Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What Plans May Be...

When I was a child, I was asked which caste I belonged to. I was clueless. When I was asked what my Army officer father’s first name was, I said “Captain” because for as long as I’d known, everyone called him Captain XYZ. When I was later quizzed about his rank, I was confused and said, “I don’t know… must be first or second… he’s quite intelligent.” I was 5 or 6 years old, and that was just the start of an upbringing that didn’t strictly enforce adherence to social convention. 

When I was growing up, I didn’t dream of a perfect wedding or of a Prince Charming who would meet, fall helplessly in love and ride off with me into a sunset. I certainly didn’t think about having kids or raising a family. I was in fact too busy dreaming of being a truckdriver or a rockstar. Even as I hit adolescence, and fell in and out of ‘love’ at an alarming frequency with boys in my immediate friend circles, I knew that it was just a phase my brain and my hormones were going through (I was a precocious brat). At some point in my early 20s, when I finally hit my stride as a sexual being, I finally noticed the boy-men around me who wanted to get married and settle down to the job of starting their real lives and were completely thrown when I said No.

The truth is, while I understood that the marriage proposal was a very big thing, all I could think was – I don’t know who I am or what I want… how can I possibly promise myself to another person? (very ‘Runaway Bride’, as another friend keeps reminding me). And then I spent the next decade trying to figure those things out.

The thing is, even when I was really young, I knew that marriage couldn’t possibly just be what two people did when they got to a certain age, or to have kids. It seemed like too much trouble to go through to maintain a pre-determined schedule or for something that could technically be achieved without a signed piece of paper. But watching my parents laugh over grown-up jokes that I never understood, or cooking a meal together, or arguing about the merits of a fixed deposit over a bond, I knew it was definitely a special bond that two people forged because they decided to have fun together forever. 

Forever. That is important. Because families aren’t created or destroyed on paper with signatures, families (and this includes friends and soulmates – and the right person will understand that) are created with trust that you always have their back and that nothing will change that. The fulfillment of this promise doesn’t need a perfect person, just your kind of person. And finding that person takes a serious amount of looking. As a result, marriage wasn’t that high on the agenda as finding that very special kind of person whom you can laugh and cook and have fun with forever. In other words, Marriage was about being with someone with whom the quantum of joy created for everyone is way higher than the amount of misery tolerated. 

My last post inspired a lot of disbelief – from friends and strangers alike. Mostly, the outrage was directed at the vague notion of me ‘giving up’ Plan A - as they understood it – a monogamous, marital relationship governed by established standards of fidelity and security.  Often, the solution offered was to just suck it up, find ‘someone suitable’ and ‘take the plunge’, and not set unrealistic standards or be a coward about ‘losing control’.

The truth is, I don’t want just anyone ‘suitable’ with whom I ‘take the plunge’ and hope for the best.  Over the last decade, after having worked through the yo-yo of crushing heartbreak and soaring ecstasy, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I don’t ‘need’ a relationship, that I don’t ‘need’ someone to look after me, and I definitely don’t need to be needed. 

But I do ‘want’ a relationship with someone I’m convinced I can be joyous with for as much of forever as possible. In today’s day and age of easy procreation options, the de-stigmatization of singlehood or alternate relationship paradigms, I think that that joy is the only reason to attempt the long haul with that special someone.

(Maybe it'll all still go to shit, but at least the start point was conviction, not a "why not?" moment of apathy.)

In the absence of that conviction, there’s Plan B.

9 comments:

A-Girl said...

:-) Nice post again searcher. If wishes were horses I too would have a harem of my favorite men :)

A-Girl said...

im sure you've seen this. What stereotypes have been used for you?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dt7kO_-0f28

Searcher said...

None that I'm aware of A-Girl... but the night's still young :)

blackbird said...

My name is blackbird, I am an anonymous teen blogger and I've been searching for someone who clicked with my own self and I have to say you are by far the most interesting person I've come across.

A-Girl said...

Ok. I am amused as to how you stay so positive despite your 'dark' posts :-P

The stereotype that amused me no end recently used for me (to explain my "situation") was: "she must be a lesbian" hahahha :D

Please write more often, at least 3 posts a week. ok? I enjoy reading :)

Searcher said...

Hey Blackbird, welcome to my world. I'm glad you're having fun :)

A-Girl... I write whenever I have something to say :) The rest of the time, I'm meeting deadlines. It's a life :)

A-Girl said...

Random question, (guess not so random since you say you yourself write movies) which are your most favorite romantic films of all time?

Michele Gobert said...

I can truly identify with your post. Funny, I never thought I would marry. I just wanted kids. My dreams of then are not what my life has become. Because of that, some days I struggle to find my way back to who I am. Granted, I love my family, but I have lost pieces of myself. I like your honesty and your ability to be as you are despite societal views.

Searcher said...

Thanks Michele.. All I can say is that losing parts of yourself isn't necessarily a bad thing. It just depends on what you replaced those missing parts with... and you seem to have made interesting choices. Keep at it... it all does work out. Promise :)