Butt Holes, Ice Cream and Why I’ll Never Say I Do

Sep 23
2010

I’m a freak.  According to society, that is.  And society won’t let me forget how different I am. As one side of a happily committed two-gender couple that isn’t married, I don’t fall neatly into one of the labeled mental boxes that most people carry around with them.  Instead, my man and I are subjected to a persistent prejudice against people who can get married but choose not to.

Heavy word, “prejudice”.  But consider that it comes from “pre-judgement” and that’s all I mean.

Just the other day, after hearing that my boyfriend, D.C., and I have been together for 8 1/2 years, living together for 7 1/2 and sharing a mortgage for three, a hetero hubby asked us why we don’t want to get married.  His face was all screwed up in confusion, the way your mouth might pucker after eating a tart lemon or your butt might pucker after squeezing out a particularly dense movement.  We encounter this look almost monthly – from strangers, friends, family, and acquaintances. At parties, grocery stores, networking functions, auditions and, no surprise, weddings. We live in a world that doesn’t quite get us and it’s exhausting.

“Why don’t you want to get married?” (Or as a waitress from East India asked me one evening – yes, my waitress asked – “What is your logic?”)

The answer’s really very simple:  we just don’t want to. That’s the truth.  That’s all.

But when we offer up this answer, the squeezed butt hole expression persists in the questioner, so we’re forced to figure out a way to make them understand.  So we say things like: “Marriage was never important to either one of us” or “We don’t need a piece of paper and a party to feel fully committed to each other.” or even “We’re like Kurt and Goldie”. Though all of these answers are true, none of them really seems to help; eventually, the questioner does one of four things:

1)    assumes one of us really does want to get married (usually me, because I have a vagina) and informs D.C. of my “real” desires when I’m out of earshot

2)    either directly or indirectly tells us why we should get married, based on their marriage

3)    quietly assumes we’re not really committed to each other (well, not so quietly or I wouldn’t know about it)

4)    politely nods their head and looks for a drink that will help cloud the incongruity in their mind

All of these responses seem to point to one problem, really, and it has little to do with D.C. and me.  Folks want us to be just like them…and we’re not.  So they search for their own explanations, rather than listening to what we have to say about who we are and how we feel.

“We just don’t want to,” is, apparently, the equivalent of saying, “please put a drill in my ear and turn it on.” The concept is seemingly incomprehensible.

Living on the periphery of social acceptance is lonely for us freaks; no one really seems to want to even try to understand our point of view.  They just want to either force us into their life view (square peg, round hole) or point in astonishment and disbelief (broken altogether). For these Why-Aren’t-You-Like-Us-Twitching-Blobs, there is no middle ground.

So, though we have the choice to either get married or not, we’re still screwed.  Even if we’re together for the rest of our lives and our relationship outlives the supposed 50% of American marriages that end in divorce, people will always question why we didn’t spend the down payment for our first house on a big production steeped purely in tradition (and constructed originally as a way for men to acquire land, money, status, power and eventually free child labor once their young wives bore them heirs) that would prove to them that we are, in fact, committed to each other.

But, okay, I admit, we’ve been stared at with such bafflement that I’ve wondered if we were missing something.  Maybe when you get married, there are all sorts of emotional benefits I don’t know about. Like a lifetime supply of free ice cream.

So I did a little research (which I hate doing; that’s why it was only a “little” research).  Here’s the general online consensus regarding the definition of marriage:

Marriage is an institution in which interpersonal relationships (usually intimate and sexual) are acknowledged by the state, by religious authority, or both.

Huh.  So…I should care if the whole state of California approves of my relationship?  Why?  Are they in it with us?  If so, I’ve got some serious grocery shopping to do.  And I might need a bigger house.  And a lifetime supply of birth control.  And Advil.  I’m gonna be sore.

As for religious authorities, with respect, they can keep their fancy hats, words and intolerances and stay inside their delineated houses.  I’m not inviting them over.

So.  No free ice cream.  Our answer remains simple: we just don’t want to.  It’s not a reflection of our love for each other or the strength of our relationship.  It’s simply how we feel and what we want.  It’s really not that different from our friends that love each other who do want to get married.  We respect their decision, shouldn’t they respect ours? I don’t go running into their ceremony screaming “Stop!  Stop! For the love of everything I believe in, put down that bouquet!” I just bring a present, honor their decision, celebrate their happiness and dance my ass off.  I’d just appreciate the everyday equivalent of that respect.

So please, if you meet me and your feel your expression turning into that of a puckered butt hole, it’s a sign that you should probably keep your mouth shut and buy me ice cream instead.

43 Responses to “Butt Holes, Ice Cream and Why I’ll Never Say I Do”

  1. John Forte says:

    What flavor do you like?

  2. Robin Dale Meyers says:

    Chubby Hubby, of course.

  3. Monnae says:

    cool beans. Freak on!

  4. Monnae says:

    OR….it could be that maybe the two of you are just gay and living a masked life of convenience in order to avoid undue scrutiny from your adoring fans…you know how the public can be

    Either way you show all of us married folk how to do it. 8 plus years of commitment, in today's times, is amazing.

  5. Robin Dale Meyers says:

    Both of our particular fan bases would be saying "I knew it!" if what you're suggesting is true. Which it isn't. But thanks for pretending we're famous.

  6. Linda O'Lee says:

    Girl I am SO laughing at this article…….having worked with you for 6-7 weeks and I can hear your voice and see your facial expressions as you penned it! All I can offer in your behalf is that (as you know)…….I have tried FOUR times…this expression of love and everlasting rah rah……………and I meant it…….and while I still do not have a 'relationship' going in any direction……I would really LOVE a large bowl of ice cream……love ya.Linda

  7. Robin Dale Meyers says:

    A pint of Chubby Hubby is on it's way….

  8. Jon says:

    Gene Simmons says it best. To paraphrase, "Why should we? We're happy, and have been for well over 20 years."

  9. Robin Dale Meyers says:

    I'm sure Kurt & Goldie and Joy Behar & Steve and Ricky Gervais & Jane Fallon and Charlize Theron & Stuart Townsend would all have something to say too. Although Charlize & Stuart have said they won't get married until they're gay friends can, and that's maybe an even better reason than mine.

  10. lynnemaclean says:

    It's been 8 1/2 years? That's freaky. I thought we had a conversation many moons ago that you guys would get married. No matter. I'm glad you freaks are so happy and found each other. I will say this about marriage, there is a shift that happens and it's really hard to describe. At least it happened for Arthur and I. But it is amazing how society CAN NOT think outside of the box. I did not changed my name and people don't understand that. Keep flying that freak flag of yours!!!! XO

  11. Robin Dale Meyers says:

    So many boxes it's like an endless trap of those Russian nesting dolls…

  12. Alfi says:

    My only question has always been wouldn't you benefit economically under current and longstanding laws and professional organization rules? Otherwise, big yawn. (I was gonna say "ho hum," but that might have been misunderstood.)

    I don't care about name changes either, though I confess to urping when I see hyphens. It suggests someone who can't make up her mind. (Don't talk to me about compromise; I'm always right.)

  13. Turner says:

    I was worried about the same things as Alfi – I worry about archiac laws like if one of you is in a serious accident, without being married, the other legally cannot make medical decisions, or would even need to be consulted. Then there is the 401(k), taxes, etc- all the things gay married couples fight tooth and nail for but never get. I support your decision and I want you two to be happy – just consider that there are some practical benefits to be married beyond free icecream and a diamond…..:)

  14. Robin Dale Meyers says:

    To put your and Alfi's concerns to rest, all of the things that should be on paper to satisfy archaic laws (Advanced Health Care Directives, Financial stuff) is on paper with all official signatures. I ain't no dummy. Thanks for your concerns, though!

  15. Turner says:

    Whew! OK – so one last musing – isn't there a common law marriage provision in CA after X years, California considers you married? (Be careful!!!)

  16. Robin Dale Meyers says:

    Nope! No Common Law here…ain't I lucky!

  17. Michael M. Cashaw says:

    Perhaps like Pa., Common Law Marriage in Ca. is not just about living together. Also taken into consideration, at least in Pa., is does, everyone view/acknowledge you as married, joint banking accounts, tax filings, etc.. Pa., did away with Common Law, but there is a grandfather clause.

  18. Doña Oxford says:

    Are you aware of the 3 rings of marriage?
    The Engagement Ring
    The Wedding Ring
    and
    The Suffering
    😉

  19. Doña Oxford says:

    I get the same thing as a woman closing in on my biological clock and not wanting kids.
    "WHA?!?!? Why don't you want kids? Don't you like kids? Are you a lesbian? Don't worry, (pity face) you can always adopt someday!, etc, etc, etc." No one can accept my simple answer…. I just don't want them.

    And don't get me started about still being single over 40!!
    I MUST be gay!!! ….not that there's anything wrong with that!!

  20. Jennifer Carter says:

    I've been married before, and my boyfriend and I are in no rush to get married. For now, we have no intention of it, actually. Both of our families press the issue but we just… don't want to. That simple. I'm not saying we may not wake up one day and say, "Hey, today's the day!" but as far as we are concerned, we are blissfully happy as is. So I get it, and thanks for your post!

  21. Robin Dale Meyers says:

    Hey, Jennifer – thanks for reading and commenting! And you're right on: either way, it's all about what you & your SO want, not what others expect of you. If you wake up one day, fly to Vegas and get betrothed by Elvis, then you're family will wonder "Why did you wait so long? And why Elvis?" And it still won't matter what they think! Let your freak flag fly, baby!

  22. John says:

    As long as people pay their fair share of taxes and don't commit crimes I couldn't care less about why you haven't gotten married after that many years. As long as both of you are happy is all that matters.

    We have been married almost 39 years and no kids. My wife couldn't have them and had to have emergency surgery at 29. I actually had folks ask me why I stayed with her if she couldn't provide me with kids! Despite either telling folks that we took oaths that included "for better or worse" some idiots told me either: 1) God wants families to have kids so ditch the bitch; 2) how could you have a meaningful relationship without kids; or 3) you are missing so much, why don't you adopt? (I am a pretty literal person and adoption papers in our state provide that the parent shall never strike the child. I can't spank a kid that deserves it without breaking a contract and/or law? Forget that shit!

    Anyway, I think you can figure out my meandering point. Just be happy with your decision and tell those who don't like it to kiss that butt hole!.

    p.s. – DC sent me via FB.

  23. Robin Dale Meyers says:

    John, I am struck dumb by #s 1, 2 and 3. Struck. Dumb. Kudos on your 39 years and continual flipping off of those that dare to tell you what to do with your life. Kiss that butt hole is right!

    Thanks for reading and posting!

  24. John says:

    Robin, here is one more that struck me dumb.

    We had been married 10 years at the time of the emergency surgery to take out certain parts. The surgery goes much longer than scheduled and our doctor, who assisted in surgery, actually comes to me in the waiting room still crying. I was sure she was dead. I asked if she was OK and he said yes, but that it had been the worst case of Endometriosis he had ever seen in a woman of any age, let alone 29. They had to spend a lot of time cleaning up nasty stuff.

    Here comes the good part…

    When they take her from recovery to her room they will not let me in her room and would not for 12 hours. Why? Because they had instituted a policy to protect female patients from spouses (or others) deli8vering divorce papers to the recovering woman. I was WTF? I could not conceive of anyone doing that, but the nurses later assured me it was true and happened frequently.

  25. Robin Dale Meyers says:

    Dumb. Struck. #4. I suppose if it happened frequently, it's good they put a policy into place? But shit, if only they could somehow legally search the SO's before going in the room to make sure they didn't have those types of documents on them. But then we'd have another legal problem, don't we? Man. I have to ask, what year was that and where were you living?

  26. John says:

    1984, Scottsdale (AZ) Memorial Hospital.

  27. Robin Dale Meyers says:

    Well said, dave m. Thanks for your congrats and congrats on getting rid of the gal that clearly, clearly didn't suit you. Do you sometimes wipe your forehead and exclaim, "Whew! That was a close one!"

  28. tania says:

    i am right there with charlize and stuart as to why i won't (or waiting until…) but since i'm clearly single and lovelorn, my position is moot for now. adore you and DC as the little freaks that you are!

  29. Robin Dale Meyers says:

    Since I know you Tania, I can say with confidence that there must be a line of people awaiting your attention. You may not see it, but I bet it's there.

  30. betty malicoat says:

    May I suggest another explanation? the trite, but true saying, "Misery loves company" applies. The look is perhaps from a little resentment and perhaps regret that he or she elected to be cemented to another by law. Anything done under the law is of course subject to a punishment/reward system. I think that covers it nicely. I've been married for 20+ years. I don't want applause from civilians; I want marital combat medals from the government.

  31. Robin Dale Meyers says:

    Betty….simply….HA!

  32. Todd Chappelle says:

    I had the same thought as Alfi and Turner — there are definitely some advantages to being married — making medical decisions for each other, tax advantages, etc … but if you have things like powers of attorney in place already, then never mind what everyone else says. I like being married, but it is not the right decision for everyone. You and DC are committed to each other, so that’s all that really matters.

  33. Robin Dale Meyers says:

    Thanks for the support, Todd! Fact is, aside from the legal stuff, we don't see any difference between our commitment and those of our friends that have the label "married". Same thing, different name. For us, anyway.

  34. Nino Sidari says:

    I enjoyed your article and I am glad you are happy with your situation, but "We don't want to" is not an answer to "Why don't you want to…?" That's probably why you get confused looks.

    Your last few paragraphs, where you talk about your objections to the institution of marriage sound more like your reasons to me.

    Oh – one more point – an expensive party is not a marriage.

  35. Robin Dale Meyers says:

    Thanks for reading and being glad for me. 🙂 I was going to say you owe me an ice cream, but you may have a point. Let's discuss…

    "We just don't want to" isn't enough, you're right, which is why we offer up the other italicized answers above:
    “Marriage was never important to either one of us” or “We don’t need a piece of paper and a party to feel fully committed to each other.” or even “We’re like Kurt and Goldie”. But nobody gets it.

    Regarding my objections of legal and religious traditions – this may have muddled my simple explanation. My point here was that these two things that come in the form of legal papers and a religious ceremony, mean nothing to me (us). We both knew early on that marriage (in these forms) wasn't important as a way to solidify our commitment to each other. It's already solidified. And as a matter of fact, I consider our commitment the exact same thing as other people's marriages, without the paper and ceremony.

    And I agree, a party is not a marriage. But I think I've mentioned the paper and the party both enough to get the point through.

    So…tell you what, I'll split that ice cream with you, Nino. Sound fair?

  36. Nino says:

    i'd be happy to buy you an ice cream….but let me check with my wife (haha)

  37. Robin Dale Meyers says:

    She's welcome to join us as long as you're paying. 🙂

  38. Michael M. Cashaw says:

    "We just don't want to", I think is plenty. For some reason many people feel they are owed explanations, when they would do better to mind their own damn business. They may not like your answer, or want more information, but it is an answer.

  39. Robin Dale Meyers says:

    "Wife" & "husband" – yup, we use these terms sometimes too – generally with customer service reps and folks we've just met whom we know we will never see again. To avoid the the puckered butt hole faces, exactly, Michael. Thanks for reading!

  40. Norm says:

    I remember when not getting married was quite fashionable and don't know why that ended. Statistically, marriage is not doing so well. I think the societal change results from gays not being allowed to get married. Since they couldn't, they decided it must be pretty cool. Once they wanted to get married, everybody wants to! For the last 3 years, every wedding I've attended has included something about hoping they'll soon be allowed to do so. I agree they should be allowed to do so, but I still think the reasons to get married are religious or financial. You're happy and secure, and that's what's really important. Keep it up.

    And your writing is great! Remind me to provide ice cream next time I see you.

  41. Robin Dale Meyers says:

    Yes, obviously gays are leading the social charge to coolness.

    And thanks for your kinds words, Norm! That means a lot. I'll take YOU out for ice cream!

  42. pie susu dhian says:

    What flavor do you like? cool beans. Freak on.!

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