethany that I felt that humans weren't meant to be monogamous. I said I would never marry. She looked at me and sadly said, "I can't help but feel you just haven't met the right person." I shrugged it off. I reassured myself that it wasn't my relationship with Shaun per se, my feelings were based on carefully thought out political reasoning.

  Why do I remember that night so vividly? It's clear that even then, even when I was more anti-marriage than ever, some where deep inside myself, I knew something wasn't right. I remember another time I was hanging out with my friend Jillian. Jillian is one of very few friends from high school that lives here in LA. I've always felt I can speak a little more candidly with Jillian, probably because she isn't directly tied to my family. I told her I felt torn about my relationship with Shaun, and my future with him. I told her that I want to have children, and at 27 I was at a place in my life where I needed to be with someone who wants the same thing. I said something along the lines of feeling like I was wasting my time.

  To elaborate a little on the whole wanting kids thing: in the seven years together, Shaun never once spoke of wanting children. He never commented on a cute baby. Nothing. Nada. So I've known for a long time that children is something he simply doesn't want. And that's fine. Great, actually. The last thing the world needs in an unwanted child. But I do want children. At least one. So you see, kind of a big problem. Looking back I can see that I never fully committed myself to Shaun.

  Being at that wedding today made me think about marriage, and how conflicted I am. I have always been an LGBT advocate, and I feel that marriage equality is very important. I still identify with my desire to boycott marriage until all people can marry. However, I will admit I fantasize about marriage. What a hypocrite I am! And it's not like marriage is expected in my family, and if I was to get pregnant unwed no one would care. Now that I'm in a very happy relationship I can see the appeal of marriage. Announcing to all your closest friends and family that you dedicate your self to someone forever is a powerful thing. As much as I would like to say that unwed, but fully committed couples don't "need no piece of paper from the city hall keeping us tied and true," to quote Joni Mitchell, I do think that an exit strategy is always there. The ability to leave is easier. That "piece of paper," in my opinion, holds you accountable. Trust me, I know. There wasn't a time in those seven years with Shaun that the idea of leaving him didn't enter my mind. It was always there, lurking.

  The funny thing is that I don't even know how Jason even feels about all this. I do know that I love him. And I know that I see myself with him indefinitely. My love for Jason has shaken my beliefs. And even though my thoughts on marriage have changed, my thoughts on marriage equality have not. I am left confused, but also happy to be with someone who causes me to challenge my beliefs. It's a good thing.

  The best thing about Jason is that he makes me want to be a better person.



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