Barbed Wire Fences

I build too many walls or maybe I should consider them to be barbed wire fences. People try to climb them but always get cut trying to hurl themselves over the top. I never liked the idea of people getting too close to me. I never liked the idea of getting too close to other people. I’ve never felt honored when a woman asked me to meet her family. I’ve never enjoyed hanging out with a woman and her female friends. I’ve always believed that the most beautiful thing in the world is a woman who can stand alone.

After graduating from college even though I got excellent marks I distinctly remember feeling like a failure. I was upset with myself because I hadn’t found a wife. So I decided to get one. I began paying special attention to a woman who worked with me. She was about a year older than I was and by anyone’s account “had her life together.” She was educated, she was religious, she was from a good family, and she had great job prospects.  One day I randomly caught her by herself in town and decided to make myself plain to her on the spot.  I told her I thought she was beautiful and that I was getting too old to play games and that I thought she would make a perfect bride and more importantly I was a man that she would be able to depend on forever.

She blushed and then took a deep breath. When she responded she spoke of steps. Multiple steps. I would have to get in good with her family, I would have to be approved of by her best friend, I would have to befriend her pastor, I would have to attend her church, it would take a lot of time, and then it still wouldn’t be guaranteed. She would have to give it up to god. After she finished I shared my philosophy with her. I told her that I love the fact that she can stand alone. I asked her why couldn’t we just solidify our love first and let everything else fall into place later. The girl looked me in my eyes and said; “You know that’s what the devil does? He always wants to get people by themselves.” I walked away from that conversation without a clear understanding of what had just taken place and further away from getting a wife than I had ever been.

For a long time I was confused about what it takes to find a life-partner and now I’m just scared. I’m scared because I’m no longer confused. With each passing year I become more content with the thought that I may never get married. As more and more of my friends prepare to walk down the aisle I continue to erect a series of fences. Each one doing its part to protect my inner-solitude. They say that hell is burning somewhere behind a gate but then heaven has its gate as well. I don’t know which one of these places I am closest to and I’m not sure that I care.

-YB

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11 thoughts on “Barbed Wire Fences

  1. I always say that it’s OK if I never find someone to share my life with but in my heart of hearts I know that I’m bullshitting.

  2. I’ve never had any kind of focus on marriage
    but the thing about balancing solitude with relationships (romantic or otherwise) is something that I think about.
    I bought a book from Teju Cole. I haven’t read it yet, but I was inspired to read that he dedicated it to “the love of [his] life, the protector of [his] solitude”
    It never dawned on me that solitude isn’t something that has to be given up in commitment

  3. I think most people under 60 years old dont know what it takes and what it means to be married. The surrounding social environment, among other things, of a married couple weighs in heavy on how long the marriage will last imo. Needless to say, im 44 and can say i most likely won’t marry. I’m sure i’ll receive rebuttals from the ladies on this one.

    • Under 60? Wow. It would be interesting to have someone be married for the first time at age 65, lol. I think it’s just a matter of taking that leap though. We may view marriage as being conservative but in order to do it one must be a heavy gambler. Lol.

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