By Lisa Spector, Canine Music Expert, Juilliard Graduate, and co-creator of Through a Dog’s Ear.
I received a beautiful wedding invitation the other day from a bride who is very near and dear to my heart. It’s a relationship that defies age. I’ve known her since she was ten years old and have had the pleasure of watching her grow up into a lovely, young woman. Now that we are both adults, she considers me a close friend, even with an 18 year age difference. As the only attendee more than a decade and a half older than any other guest at her 30th birthday party, I was honored to be included.
Her wedding invitation was addressed only to me, and I was a little surprised that it didn’t say “and guest.” When I asked to bring a date, I was told she had to limit the guest list due to space and didn’t have room for him, but he was more than welcome at other pre-wedding events. By the close of the conversation she said, “if your relationship status changes as the wedding gets closer, then we can consider adding him to the guest list.” In other words, if you are living together, engaged, or married, then we’ll make room for both of you. How do you explain to a first time bride in a beautiful relationship with her beloved that significance isn’t defined by relationship status?
The reality is that you don’t, life does. It’s something that we can only learn as we experience the passage of time and enough events shape our decisions. I live a very independent life and enjoy my freedom. Just because my relationship with my beloved doesn’t fall into a check box category, it doesn’t mean that a part of him isn’t always with me. The wedding is an event that I’d like to share with him, and it saddens me that I can only do that by telling him all about it afterwards.
I also am aware of this limitation when I fill out medical forms and other applications. There are a few choices of boxes to check that usually include married, single, widowed, and divorced. Is there really a difference between categorizing myself as single or divorced? And why is it important for anyone to know if I was once married? Is that really going to affect the success of my dental appointment to have my teeth cleaned?
At least Facebook has a category called “it’s complicated” as an option for defining your relationship status. And it often is complicated when you reach a certain age, and so many other factors will affect the relationship between two – kids, elderly parents needing care, ex-husbands, ex-wives, ex-lovers, step-children, multi-careers in different geographic locations, etc. But, matters of the heart really shouldn’t be so complicated. Love is shared. Period. Whether the relationship falls into a category as defined by society or not, it doesn’t lessen the significance of the love.
I actually wrote this post on a trip with my dogs. When I called a girlfriend on my way home, she said, “Who did you go with?”. I replied, Sanchez and Gina (my beloved dogs). It’s hard enough describing my relationship to them, yet alone my relationship to a human beloved that I don’t always travel with. No he wasn’t in the seat next to me in the car, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t reserve space in my heart for him.
Have you ever felt like your relationship status was discriminated against? Thanks for posting your comment below and sharing your thoughts.
As co-founder of Through a Dog’s Ear, I am offering my Care2 readers a free download from our latest release, Music to Calm your Canine Companion, Vol. 3. Simply click here and enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy.