Tag Archives: marriage

(fifteen years ago) the speed of time

Time’s a funny thing.

For the first twenty-four years of my life, today’s date was just a date. But fifteen years ago, it became important.

Fifteen years ago, I stood at an altar. For the regular reasons.

(eighteen years ago) Surrounded by throngs of married and engaged law students, I thought I was going to die alone, and it terrified me.

(fifteen years ago) I wore a tuxedo and said “I do” in a Catholic Church, and no lightning touched down upon our heads.

(twenty years ago) As a college sophomore I played video games and then went home and touched myself too many times.

(fifteen years ago) We danced to a song that took much too long to choose and sometimes now I can’t immediately remember what it was called.

(twenty-two years ago) I had a 1984 Chrysler Fifth Avenue and rolled up the sleeves on my T-shirts. Sometimes I stapled them so they’d stay.

(fifteen years ago) I gave into tradition for the last time as my best friend from college walked down the aisle as a bridesmaid instead of a groomswoman.

(twenty-four years ago) I cried about unrequited love and punched holes in my walls.

(fifteen years ago) Friends from each stage in my life drank and laughed with each other as they toasted my future.

(twenty-eight years ago) I snapped a girl’s bra strap and my dad said “Boys will be boys,” because he knew I’d eventually turn into a respectful man.

(fifteen years ago) I didn’t drink, but the night was still a drunken blur.

(thirty years ago) I devoured every book I could find and found whole new worlds worthy of exploration.

(fifteen years ago) We were too tired to consummate our marriage, and nobody noticed that giant red flag flapping in the air.

(thirty-two years ago) My parents burst with pride at my intelligence and precociousness, not realizing how unbearable it might become.

(fifteen years ago) I said I did, even though I showed I couldn’t.

(thirty-four years ago) I was the only male child, and I liked it.

(fifteen years ago) We started a new life with a terminal lifespan.

(thirty-six years ago) We moved to Florida from Boston and ate Raisin Bran for dinner, which amazed me at three years old.

(fifteen years ago) I hadn’t evolved from someone who knew everything to someone who knew he didn’t.

(thirty-eight years ago) My parents loved me fiercely without reservation, and haven’t stopped.

(fifteen years ago) I danced with my mother as she cried and took my face in both of her hands and kissed me.

(forty years ago) My mother looked at herself in the mirror and wondered what I’d be like when I arrived in three months.

and

(one year after my divorce) My best friend took me to dinner and wore a long blonde wig so, as he said, “I would feel like Amy was still there and wouldn’t be sad.”

Adam Avitable and his best friend in 2010

Time’s a funny thing.

Love and Baggage

 

Marriage is an institution. Institutions were meant to be destroyed, or at least mocked gently, or else they become stodgy, uptight, and inflexible. And you know what happens when you’re inflexible, right? Right?

Right. You fucking break in two.

So that’s where Love and Baggage comes in! The result of a twisted nihilist conversation between me and my friend Vannah, this Facebook page is a dark and twisted look at the institution of marriage, adding sarcastic, bitter commentary to everyday wedding photos.

We’ve posted almost 150 of them so far, with no plans to stop anytime soon, and you can email me your own wedding photos for the L&B treatment to avitable (at) gmail (dot) com!

Here are a few of the best received ones as well as some of my personal favorites. Enjoy them. No, seriously. Enjoy them. You choke this shit down and you like it.

 

This is part of a series in which I will attempt to write something every single day of 2016 here on Avitable.com. Will I be able to do it? You’ll only know if you subscribe using the form below!

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Married For Forty Years: My Parents The Unicorns

Robyn and Jim Avitable, today and 40 years ago

Why do you build me up buttercup, baby
Just to let me down and mess me around
And then worst of all you never call, baby
When you say you will but I love you still
I need you more than anyone, darlin’
You know that I have from the start
So build me up buttercup, don’t break my heart

Forty years ago, my 21-year old mother and my 23-year old father stood awkwardly in front of a Catholic priest, nervous and anxious, eager with anticipation, and declared their love for each other. Two children (practically) committed to each other, unaware of what the future could hold, with no guarantees except the potential each of them saw in the other’s hearts.

And here they are today. Happy, successful, and retired, they live a good life – a life they deserve, a perfectly balanced relationship gyroscope. Their complaints are minor and superficial, nothing more than a familiar patter that’s been rehearsed for decades. My parents are, above all else, still madly in love (maybe even more so now that they don’t have any of us around).

The lessons they’ve taught and the examples they’ve set are almost incalculable. My father’s respect for my mother is quiet and unspoken yet clear and heroic. The matriarchal role my mother steps into effortlessly is gracious and benevolent, filled with mutual love. Together they demonstrate what a marriage is supposed to be. How to roll the dice and walk away a winner. That when you make the right choice, and you listen to your heart and mind, love isn’t a gamble at all.

Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad. I love you.

Divorce and the Lace Anniversay. Thirteen Years Later.

I still haven’t gotten rid of that fucking calendar notification.

Why not?

I don’t know.

It seems like it should be easy.

Just click “delete”.

Yet I can’t.

anniversary_02

Will I get married again? Sure. No. Maybe. There are too many steps from this point in my life to even get to the consideration of another marriage.

I should probably do more dating. Get into a healthy relationship with someone to whom I’m attracted, who I trust, who doesn’t have baggage that colors her every action. Find someone to share my life with.

But it’s so hard. I have an active social life. I’m out performing 3-4 nights a week. I work a day job that has taken over my life. I work until I stress myself out and then I crawl under the covers and sleep until I have to do something else. Where does someone else fit?

Today would have been my 13th anniversary. Thirteen years ago, I stood in a church, an immature 24-year old with no idea of the burdens coming his way, and professed a promise to someone whom he loved. And man, did I fuck that one up royally.

I think, maybe, it’s a good idea to keep the reminder around a bit longer. Not to wallow in the past but to remain motivated. This is my reminder to strive towards happiness, to avoid settling out of a fear of being alone, and to remain secure in who I am when I let someone new into my life.

So this year I’ll just buy myself something lacy and frilly and keep on moving forward. Do you think Victoria’s Secret has something that will fit a gorilla?

I Wish That I Had Never Met You

“I’ll be honest, I can’t tell you how much I wish that I had never met you, you narcissistic asshole.”

Her email ended as abruptly as it had appeared in my inbox – the first communication in over a year. We finalized our divorce a little over four years ago, but there was still the occasional conversation, through email, text, or even the phone. I wasn’t surprised by the radio silence over the last year, though – while I am happy to be there as a friend, I knew that her resentment hadn’t dissipated.

I know that getting her to listen to anything I have to say would require nigh-Herculean efforts. She’s made up her mind. So, this isn’t for her. This is for me.

I’m sorry that I let you down.
I’m sorry that we ended our life together.
I’m sorry that I betrayed your trust and love.
I’m sorry that things turned out how they did.

I’ll never be sorry that we met.

We are the sum of our experiences. We are our past. I am who I am, in large part, because of our time with each other.  And I like who I am. It’s taken years of work. It took a failed marriage. It cost friendships. It resulted in indulgences of every appetite.

By reflecting on negative experiences  and focusing on eliminating my own negative attitudes and actions, I’ve become a better person. Yeah, I’m still a narcissist and an exhibitionist and a boundary-pushing twisted attention-mongerer. But it’s what I do with that and how I use that to apply to the world that matters.

Our lives traveled an amazing path when we were together, and if it hadn’t been for that, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I hope someday that you’re able to like who you are enough to feel the same way.