Monday, July 20, 2009

Is your marriage cool enough?

The other day something made me think of a long-lost friend, someone who just faded out of my life and whom I miss. And I remembered a conversation we had early in our relationship that maybe had something to do with why she let the friendship go.

She was telling me about a friend of hers in the neighborhood and said (this is almost a direct quote): "she and her husband have a multi-cultural marriage; it's so cool." Now my friend, too, is in a multi-cultural (bi-cultural?) marriage. So the implication, intended or not, was "your white-bread marriage is not cool."

I should point out that we lived in a very blue area of Oregon then; multi- or bi-cultural marriages were very common. Our circle of mutual friends probably had more "mixed" marriages than mono-cultural ones. So it wasn't like she was in a tiny minority and was thrilled to finally find someone more like her family. There was plenty of "validation" for bi-cultural marriage. I think she suffered from "white guilt" and was just trying too hard to be less white.

Now I didn't take offense at that, really. The conversation moved on. I couldn't think of what to say; I'm just not quick-witted. I should have pointed out that I am in one too: he's a good ol' Georgia boy, and I am a Yankee. We've had our share of bi-cultural struggles too. I almost didn't survive my first exposure to southern hospitality on a multi-state meet-n-greet tour the year before we got married. And I didn't think he'd call me again after the Thanksgiving celebration with my family, when my brother smashed a piece of pie in my niece's face - in the most loving way, of course - followed by a forced viewing of "Cabin Boy" in which people took turns talking over the movie, and turning up the volume to hear the movie.

Anyway, for some reason I was thinking about what makes up a "cool" marriage. And I decided that the coolest marriages I know of are the ones where the spouses love and respect each other, share the same moral, ethical, and religious values, and honor their commitments and obligations. So I guess my marriage is pretty cool. Even if we're just two boring white people.

1 comment:

Jeanette said...

This is a comment for the post on socialization since I was out of town when it was posted...

Why don't people talk about the unsocialized PUBLIC schooled kids? I know a few kids in public school who are terribly socialized-rude to adults, no manners, etc. Why is it homeschooled children are subjected to the microscope of "proper" socialization but the public schooled ones are not?

Now, for this post- I agree. As a white American I feel like somehow we are not supposed to exhibit any pride what so ever in our "whiteness"...our cultural difference from other races. Like we are supposed to be ashamed. Isn't that racism?