Dear Diary,

I have a confession to make. I’m a Love Is Blind junkie. I watch every season of it in every country in every language. Sometimes I like to kid myself into believing that I’m expanding my cultural knowledge by watching Love is Blind: Brazil. I mean, I’m just polishing up on my Portuguese, right? (Sidebar: I don’t speak Portuguese.) But thinking that way makes me feel a tiny bit better about my bad TV choices. I’m a sucker for the human drama.

Anyway. I’ve noticed something lately that’s been sticking in my craw. It’s every bride, every bride’s mother, every groom’s mother proclaiming that their wildest dreams are coming true because: MARRIAGE. That THIS is what they’ve all been waiting for, either marrying the man of their dreams or marrying off their children to the man or woman of their dreams. (Speaking of which, when is the Love is Blind: Homo edition coming out? Coming out—ha! No pun intended until I wrote it and laughed at myself!)

But I digress.

Did EVERY woman on this planet dream about her wedding day? Really? That was a recurrent childhood dream? Because I didn’t dream about it. Not once. Not ever. Carrie and I used to play bride and maid of honor when we were young, and Carrie always got to wear Mom’s wedding dress, and yes I cried, but I cried because the bride was the star of the show, and I wanted to be THE STAR OF THE SHOW. I didn’t think about my own wedding dress until I started looking at wedding dresses. I didn’t dream of having my own babies until I had my own babies. Do little girls really dream these things? Was my little tomboy self THAT far outside the norm?

Granted, I came from a single parent home, so marriage wasn’t really modeled for me when I was young… except for grandparents and aunts and uncles. But still. These women act like all they’ve ever thought about in life is finding a good man and sealing the deal. 

I mean, if that’s the case, then I don’t begrudge them for it. But the “all my dreams have now come true” vibe that proliferates throughout that show seems a little much. (And yes, I get that these people are on this show to find a marital partner—or their ten minutes of fame—so the test subjects most definitely skew on the side of marriage.) I hope those people find good marriages. I hope those folks make it through thick and thin. I hope their spouses don’t discover they’re gay 25 years into the marriage because I can testify that that’s a game changer. 

I just don’t know. Aren’t there bigger dreams than marriage sometimes? I have never, ever thought: Once my kids are all married, my life will be complete. Nor have I thought: If I don’t have grandkids, my life will have been for naught. You know what I do think every single day of my life? I hope my kids are kind. I hope they can pay their bills. I hope they experience more joy than sadness. That’s it. What they choose to do, who they choose to partner with, whether they choose to partner at all: That’s up to them. And if it’s marriage? Great! But marrying my children off has never been a dream of mine.

And yes, I was married to a man for 25 years. I get it. That might make me a bit of a hypocrite. But I was married until I decided I couldn’t be any more. And there were more reasons than just my coming out. I sacrificed a lot for that marriage. I wasn’t really willing to do it any more. And I can attest to the fact that many of my friends—more than I ever would have suspected—secretly told me during my divorce that they wished they could leave their marriages, too. So, there’s that.

It’s funny living in a retirement community in Central Florida. Lots of people ask if I have grandkids yet, and when I tell them that I don’t and that none of my kids are planning on having kids, they give me The Sad Face. But I’m not sad about it. If my kids decide to have kids, I’ll love those little grandbabies with every ounce of my being. But if my kids choose not to have kids, I’m not going to beg them to reconsider for my grandmotherly sake. I want each of them to live their one wild, precious life, not mine. 

Watch the show for a while and tell me if you don’t notice the same pattern. It makes me a little bit sad to think that the biggest dreams for those lives are only fulfilled by or with someone else. What about your dreams about you? About what you want to accomplish? About what you want your life to be? And if that includes someone else, great! But the someone else shouldn’t be the dream itself, should it? 

Am I just a bitter, old, divorced, gay woman? I don’t think I am. But I don’t ever want to lose myself to someone else again. There’s a high price to pay for sacrificing your own dreams for someone else’s. A 50/50 marriage is HARD. That balance can be impossible to reach. And typically, the one who sacrifices in heterosexual marriages is the woman. That’s just the way the system has been built. That’s how gender lines have been drawn. Maybe it’s time for some new lines. I hope my kids—and their generation—draw them. 



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