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The Friday Morning Listen: Dar Williams – My Better Self

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The stereotype about marriage is that people are supposed to be fearful of it beforehand (guys especially!), miserable during it, and then philosophical and knowing after it falls apart. Television and film reinforce this constantly. Heck, media coverage makes it seem as if most marriages are ready to fly apart at any second. Hey, maybe most celebrity marriages aren't like 'regular' ones because most couples are not comprised of two filthy-rich attention whores. Just sayin'.

I never could relate to the fear thing but, then again, the distaste for commitment that is supposed to be a hallmark of "guy-ness" always seemed kind of foreign to my way of thinking. The idea of sharing part of my life with someone, even when I was very young, was always more attractive than the realities of serial dating and "playing the field."

As for the misery and the post-divorce philosopher thing? Yeah, I've been there, though I have to say that I never felt any smarter about things after I got divorced. I mean, you've got perfect hindsight and can see exactly where the trouble started, but these are things that you just can't see looking forward… at least I couldn't. Sure, sometimes I indulge and joke about "What the hell was I thinking?" The truth is that, like most people, I was thinking that we were doing the right thing. At the time, we really were.

TheWife™ likes to say that no matter what the intervening circumstances, we would always have ended up together — that if I'd met different people in college and moved to a completely different location, we still would have ended up in the same circle. This makes me think about the other (more positive) relationship stereotype, that of "the perfect other." The TheWife™ would admit to being the eternal optimist and so we have her idea about the inevitable intersection. I don't really agree with her there, but do actually like the "perfect other" idea. Obviously, it's only valid if the marriage works. Folks can scoff all they'd like but the "we complete each other" thing has a ton of truth in it. Not being the eternal (or even part-time) optimist, I honestly shudder to think of how things might be now if I'd taken a different path all those years ago. On the other hand, I listen to songs like Dar Williams' "Miss You Til I Meet You" and think that I'm incredibly glad we finally met.

Big doings in the family tomorrow. John (you know him as Stepson #1) and Kelsey are getting married. Me and TheWife™ wish them all the best and hope that their travels in life have a lot less bumps than ours did.

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About Mark Saleski

  • True enough Bicho. True enough.

  • Hathaway found someone, so there’s hope

  • I envy anyone who found Mrs. Right. In my case, that would be the rarest of souls willing to tolerate all of my bullshit. Fat chance there.


  • heh, well i actually could have gone to the bachelor party but didn’t…so there will be no first-hand reports. 😉

  • So is Motley Crue – Girls, Girls, Girls going to be next week’s FML about the bachelor party?

  • Mark,

    Brings to mind one of my favorites by Waylon,
    Wrong. The video and lyrics are all there. God knows how many times I played it at the end of my love affairs.

    “It was a picture perfect wedding we had the whole world at our feet
    Everyone thought we were heading down a lovers easy street
    We’d have a house out in the country a picket fence the whole nine yards
    They said our love would last forever it was written in the stars.
    Wrong I should have known it all along
    When the future looks too bright
    Can’t be anything but right wrong.
    I was all but devastated when she told me we were through
    In a while the heartache faded and I found somebody new
    I swore that this time would be different I had it all figured out
    I wouldn’t make the same mistakes I knew what love was all about.
    Wrong I should have known it all along
    When the future looks too bright
    Can’t be anything but right wrong.
    Wrong everything was going strong
    The sky was always blue
    Thought my dreams had all come true wrong wrong…”

  • Keep writing like this and you are going to lose your curmudgeon label.