11:42 AM, Wednesday, July 6th, 2011:
Since I was a kid, one of my biggest goals in life has been to have a 50th Wedding Anniversary. As a child of divorce I was committed to "doing it right", working through every disagreement and becoming stronger because of it. It's with that mindset that Burgundie and I got married at 21, and with that same mindset that her announcement that she only "loved me as a friend" devastated me. I mean, never-saw-it-coming-2x4-to-the-face-rocked-me. But I was young. I got up and tried again.
It was that same mindset that I realized that Jess was unhappy in LA and suddenly my childhood dream became secondary. It's where Jess and I probably deviate from so many people's ideas on life. The legal document and the public scorn from dissolving it paled in comparison to a life of unfulfillment for the person we loved. Knowing we couldn't be what the other needed was heartbreaking, but it was the truth. We made the right choice and are still connected today... but add another to the tally and the thought of a 50th Wedding Anniversary was vanishing.
By the time Donna rolled around I knew I was doomed. Was I really gonna let someone I love go back to South Africa just because we didn't want to get married? Goddamn I struggled with it. I actually do value marriage, and I did not want to get married because her issues were gigantic... but the alternative was heartbreaking. I did love her, and I saw that I could at least help this woman stay in the country (something Talya has also done with her first marriage) and we both gave those relationships everything we had. To date I've never given so much of myself to keep someone alive, let alone keep the relationship going. It's another well documented story that I'm proud of for different reasons because as far as I know, she's alive. Yes, it got that bad. There was a world of potential, but with demons so big they couldn't fit in any room. But now? I was a three-time loser that felt he (nor were they) at fault for any of the dissolutions. Try ever explaining that to anyone.
Thankfully, people did give me the benefit of the doubt, or probably just enough rope to hang myself, but to their surprise I never did. Common sense tells you "If this dude isn't telling the truth? It will come up."  'Cause no one can tell a whopper of that magnitude without it falling through. Talya gave me the benefit of the doubt, with surely a bit of naiveté and lovey dovey in her eyes... and then she met the exes and also fell in love with what good people they were. She was able to read Donna's emails to me that aren't public. This guy really was telling the truth. There were no betrayals, there were no huge character flaws, these simply weren't failures in any sense other than legal. They were the right outcomes for the people involved.
Reading this must seem bizarre to people that don't know me. That never see how I interact with Talya or any of my friends or family. I operate differently than nearly everyone I know when it comes to relationships. Within a couple weeks of even knowing Talya we were in an intense conversation about why I felt we wouldn't work out. She comes from a different world financially and it's a world I will never be in. Not being defeatist, it's just not a goal. Whereas most people are only talking about fun stuff and doing fun things a week or so in? I'm cutting all that shit and trying to rip it apart. I don't even want to waste my time if I can find red flags and cracks in the foundation. I know myself so well the red flags beat me over the head. I say all of this to explain where I am now, with Talya.
To have gotten through all those issues and get to this level of peace? Means I will be connected to her for life. I have never felt this and been wrong. When you connect on this level, the connection doesn't expire. In the past it has needed to be redefined and while that was heartbreaking? They were products of the environment and several things completely out of our control. I know Burgundie has regrets, and I also know had Jess and I not moved to LA? We would never have had to face the issue of splitting up. The romantics never want to admit this, but you need a lot more than love to be happy.
I'm writing this to let people know that Talya is fully aware of my past. And how I feel about it, and how I feel about her. For example, Talya is very close to her mother. If we moved to the other side of the country away from her mother? I haven't the slightest idea how she would react, how our relationship would suffer, or if everything would be just fine. I honestly don't know that. I thought Jess would be fine, in the end she wasn't. But I'm not moving, Talya ain't moving, and her mother isn't moving. The issue won't come up. And if for some reason in ten years Talya and I decided to move to Italy or some shit? We'd do so being fully aware that it was a risk. When Jess and I came out to LA in 2000, there was a chance that I'd want to stay and Jess would want to go back. We talked about it ad infinitum and we jumped with all the faith we could muster. And we are here today. I don't think that relationship was heavily flawed because of it, I think that relationship was put in an environment that lacked the support she needed and it was something I simply couldn't provide. She has everything she needs now.
Talya and I have so much support, we actually feel like we're stealing. Like we robbed the support store. Every single family member on both sides and our closest friends (which include exes). Hell, even Talya's ex who I clearly have a few issues with told me on the phone the other day that he loved the proposal video. Every single aspect of our relationship floats to such an extent that we are able to deal with an intense amount of drama outside of us. We do so with giggles and love. If we get attacked we defend ourselves and end it with a hug toward the attacker. It's the feeling I'm sure many of you have felt in your own lives that when you feel good about yourself, you're able to help others? We feel like two parts of one unit that energizes each other to go out and spread more smiles. We spend a ridiculous amount of time together and we simply mesh. No other way to put it. All of that being said? I would never want to take Talya away from her family because I realize now that they provide things I simply can't. For some women who aren't as close to their families this may not be true, but in this case... it is. I know that. I had no way of knowing it with Jess until 4 years in.
The thing is? Several couples have been through this and have incredible relationships after a marriage because they loved each other enough to let go. It's slightly unconventional, but it's not delusional. Thinking that love can be wrong feels delusional to me. All things are possible through love, you just have to put the other person's best interests at heart. I know of a couple where the guy went into the marriage fully knowing his wife didn't want children, although he kinda did. In the end, he felt he loved her enough to be OK with that. What happens if in a few years he regrets it and feels his life would be unfulfilled if he didn't have children? That's a pretty big one. Does she say "you made your bed, now lie in it" or does she let him go? She would then have to defend what she feels is a "failed marriage" through no fault of her own. There are no easy answers here, especially when religion isn't involved. As I said in a song during Donna:
If you both believe in Jesus, you'll probably work it out,
But if she believes in Buddha, well, the outcome is in doubt,
If you both believe in love I guarantee you it will fail,
Love is just a dreamers dream a fractured fairy tale...
But tomorrow I'll believe, again...
Part of me envies the religious because it trumps all "self". Only part of me envies that however, but that's another entry. Point being, if you take out religious and social dogmas? You're left with love and doing what's best for the other person. Interesting to think about. Funny what power religion and society holds over our happiness, isn't it?
Thankfully, I am in the city I want to be in, both Talya and I are able to make money and pursue what we love in this city, we have family in this city for support, and we both share the same yearning for children and our own family. To say I've never had a situation like this is to say the least - and that's just the boring logistical shit. The interpersonal stuff between us is a given, which is why our families are so excited.
So, uhm, yeah - that's why we're getting married sooner (December 28th) rather than later. LMFAO. It stands to reason it would take me over 1500 words to get that across. :-) Now about that 50th Wedding Anniversary...
...so unfortunately I dreamt as a kid that my death-date was July 13th, 2057. Seems I'm off by a few years, doesn't it. Then I met a couple in their mid-80s that inspired me to push past a date I've held onto for easily 25 years. Talya's maternal grandparents. They are far funnier than this clip shows, but that's because the really funny stuff is so personal. This is how they talk about EVERYthing and EVERYone at ALL times. They are what my radio character Lester was with his grandson Johnny. Old enough to not give a shit... and have been married for over 60 years. They are the standard-bearer for me and Talya for years to come.
Haaaaaaaaaaa. My mom does the multiple name thing with me, except there's usually 2 dogs and a cat thrown in there as well. LMAO. Love it.