The “‘Til Death Do Us” Part …

Minneapolis, MN
Friday, 3 August 2001

[originally posted on the old TCPunk message board (v.1.0)]

Here are a few blasts from my past that should cheer you up while stumbling into an uncertain future …

This is actually a tough question to answer – how I feel about marriage doesn’t really have any bearing on what actually happens, unlike a career choice or something (well, if you look at the current recession we’re in, I guess that can be fairly arbitrary as well).

I married early in life as well – I met my [first] wife during the summer of ’76, while I was working at The Longhorn, at the tender age of eighteen. Not that the relationship was typical of anything at all (she was black, I was white, she had traditional family values, I did not), but the longer we were together, the less we actually seemed to know about each other. Within six years, things had deteriorated to the point that it seemed like a sensible decision to call it a day, and I got no argument.

The funny thing was – and still is, actually – that since that time, I’ve always thought that another time or two out, and I would be married again, and this time for keeps. A lot of well-intentioned friends have suggested a million-and-one reasons why this hasn’t happened yet (the usual list: “you just attract the wrong people“, “you’re too nice“, “you’re too much of an asshole“, and so on), but I think it’s got more to do with the way we bounce back from our societal education, and that’s it.

What brought about my divorce was a combination of my wife’s drug habit becoming a bit costly (for me), and that fact that we weren’t doing much talking towards the end of the relationship. I don’t have any regrets about anything – we both tried as best as we knew how to – but it does strike me as a bit odd how not much seems to have changed since that time, in terms of dynamics between people.

I was probably pretty naive for a while in thinking that within the kind of culture I existed in, there would be more people who would break all the old rules of not communicating about feelings, etc., but it turns out that a lot of punks have just carried out the values of their parents’ generation, and the same old stigmas right along with it.

So, I’m still meeting people who don’t know what they want in a relationship, or are afraid of a long-term commitment, or too guilt-ridden to admit that they just want a short-term fling, and so on. For whatever reason, and in spite of what would seem to be common sense, I haven’t given up hope though, that a cranky old guy like me can still possibly meet someone who is willing to work at it as much as I am, but they’ve got to WANT to be in a relationship, as opposed to NEEDING to be in one – big difference there. Time will tell, as I’m not exactly shopping around.

© J.Free / The New Puritan ReView; 2001; 2022