As I drove to the office on a gray winter morning, My Immortal was playing on the radio and for a few minutes I was lost in my thoughts; I wondered what Evanescence meant. I took a mental note and decided to check it out when I went to work. The song went on and on; the lyrics and the soul-penetrating voice of Amy Lee touched a place deep down in my heart reminding me that there is just too much that time cannot erase. Memories raced with my thoughts until I reached my destination, and in my office, I sat myself on my desk, switched on my computer, and looked up the meaning of the word that I toyed with throughout my drive.
Merriam Webster’s online dictionary said Evanescence means vanish; to dissipate like vapor; to cease to be visible; to disappear. In a game of word association, using any of those words would remind the player of mercury, perfume, or any other substance known for vaporizing. Thinking of it myself, the first thought that came to my mind was a visual image of a man who came to our house a few years ago asking for my hand in an arranged marriage setup. My mother was so excited about me meeting Mr. Perfect; he was young, tall, dark, handsome, successful, well off, and open-minded. Mr. Perfect was willing to see me even though he knew that I was living on my own, I had a career, I traveled a lot, and I am not the compromising type. Mom was certain that she would get to see me in a wedding gown in no time!
As I walked in the room, my eyes captured his deep black eyes, wide smile, and graceful posture. I smiled back at him approvingly and as the evening went on I realized that he is also charismatic, witty, and has a great sense of humor. My mother was happy with the way the conversation was going and his mother was ever so cheerful.
Suddenly the room was filled with a heavy silence and all heads turned to me as I asked Mr. Perfect if he was the faithful type. The question just flew out of my mouth and it was too late to take it back. In an attempt to pursue the topic I raised, I said with a struggling smile “I mean will you be able to write me a paper that states that if I caught you cheating on me, you would pay me a million dollars? I would write you the same paper guaranteeing you my faithfulness.” Clearly my attempt to sugarcoat my bomb of a question failed as the silence grew louder.
All it took from Mr. Not-So-Perfect was a clear audible “NO” as an answer to my question, to bring my green-eyed monster out of its cave. My mother, totally baffled, asked the guests if they wanted some sweets; but nothing would stop the provoked monster from its righteous attack; I repeated my question again highlighting the facts that I expected my husband to be loyal; that I liked to play fair and square; that it was a two way street; that from a religious stance, marital infidelity is a big sin that men and women get stoned to death for.
Again I kept getting nonsensical replies from the groom-to-be. Matrimonial devotion did not seem to suit his notions. After a long debate that brought my mom to the verge of a heart attack, and brought his mother to a noticeable level of disapproval of the bride-to-be, I told him with one of my super aggressive tones “So now you are in our house, looking at my mother, asking to marry me, and you are letting us both know in advance that you would not be faithful?” I was not being sarcastic; this IS what I heard “Marry me and I promise to cheat on you.” He said nothing but his body subconsciously turned to face the door and his mother saved him when she signaled that it was time to leave.
My mother was more than unhappy when they left; she was livid and she kept wondering what she did wrong to deserve a daughter like me. I tried to point out to her where I was coming from but her main argument was that all men were the same and that I was not going to change the world; as long as the husband came back to his house, wife, and kids then he was a good man and a woman should not ask questions that would lead to a confrontation of any kind. This was how a good wife kept the father of her kids and saved her home! She told me over and over that all men have “little” affairs and women ignore them. She told me that men have different needs and it was their right to attend to those needs. Finally she gave up and gave me that look that signified the end of the discussion and I left the house.
So for me, in a word association game, evanescence would be associated with marriage vows that evaporate faster than mercury and sink quicker than a lead ball; with love that flees the merciless scars of infidelity; with a melting sense of commitment; with a fading respect for family. This was not the end of the sad story; it got worse when I shared the details of my “date” with my friends … they called me a fool; told me that there were no more men who wanted to get married; that who cared what a man did outside the house; that what I did not know about would not hurt me. They sounded so much like my mom and I felt alienated from their world.
Of course Mr. Not-So-Perfect had every right to walk away. With his God-given qualities and mouthwatering attributes he could easily land any girl he wanted for a marriage bargain. Why would he bother with me and with my “radical” opinions? Why did he have to justify his actions and keep his promises? He did not need to resist temptation if he knew in advance that he would be forgiven. Men created a big myth ages ago and women believed it; they claimed that their physical needs are much higher than those of a woman and used that as an excuse to justify their shameful behavior. They said they got bored of “eating the same dish everyday” and they needed the change. They kept feeding women lies for generation after the other. My grand mother, my mother, and my friends fell for that lie and now I am asked to go with the flow.
I am no longer angry at Mr. Not-So-Perfect … my anger is directed at the girls who suffer from an extreme condition of low self esteem; who locked their pride in sealed bottles and threw them in oblivion; who willingly subject themselves to the double edge of treason and rejection; who would prefer sleeping with the enemy than sleeping alone. I get bored too; I crave for a change just as much as men do. I needed to feel desirable and wanted when I was 18 and 28 and when I will be 38, 48, 58 and forever. Still, I would respect my vows of loyalty and commitment to my husband. Infidelity hits the woman’s pride; takes its toll on her self-esteem; makes her feel rejected, unwanted, and unfit. If only men knew how much damage they were causing and how deep of a scar they were leaving.
Here goes my girlish dream of happily ever after … to cherish and to hold vanished into thin air … to love and to honor evanesced into dark vapors … until death do us part is just an anagram of “another stupid adult”. Seriously ... reshuffle the letters and you get ANOTHER STUPID ADULT.