This isn’t easy to write.
But, I’ve been thinking pretty hard lately about that phrase ‘meant to be’, you know, and after some careful consideration, I’m not all that sure that me and my wife Monica are that.
‘Meant to be’, I mean. I’m not positive that our marriage and our love affair is all… like…., ‘meant to be.’
Does that sound cruel to say that?
I hope not, because I’m not saying that we don’t love each other; we do. And I’m not trying to imply that our bond isn’t as realistically real as yours or the next couple down the pike, either; it more than likely is as real as whatever else is out there.
I guess what’s bothering me mostly is this. Say we weren’t exactly ‘meant to be’, does that mean we messed up? If you weren’t so quick to call your marriage or your relationship ‘meant to be’ does that mean you,…(gulp)…you’re with the wrong person?!
Or rather, as a man or a woman in a long-term monogamous thingy, are you always supposed to say that you and your significant other were, in fact, ‘meant to be’, thankyouverymuch: because that is part of going along with the whole damn complicated program.
It’s such a loaded term in a way, isn’t it?
“Meant to be.”
Meant to be what?
If that was the case, well then I’d have to say,” You’re damn straight we were meant to be, buddy….and hand me two of them side-by side burial plots too, while you’re at it!”
Or is the term supposed to imply that as a couple in some phase/any phase of our love story, we were ‘meant to be’ perfect together? Does it mean that we are supposed to literally be squirting ultra-positive Kool-Aid out of our temples like blood while we clamp our eyes shut as tight as we can and convince ourselves (and the world!) that we are consistently happier than pigs in shit?
Because if that’s the case then I would submit to those of you out there sitting upon the Intergalactic Jury of Cyber Aspersions and Hastily Concocted Judgements that you might as well just save yourselves some precious time here. You might as well just move on along to your next case because I readily admit that I am ‘perfect together’ with no one on this planet Earth or for like the next four or five planets out there.
Still here, huh?
Okay, hold on a sec.
You know, maybe ‘meant to be’ is really some sort of fairy tale b.s. , right?
I mean, could ‘meant to be‘ possibly be that cold slug of beer so often paired with the hot shot of cultural whiskey known as ‘happily ever after‘? Is a lot of what we daydream about when it comes to relationships and love and marriage and forever-ness maybe just a boilermaker of our own fantastical propaganda?
Are we all just dreamers drinking the backwash of our wishes?
Or is meant to be’ simply something that is true for a lot of people? And if so, can you love someone forever even if you weren’t exactly ‘meant to be’?
I don’t know the answers to any of this.
I really don’t.
But, even though I am not so sure that my marriage, that our marriage would qualify us for a couple of “Meant To Be’ stickers for our matching sweaters anytime soon, I keep on staring down the barrel of the cold hard questions. I ponder the state of my own love affair and a lot of times I come up gasping for air, when I probably should just be kicking back with a pale ale on the couch and not giving a damn about the world at large, or about the greater definition of ‘us’.
Oh well. It is what it is until it ain’t anymore.
I guess in the end though, people like me and her, we only ever wanted to ride the rides, you know?
Even after they shut the park down, after they killed all of the lights and let the cotton candy go cold, all we ever wanted to do was sit there on the silent roller-coaster in the dark, listening to the crickets, staring up at the stars a million miles above us, just because we weren’t supposed to.
And who the hell knows; maybe that’s what ‘meant to be’ meant after all, huh?
Venice 1 of 10We went to Venice, me and Monica did. We got drunk and ate pizza and became happily lost in the labyrinth of winding streets. I wish all couples could make that trip once. It's a metaphor for love, really.
NYC 2 of 10Monica and I both dreamed of living in New York City. So a few months after we met and got married, we moved there. It was a monumental leap of faith. Looking back, I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Violet 3 of 10Our daughter came to us four years ago. She couldn't have come to Monica and some other guy, or to me and another woman. She had to come to both of us together, you see. What does that say about 'meant to be'? Again, I'm not sure. But it says something, I know that much.
Worlds Collide 4 of 10When two individuals meet and decide to spend their lives together, it's as if entire worlds are colliding, don't you think? All of your differences and your individual quirks, all of your existence that you've spent so much time honing up until then, it all must be compromised in the name of love. And that's a beautiful thing...but a tough one too.
Take Me Out On You 5 of 10Monica and I are two strong-willed people from banged-up backgrounds. Often, I think we have been so unsure of ourselves, so confused by things from our past, that we have ended up taking them out on each other. It certainly doesn't help much if you're out to write your own fairy tale, I guess. But then again, perhaps it actually does.
Henry 6 of 10When our son, Henry rolled up into our world, something felt much more complete in our home. There was two of us, Monica and me, and now there was two of them, Violet and her baby brother. It mesmerized me, the fact that we had managed to snag two powerful and beautiful souls into this world. And the fact that one was a boy and one was a girl seems magical to me still.
Laughing 7 of 10There have been times when our marriage seemed dissolved and all but gone. Yet, we are still here, her over in the next room, just a few feet away. And we still laugh a lot, probably as much as we ever did. Is that 'meant to be' in a way?
Stuff I Would Give You 8 of 10If Monica ever needed a kidney or eight pints of blood or a heart or sixty feet of man guts, I'd give them to her without thinking twice about it. Why? I don't know. What am I gonna do with it if she ain't around, you know? That's the way I look at it. That must mean something when it comes to love, huh?
Struggles 9 of 10In some ways, my wife and I were damaged goods when we found each other. And sometimes I wonder whether damaged goods are better off on a shelf with other damaged goods, or whether they ought to be hanging out with stuff that is really put together well. It's a tough call, I say. But at the end of the day, even if we aren't always lovey-dovey foot rubbin' soldiers for the cause, maybe that's why we sniffed each other out, huh? It's a massive world and we moved quick when we crossed paths. I wonder if that doesn't say something about us...
Our Names In Cement 10 of 10If you go around N.6th and Berry Streets in Brooklyn you could find me and Monica's initials etched into the sidewalk there. I remember us doing that. We were so scared someone would yell at us, at two people messing with the wet cement. But, from where I'm sitting here today, it all makes perfect sense to me now. And I'm wildly glad that we did it when we had the chance.
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