18 July 2008

On marriage

Some who know me may wonder why, at my relatively advanced age, I am not married or have anything near a glimmer of prospects for marriage. Well, if you ever encounter me in person, you might begin to understand why - besides my endearing character (sarcasm), officially I am "obese" as measured by the scientific yardstick (which in my opinion is as flawed as the health Nazis who came up with it). But I digress.

Of course I have mentioned the social struggles of my past and their significance toward my wholesale marginalization. But that is not the true cause, either. I could probably make myself "marketable", in a manner of speaking, if I so decided and put forth the effort. But I feel no great need to do so.

The truth is that those who are significantly different in a manner of thinking and acting are not going to gel well with the rest of society. In my case, my unorthodoxies and offenses against dickhead sensibilities (the only ones that matter in today's world, unfortunately) are numerous: I live in the Black ghetto as a White man; I refuse to buy into the false materialist suburban dream to which everyone else aspires; I intentionally enclose myself in a sort of social Batcave; I prefer classic soul/blues/R&B to the latest "indie" rock band that sounds just like every other one; I eschew flash and image for cold realities, in thought and in speech. (If you read this blog regularly you likely understand what I mean by "cold realities.")

I prefer this lifestyle, at least for the time being. Sure, it would be nice to share it with someone, but I don't think any respectable White woman would care to date someone who lives in the NoFlo. (For those who don't understand jive, that means north of Florida Boulevard.) Especially an obese loner with a checkered past.

I understand these obstacles and simply live with them. Does it get lonely at times? Of course. But I find ways to amuse myself, though likely you wouldn't find what I do for fun to be anything near amusing. 

So marriage is not in the cards for me, at least not for the forseeable future, and perhaps ever. And in any case, maybe this is a good thing.

Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. I seem to encounter broken families everywhere - single parent homes, children who spend one week with the father and the next with the mother, odd permutations of "step" families, etc. I guess I just have that kind of luck.

I don't want to wind up divorced. Rejection is my worst fear; not to mention the legal expenses up the wazoo that follow the end of a marriage. And in my opinion divorce is a sin. (That's my Catholic upbringing for you again.) It is not good for families (particularly children) or for society.

Yet divorce would probably be the outcome of any marriage that I enter into. I am not a particularly empathetic or "warm" person, so I doubt a woman could tolerate me for very long anyway. My cynicism is grating enough as it is (read this blog for proof), so I can't imagine how a woman could tolerate that for the long term. And I enjoy my private time to myself, so any marriage of mine would be in name only. In all, there is very little in me to love - little of value that another human being would find endearing or pleasant.

So taking myself "off the market" is in my opinion the best course of action, as it spreads the least hurt all around.

In any case, I fear that I truly do not have the capacity to love another person. I have lived by myself for so long and focused so much on my own life that I likely do not have enough left to give to another person.

Let me rephrase that to be more precise: I believe that fundamentally, per my character, I am unable to truly care about another person in the manner that a lifelong married partnership demands.

That is what it boils down to. But let it not be said that I am a malignant narcissist who goes out of his way to hurt people. A true narcissist could never see any wrong in his character, and would unquestioningly go about drawing people in, and then leaving them bruised and hurt, to only crumple them up like so much rubbish and move on to the next unsuspecting victim. On the other hand, I understand my flaws, and because I'd rather not spread around any unpleasantness (heaven knows my enemies would use that as a ready excuse to jettison me into permanent poverty), I choose not to inflict myself on others.

It is a simple but elegant solution, and one much in keeping with the philosophy of a free society: Leave me the hell alone.

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