LEATHER AND LACE
So this week in California, Judge Vaughn Walker overturned the voter driven ban on gay marriage, aka Prop 8. Now, I could care less really. Gay or straight, marriage is not a huge deal for me, I have avoided marriage for the better part of my ____ years. You wanna get married, great, go for it. Is it the fact that the law says you can’t that gets your undies all in a bundle? Ahh, well, OK then, rebelling against the law is totally rock and roll and something I can get behind. So the law says two dudes or two broads can’t get married, we’ll see about that. But wait, current marriage statistics say that between 45-50% of all first marriages end in divorce (and even higher in second and third marriages), so I would ask “Why would you want to enter into anything with those odds?”. I hate to sound like too much of a cynic, and I am not a gambling man, but Christ, with those odds, it just seems like it’s tough to win.
My ladyfriend and I went to go see “The Kids Are All Right” the other night (shut up and see it…brilliant). And we do battle from time to time, as most couples do. Not Russell Crow “Gladiator” battles (anymore) but normal human misunderstandings and miscommunications. We fumble our way through them to try and determine the root cause and work it out. As near as I can tell and the way I was brought up, all pretty normal behavior. Well, there is a scene in the third act of the movie where Julianne Moore stands in front of her family and tells them what it’s like to be in a marriage. And if you, regardless of sexual preference, are not remotely moved by it, well perhaps you should not be married at all…ever. She nails it. Married or not, long term relationships are tough.
But is marriage inherently bourgeois or can it be part of the rock and roll spirit? If I wrote this forty years ago, my answer would have been different, but as I write this now, hell yea marriage is rock and roll! Divorce is bourgeois. The tables have turned my brethren! Everyone fucking gets divorced and it’s the few that slog through the shit and actually stay married. I never in a million years would have thought that I would be writing that my parents are “rock and roll” cuz they’ve been married for almost 50 years. Truthfully, I suspect they are equally as uncomfortable with me writing that. Fuck, even Al and Tipper Gore are getting divorced. And as Tipper was the loudest voice behind the PMRC and their stand against “offensive music” I suppose it only makes sense that she and Al split. If marriage is rock and roll and divorce bourgeois, where else would we expect the queen of the music police to end up? And who in the world would ever equate Al Gore with rock and roll, but alas there it is.
I know, I know, what do I know about it, I am not married and never have been Well, it’s not like I have not had the opportunity. I have. I have also lived with two women, so I have a very very rough idea. But look, it’s not rocket surgery is it? You commit to one person entirely and in every capacity. Oh, good God, I am sure that it can get boring, but as long as you have a healthy and loving partner, you should have no difficulty finding ways to keep it “alive”. I am sure there are times that it sucks ass. I’m sure there are times when you wanna strangle them. I live with my cat Lulu, she gets on my nerves and she doesn’t even talk! You don’t run when it gets hard. If it’s all you have ever known, then I suppose I can kinda get it. You’re going to get bored with the other person. There are ways around that. But if you have half a brain and give a shit about the other person, you don’t give up. You communicate. You TRY to communicate as best you can. And more often than not, it means someone has to eat some crow. “Some days you are the pigeon and some days you are the statue.” Relationships are give and take. You give and they take, they give and you take…but you should always be giving 110% and they should be taking it and the reverse should be true.
But lemme point out, if there is abuse of any kind, in any way shape or form…get the fuck out. If your significant other goes Gibson on you, get out. No one deserves that no matter what the provocation.
Support your significant other. Make sure you feel supported. If either of you don’t feel it, talk about it…it may sting to say or to hear, but if you love them, it’ll be worth it. And laying it on the line is what rock and roll is all about. Listen, it’s butt easy to support your partner when they are successful, but are you supporting them when they are struggling towards the goal? When there is the possibility that they will fail miserably? When no one is listening, reading or watching, are you their biggest champion? Do you tell everyone you know how awesome they are? Do you publicly defend them in their idiocy and privately call them out on it? Do you tell them what is working and what is not working? Are you honest with them? Do you lift them up when they are down? Do you help them strive towards their goal? If you don’t believe in your partner and what they are trying to achieve, you should think about where you are.
Now look, one’s goals are always going to be different for everyone but the norm of most people is to slam those people doing what their heart tells them, whether it is the pursuit of art, attaining an MBA, or just slogging their way up the corporate ladder at a seemingly mundane job, doesn’t it stand to reason that the rebel would stand up for the folks fighting the norm? As a partner it is your goal to help them achieve their goals. It benefits you both and builds a stronger bond. The true rock and roll spirit goes against the norm, not out of malice but out of passion. Be passionate in your support, but be real. If you don’t believe in your partners work or goals, don’t fake it til you make it, get out, you’ll never make it If you don’t understand it, ask questions. If you don’t like it, don’t try to. Try to find out what it is about the goal that makes them so driven by it. Be supportive. Just. Be. Real. It is passion that drives rock and roll, it is passion that drives a career, it is passion that drives a relationship, it will be passion that drives a marriage, regardless of sexual preference. And yes, it will always be in flux.
Gay, straight, transgender (pre or post op), as long as it is two human beings, the question remains is marriage rock and roll? Fuck yea it is! Should we care of their gender? No. Finding someone who loves you, who supports you, who challenges you, who knows you, who gets you, flies a giant middle finger in the face of those people that bailed on a marriage or that stayed in one out of convenience or kids or had a marriage arranged for them either by cultural norms or social pedigree. And it don’t get more rock and roll than sticking it to “the man”. If you make the commitment to marriage, go for the long haul. Unless your goal is to be bourgeois.
No one is getting out of here alive and sharing your joys, fears, pains, success, failure, laughter and all that jazz with one person…well, that’s rock and roll to me.
“Life is very short, and there’s no time
For fussing and fighting, my friend.
I have always thought that it’s a crime,
So I will ask you once again.
Try to see it my way,
Only time will tell if I am right or I am wrong.”