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what's love got to do with it
thoughts on a marriage of convenience
by robert a. melos
7.15.09
pop culture

The woman was pretty, for being of a certain age. The hesitation in her voice was noticeable as she explained her situation, slowly unraveling a tale of woe, a tale of need, a tale that would lead, in many situations, to a romantic comedy plot twist or at least to a bad Fox sitcom starring Lisa Kudrow or maybe Courtney Cox. But this wasn't a script or a bad dream induced by too much fried rice and sake before bedtime; this was my life.

She paused ever so slightly as she broached the subject of marriage. Of course it would be in name only, as neither of us remotely liked one another and I was gay. Interestingly enough it was the latter part, my sexuality, which made me such an attractive prospect and made her comfortable enough to propose such an absurd proposition. After all, since I was gay any marriage to a woman would be sexless. The fact she and I disagreed on everything we've ever spoken of made me smirk as I listened to her talk because I thought to myself that given a sexless marriage between two people who constantly disagreed it would be just like a real straight marriage.

I won't go further into detail of her reason for such an absurd proposal because it is inconsequential. What matters is how this proposal affected the way I think.

For a long time I never gave marriage a thought. I knew I was gay and homosexuals didn't get married. Growing up I figured I had escaped that bullet. No marriage for me, so I didn't have to deal with the shoes and rice thing. I still don't get the shoes part. Who throws shoes, aside from irate Iraqi reporters and then they only throw them at lame duck Presidents. Anyway, life breezed along until some militant homosexuals decided they wanted all the same legal rights associated with a marriage between one man and one woman.

Great! After years of security in the knowledge that I would be forever single, unattached, unhitched, free, suddenly the pressure to find Mr. Right and settle down was on. No longer could I blithely go on my merry way flitting from one incredibly hot guy to another (okay, let me have my fantasy on that one). Thanks to the legislation in several states it was now possible to either marry or have a civil union with a member of the same sex.

I was distracted by a lot of other things in life, aside from the lack of a boyfriend, so I still tried not to give marriage much thought, but I was growing up, evolving, changing into the mature man I have become who suddenly, on some occasions, fantasized about standing in a wedding chapel in Vegas (I love the idea of a Vegas wedding), next to an incredibly handsome stud (hey, it's my fantasy) pledging eternal love until death do us part.

Again I would push all these thoughts from my mind, have another drink, and go on about my life alone. I'd managed to do this frequently until the proposal of a marriage of convenience forced me to look deep within myself and examine my feelings toward the institution of marriage.

I know the heterosexual world, at least some of them; hold marriage to be a sacred union. I don't mean the people who demand it be labeled a union between one man and one woman, but those who actually believe in marriage as a union between two people who love one another and want to spend the rest of their lives legally bound together in holy matrimony.

I agree with those people. I know this is a shock because it came as quite a shock to me to realize I really do believe in the sanctity of marriage between two people who love one another and who, for whatever reason, feel the need to legally bind themselves together. I even feel that, if I can meet the right guy, I might one day like to enter into such a union. I also feel that such a union should not be entered into lightly, or for the convenience of circumstances.

I could no more marry someone for convenience if the proposal had come from a man whom I did not love. I guess I'm a romantic at heart, something I'm loathe to admit, but now that a real marriage, one that would be real for me with a member of the same sex, is legal and possible in New Jersey, and in six other states, the thought of marrying for convenience appalls me. I know people have all sorts of reasons for getting married. Money, inheritance, citizenship, emotional security, but I can see only one reason for getting married. Love.

So the proposal of convenience was turned down, but it opened my eyes to what I want and expect from marriage, and that is what everyone wants and expects on some level; to be loved, honored, respected, and cherished, until death do you part. Maybe one day soon this will be possible in all 50 states, and throughout the world, and maybe by then I'll have met Mr. Right.


ABOUT ROBERT A. MELOS

Robert is the author of the novels Cool Mint Blue, Melba Ridge, and the recently released The Adventures of Homosexual Man and Lesbian Lad; and the creator of the on-line comix Impure Thoughts found at his web site Inside R.A. Melos, as well as having been an on-line staff writer for QBliss where he had a monthly humor column, Maybe A Yip, Maybe A Yap. In his non-writing time, when he's not studying the metaphysical or creating a tarot deck, he sells real estate in Middlesex County New Jersey, hangs out with his dog Zeus, and spends time at the Pride Center of New Jersey in Highland Park, NJ, where he is on the Board of Trustees.

more about robert a. melos

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