And thank goodness! What a never-ending source of inspiration it is!
Today's inspiration comes from my friend, M.E. (which sounds like some sort of secret self-credit...but those really ARE her initials).
Seems Miss M.E. encountered a situation which many lovely ladies - including myself - frequently face: the unwanted "suitor."
"Suitor" being a generous term.
Now before all my male readers groan, please allow me to clarify: a well-placed compliment is always welcome. An innocent approach? Perfectly appropriate. But there's a line. And it isn't subtle.
Succinctly, if your approach contains the words "titties," "ass," "pussy," "daaaaamn," "fuck" or any iteration of a synonym, it's pretty evident you don't respect us. And for any self-assured lady respect is a must.
Which is where M.E.'s story comes in...
M.E. is married. Happily so. But this piece of information - and the sparkly rock on her finger - apparently act as no deterrent from unwanted suitors, who often take it upon themselves to offer her a "way out" of her (apparently confining) relationship.
That this "offer" reeks of a lack of respect for M.E., her relationship, and her choices is obvious...and therefore not my reason for this post.
My inspiration, therefore, comes from M.E.'s thoughtful and heartfelt reaction to such an offer.
Today, M.E. made the case for monogamy. And in a world of swingers, open marriages, and outright cheaters, I think it's an argument being drowned out by the noise.
I share with you her thoughts:
"I am happily married and monogamous. I understand that me being monogamous might come as a surprise to some people but its not something my husband forced me into, it is something I decided on my own. I am not looking for a way out, nor am I looking for another man to be with. My husband is the only man I want to be with. It is not appropriate to ask me what I'm down to do with you, or repeatedly asking me to give you a personal demo of what I know how to do in bed (barf). I don't care if you are drunk, and an apology wont be enough to make up for disrespecting me, my husband, and my relationship."
As M.E. so eloquently outlines, what's so wrong with monogamy?
Surely, every relationship is about personal choice...but as the world becomes increasingly more open to relationships that are...well...more open...there seems to be a counter-trend. Namely, that monogamy is "boring" and "a trap"...a situation, therefore, from which one would be lucky to escape.
My friends, this counter-trend is in direct opposition to freedom of relationship choice.
M.E. wasn't forced into a monogamous marriage. She chose it. She loves her husband. And, my friends, that's okay!
For the majority of my life, I've been terrified of monogamy and of marriage. I tend to be a monogamist in relationships, but that's always been with the internal understanding that my relationships are like car leases - you use the car when new and exciting, with the understood anticipation of trade in after three years or 36,000 miles.
This may seem a heartless approach, but, my friends, if you'd witnessed the marriage I grew up with, you wouldn't want any part of that either.
But recently I've changed my tune.
The change can be attributed to a variety of factors - among them, shared experiences with miss M.E.
I currently work in a "breastaurant" - an establishment that serves food for both the stomach and the eyes. Think "Hooters"...but with barbecue.
In any event, working in such an establishment often brings in the inappropriate suitor...but most are well-intentioned and immediately snap back to the realm of respectful when told they have crossed the line.
It's not these gentlemen with whom I have a problem.
It's the ones that won't relent.
The ones with wedding rings who tell me the wife will never know.
The ones who give excuses about needing an escape from the old ball n' chain.
The ones who, despite being told that I am in a relationship, insist that they can provide a respite from the monotony of monogamy. That they can please me in ways my man can't or won't. That no one will ever know.
What these men fail to realize - other than their obvious lack of respect for me, my decisions and my relationship - is that I am not looking for a way out.
What a revelation!
At 31, I have been around the relationship block. My friends, I have done it all, dating-wise. And that's okay by me.
Ever-curious, I had to know what each of kind of relationship looked like. I needed to know. Now I do. And now that I do... I've opted for monogamy.
Why? Because monogamy - especially with the right match - offers me everything I am looking for in the form in which I want to receive it.
I am not missing out on anything.
I am not itching for something new.
I am no longer curious about the path not taken.
I? Am happy with monogamy for the first time in my life. And my friends - THAT'S OKAY!
To some, this claim may ring in the ears like the "War on Christmas" -like some ridiculous whine-fest about a non-existant issue. But given the frequency with which I and ladies like M.E. are approached with "alternate offers," I cannot help but feel that monogamy is getting a bit of an unfair shake.
Sure, 40 years next to the same bag o'skin seems terrifying...but the face doesn't need to change so long as the person behind it continues to grow.
And THAT, my friends, is what I have learned.
That the incessant trade ins on my previous leases have not been indictments of that person or of monogamy itself. They've been the symptoms of the illness that was stagnation. Monogamy only becomes monotony when the person (or persons) in the relationship fail to grow - both individually and within the relationship.
I concede that growth is, by definition, a personal journey, and therefore unique to the individual. For some, this may require some form of open relationship. But for others, a single person may prove the perfect soil in which to plant.
There are many metaphors there...and I've likely over and understated my case...but my journey may well be one that shows monogamy remains a viable option for sustainable happiness.
And my friends, that's finally okay by me.