Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Fuck Traditional Relationships

"Get out on the dance floor! You know you want to!" 

The male singer called my mother-in-law by name from his place on the stage.

We were on what was probably her final family cruise with us, and I was determined that she would have the time of her life. As I sat there watching her dance with other passengers, with a stunning smile on her face that I hadn't seen in a long time, I began thinking about how things have changed for women, and, more specifically, women in long-term relationships.

It had started a few days before, on what was to be the most amazing family vacation for them that they had ever been on - seven days on a beautiful ship, heading to beautiful, exotic islands. Relaxing, seeing shows, and listening to music. What more could you ask for? 

Well, apparently going to the room and watching television. You see, my father-in-law thinks vacation is simply not being at home. He had no interest in getting out and seeing what was going on around the ship. My mother-in-law is a traditional wife from the south who would not do anything he wouldn't do. And he wouldn't do anything. As a result she wouldn't do anything either. 

Finally, a couple of days into the cruise, I (with my husband's help) convinced her to come watch a band that we had met the night before. She didn't want to go because her husband was in bed, but we talked her into it. She had a blast. It was a cover band so the music was all kinds of genres. She smiled, she sang, she nodded her head and tapped her feet. But she was afraid to dance. Why? Because that was not expected of her and not the norm. Would she embarrass her husband? 

My thoughts on this? Who-the-fuck cares.

Back to watching her dance. I had seen this wonderful woman come so far in these few days. I saw her get out on her own again, regardless of what he wanted to do. She even looked at the bar menu and said, "He isn't here to tell me no." Then, she ordered herself a drink. 

Relationships are evolving more and more away from traditional rules. When I got married, I refused to say the word "obey" as part of my vows; in fact, the minister made my husband say it. In traditional marriages, the man is in charge. He rules the bank account. He makes the decisions about everything. I don't know about you ladies, but I say HELL NO to that! We, as women, have come so far in the last century. We answer to no one. A relationship is about being connected, and a connection means you have to work together. We need to stand up and say FUCK TRADITION. One of the most amazing things about relationships is that the rules are always evolving. It is up to us to empower ourselves and not settle for tradition. Let's change the way women are treated and looked at in America, and, hopefully, it will change the world. But, in the meantime, I just want to dance!

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