A few days ago a Facebook friend posted that she was “In a Relationship” with another person who is an actual, real life friend of mine and I wondered to myself, what event or decision precipitated that declaration?

Is it a thing that one person asks the other if it’s okay to change one’s status on Facebook from single to “In a Relationship?” It has to be, why wouldn’t it be? There are lots of things that are things now that weren’t before. Just like there are things that were, like going steady and getting pinned, that are no more. My life needs a bookmark.

When I was having relationships, which was a very long time ago because for the past 31 years I have been having a marriage which is like a relationship except with power of attorney documents and disability insurance, I would have been hard put to know when I could publicize their existence.  My relationships were messy, let’s say, they lacked definition and direction, had no predictable trajectory, bounced wildly like a BB fired into a bare room, careened from one wall to the next, and finally spent, dribbled toward the lowest, lonely corner.

My Facebook posts would have to say something like:

“In a Disaster Waiting to Happen”

“In a Pact of Secrecy Until His Wife Recovers from Her Major Illness and He Can Leave Her”

“In Debt Because of the Need to Buy a New Car because the One She Had Was Totaled by Someone Else”

“In the Hardware Store Figuring Out How to Get Her Locks Changed”

“In Limbo”

I envy people who have certitude and confidence. I appear to have those things but I don’t. My life of constant second-guessing would never allow a posting of “In a Relationship” because I wouldn’t ever entirely know that I was, at least not until there was a ceremony, photographs, signatures on a paper, rings, shared debt and decades of meat loaf, each loaf just slightly different than the one before because, of course, there is no recipe.

When I see that people I know are “In a Relationship,” I wish them well, as if they were traveling in France or on a Viking Cruise in the fjords of Scandinavia. It is foreign to me that being in a relationship would have the stability that could be trusted with publicity. I would be looking for the evidence. Who says? Where is the documentation?

My relationship life was rough. Risky. I’m lucky I lived through it and don’t I know it. Marriage saved me from relationships.

Thank God.