Did they know what they were getting in to?
Do you think people are in their right minds when they get married? Well, you’re wrong. They are not themselves.
My mother was probably someone who should have just dated and maybe had a serious boyfriend when she was ready to get serious. Marriage was not for her. She didn’t do well married to my father or as a mother to me. And not because she’s a bad person, but because she didn’t want to be married or have a kid––two things that cramped her style.
She would have been fine living single in an apartment in Seoul or Manhattan, having her career, seeing her friends, and travelling the world.
But, no, she let the people around her scare her into conforming and believing that mores of her time would withstand the test of time. From what I recall her telling me when I was a lot younger, she met my father through a friend and got pressured into marrying him soon after. If this is how it happened, I wish she would have shoved a Choco-pie in these people’s fat mouths and went on her merry way.
I won’t say my mother didn’t love my father, but If she did love him she was desperately secretive about it. Like it was an inside joke meant just for her. Not even my father was in on it.
What’s the point of thinking about it now with my father physically gone and mother meta-physically gone? Well, it’s our human compulsion, as Billy Bragg put it, to take apart the things we love to see how they work (or not work). Find the useful thing to be gleaned.
And I dare say that I have gleaned it: If you’re not mad about the boy or girl just be mad about yourself.
Will it ever cloy
This odd diversity of misery and joy
I’m feeling quite insane and young again
And all because I’m mad about the boy
–Noel Coward (with Dinah Washington singing it in my head)