Saturday, January 8, 2011

Babies & Marriages are Not Mutually Inclusive

Many of my hetero, newly married friends are often amazed by the responses they get to “Yay! We are married!” The questions that follow sometimes ask about the honeymoon or ask about the wedding but 85% of the time the first question is: “So, when are you going to have children?” For some friends, the answer is easy – “right away,” “never,” “in a few years” – but for others, who already know about personal, forthcoming issues with infertility, or who have already decided on adoption, the answer gets a little tricky. Not to mention, the assumption that just because one is in a hetero-marriage means they will start procreating is problematic.
                For Funk and I, we had the opposite question. As soon as friends and family found out about the invisible manufacturing of Droidlet, after a moment of surprise (more usually, shock) the first question was some variation on “So when/are you going to get married?” Then, Funk and I would stare blankly, probably with our mouths slightly open. We were about to have a BABY (?!?!?!?!!!!!!!). We weren’t thinking about wedding bells and doves.
                From one side of my family, I understood this. They are Catholic, so in their eyes, Funk and I should have been ushered up to the altar before Droidlet was even a bump on my belly, given our sacred blessing, and “Oh! So funny that Droidlet’s first birthday is only six months after your first wedding anniversary! *insert denial laughter*” I remember a very awkward conversation over Japanese food with my nana: “Wait, you’re not getting married before the baby is born?” A shake of our heads and then the nana stare; that not-quite-a-glare-but-you-know-I-disapprove kind.
                Funk and I had only been together for three months when Droidlet production began. There was no way we were going to rush into a marriage. The whole “stay together for the kids” can be damaging – I’m thankful my parents didn’t do that or my childhood would have been much more miserable. I never knew them as a couple so I never missed them as a couple. And yes, growing up with separated parents comes with its own set of hard to buckle baggage, but so does growing up in a home with constant fighting and miserable parents. Instead, I have four amazing parents and two incredible brothers from each of their new unions.
                As it turns out, Funk and I love each other and want to be together for the rest of our lives. In part because we have our little family that we began and want to continue to build together. In part.  I’d like to think, though, that if we had found neither of us were happy  and that our ability as parents would be better apart, that we would have made that decision – not just for us, but for Droidlet. Our decision to get married is mostly because he is (and I am for him) the person I choose to go on this adventure with for a million and one reasons – yes, to raise a family, but also to travel and watch Dr. Who with, because he genuinely likes my vegan food even though he’s a carnivore and because we both want Droidlet growing up in a home where gender, sexuality, and identity is questioned/explored/expressed.  
                Of course, when I hear this: “If you were a car, you would have a racing stripe” (Funk’s way of telling me I’m lookin’ hot), I know he’s the one for me. Funk is, literally, my best friend. So, of course he is the one I want to hang out with everyday and make this commitment to. (Caveat: The philosophy behind marriage, the way its industrialized, the battle for gay, lesbian, transgender, transsexual, bisexual, queer  couples in marriage, and what marriage means for us is going to be hitting this blog quite often, so I won’t go into all of those details right now.)
                What it comes down to, on either end of the spectrum, is that it would be great to hear responses to both newly-weds and newly pregnant couples be “Congrats! You’re in for an adventure.”


  1. You know we've had our similar but wholly different battles with this sort of topic. hah, I took my woman 2000 miles away from her home to live together in "sin" and start our own little relational diptych. My parents weren't totally stoked but understood completely. Hers definitely took it a little harder. But when it comes down to it all, screw 'em, we know what's best for our lives and do things on our own schedule. Only we know how to make it work for us. So if wedding bells do toll, make sure I'm there, and I better either be in the party or behind a lens ;)

  2. What you wrote goes along really well with what I discuss in the "Biology of the Family Gathering." The question of when we need to go past that idea of "respecting the parent's wishes" because it doesn't fit with our life and/or who we are anymore. And, OF COURSE, you will be there. I couldn't imagine it any other way!