Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Do you Love Me?

Matchmaker, Matchmaker make me a match
Find me a find, catch me a catch
Matchmaker, Matchmaker look through your book
And make me a perfect match
For papa, make him a scholar, for mama, make him rich as a king
And me, well, I wouldn’t holler if he were as handsome as anything

Let me start out by saying: “I am not an anti-romantic cynic.” I have become a stark realist in my views of marriage and romance. I think it would be good to go back to the days of arranged marriages. In Las Vegas on Valentines Day there were probably 10,000 marriages. 10,000 couples said they love each other and want to spend the rest of their time together. Statistically 3,000 of those will be divorced within two years, 2,000 more of them will be divorced before their “lifetime” together expires. That is not just Vegas, it is everywhere.

With freedom comes responsibility. For a few hundred years we have been “free” to choose our own spouse. For a few decades we have been free to dump that spouse for any reason, without any fault, without any repercussions, without any responsibility. So what have we done with our freedom? We have become irresponsible with it and so we will lose it altogether. Marriage is under attack from outside forces like the gay community but that is minor to what we are doing to marriage from the inside. We want marriage without responsibility and divorce without fault and so we have a beautiful looking Cadillac that breaks down a majority of the time.

When we were assigned who to marry, we were told that you must LEARN to love that person because you don’t just FALL in love with a person. Love doesn’t just happen, it is a fine diamond that must be mined, chipped, sculpted, honed, and polished. We must WORK to love each other! That is why living together before marriage is, statistically, the surest way to make sure you are divorced later: benefits with no WORK! That is why most divorces happen in the first two years: you find out its WORK! So maybe not arranged marriages, but let’s not deceive ourselves into thinking that non-arranged marriages are more likely to succeed. Let’s WORK at loving each other, the payoff is unbelievable.

Do you love me? Do I love you?
My father and my mother said we’d learn to love each other
And now I’m asking, Goldie, do you love me?
Do I love him?
For twenty-five years I’ve lived with him, fought with him, starved with him
Twenty-five years my bed is his … if that’s not love what is?
Then you love me! Yes, I suppose I do.
And I suppose I love you too (Fiddler on the Roof byJerry Bock)


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