Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wedding Bells

There’s a scene in the 1995 Beatles Anthology where Paul McCartney is describing what led to the break up of the Beatles:

“I remember thinking of it like army buddies. One of the songs we used to love in the past was Wedding Bells. ‘Those wedding bells are breaking up that old gang of mine.’ And this idea that you’d been army buddies but one day you have to kiss the army goodbye and get married and act like normal people. It was a bit like that for the Beatles. We always knew that day had to come.”

Eventually we all find someone, whether our friends like it or not.
Well now I know how they felt. About a year ago one of my best friends since junior high school got married. I was really happy for him. I spoke at the wedding. It was an awesome time and he’s really happy, living in New York. Then, in the past few months, three of my close friends have gotten engaged, and one more has moved to San Diego for his girlfriend, or as he puts it, “for a job.” Whatever, Michael. To make matters worse, recently I have worked on two reality shows about weddings and brides. And, of the two girlfriends I’ve had in my life, one was recently married and one just got engaged. I feel like Dane Cook in the Good Luck Chuck, except without the skinny jeans and pockmarks.

We're gonna need a bigger beard.

While I am nothing but ecstatic for all of my friends, my exes and their respective wives and fiancées, I can’t help but wonder about my own situation. Should I be following suit? Many people blame Yoko for the break up of the Beatles, but it seems like it’s just normal that when people reach their late 20’s they decide they want to settle down. It happened to all of them, and now it’s happening to all of my friends. What’s wrong with me that I don’t have the same itch?

Since I am an expert on myself, my professional opinion is that I am still too selfish to be in a relationship. But not in a, “Cook me dinner before I am home from work, woman!” type of way or a, “No we can’t watch Grey’s Anatomy because Sportscenter is on!” type of way. More in a, “I don’t want to change who I am just yet” type of way. I realize that I am an imperfect person who is still growing, but I want to make progress at my own pace, rather than someone else’s. Too many people get married when they are still growing, only to find ten years in that they have nothing in common with the person they are with, or even the person they are, while the person they wanted to be is all but dead. When I propose I want to be asking, “Will you marry me?” not “Will you bury me?”

For example, in writing my blog, I have gotten all kinds of feedback. Most of it has been positive, but I have had people criticize me with everything from “Your blog is too serious” or “Your blog is too offensive.” While this feedback may have merit in some cases, the wide range of reaction my writing garners tells me one thing: I can’t please everyone. Which is fine, because I can handle the criticism. But if I had a girlfriend or wife, two bad things would happen. 1) She would have to put up with or defend everything that I put out into the world, and no one should be held accountable for my words other than me. Sure you want to read my blog from a distance, but you don’t want to have to answer to your mom when she calls you to say, “Your boyfriend wrote about peeing in pools and kissing strangers at bars. And I think he’s an atheist!” And 2) I would feel obligated to take my girlfriend or wife’s feedback into consideration, which could muddle my message, if not silence my thoughts completely. That would create resentment and friction in our relationship because most of my writing is a revealing and honest look into my mind, whether I am expressing fleeting funny thoughts or pontificating on my life's philosophy. And to be in a relationship would be like a stand up comic getting a sitcom on CBS. Any jokes about race, politics, religion, or anything meaningful fly out the window and you are left with jokes about how you forgot your wife's anniversary or how you hate it when your in-laws come over because they complain about your cooking.  

Look at all the jokes he's keeping inside. 
I’m not ready for that yet. I’m not ready to be a part of a team. While many feel being part of a couple makes them stronger, for me personally, every time I have been in a relationship I have lost a part of myself, and it’s always a part I don’t want to give up. But I don’t blame the girl for this. It’s not her fault that I choose to shut down a major part of my personality to make her happy. I guess I could just be myself and give the girl a chance to love me, but odds are she will run for the hills, so I might as well wait until I am more loveable (or rich).

The only reason I would want to be in a relationship now is because all of my friends are. And I guess it’s nice to have someone there for you all the time. Just because I am good at being alone doesn’t mean I like being lonely. I was watching those Chilean miners get rescued and they each came out and hugged their wife or son or daughter. All I could think was how sad it would be for one to come up from 2 months of captivity in the mine with 32 other guys only to be “rescued” to a world where he had no one.

Place holder.
Although my group of friends has broken up, much like the Beatles did-- all of us going to start new endeavors of our own-- I am the only one moving forward alone. But while John Lennon was able to create music, films, art, and eventually a family with his bride after the break up of his band, I am still looking for my other half, my partner in crime, my Yoko. And until then, my solo career will have to be just that: Solo.


  1. I am covering this exact same topic at this very moment, via email, with my best friend (who moved cross country to live with her boyfriend). Must be the age we've reached. Everyone really is getting engaged, married, buying a house or having a kid.
    And I had to ask her, is it wrong that laying such heavy roots sounds boring to me? To each person, their own.

  2. Thanks for the shout out. I think the key is that you have to find someone that accepts what you write and at the same time, doesn't mind if you defile them in bed. Julie never seems to mind when I write crude things in email. In fact, I don't even think she knows how to read. So there you have it - just find an illiterate - and oh ya, make sure she is Jewish.

  3. I think that's how you know you've found "the one", for lack of a better, less cheesy term- is that no matter how you felt yesterday, or that morning, or 5 minutes ago, you are suddenly "ready" to be part of that team. I had literally just formed my groundbreaking philosophy that humans are not meant to be monogomous when I met said "one" and was engaged 4 months later. You'll surprise yourself with how you are challenged to grow and re-evaluate who you are when a real, solid love is the inspiration. And in my own charmed experience, the partnership has allowed me to be myself more fully than I thought possible

  4. Now that we're facebook friends, you'll never be lonely again!

  5. When you find the right person and the right person finds you at the right time NOTHING ELSE MATTERS. For example, I recently started dating someone and from a far we couldn’t be more different.
    He’s a European Space Scientist, speaks three languages and works for NASA. He’s lived all over the world and is very passionate about his desire to become an Astronaut…which by the way he is more than capable of doing. I on the other hand am a semi-reformed party girl, who’s at a crossroads in many ways. At the end of the day we met by chance, but the chemistry and ability to communicate has been pivotal to the rate at which we have grown closer.
    I’m his “crazy girl”!!! I’m less conservative then he is and I make him laugh out loud, but we can also talk about our work, our struggles and other complex things openly and freely.
    We have both been completely caught off guard by each other, but for now it works. Most importantly, neither one of us has to apologize for who we are.