Sunday noon. Family lunch. Old fashioned-views. Doctrine at its highest peaks.
Mother (Jenna) – daughter (Maggie) conversation. Generations go wild into the hot topic – marriage.
A family friend (Val) of the mother’s has a girl (Jane) of about 20 and something of age. In a relationship for some time, with a guy (Brian) who loves her, yet not ready to get married.
She, the girl – Jane, has been her mommy’s string toy for her entire life. That’s why Jane believed that she and Brian needed to get married. Yet, at the present moment, Jane doesn’t want that. Everyone (well, mainly Val) say Jane suffers because of not getting married. But she’s a free soul, kept in a jukebox for ages.
Now, Maggie’s turn. Well.. Jenna goes first:
“The poor girl is so unhappy for not getting married. And my friend? Sunk in depression because her girl doesn’t follow the society and lives in sin with that guy”.
And that was what triggered a debate. I’m sure you can tell…
“But why is it that she HAS to get married? Just to follow some rules of society?”
Jenna looks at Maggie with knives in her eyes…
“What do you mean?” she says
“I mean, do you really believe that compelling someone to get married makes them happy? Prehistorical ages are long gone. I don’t believe in a life-time marriage any longer. You were fortunate to have bound your destiny to dad’s and being able to keep the flame alive for 40+ years. But just look around you. How many couples last for more than a few years (say 3 to 5) these days?”
Maggie feels an arrow heading her way. But Jenna is silent for a moment… (once she goes silent, things will definitely explode at some point!)
“Girl, look. If she would get married, she would think twice before parting ways with him. That paper would make her think harder about what a separation would mean. Plus, she would have a reason to try harder, in the means of staying together and solve their differences.”
“Mom, that paper keeps no couple together if misunderstanding occurs and things can’t be straightened up any longer. Furthermore, take my word for it, you can use that paper as a whipping-your-bottom material once everything is over and one of the partners’ feelings are buried in mud.”
“But what if they want to have a baby?” Jenna tries. “The kid needs to have both parents.”
Maggie feels her hair rising and her blood pressure rushing into her veins, but she tries hard to keep herself in control. She voices:
“Who says the kid will lack any of the parents if they’re not married? By default, the kid takes the father’s name.”
“And if the father won’t recognise the kid?” Jenna carries on.
“Then, the mother has exclusive rights over the kid, including the one of giving the child her name.”
Moments of agony inside Jenna’s mind…
“Aha, so you agree on living in sin…”
“I agree with people not getting married if they don’t feel like it, just because doctrines and golden ages suggest they should” comes Maggie’s reply. “What if they don’t get along? You know I got married dreaming of a life-time relationship. Yet, you have the perfect example of a castle in ruins, as you saw me riding the majestic horse of failure. Why should I advise people to put golden handcuffs around their wrists, in times like these? If they’re happy the way things go, I’m perfectly fine with that.”
“You didn’t just say that!” Jenna’s lips mumble..
“I did. And I stand up for my view!” Maggie strikes. “I’d love to see happily married couples only, but I would never encourage anyone to take the step unless they really FEEL it! So, my advice to Val (which, most probably, will never reach her) is to step aside and let Jane think for herself and mind her own relationship.”
Jenna is all grumpy now and has no clue how to combat the daughter. Still, she makes another attempt…
“But you see, your kids…”
“Now you should stop and change the subject, as I don’t want to argue with you. You promised to never interfere, yet you keep on being stubborn about doing it. My decision is already taken and I have no more energy to waste for talking about it. I’ve had enough in the past years. Would you change the subject, mom?”
Surprisingly, Jenna swallowed her tongue and kept her lips sealed. But Maggie knows the subject is to be continued…
Freelance writer & editor | Storyteller | Interviewer | Published author | Co-Founder of afsyn.com | Podcast host & producer