Monday, December 19, 2011


In middle school I was friends with this girl (whose name I can no longer remember) who also had two little sisters. She was two years older than me. Her mother dated. I slept over one night and her boyfriend took all of us to Coney Island. The next morning the guy was gone, and the mother pulled me aside to tell me a second guy was coming over and that her girls knew not to mention the first one in front of him. The second guy showed up with six bags full of groceries.

When I got home I looked at my mother differently. I tried to imagine her juggling multiple guys, hustling them all the time. It had never really hit me before that she didn't date, because we just had such a busy household.  My brother dated a lot, but didn't seem serious about anyone. Half the time I didn't know if the girls with him were friends or girlfriends. Then there was Aunt Elaine. I don't say this to be mean, but I'm not sure if she's ever dated anyone.

So I guess I don't have a lot of real-life experience of how relationships are supposed to be. The ones on tv are there because they're either outrageous (see Sammi & Ronnie on Jersey Shore) or caricatures of how they're supposed to be. Maybe that's the wrong word. Nothing is on tv because it's right or normal. Every married couple on non-reality tv is lame. The wife always is totally together and hot, and the guy is always dorky or bald or fat and screwing things up. It's like they play into stereotypes of how the man doesn't know how to do laundry.

Becca told me her parents got married for health insurance purposes. They're still married, so it looks like that worked out okay for them. I just wish there were examples I could look at, for signs.


Vinny said...

I grew up the child of divorced parents. My grandmother (who had no love for my mom or me) appeared to tolerate my grandfather more than love him. My uncle was divorced after only a few years of marriage. My mother was completely burned on relationships after my Dad. I know what you mean. I did not understand how loving relationships worked until I met a girl, fell in love, and met HER parents, who were married nearly 70 years. It's there, and you'll know it when you see it. You're at step 2- step one was recognizing its absence. Step two is locating a suitable model. Step three- emulate the model.

It's been a while since I posted. Merry Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Great advice from Vinny.

Mizasiwa said...

I agree great advice Vinny!! Merry Christmas to all of you!

Anonymous said...

The show Parenthood is great for showing amazing father models. Stay at home dad, dad who gets completely involved in the life of his newly discovered five year old son, father who holds it all together and loves his wife and kids. I really like this show because of that.
Here in the UK, if dads take an active role in their kids' lives, it's called "helping" their wife. The wives are supposed to be really grateful. It's normal for the dad to be the one playing with them for an hour and then doing something else.

Lil'Sis said...

I married for love, been with my husband over half my life now, have 3 kids, it's work, it's not always easy or fun, but there's always love even when we get angry or upset.

My parents were married till my father died, my mother is remarried now, she said "I married this time for security, and he's not a bad person."

I like Vinny's advice too.

Kizz said...

I comb the world for models, too. I can tell you a million reasons why my parents' marriage was an insane idea from moment one but I'm not sure I could tell you one thing about how relationships are supposed to work. Still looking, though. Always looking. Learning a little bit from each relationship I come across.

Anonymous said...

My parents were married 55 years until my father died. More than anything else, I always loved their respect for each other. They didn't fight, they were never rude to each other. They disagreed and worked it out.

I didn't find my spouse until I was 48. It was definitely worth the wait. I'll be 60 soon and we are still madly in love. I won't make the 55 years my parents did, but it will be forever...