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April 15, 2008

Marriage

April is my taxes tirade month, but basically I have nothing new to cover on the subject so you can read last year's “Green Score” column and understand that I am still that mad and I still hate the war.

This month I've been thinking a lot about marriage. I have several friends talking to me about their kids, some thinking about having kids, and of course Jerry is getting married (See the photo page for coverage of our ski trip). I feel it all coming at me once because of my own situation with the break-up about five months ago.

I've learned that women in their thirties expect a proposal in under two years and have the right to ask you about marriage in the first nine months. I've learned that as a bachelor, I've still got some appeal and dating is not a difficult process. Putting those together, my instincts tell me to stay out of relationships, but I don't think I can do that. My player days are so long behind me and I hate to see anyone hurt by my actions.

No, I think now a relationship is the right way to go, but with all the marriage pressure I'm caught putting the cart before the horse, analyzing whether I could marry someone within the first two dates. It's really impossible to know that sort of thing. With the deadline of nine months stuck in my head, I constantly feel a sense of urgency to evaluate compatibility, but the truth about me is that I recreate my life every four years and it's impossible for me to know if my next creation will be compatible with anything in my current incarnation.

I've been an engineer, a tech consultant, a teacher, a car salesman and now a green consultant. I've sold all my possessions three times since college, keeping only certain tiny, portable elements that define me. I've lived all over the United States, moving nearly every year since college. I always felt I flew around like a kite, zipping hither and yon but always grounded. Now it's as if my tether has broken and I can fly to anywhere. The possibilities are endless.

What I'm trying to say is that my expectations in a significant other are extremely demanding at my socioeconomic status. Not many middle class people choose to be nomadic. Sure the rich have villas off the coasts of multiple countries, and the poor tend to travel out of necessity, but the middle class are supposed to settle down, make ends meet, invest, procreate and pass on their middle class status. I don't think that can be me.

However, what I feel happening is the prison of convention. Society is winning the battle right now and I will have to decide what to sacrifice or compromise. I'm not good at compromise and I don't know what form this will take. I just hope everyone involved can be helpful, patient, understanding and forgiving. It's asking a lot.

What does this mean for my future? How should I approach dating? Where should I go? Am I too old for this, or does my lifestyle destine me to eternal bachelorhood? I'll be analyzing these questions and more over the next month and will hopefully have some answers. As is customary on this site, I welcome commentary, and you know where to find me. I leave you with Ruby Tuesday by the Rolling Stones because it really captures where I am right now.

She would never say where she came from
Yesterday don't matter if its gone
While the sun is bright
Or in the darkest night
No one knows
She comes and goes

Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I'm gonna miss you...

Don't question why she needs to be so free
She'll tell you its the only way to be
She just cant be chained
To a life where nothing's gained
And nothings lost
At such a cost

There's no time to lose, I heard her say
Catch your dreams before they slip away
Dying all the time
Lose your dreams
And you will lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?

Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I'm gonna miss you...