If Future Me came to Present Me on February17, 2005 and told Present Me (who is Present Me 2010, if you follow Me) that the people that I know that are getting married would be getting married and the people that are splitting up are splitting up and the people that are having children would be having children, well, I'd think that Present Me had to lay off the booze because Future Me is obviously feeling the effects.That is all still true. The marriages and the break-ups are on-going. And I think Old Me (Or perhaps, more accurately, Young Me. Old me and Present Me are probably more alike than I want to believe.) would have claimed that these break-ups were inevitable. That all relationships are doomed to failure. I might have even felt slightly vindicated.
Well, I don't feel those things. I'm not happy, about the marriages or the break-ups to be honest. Even with this new evidence that maybe Young Me was right, I don't feel vindicated, merely confused. Should I feel happy that my friend tells me he's getting divorced, and may not marry again in his life? In fact, a couple of my married friends have told me that, if something were to happen to their spouse, they probably wouldn't get married again, either, and not because they would be mourning their loss. They don't know what all the hullabaloo is about, I guess.
I don't really even know what to feel. For years, I've ranted and raved about the pitfalls of relationships and marriage, and screamed to the heavens or anyone who would listen that it would never be me. meanwhile, somewhere deep in my psyche, I assumed it would, and I probably wanted it to be. Why else would I continually put myself out there? I'll tell you: because we were raised to believe it, and deep down I wanted to believe it. Now, I'm not so sure.
Maybe the whole system is just fucked up. Maybe the whole idea is just old-school, like VCR's or the Catholic Church. Maybe it's people over-thinking, or being selfish, or not compromising, or being cynical. Of course, those all can also describe me, and Young Me, and Present Me, and probably Future Me. But maybe they can describe other people, too. Maybe we're all a little too Me-centric to have successful marriages and be decent parents. Obviously, not everyone is like this, but at least some of the divorcees and breaker-uppers are. And maybe that's not a bad thing.
let me climb up on my soap-box one more time here and posit this; I think, as a society, we need to re-evaluate our expectations. Most of us were raised to believe that we had to go to school so we could get a job and become respectable people and bring home a decent paycheck so we could provide for our loved ones. I've heard people say they feel they were put on this Earth to have children. I never got that. first of all, I don't think anyone was put on this Earth to do anything. We just happened, randomly. So, why the expectations? Is it just because we like to have things? "This is my wife/husband/son/daughter." I really have no idea.
I think we must take the advice of Yoda and unlearn what we have learned. My boss likes to joke that the concept of marriage was invented when people only lived until their forties, so no one really had to live with another person for that long. It's cynical, but true to an extent. I think the reality is that society doesn't work the way it once did, and we need to re-evaluate why we do the things we do. Times have changed, and we need to change with it. Or risk being turned to the Dark Side.