Does It Really Matter?

An acquaintance of mine who saw my Project Wednesday posts on social media sent me a note congratulating me and complimenting my honest, raw writing style. Attached to that note was an almost comical, backhanded compliment.

“Do you think you and your life hostage will get married? I mean I guess it could work this time for you guys.”

Ouch. Insert pause for my 30 second bounce back rate. Spend a whole day trying to figure out how that could be taken as anything other than rude. Then wait for my Chicago temper to flare. Who the hell do you think you are?

I guess we can call this post Lessons in Acceptance, Version 2.0. Clearly this person got the message about support but missed the part about respect or it not mattering what they think.

Do I think we’ll get married? Does it matter? Honestly, does it matter to anyone but us? Neither of us wear a ring on our fingers, but that doesn’t mean we don’t know where the other person’s heart lies. Maybe we will get married in a huge traditional wedding complete with a princess ball gown, maybe we’ll run off to Vegas and be married by Elvis, maybe we’ll go to the courthouse on a Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. Maybe we’ll be like Brangelina and raise a blended family outside of wedlock, maybe we’ll have our 2.3 kids and live a normal, white picket fence suburban existence, maybe we’ll be barren. But again, does it really matter?

Here’s what does matter. We love each other. Our families love us and we them. Does it matter that I’m not technically the nieces’ aunt? No, they still kiss me goodbye and text me pictures of their newly pierced ears. I’ve heard my parents repeatedly use the term “our kids” when referring to me and my life hostage. Does it matter we’re not technically married? No, he’s family to them. In the spring, I was in the ER. My life hostage’s brother sat by my side all day. Does it matter that I’m not technically his blood? No, he still supported me.

Will this relationship work? Hell if I know. I don’t think any of us can honestly say with 100% certainty that we ever know if a relationship will work out, romantic or platonic. We have no way of looking to our Magic 8 crystal ball to see the future. Sure, nothing has worked out for either of us in the past and we’re both divorced, but hey it only takes one and we could be the absolute loves of each other’s lives, which clearly we feel we are. But again, whether it works out or not, does it matter to anyone but us?

Social media is a blessing and a curse. We get this wonderful platform on which to instantaneously share our lives with others – family, friends, those we went to high school or college with or we’ve met in the professional world, sometimes people we barely know. It truly is a great way to keep in touch if used correctly. But it also gives people a misplaced sense of entitlement, that they’re entitled to judge your life because you’ve shared it. Not how this works kids.

I love sharing my Project Wednesday work and the work of those who write on Project Wednesday with me; I’m blessed to be in the company of a collective group of extremely talented individuals and I think I can speak for them all when I say we count ourselves grateful for having the privilege to write on such an amazing platform!

Life is not one continuous narrative from beginning to end, there are all kinds of ups and downs, each with their own stories, along the way. I want to hear your stories the same way we share ours. But let’s make a deal, let’s keep it positive. And above all let’s remember, these stories do matter. Mine matter to me and yours to you. Let’s respect that.

The acquaintance? Well they’re not an acquaintance anymore. That is one of the beauties of social media – removing negativity in the world of social media only requires two or three clicks.

Rachel Olszewski

A hot mess held together on a daily basis by dry shampoo and probiotics, Rachel is still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up but for now is a communications professional by trade. A true Chicagoan through and through, she is an East Coast transplant trying to set down roots. Although the height of her high heels may be getting shorter, Rachel’s expectations are not getting lower and she is on a mission to change the world one person at a time.

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