Open Letter “Conscious Coupling” …Penguin Love…Please!
I’m not a Phd or Md or even a D for that matter in Relationships. Though I do love that letter for obvious reasons.
Nor have I done extensive research backed by grants and funds from prestigious schools of thought on marriage, relationships, and coupledom.
I am also not a Bible thumping believer in marriage at all costs or you will burn in hell and the children will be damned, scarred and forever wander in the desert of “can’t get it right, cuz mommy and daddy ain’t together no more. In fact I believe that being together only for the sake of the children can back fire terribly. I for one prayed nightly for my parents to divorce. The stress and strain of our parents unhappiness hung like a heavy wet wool blanket on a very hot day. Yuck.
What I am …is a regular
I believe in equal pay for equal work. A women’s right to choose and bedtime routines. I believe that kale is amazing, recycling is a must and M’M’s can change your outlook on life.
I can also easily grasp the idea that some might not wanna marry at all or procreate. Great! Marry and both be Boys or Girls. Go for it! You should be allowed to give it a whirl and see how you do just like the rest of us.
I am now and have always been obsessed with people and relationships and what makes them tick. Not in the gossipy non “Real House Wives” of Whatever-Ville way. But in the take apart the radio and put it back together…now turn it on does it still play… kinda way.
I was the kid playing in the kitchen while my mom and her friends talked so I could hear the latest. Collicky babies, men who didn’t want to commit, a new one pot dinner dish…I was hearing it all.
I was born into un-wed parentage, siblings by different fathers and a fierce amazing matriarch spirit who held the family together. My siblings and I cared nothing for the language of half’s and steps and so no matter our ration of blood we were full and we were love and we were mighty.
I knew God and church and brim stone. But no matter the brimstone what I hung, clung and clutched between my fingers like my life depended on it was Love.
It was what I searched the hallways of school for, the aisles of the church for, the playgrounds and the streets for…Love. No matter the upheaval of youth I knew it was all I needed.
“March of the Penguins” have you seen this movie? Oh the cold and the marching and the eggs and the babies and the mating and the hardship and the seals and the cold. The bone chilling cold and of course the voice. I am riveted by this story. I literally cry every time I see it. Simply every frame is filled with the fiber of Love. It helps them survive the weather the hardship the heartbreak the seals…if you ask me it was Love.
I wanted some of that Penguin Love.
I have read the article of “Conscious Uncoupling”. I like others giggled a little at the title. Some more New Age-y speak, ok fine bring it on. Upon reading I loved the point. There has to be a way to take apart, what was once together, in a sane, peaceful dare I say loving way. I stood up and cheered. Please oh please can we have more of that. Even if it comes with a ceremony performed by a group of small pointy nosed men and ashes I’m still in. But there was one cord that struck me as being off key. In fact it totally fell flat to my ears and haunted me for days. It was the idea that… marriage in it’s concept just doesn’t really …well …work… anymore! We live longer, we cannot expect marriage to last the distance. I heard biology, psychology, don’t expect…we are not equipped…no work for us no more.
I myself am on my second marriage I could be seen as living in a glass house but I have no stones to throw. What I do know is that as I walked down that first aisle towards a kind young man. I knew like I knew grass looked better green that this was not for me. And yet I walked and I spoke up when asked and I gave my consent. I was fresh out of college. I could blame my youth. But it would be an untruth. I knew. I was clear on the un- rightness of this coupling. But I was also hopeful in equal measure. Maybe all that I “saw” and “felt” would grow differently with the right amount of sun, water, jobs and friends. And then there was his sweetness and his true love of me. Oh how I needed that Love. So I reached up and grabbed it with a “I Do”!
“Are you married in a relationship…do you have kids”? It’s my question. My party, bbq, social mingle, PTA, church meeting, park bench conversation. It’s my question. I believe everyone has one. A question that though not scientific in nature sheds light on who this new person before us might be. My aunts question is what school did you attend? Education is always her question. My friends question is where do you come from? Birth location answers a lot I guess. And another guy friends wants to know what sport what team? I pity the person with lack of both.
But my question has always been married or not…kids how many? I have gleaned a lot from the answering of this question. And more than the actual answer is the way the answer is delivered. “Ball and chain” style. “Been there done that” style. “God help me get out of this hole” style. “Surprisingly it’s going well” style. Oh and my favorite “So far so good” style. It’s better than a scientology personality test -this question. What has struck me most in all of my relationship conversation is how very few “surprise” relationship deaths there really are. In fact I actually stared to view them like an urban legend. Out of the blue for no reason at all he/ she started to drink, beat, hit, be distant, not care, freak out, bore me to tears, leave. They literally woke up a different person. Which I might add is very different then “growing” into another person. We are all “growing” into something every day depending on the conditions and the weather. Births, deaths, war, finances, jobs, too much or complete lack of chocolate they are all effecting how we grow. What we have not done so often is turn from being a peach into a turnip. This evolutionary leap does not happen as often as you might think. There was usually something a little fishy about that peach even in the beginning.
Most stories I have heard all read like a not so riveting episode of CSI. Clues clues everywhere clues. Clues that were ignored or swept over or not taken into evidence properly. Whether this happened because of youth, naiveté, slow on the uptake, the desire to see the best in people or really great sex. Most are not payed attention to for one simple reason. The “if I know then I have to do something” line of thinking. If I fain being duped then I’m not responsible to do anything. And since we are not ready to “Do” anything we plead the fifth, cross our fingers and hope for the best. Well of course until there is just one… smack, lie, not showing up, lazy ass on couch, no ambition, unkind, arrogant, rude, unthoughtful, selfish, drinking, uncaring, eating with mouth open, aaaaahhh moment too many. And then with one huge AHA!!! We suddenly know what we must do ….run, jump, divorce, sever, leave, escape this Loch ness monster.
I have been made to watch a gazillion nature shows with my kiddies. The Kratt Brothers, David Attenborough and Morgan Freeman narrate my days.
I have always been struck by the symmetry of nature. The adaptation. The single minded focus of survival. Just the decision on which water hole to drink from is the difference of life or death for the herd. Every species has their “way” of doing things but guaranteed all roads lead to optimal chance of survival model. Survival of the young being highest on the list. They are in fact their tomorrow their ultimate survival ticket.
The human species seem to be the only ones bucking the system. We are like breakdown on eco system number nine. It seems to me and yes correct me if I am wrong that it takes two to make a thing go right. Yep that’s a hip hop song from the mid eighties. But two not one. And let’s be extra clear it really takes more than that. In case you haven’t heard it takes a Village. Aunties and Uncles and Grandparents and Friends and Peoples. But in the beginning to “make a life” it takes two. Even if you find a way to be one…if you want to make a child it’s gonna take two. And again correct me if I am wrong but it seems our species our children seem to do better (again arguably) with two. We are talking optimal health. Optimal survival. Some ying some yang I’m not talking sex…I’m talking energy. I’m talking about a family unit and I’m talking about everyones happiness. I’m sure some single parents are as happy as a pie lover in a pie shop. But I think if given the right person a little help and some partnership might really come in handy. Again I could be wrong.
And yet with the idea of Conscious Uncoupling we again embrace the idea that we are not “made” to do the two thing successfully. For very long. But since we can’t kick the kids out until at least 18 yrs old (ok fine maybe 16 yrs old in some states) and you know they still wanna stay past that. Then we are saying that “We the people” are not “built” for their optimal happiness model.
Just a moment I want to raise a tentative hand in the back of the class and ask. If every other species has in their DNA their ultimate survival game plan. Might not we also have this blueprint in our DNA. The ability to couple successfully for the ultimate survival and health and happiness of all involved.
Might this be “the way we were naturally designed” Might there be a homing device in us that turned on might attract the “really good for me” person for my person.
The reason that I pose this is that. What if we “knew” in our cells that coming together and being together for life was natural and the way we are “really built”. Might that feeling, that idea alone change the very nature of the union for our species. Might it release the ball and chain, the holding me down, the locked up, boring, same every day, no more excitement, sex with the same person ugh idea of …what marriage has become. Might it slowly start to thaw out the idea that it’s all just a crap shoot and that we are somehow going against our million sperm count to even try. Might we raise our boys and girls with the idea that marriage is great and good and fun and might that very idea produce a different outcome.
Einstein ( i think it was him who said) Just the observation changes a thing. Just the intent changes the out come. Just like the idea that school is hard, authority is oppressive, doing good in school is for the social rejects colors some kids school days for the worse. Most parents agree that unless you were born already knowing how to read, write and add. Your butt needs to go to school. Just because it’s challenging does not mean you don’t have to go. Just because it pulls it pushes, it makes your kids stress and strain. Even with the occasional boring teacher, or “overly” tough teacher. We don’t adapt to the idea that “school is just not natural” You know why because at our core we know two things…#1 the desire to learn is primal ask any parent watching a baby learn to move. You don’t really “teach” them to walk one day they are gonna want that cookie across the room and they are gonna scoot, crawl, walk or run to get it. #2 Well it’s just necessary for our survival. Cold cave man meet fire. And so we press on. We seek out great schools and inspiring teachers we search to see how our kid learns and how we can match their innate desire to a skill. We look for ways to stir the embers and light the fire. We know whether it’s sports or numbers, dance or the horn section once a child catches fire they are unstoppable.
And so before we add more fuel to the fire that is already burning so brightly that we are somehow not meant to be together …for that duration…under these circumstances in our lives today.
Before we do that.
Let’s sit with the idea for just a moment. That somehow the coming together with the perfect “for us” mate, that uplifts us and champions us, comforts us and sits with us. Someone who if you decide yes on children will stay and help raise them. And then later will rock on the porch with you as the light turns to twilight.
Whatever sex, color or creed.
There is a someone for your someone.
For the sake of the children for our species survival.
Let’s just rest on the naturalness of that…
for a moment