Friday, November 21, 2008

Nacho Marriage

I have a vision of hell, and in it, I am one of the "single ladies" being addressed by Beyonce in her new video:

Yes, the dancing is cool. And yes she’s very pretty. I mean, except for the creepy baby-sized teeth. And the metal hand-robot-jewelry-thing. Is Beyonce Michael Jackson now, btw? Because I heard she has a whole different personality, the Tyra Banksian-named Sasha Fierce, and that she assumes that personality on stage in order to feel free to, oh, I don’t know, bust a more awesome dance move than her normal personality would allow? Shit, I don’t know. You tell me.

Which is not unlike that alter ego Garth Brooks had when he was so popular that he thought he could fling poo in a brown wig and the public would still think he was a genius. Wow, you know, come to think of it, Garth Brooks may have been the first person ever to lose money by underestimating the intelligence of country music fans.

But, so anyway. Look. I’m not one of those feminists who’s constantly taking the culture’s temperature and pronouncing it sicker than it’s ever been, but…If you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it…????

Really? Ladies, is this what we’re doing now, really?

I mean, well…fuck it, really?

First off, I got to say that as a two-time loser, I’m the last one who should sit in judgment of the institution of marriage. I take that back. I’m the second to last one. The last one, I’m pretty sure, has got a title that ends in “of Latter Day Saints.”

I suck at marriage. But you know what? I’m never going to do it again. I love Spooney, and I hope we’re still hanging out when the seas rise and engulf us all in about twelve years, but I’m not going to marry him. Because I suck at it. And it hurts to do something so important and to fail at it. It hurts a lot. And it’s hard to admit that I am really not good at something that I wanted so badly to be good at, but better to face the facts than to continue to delude myself, right? Because isn’t that worse?

Marriage isn’t for everyone. I admire people that do it well, don’t get me wrong. Let nothing in this post even begin to suggest that I don’t admire the hell out of you well-married people. Hell, I tried to BE you people. Twice.

And I swear, I will gladly live and die according to my own good or atrocious judgment. I swear to that. Because I just don’t compromise well. I balk. I recoil. It doesn’t fit. DO NOT WANT. And yes, I’m sure someday I will wonder if my stubborn independence was really worth it. But now, when I think about how I can buy all the shoes and books and music I want, and stay up until 4 a.m. smoking and drinking gin whilst burning through successive DVDs of my complete box set of Sex and the City - and have only to answer to myself, I marvel that I ever wanted it any other way.

You know what’s a good thing? A good thing, is that I live in a country that doesn’t force me to get married. And do that whole “obey” thing. Because, again, I love you Spooney, but I would rather stick needles in my eyes than obey you. Unless, you know, I was in the market for an amp, and then I have to admit that I would pretty much do whatever you told me.

You know what’s another good thing? That I don’t live in Afghanistan, where girls on their way to school are blinded with acid thrown by men who have fashioned themselves a god who apparently approves of such things. In such a world, a little forced marriage seems like a walk in the park. Well, a walk in the park whilst covered from head to toe in a black fabric jail. Whee.

And yet, it’s possible to be an American and still be unlucky in birth. There’s a young woman who works at my office-adjacent Starbucks who wears a head scarf, and I mean the religious kind of head scarf with the wee opening for her face, not the health-department kind of head scarf, and every time I see her, I thank my lucky fucking stars that I was not raised in a philosophy so warped that I am forced to feel pride for honoring a belief that declares even the hairs covering my head to be proof of the sins of my sex made manifest.

And I know I’ve been harping on this for a while, but what does it say about the Church of LDS that since Marie Osmond went off Dancing with the Stars, the most famous Mormon woman in the world is the one who took the worst Mexican restaurant in LA, the one with the awful food and the margaritas made with Everclear and Pixy Stix, and turned it into the most reviled Mexican restaurant in the history of, like, ever?

But see, all along, I believed that Mormons are really good at marriage, you know, or at least really efficient at it, but in fact now that I’ve considered it, I don’t really think they are.

When do most Mormon men get married? After they come back from their mission. Yes, approximately 80-90% of 19-year-old Mormon men go off, two by two, to strange and foreign lands for two year “missions.” These young men sleep, eat, pedal their little bikes and preach the LDS gospel to whoever will listen, day in and day out, with only each other to rely upon for two long years. Think about what that life must be like, especially in places like China, and in the more remote areas of Africa and the Middle East. During that time, as they pass the lonely nights in their barren rooms, a certain portion of them, being young men, must, you know, seek the comfort of one another. C’mon, it’s a statistical inevitability. And as they seek that comfort, they must feel as well the pain of knowing that that which brings them their only solace is also that which, if known, would bring down upon them the most passionate rebuke from that world to which they must someday ultimately return.

And then when they do return, they are married off – and quickly! Good-bye to the intimacy and camaraderie of their little mission for two, and hello to some teenage, conservatively-dressed bit of inexperienced virgin girl flesh. Go forth and plow yon fertile field, young man. Soon there will be little Mormons to support!

Christ, is it any wonder that Mormons revile homosexuality? Hello, it’s called PROJECTION!

Okay, I know that sometimes I can get a bit mean, but all I really want is for everyone, everywhere, to be able to live how they want. With remembering that bit about not hurting anyone else, you know. That’s it. And so even though I think, for example, that it’s ridiculous that Beyonce can put on a measly ten pounds and be pronounced fit to portray the lusciously zaftig Etta James, I wish her well, I do. I wonder why the scores of wonderful black actresses who actually resemble Ms. James physically were not cast, but you know, I’m willing to let it go. And if it makes Beyonce feel better to sing that damn Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) song, and to try to turn a symbol of acquiescence into a spunky anthem of defining your worth according to your highest bidder, well, then more power to her. I hope she’s doing okay, especially since she’s married to that Jay-Z, who always seems to be eyeing her as if she’s a nice piece of jewelry that he almost owns. If you think about it, probably one quarter of the world would gladly give up their own lives to step into hers, and yet, if Beyonce has to invent an alter ego to feel really free, what hope do the rest of us have?


Spooney said...

Everclear and Pixy Stix, that's awesome! I love you, baby...even if you don't want to marry my sorry ass.

...and Beyonce has replaced Mariah for me in the diva hate department.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Brilliant. Just brilliant.

kirby said...

I knew there was a reason Utah has such a high rate of clinical depression.

Wonderful post.

Grant Miller said...

Excellent. I know several Mormons. Some are even family via marriage. Those I know really are just like everyone else. They have the same urges and are intrgued by the same sins and vices as everyone else in the world. The sad thing is when anyone tries to impose a morality on others that they can't even adhere to themselves. And when they get the law on their side it's worse. I could provide a laundry list of specific sitiations I've seen first hand, but that would be neither useful here nor kind to those Mormon family and friends I know.

I rambled, but excellent piece.

vikkitikkitavi said...

Spooney: It's not a sorry ass. It's a nice ass.

DrMVM: Well thanks. I am thinking now that a tiny dash of logic wouldn't have hurt it much, tho.

Kirby: Maybe it's all that 3.2 beer.

Grant: I know a few Mormons as well, and I agree with you that they are mostly like everyone else, except when they talk about the role their church plays in their lives, and then it just gets too horribly sad for me. I just want to shake them and say "If there was a Jesus in heaven, no WAY would he want you to feel this way about your faith!" Your church should not be a cudgel; not for you, and certainly not for those of us who do not belong.

GETkristiLOVE said...

Great, now all's I can think about is
Spooney saying, "Put those chips down. They're nacho chips."

Since when do you drink gin?

bubbles said...

Excellent post with so many great points.

My bff from high school is a bright woman. When my 23 year marriage was twirling down the toilet and her equally long marriage was in the same place, she said, "Marriage has become outdated. Think about it. When marriage was invented, 'Til death do us part' was realistic. After all, no one lived that long."

I also respect marriage - but I do not believe that there are many marriages that are healthy. I think marriage should be a contract with renewal options. It would change behavior.

I'll have to write a post about a phone call I got yesterday... someone that was confident I would understand their view of God's Law regarding tolerance. Ugh.

Bubs said...

Shoot, that was a hell of a post. Brilliant. Wish that more people in this world saw things the way you do.

Dad E said...

Never is a long time. You have only lived half your life,

Grant Miller said...

Most - nearly all - Mormons I know are lapsed Mormons even if they will not acknowledge it. Unfortunately, they still swear by the Church's strict morality - but only when it's applied to others. Someone I know - a "Mormon" - went on mission to a very Third World, Third World country soon after he turned 21. He lasted a couple months before the Church sent him home simply because he couldn't handle it. Although he still believes in the Church and supports it with 10 percent of his annual income, he is and forever will remain a persona non grata within the church. It's upsetting to me but he doesn't seem to mind.

Just one of the personal Mormon stories I have.

dguzman said...

This post hit me in so many ways, Vik, especially given the goings-on of my recent past. You've got my vote for smartest person I know.