My name is Taylor and I am a cynic.
I come from a long line of cynics and, like most people with a problem, I surround myself with people who have similar vices. Some may rely on narcotics and booze- we come armed with cynicism and snark.
So this morning, when I was sent me link from my friend Lindsay titled “18 Joyful Declarations of Love,” followed by “60 Moments That Gave Me Chills,” I couldn’t help but laugh. Lindsay is the girl who inspired “How To Know If You’re In A Relationship,” one of my most read blog posts. Ever. She is also the girl who made secret “hidden” wedding/baby/relationship boards on Pinterest after we, her friends, discovered that she had been “liking” pins with a sentimental bent. She’s not exactly a fan of warm and funny.
But she commented, as she sent me these, that she hadn’t been prepared to tear up and as i scrolled through the pictures, neither was I.
I’m not wedding’s biggest fan. I’m not a fan of should-do’s and pomp and circumstance. I hate the way weddings and proposals and the like have a way of sucking the point out of a relationship. I hate big productions and the stress and dysfunction that comes with it.
And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little callous about the institution of marriage too. I’m a child of divorce. I can make a laundry list of my questions, comments and concerns for married couples, especially when those married couples get tense, get bitter and fall apart into once-again-singles with kids I probably end up projecting my own hang ups onto.
So what is different about the gay couple’s lining up in Seattle for the privilege of getting married? Why am I in tears?
Love is beautiful. I don’t think there is any denying that a demonstration of people’s commitment to the people they care about is a moving thing. And where we straight people have been taking for granted the institution for years- jumping in and out of marriages, treating it as a to-do, instead of a celebration of a shared desire to build a family and life together. It’s as much a stepping stone, a societal expectation as anything else.
And that’s not to say that there isn’t gay divorce, and 20 years from now, we all won’t be in the same dysfunctional marriage pool together. But for the time being, you can’t look at these people and not see a joy and a level of gratefulness, uncommon in straight counterparts. And that? That seems to warrant a bit of misty-ness, even from cynics like me.