Marriage and the movies

Last night some of my neighbors invited me over for movie night. One of the movies was “Bridget Jones 2,” which was not a surprise since two women selected the movies. I have to admit, though, that I saw the first “Bridget Jones” a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. So I was looking forward to the sequel.

The verdict? Not the worst movie I’ve ever seen, but only because the soundtrack saved it. I can’t totally hate a movie that has Barry White’s “You’re the First, My Last, My Everything” on it – one of my favorite songs.

But I hate the premise of the movie – the idea that a woman is somehow not complete, not a true adult, not a full-fledged woman, until she is married. That marriage is the be-all and end-all and something to be strived for at all costs. That happiness is dependent on something outside of her – a husband – rather than coming from inside.

This is why I rarely date women close to my own age (30 and up). I don’t mean to generalize to all women in that age range, but the stereotype fits many that I know. They’re so obsessed with getting married that the process of meeting someone, getting to know them, starting a relationship with them, becomes a task to get done rather than one of the most wonderful joys in life. All the fun and spontaneity slips away. I can’t tell you how many 30ish women I’ve known, incredible people with so much to offer, who have shown only their neurotic, catty, controlling, unattractive side because they were so caught up in the idea that they were somehow incomplete without a husband, or at least a relationship that showed serious promise of moving in the direction of marriage.

Last spring I was walking around downtown when I saw a group of women, many of whom I knew, on an outdoor patio. They were having “Girls’ Night” but asked me to join them, said they needed a guy’s opinion. One of them (who I had not previously met) had been with her boyfriend a year and wanted to him to “take things to the next level” – i.e. propose to her. They had gone through all of the motions of a year-old relationship – taken trips together, met each other’s families, etc. When she brought him to a family outing, her relatives all but came out and asked why he hadn’t proposed, but even then he didn’t seem to take the hint. But as she talked more and more one thing seemed to stand out – she didn’t even seem to like him that much. This was confirmed when I ran into her again a couple of weeks later, on the same patio. This time he was with her, and I could almost feel the unhappiness oozing from her. I certainly didn’t see anything that resembled a smile on her face. But I guess in her mind, she was taking the steps that would lead to what she thought she wanted.

So there’s the marriage rant I’ve been meaning to type up for at least three years now. It just seems like more women would wake up and realize they’re already adult and complete and wonderful, and they don’t have to look on their left hand and see a wedding ring to validate that. Let go of your all-important “goal” and enjoy the process of getting to know other people – and yourself.

Anyway, Happy Easter! Today I’m skipping Sunday at the Monkey for the first time in eight months, but never fear – my Easter basket will still be a champagne bucket. I have three bottles in the fridge, and orange juice to make mimosas. Later on I’m going to have Easter dinner with my neighbors (the ones who picked the movie last night) and they’re hiding eggs in the lobby. They plan on finding their own eggs that they hid, which doesn’t make sense to me, but then they’re blondes. All right, I’m out for the day – see you later!