Wednesday, September 27, 2006

living in sin is GREAT

Yesterday, while I was locking the door to the condo, an older woman was holding the elevator for me. I rushed in there and thanked her profusely. With a thick Spanish accent, she asked me, “Are you new to the building?” Jesse and I have seen this woman before and we’ve been friendly with her. Perhaps she didn’t remember. I replied, “No, I’ve been here a couple of months.” She said, “Oh, I never see you before. I in unit XXX.” I said, “I’m in unit XXY. My name is Liz.” As she shook my extended hand, she said, “I’m Maria.” As we walked out of the building together, she told me, “I’m wonna take de bus. You too?” I told her that I was headed there too and we made some small talk on our way to the bus stop.

The wait for the bus was longer than usual. I guess Maria isn’t one for uncomfortable silences so she kept on talking and talking. At some point she told me a story about how she bought her condo really cheap (5 years ago at $85000!!!) and how she’s really glad that she did. She then asked me, “Do you rent oh own?” I told her, “My boyfriend owns the unit and I live with him.” Her reply: “Oh and you not married?” I calmly said, “No.” And then the uncomfortable silence began…and continued until my bus came. I did a little small wave goodbye as I was getting on the bus and she did not respond.

I thought it was very strange that she stopped talking to me. I also thought it was a strange coincidence that she stopped talking to me when I told her that I am unmarried and living with my boyfriend. I’m not sure how to react to that. I don’t really care what she thinks of me personally. But I wonder if she started to judge me for not being married yet living with a man. After all, she is an older woman. I’m sure that my situation is completely unacceptable in her eyes.

My interaction with Maria made me think about my mom’s reaction to living with Jesse. I’ve blogged about her and her conservative, religious thinking before. So it should come as no surprise that she wasn’t pleased that I was living with Jesse initially. My mom understood that the opportunity arose when I decided not to live with Not-So-Smart Girl. She didn’t want me to live with her, knowing that she had already caused so much drama in my life and I had yet to become her roommate. She wanted me to be happy and she knew that living with Jesse would make me happy. But still, she wasn’t pleased. Shortly after moving in, my mom told me, “He’ll never marry you now.”

I refuse to blog about my mom’s comment because then I would feel that I am validating it. However, is it so wrong to live with your significant other while not married (I suppose it’s wrong from a religious perspective, but let’s just take that out of the equation for now)? I don’t see my situation this way, but I can see why some people would do this as a trial run for marriage. Every relationship takes work, but living together puts it on a whole new work level. Now that we live together, compromising has never been more important. Rather than thinking of “me,” we have to think about “we.” It definitely took some adjusting at first, but Jesse and I are doing well now. For other couples, living together may not work out as well. If you're not open to compromise, the living situation will not work. If you're using it as a way to get to know each other before marriage and you're not willing to compromise, then maybe you're not ready to take the next step. Wouldn't it be better to find out now then to realize this one year into marriage?

In a world where over 50% of marriages end in divorce, where’s the harm in practicing?

Jesse and I are happy together and marriage has nothing to do with it. Regardless, it’s none of Maria’s business.

1 comment:

DCWeddingPhotog said...

Yeah, I agree.

Our generation saw many of our friends and parents get divorced (luckily, my parents didn't) and have a totally different outlook on what marriage is and how it should work.

We don't want to screw it up. We saw what it did to our friends and other children. It was ugly and not fair.

"Living in sin" is a good idea if you're in the right type of relationship and it's the right time. It's not for everyone, but people who totally blow it off as a bad idea are crazy. And probably divorced. ;-)