forever?

in an attempt to respond to a blog written by belle_fleur, i discovered that in my reply resided an entire argument, much too complicated and highly subjective to be taking up the space of a mere reply. thusly, i am speaking my mind in my own little corner and await with heightened curiosity the response my attitude, toward a little thing called love-and-marriage in the 21st century, will receive.

in her blog, belle expresses her concern and disappointment over a research study, the conclusions of which have arrived at the general opinion that the divorce rate is seemingly climbing the charts during times of terminal illnesses. 50% of all marriages in America end in divorce. in other words one in every two couples opts for a dissolution of marriage. this is quite unsettling. and it becomes even more so when you throw ovarian, breast and testicular cancer into the mix and are suddenly left with an unsolvable equation of principles of the old, and struggles of the new. you can read belle’s blog here:

http://bfleur.blogspot.com/2007/09/til-death.html

marriage is the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc (from the dictionary). the key word here, for the purpose of my argument, is the “social” part. this particular institution was established by society and it is not inherent. we learn as we grow older by watching, doing and observing that we are expected to find prince charming or sleeping beauty and live…of course…happily ever after. this is drilled and instilled in our tiny absorbing brains over and over with perpetual vengeance and determination, by our parents, aunts and uncles, by the fairy tales, by the books, by our teachers and mentors, and by movies and television.

why do people get married?

at the heart of this concept we call marriage should be, ideally, love. two people meet, greet, fall in love, make love, make house, make babies, built family, history and traditions and live together for the rest of their lives. it sounds lovely and comforting, sure. however, as it turns out, there is a host of reasons people marry, besides the L-word.

my own parents, for instance, first locked eyes through an arranged meeting. luckily, they liked what they saw. they’ve been together for thirty years and will continue to do so until their very last days on earth, so i guess one could call that meeting a success. but that’s not to say that these two people, who were suddenly put together side by side with no volition of their own and then expected to act as one, didn’t have their fair share of pain and suffering. even as problems arose and reality set, during the late seventies/early eighties, the dissolution of their union wasn’t even an option. why? because my parents, just like the millions of people that have married and continue to do so in the present, had tied the knot merely because the time had arrived for them to get married, the family had assigned future significant others with “excellent potential,” and lastly but more importantly because it was imperative and expected by society that these two people marry. divorce, on the other hand, was a matter filed under the category of shame in the old communist days of my homeland, albania. the stigma attached to unmarried people, and more specifically to unmarried women, to this day carries a significant amount of disappointment and failure as old childhood dreams are shattered and wishful thinking comes into clear view. this can be devastating and affects both parties: the unwed and those who expect them to marry.

the following might sound absurd but it’s oh-so-real. couples have been known to marry out of convenience, out of fear, out of the sharing of particular activities, legal or not. couples have been known to marry simply for financial stability, for the improvement of an already dysfunctional relationship, as a result of surprise pregnancies, and out of severe fear of ending up alone. marrying for the wrong reasons will, no doubt, lead to the wrong exit. alas, there are plenty who marry because they are in fact very much in love and happy. but why the legalization? it is widely known that a piece of paper does not solidify a relationship. in fact, it acts as a guard, holding the ground outside love’s door, and should the parties practice their freedom toward dissolution it only slows down and threatens the process of divorce. and isn’t it a shame that such a noble notion should live its last days drenched in the type of misery and threat only offered by the pool of legal bureaucracy?

when marriages of then and now are compared and contrasted the gap that emerges between them is significantly wide. why is it then, that we insist upon using principles and applications of the old when the very minds who created them did not have the slightest clue about life in the 21st century? surely, there was a time and place in history when the legalization of love was perhaps necessary for the benefit of families and societies. men provided and women nurtured so, it was only practical that these activities marry. and beneficial. life expectancies were much shorter, living conditions and the status quo much stricter so really, securing a union between a woman and a man must have sounded like an excellent idea. people led simplified lives dictated by rigid social conformity and religious rules. freedoms were taken away in attempts to keep societies “intact.” one could say that the very institution of marriage served for a better behaved, contained society with a common goal: to provide for an immediate family in hopes of reproducing and maintaining the nucleus of said family.

why the forever notion? is that even natural?

today, as we are faced with the full fledged force of modernity while practicing freedom of expression and action, we find ourselves confronted with a whole new set of morals and ethics. the “til death do us part”aspect is one that derives from religious backgrounds, more specifically christianity. when man and woman proclaimed “i do” it was done so in an attempt to promise god that their union was so holy it was to remain permanent. in the present, as scientific theory and freedom of religion is encouraged and practiced, agnosticism and atheism are becoming more popular, so in turn, who are those people exactly vowing to? the government? each other? and why are they being sown a scarlet letter to their chest or plastered with indecency should they decide for dissolution. the reptilian brain is very much active in each and everyone of us and it persistently wants to remind us that our primal instincts aren’t concerned, not even in the slightest amount, with rigid principles of religion or consistent conformity.

it is my opinion, folks, that marriage or the forever is not natural. and that is why we keep failing.

marriages end up in divorce because, as it is often the case, couples realize that marriage is NOT the nectar of the gods our childhood dreams carried into adulthood had made it to be. in fact, and i speak from the stand point of a married woman, i’ve found marriage to be one of the most noble and equally difficult concepts, both in doing and theory. existing as separate from the world while tending to your immediate needs is a lot easier, albeit less meaningful, than existing as a union in a reality full of tasty little obstacles, trials, errors and temptations. we live in a society where such union implies that two people suddenly turn into one. we also live in a society where self-sufficiency and empowerment is embraced and encouraged. these two facts, when positioned side by side, seem to create a somewhat conflicting situation.

it is also my opinion that most people are children in adults’ clothing. tending to the ego, one’s impulsive desires and immediate needs is an easy task. realizing that every step one takes subsequently affects the path of his/her partner, isn’t exactly easy. especially, especially, as was/is my personal case, when independence has been encouraged and practiced pre-marriage. as it turns out, when children find themselves in adult situations, they get scared and run for the hills. hence, divorce. let’s face it, we are driven by our egos, both as means of survival and self-gratification. and when we marry we really mean well. at the moment. some of us are strong, wise and whole enough to know and understand the obstacles even before they arrive so as not to react shocked and awed when the honey moon phase is over. those are the kind of people that succeed in many aspects of their life, should their dedication arise toward said aspects. it is this understanding and compassion geared toward humanity that allows for a more peaceful flow of affairs. but, and this is a huge BUT, many of us are knuckleheads. and impulsive. and though we really want it to be forever, we realize that we simply don’t have the tools to keep the fortress of marriage up and going.

Klodi

Love is….

February 14, 2007!!! Many people today will celebrate this day as the San Valentine, the day of love. So much publicity about this day but do the people really know the full meaning of true love? They spent so much money just for one single day thinking that they will make happy the person they love by buying them flowers, chocolate, teddy bears, nice dinners in expensive restaurants, and the list goes on.


I wish people would stop and think more of this word when they express to the one they love, and not expressing it only this day of the year, but they should be more loving and more tender to one another. I wish that this love would be expressed all year long and not only today.
I decided to quote a few verses from the Bible where the Apostle Paul talks about love. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always perseveres. Love never fails”!!!

I love the last verse and i wish that people would think more on this one. I believe that true love never fails no matter what? I hear people often say “i am not in love with this person any more, its all over, it didn’t work out btw the two of us, etc…. I wonder when these people express their feelings to the one they love, do they do it just for good days, and in the rainy days they forget the promise they have made once??

Anyhow, i wish all of you that will read my blog “A Happy Valentine’s Day” May you give love and receive love because its both ways, and most importantly don’t forget to love all year long even when the other person disappoints you or makes you mad.

Belle

‘Til death

Today’s article in the daily Metro newspaper mentioned that people that develop cervical or testicular cancer may face another harsh reality: “They are more likely to get divorced than those without the disease”.

– Men and women with cancer are more likely to divorce than those without it.
– Older couples are less likely to divorce since they might be more committed.
– Those who get get cervical or teristical cancer at an older age are less likely to divorce.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read the article. God forbid if one person faces a problem or a terrible sickness like the one mentioned from the European Cancer Society, otherwise we would be doomed for life, because our chances of getting divorce are higher.

What’s happening in today’s society? What happened to the core values that molded each one of us? What happened to the promises that people give to one another? I guess the vows for better or for worse don’t mean anything because when life crisis or health problems arise their solution is divorce:( I have never been pro divorce unless in extreme situations. Sometimes, things don’t work out between two people and its better for them to go their separate ways. But, reading this saddens me even more. The chances to get a divorce are higher if one of the partners is diagnosed with cancer. Instead of, being close to each other, going through such a unpleasant experience, showing more affection and telling your loved one that no matter what happens we will see it through together, one of the partners, decides to walk away and leaving the other one in the field of battle all alone. Wow! Do such people really exist? Can they really plug the life out of the person that once upon a time declared their unconditonal love until death separated them? Apparantly not! Their egos is much higher than the welfare of their beloved wife/husband, all they can think of is “me, poor me, what’s happened to me”. How pathetic?!

I guess the real promises and vows that people make now days do not count. So, dear friends be careful of who you choose to share the rest of your life with? It might happen that the one person you would have given your life for would not do the same thing for you.

Belle

The difference between them and us

through her eye

evi and i were casually drinking our morning coffee while breaking the yolks over the whites and discussing the state of our affairs as dea, evi’s five year old daughter, laid on the carpet, stomach down, and drew a little boy throwing a big boot into a giant trash can. a peculiar imagination, i know. i randomly mentioned how a certain health problem was becoming the catalyst that stirred quite a few heavy aspects … not to mention the severe damage being done to pockets, wallet and bank accounts. we sipped and chewed in between exchanges when dea suddenly sprang up and ran to her room. after some considerable amount of time in her own space and world, dea usually returns to the adult territory made over as a princess, or wearing some ridiculously glittery outfit, or dressed as a skater, headband, wristbands, skates and all, or simply with some very long “hair” by way of mom’s t-shirt on her head. that morning we heard her come back to us with what sounded like the jingle-jangle of coins. lots of them. she appeared at the door and was met with our wondering eyes. she held her piggy bank. “here klodi,” she said. “i have money.”

suddenly things didn’t look so bad.

in a social gathering that evi and her husband held, i stared at my tired face in the bathroom mirror and tried plastering some fake smile over it, preparing myself for the inquisitive minds outside. i looked and felt like utter shit but was determined to have a good time. i wear my heart on my sleeve and find it particularly hard to act against my feelings, but i would damned before i let myself shed another tear. just not on that day. i had promised myself. and so i carried on smiling. talking, but not really. listening, and yet so far. participating, but not quite. sneaked outside, into the backyard, for a minute, sat down and let my cheek muscles relax. took deep breaths and silently told myself. not another tear. not another tear. you promised. and then some movement behind me. “klodi, why are you so sad?” she asked in her little voice.

i broke the only promise i had made that day. and somehow, the load felt a bit lighter.

when her parents threw her a surprise party she was stunned. she just stood there and blushed and blushed and blushed. i could see her as a teenager or even a woman and marveled at her amazing sensibility. her many little and big friends and family gathered around her and sang to her. happy birthday dear dea. her eyes kept hopping around the room and the many faces and when she saw me she stopped. with smiling eyes and a pointed little finger toward herself she mouthed silently “I,” fingers in the air drawing a heart shape, “LOVE,” little finger pointing back to me, “YOU.” i did the same. she walked to me and gave me a hug.

indeed, the world seemed brighter and better.

Klodi