with Kristin Darguzas
I am equal parts Mother, Lover, Obsessor and Workaholic, tripping between unfolded laundry, discarded granola wrappers and assorted memory sticks to and unearthing treasures and various garbage. The blended family unit is an increasingly common structure, and an often perplexing one. Here I'll navigate up the mountain of exes, legality, awkward questions, work balance and attention division - hopefully in time to inhale deeply and enjoy the view at the top.
On our first date, Corey and I walked around the seawall. I wore inappropriately large heels and slouched a little, sussing him silently out of the corner of my eye. He had a ridiculously contagious laugh and eyes that shocked me with their depth and I hoped he wouldn’t make me look at him straight on, because I had an allergic reaction to some skin toner and my skin was peeling off the side of my chin.
I hugged him goodbye and called my best friend, breathlessly, after our first meeting.
“Wow,” is what I ended up saying,“I am scared to say what I think about this guy.”
But the truth was I was already thinking it: if he was as he seemed to be, I could fall in love.
And I did: 6 months into this and I am still aghast that I have found this man who is intelligent, charismatic, beautiful — and amazing with my son. And he is gainfully employed! And he digs me too!
I didn’t foresee this. I spent 2 years single, just my son and I, and I expected I’d nurture him, raise him, and then surround myself with cats, bobby pins and fuzzy pink jogging pants.
“So…do you think you’ll marry him?”
This is the question I’ve been deflecting lately: from good friends, readers, relatives, everyone. It’s meant in good spirit and in all honesty: I think I would like to marry him, eventually, there couldn’t possibly be anyone more compatible with Nolan and I. But, then, maybe not?
I have some friends in Europe, most of whom are in long-term relationships with men: the father of their children, in many cases. When I think of long term Hollywood couples, I think: Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins. Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. Neither of these couples are married. Coincidence?
I’m hurtling toward my mid thirties, and I’ve been engaged, but never married. I’ve seen friends get married young and go through agonizing divorces. I have acquaintances stuck in loveless marriages, I have trusted confidantes who whisper: “Marriage ruins it.”
I get that marriage signifies a commitment to the greater world that two people are in love, committed, believe they will be together for the long haul. But is that reason enough? With a 40% divorce rate, does it mean anything?
If my four-year old son weren’t part of this picture, I’d be inclined to say that I probably would rather commit myself through actions and conduct over marriage. But with my status as a single Mom, I’d fear the stigma - and associated reflection on Nolan - if my boyfriend and I lived together indefinitely, without permanent legally recognized status. And so, yes, I do think that marriage is probably in the cards for us, if things continue as they are.
But if it weren’t for societal judgment, I’d tell you that I secretly don’t believe marriage is necessary. Do you?
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