Who runs the world? Oprah. She is queen of ... everything. Cable networks, print media, and, up until that tearful conclusion, daytime TV. (Can I just pause to mention how tired I was of hearing about that finale but how disappointed I am that, even though it’s finally over, I’m still hearing about it? Sheesh. Let’s all pay a visit to www.letitgo.com.)
But can I be honest? I find it hard to believe that the Big O is content with her gaggles and gaggles of cash and no part of her wants to become Mrs. Man-Who’s-Willing-to-Be-Mister-Oprah-Winfrey. I know what she says. I know she says she’s not the marrying type, that she’s too selfish to be part of a permanent partnership, that she doesn’t believe in getting caught up in the pomp and pageantry of weddings.
And those are legit reasons. I just don’t believe them. Not just from Op. From most any woman who claims she doesn’t want to get married and have kids.
Key word there: most. Now, I’m fully aware that there are some women out there who seriously, sincerely, indisputably do not have a desire to be anybody’s spouse. For whatever reason, the institution has left a bad taste in their mouths before they even had a chance to chew on it for themselves.
Maybe their parents put them through a too-up-close-and-personal soap opera that overdramatized married living. Maybe they’ve been cheated on something terrible or found themselves in a relationship that was so scarring, they can’t bear the thought of being tied to one person for too long. Maybe their rampant feminism bars them from being able to fully embrace the idea of being “taken” as a wife and falling into submission (even though I don’t believe in that my doggone self).
I could sit here wasting away playing the “let’s think about why a woman wouldn’t want to get married game” and still not come close to touching all of them. (And we all know that’s not gonna happen.) Naturally, there are as many reasons as there are women to give them. As an added bonus, saying you don’t want to get married is music to an unready guy’s ears, so it can’t help but make you more popular in The Man Circle. But saying it don’t necessarily make it so.
I just think the majority of gals who say they don’t want to get hitched are making that claim out of fear it won’t happen, frustration that it hasn’t happened, or an attempt at reverse psychology to make it happen. So I have to give them the side eye and the "yeah right" smirk. Don't fool yourself, sweetie.
A few weeks ago, my cousin announced that she was giving up on jumping the broom because she’s coming up on her 40th birthday, and if it hasn’t happened by now, then she was pretty sure it wasn’t going to happen at all. She was through with deadbeat dudes — even though she’s got one living with her, but that’s neither here nor there — and if anything she’s ready to have a baby. But marriage? Not her. Not now, not never.
This is the silent song of a woman who’s given up hope. It’s not that my love doesn’t want to get married. It’s that she’s bracing herself for the possibility of it never manifesting into reality.
I reminded her that having a child with no wedding ring was still a major commitment and that, even though she could get a divorce if the relationship didn’t work out, she was stuck being that sucka’s “baby mama” for the next lifetime, with mandatory close contact for at least the upcoming 18 years. And 18 years is a mighty long time to be tired of seeing somebody.
But marriage is more than a greenlight to have kids. It’s a real commitment, way more than just signing a piece of paper, like so many people frown it down to be. It’s ceremonial, sure. But it’s also a space for two people to make vows to each other, to the families and friends gathered as witnesses — and if, they’re believers, to God — heck, even to the government, that they will treat each other like they’re supposed to be treated not just when things are going swell or the bills are being paid on time or when everyone’s strapping and bright and healthy.
Now, you have to know you’re marrying the kind of person who will uphold and respect those promises; otherwise, the gesture is in fact pointless. But it’s still a gesture that should be made. Keep hope alive all my fellow singleistas. Even you, Oprah.
Are women who say they don’t want to get married just appeasing their fears?
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