I Choose You

*cue Willie Hutch*

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9F1KqyHwec&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

While I was home in MI visiting the family, I got a chance to have lunch with my friend LH. LH is a few years older than me, but a dear friend who always is a wealth of knowledge, and as usual, our lunch didn’t disappoint. We spent a lot of time talking about relationships & marriage. She’s been privy to the ups & downs that my romantic life has taken while I’ve been in Orlando, so her advice/info was spot-on, as usual.

But this post isn’t about her advice to me (which I’m not sharing, cause it was just for Jubi, & plus it probably wouldn’t help anyone else anyway…). This post is about something profound that she said.

We were talking about marriage, and timing (which is another post in itself, if I ever get around to writing that) and the overall “Black women aren’t getting married” nonsense in the news lately…and that’s when LH remarked that women aren’t dying to get married because they believe in the institution, or they are so in love, or whatever reason folks throw out…

Naw, chicks are clamoring to get married because THEY WANT TO BE CHOSEN.

I had to stop & pause & ponder for a second, and I could totally see that. Look at all the ritual surrounding engagement & weddings. Its all about the ring (& how big it is) & the dress (& how much it cost) & the wedding (& if it was the biggest/baddest/most expensive/whatever) compared to your girlfriends. Getting married or even engaged is a badge of honor! Its a symbol that says “Look at me! I’m good enough, he chose me!” Its all about being good enough or worthy, and then being able to say to another woman “I’m better than you are cause I got chose!”

Deep.

Several days later a lightbulb went off in my head.

It occurred to me that MY ISSUES regarding being single are really rooted in this “chosen” thing. Do I really want to do all the things that it requires to be married right now? Nope, I know that about myself. My issues revolved around being worthy & being good enough to be chosen – specifically why I hadn’t been chosen when so many (IMO sometimes unworthy) women were being chosen, & what I had to do to get chosen. Its basically an extension of the self-esteem issues that have plagued me since I was a young girl: I want to be told that I’m good enough & when I’m not then I think there’s something wrong with me. I’d like to get married eventually, but the desire to “keep up with the Joneses” on the marriage tip is not where my focus is anymore (thank goodness! Looking back I cringe to think @ some of my own behavior, but I digress). The competition aspect isn’t important to me anymore, what’s important is building a solid marriage.

  • Totally agrees with this blog. Society says that a woman who gets married must be a good woman and she must possess all the feminine qualities that attract a man. She must have a boat load of self-esteem and not be too needy. She has done something right. She is worthy. While women who don't get married must be doing something all wrong, they aren't slim enough, or witty enough. Yes our self-worth is tied to how quick we can get a man and hold on to him. Sad but very true. This post will be a real eye-opener for many.

  • Ron

    This kind of reminds me of a thought I had while watching a particular movie with a woman a while back. The movie was "He's Just Not That Into You", and in it there was a recurring "theme" of sorts about women giving anecdotal accounts of other women they knew who met their current husbands in situations and circumstances that would otherwise lead to either a bootycall, jumpoff or straight-up failed relationship. You know, "they met at a club…" or "She did [that thing you shouldn't do to attract a quality man] and she got her a quality man!" or some other nonsense.With the understanding that this was a goofy romantic comedy that mirrored real-life issues) I wondered to myself, "why would these women relay stories that reflect exceptions to the rule, rather than stories that reflect more commonplace boy-meets-girl/they-eventually-get-married occurrences?" (The "rule", in this case, being "where to meet men for meaningful relationships".)Then *BAM!*, the reason hit me: A lot of women place a great deal of value on being special enough to be the exception to a rule, rather being than following a commonplace rule. It's like a badge of honor: "Look at me…look how I was unique enough to attract, retain and marry this man despite the suspect way in which we met!"I bring this up to point out that, much like the "women marrying because they want to be chosen" ideology you mentioned, this ego-driven, borderline self-centered ideology is as commonplace as it is self-defeating. It reflects the kind skewed values a lot of women apply to themselves when it comes to relationships. I had so much more to say, but I forgot. lol

  • @Jubi & @ HoneyBFlyThis post is an eye opener. I think I'm beginning to feel the pressure. Every year, more and more of my old classmates are starting families and seems like everyday my mom is mentioning something about having children. Everyone in my family that can have children, either have children or is currently pregnant. You're on to something. It's definitely about being chosen and external validation.

  • Interesting post. This is what I said in your Dec. 15th posts. My exact words were "alot of females want to be married and like the idea of marriage but don’t really want to follow the RULES of marriage. A lot of women just don’t want to be left out of the marriage image and conversation that their peers are participating in."That sums it all up. Also I compare this to people who think they want a Mercedes Benz. It looks great and gives you a certain prestige, but when the maintenance is due then people get all bent out of shape…just food for thought…

  • @KelsIt is a bit of a weight when I see that my closest friends, same age as me, are married with children. But they are happily married in faith, strength and the willingness to do for each other. There's no point in there being a wedding if it cannot be followed by countless happy memories, meaningless Valentine's Day gifts (because everyday should be Valentine's Day)and 50-60 anniversaries to celebrate. Together.

  • LM

    Wow!!! More food for thought.I've given this topic a lot of thought recently…my sister's in the process of planning her wedding. Which is making me feel like the lone soldier. Usually I'm okay with not being in a serious relationship but that changes when I talk with friends. My mood becomes somewhat depressed and I'm no longer okay with being single. I hope that I can get to the point where I don't measure myself against other people. OMG, that was a big pill to swallow!

  • Milan

    Great post! So on point and sooooo true. I often shake my head at those women clamoring to get engaged/married. Why the rush? Why the impatience? But my perspective and experiences are different now and I have some hindsight that most don’t have (having been married). YOu have the right attitude about it, Jub. No competition. This is life. Each person is different each circumstance is different and you never know what’s going on in someone’s household. Those Joneses that some are trying to keep up with are whoopin eachother’s asses behind doors. No thanks! LOL!