Commitment: How About Office Instead?

As a child, I always
tried to choose what dress up scenario the neighborhood kids and I would
recreate. My favorites were Office or Hospital, both of which I spent my days
planning fake appointments on my Barbie laptop. However, everyone else always
wanted to play House. Fights would erupt over who would play the benevolent
mother or the free, rebellious teenager. I, without complaint, always chose to
play the dad. From a twisted, adolescent perspective, the father role had the
least amount of obligations. But even then, I felt the responsibility of
marriage on my shoulders. My wife and I were permanently bound together for the
rest of our lives. We made the eternal commitment to stay together through
every hardship our lives might endure. As a seven year old, it was all too
much. I made the decision that afternoon to never be married. I told my
parents, and they reminded me the burden of continuing our bloodline was left
to my sister. I did not mind for she, along with all my other friends, have
never been as opposed to marriage as I seem to be. So why do I fear such heavy

My grandparents have
been married for 67 years. From my limited experiences, I don’t think anything
can define commitment more than 67 years of marriage. To this day, they still
poke fun at each other’s little quirks and battle in endless card games. Also,
they frequently reminisce on old adventures as young adults, spending every day
and night in each other’s company. 1940’s Iran found arranged marriage the
norm. It was not unusual to meet your spouse a few weeks before the big day. So
how could two very young adults (my grandma was only 18) create a bond from
nothing into 67 years of marriage? Commitment.

No, I don’t mean a
commitment to each other. Anybody can do that. I genuinely believe commitment
is solely a promise to ourselves.  At every stage of their marriage, I am
sure moments have been gloomy, with unavoidable doubt over the functionality of
their relationship. However, they have both reassured themselves about their decision
for all of these years. Commitment cannot be taught or even consciously
practiced; it is a refined skill that takes a deep level of maturity. Once we
have a true desire to strive and fight for what we want, we learn to commit.
For my grandparents, they decided to commit to a successful marriage. 67 years
later, they still hold that promise. Anyone can say the words to show a
debonair demeanor, but nothing hides our true desires– our internal
commitments. My deep fear of prolonged commitment to another person might just
stem from a misunderstanding of commitment. It’s perfectly fine if I never have
a husband or kids, but commitment is not what should stop me. Rather, I need to
learn to allow commitment to inspire me, not terrify me.

originally published on Crybaby Zine

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