Lessons in Love from Kim

Posted by mwallach on November 11, 2011 in My Kids |

Dear That’s Life,
Much has been said of the Kardashian marriage/wedding debacle. I call it that because marriage is not a sprint – it is a marathon. Anyone who is not in it for the long run should not be in it at all.

Maybe Kim’s marriage should be called a spectacle, rather than qualifying it as an example of this sacred institution. Her wedding’s ratings were beyond network expectations, continuing to be shown in reruns even after the end of the marriage was announced. More is known about the details of her wedding than could ever be necessary. I do not know the cost of my own engagement ring but for some reason, know the original cost of hers, plus its buy-back price.

Dubbed as a fairytale wedding, was the fairytale supposed to last less than 80 days? A friend told me she was concerned that her daughter would look at these celebrity marriages and learn not of the importance and sanctity of such a union, but rather see it as a joke, filled with folly. I reminded her that education begins in the home – her daughter would value marriage because that is what they teach her. And if her daughter wants to get anything out of Kim and what’s-his-name’s wedding, then it should be a couple hours of entertainment. Make some popcorn – then sit back, relax and enjoy the show. Really, that is all it was in the first place.

Having been a young bride, I have always thanked G-d for allowing me to meet my better half early in life. We were not set up on a blind date, we did not meet in some mysterious way nor did our eyes meet across a crowded room. Instead, we had friends in common and I asked him out. Please do not feign your surprise in hearing that I made such a bold move – it makes perfect sense.

It may be a double standard, but if it takes guts for a guy to ask out a girl, it takes even more guts for the opposite to happen. My cousin had a strict rule that if a guy asked her out, even if she did not find him physically attractive, she always said yes. She appreciated the courage it took for a guy to make himself so vulnerable and open to humiliation. Out of respect for that alone, she would agree to a date. She did not want to ever discourage a guy from taking that step in the future because he was embarrassed when someone turned him down the last time he tried. Unfortunately for the guy who asked her out in the elevator at work, she had to break her rule and say no. It’s one thing to ask a girl out and she says no – but it is something totally different when you ask a girl out and she says she’s already married. That’s a whole other level of humiliation.

There are always the childhood friends your kids have that you look at and wonder if, one day, they could end up together. It is not an overt pressure you place on your child, and there is a lot involved in falling in love, but it does cross your mind. You discuss it with your friends. “Wouldn’t it be cute if they ended up together?” you muse. If it only it was that easy. Despite what the on-line dating sites purport on their commercials or Times Square billboards, there is nothing simple about finding your soul mate. And it is not about finding that perfect person, because you are not perfect either. Rather, marriage is about the two of you, with all of your imperfections, being perfect together. I guess Kim never got that memo.

While I do not have childhood memories of playing dress-up or thinking I was a princess, one of my daughters is making up for my lost time. He who dares tell her that she is not, in fact, a true princess will be punished with the fury of a redhead whose voice can reach octaves only dogs can hear. True to her role, she has made it clear that I am the queen, my husband the king, and has assigned all of her siblings’ roles within our kingdom. While she is still too young to imagine her own wedding, if things continue the way they presently are, I am afraid we will one day be paying for a horse-drawn carriage to bring her to the hall on that special day.

Fortunately for her, she has also decided who she would like to marry. Unfortunately for that prince to be, she annoys the living daylights out of him, telling him often that they will be married one day. Having not yet mastered the art of playing hard to get, or at least taking it slowly, she feels the need to harass and harangue him every time we are together as families. It has come to the point that we must remind her to leave him alone even before we see them. The reminders do not always work, however, and he ends up getting understandably frustrated. That never ends well.

Most recently, as we were going to spend the weekend together, I went through the rules. She needed to leave him alone and keep her hands to herself. (Yes: that is also a problem.) While she does not have one malicious bone in her body, she is incapable of leaving well enough alone. Back to her typical modus operandi, she got on his nerves almost as soon as they walked in the door.

The situation came to a head when she would not leave him alone while he was in the bathroom. She was not respecting his privacy, which is not at all acceptable or appropriate. Even before the adults could completely handle the situation, however, he had taken matters into his own hands.

From behind a closed door, he began screaming at her. “Now I’m REALLY not going to marry you!” he said. “I was going to think about it,” he added in a strong tone, “but now I’m NOT.”

Ouch. Rejected in Kindergarten. Maybe she can sell their pictures to People magazine, have the scene replayed on E!and still make something out of this. Ahhh…what dreams are made of.
As Seen in the South Shore Standard Nov ’11

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