I’m allergic to wedding bands. It’s true. Once a girlfriend of mine insisted we wear commitment bands on our wedding ring fingers to show our love for one another. In a moment of clarity, less than a year later much to my chagrin, her proposal had more to do with her narcissistic personality disorder to make sure I was no longer an appetizer on the single menu than to do with her seriousness towards our enduring relationship. The rejection of the ring placement was spontaneous, as the finger cuff tightened around my ring finger while the restricted blood flow made my brain woozy from the darkness now threatening to consume my individual freedom. I was emotionally overwhelmed by an immediate need to remove the tiny, round handcuff from my single-forever finger. Full of fear, and breaking out in a cold sweat, I began to shake my left hand vigorously, launching the circular metal missile into the bedroom wall where my would-be-captor proceeded to bounce off and spin in a vicious circle on the floor to find its final resting place under our empty bed.
I never once thought that I was going to like someone enough to even once ascertain the thought of one day marrying them. And, why would I? I refuse to apologize for not only knowing what I want in life but, who I want in my life. I am perfectly happy doing whatever it is I feel like doing, whenever I feel like doing it without my actions escalating into a screaming match due to my partner not being happy with my current choice. I do not feel it necessary to ask permission to engage in questionable behavior, the sideways glance look of disgust that I receive from my two dogs while I knock back several glasses of wine nightly provides adequate condemnation that tells me my significant other will also find my life choices unpalatable to their taste. My bend-to-no-one will cost me a few more relationships. My pragmatic self-awareness guides me through the relationship web as my Gemini intuitiveness aids in my immediate understanding if a potential mate is going to put up with my moody ass. The answer is usually a resounding, “No!” The restlessness I feel inside usually allows for ten years of an okay relationship, yet still, a relationship which probably needed to end several years sooner. After the seventh year, but before the tenth, the ugly head of the marriage beast shows itself, and I once again, find myself in a place where I am once again, back into the corner of single-life, as tears rain down as if arrows whose sharpened points wildly scar as crazy love accusations rain down.
I’m unable to explain my lack of desire to marry in a way that lessens the hurt my partner feels after they realize it’s a pointless conversation to engage in. If there was ever a time for the “No, it’s not you, it’s me,” conversation, now is the time. I guess I just don’t see the point of marriage unless you desire to follow the traditional white picket fence route, a route which I find to be nothing more than an unappealing societal constraint applying its icing on the conformity cake. I have never, nor will I ever have the desire to reproduce. I enjoy sleep too much. I enjoy sleeping so much that I consider it a hobby. A child would certainly kill this hobby, as well as many other joys in my life such as binge-drinking and engaging in other questionable behaviors. People less self-aware would label me as selfish. Well, yes I am, but at least I am upfront and honest about my selfishness. I have no plans to mask it years later, while trapped in a convenience marriage with a tribe of screaming kids running around a two-story house in the suburbs.
When I discuss my desire to remain single and childless with my friends and family, I often find myself uttering the proverbial phrase, “It’s just not in the cards I was dealt.” It’s not that I am afraid of commitment, my last two previous relationships lasted well over ten years apiece. I feel it is more to do with losing the person I am becoming to a person which my partner needs me to be, and knowing, I am not the person which they seek. I am me. I am an educated, single, childless woman in her mid-forties, living in a world which devalues my value and tries repeatedly in its failed attempt to place a wedding ring on me. Yet, the older I get, the more I wonder if I should allow for the ring, and the mortgage, and the kids, and the stress, and all the extra heartache that goes with being alive, while asking myself, “Am I destined to remain single while hoping all along that the person of my dreams will make their appearance, and the world will begin to make sense?”