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Marriage: The Great and Powerful Oz

December 19, 2010

I caught the ending of The Wizard of Oz on TV the other night.  I hadn’t seen that movie in ages, and I was captivated like a little girl again when I saw Dorothy’s glittering shoes, the technicolor world of Oz, and the lovely pink fairy that showed up to send Dorothy home.  There was something so magical about that last scene, but it is interesting that as an adult the meaning of the whole film sinks in more than it ever did as a child.  Dorothy and her gang trek to Oz thinking it will be the place that instantly turns them into the people they want to be.  The Tin Man will have his heart, the Scarecrow his brains, and the Cowardly Lion will get his courage.  Dorothy trusts that once she reaches Oz she will find a way to get back home to Kansas.  Of course what we all know, and what the characters find out at the end, is that everything they think the Wizard of Oz will provide for them are things that they already have.  The Wizard only ends up teaching them to “look inside” themselves.

I feel like many people look at marriage as Dorothy and her crew looked at Oz.  If we just get to that place where we have arrived at intimacy and commitment and security, then we will instantly become the people we had hoped to be.  Our problems will be instantly solved as quickly as finding a Wizard in a green glass castle.  If only we could just “get there,” then everything would be okay.

I’ll be honest I had a bit of a Dorothy-ized vision of marriage in mind before I actually got married.  But now that I am here, I can clearly see that the person I was before my marriage began is the person I am during my marriage now.  Yes, there will be change and growth as a person, but all of my flaws and fabulous qualities are already in place.  There is no dramatic shift into perfection as soon as I knock on the great wide doors of Marriage.  It sounds so simple, but I wish I had prepared myself better for that.  I wish I had not expected that I would know how to be a perfect wife within a matter of months.  I wish I had understood that there would need to be a lot of internal work in order to build a life with someone.

Dorothy gets herself back home by clicking her heels together and ending her journey in the same place she started.  Not too much has changed for her, although she does have a new appreciation for her black and white Kansas home and the people who live there with her.  Perhaps the marriage journey is equally as cyclical – beginning with family and ending with family, and coming to the realization that no matter how much you “expect” marriage to magically transform you, you will still end up as the person you always were.  Intoxicating though the dream of Oz might be, it is in the land of normal black and white where our reality is.  And as a newly married woman who realized she had to toss her Oz fantasies out the window, I do have to say – I’d choose black and white any day.  At the risk of sounding too cheesy, there’s no place like home.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Alli permalink
    December 20, 2010 10:21 am

    I have to say, I am learning so much from you (and my other recently married friends). Thank you for preparing me for the lifestyle, helping me understand and go into that precious commitment with more of reality in view than with my rose-colored glasses on. It’s all good to know and hear for the future!

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