i always thought i would be married by now. no particular reason.
i managed to get things a little backwards. but even if he puts a ring on it i don’t see myself walking down the aisle any time soon. even my old-fashioned father, who has been going on about me getting hitched forever, has been surprisingly okay with this decision. it may be he’s more comfortable with the idea thanks to the proliferation of couples having kids before plunging into marital bliss, like my cousin & her partner who have two kids and have been together ages. more likely he’s just glad he’s finally got a grandchild to call his own.
while the practice is becoming more… dare i say popular… (i know of at least three or four other couples) people are still confused.
i shouldn’t be surprised. things that go against the “norm” always garner a collective side-eye from society. gay marriage, women in the work place. i’m not going so far as to say the concept of “kids before marriage” suffers the same discrimination as homosexuals vying for marriage equality. we just earn our fair share of disapproving clucks. the boy likes to joke with people who ask when we’re going to jump the broom, “don’t you think it’s a little soon?” (some history: within the space of a year we met, got pregnant, moved in together, and had a baby. what is soon? and yes, we are “insane”.) people don’t even ask me that, they straight up assume he’s my husband, and i’m not even wearing a band on “that” finger. it’s easier to let them go with that.
the institution of marriage seems to be losing its appeal. there are benefits to making it more than facebook official, like financial security and dental. but rising divorce rates suggest those things were never really all that secure. it’s so easy to call it quits, or have the rug pulled out from underneath you… it’s no wonder fewer people are willing to take the plunge.
obviously there’s a lot more to it, like not wanting to spend $80, 000 + on a ceremony. aside from a major milestone in life, weddings have become a cash grab. i wonder how many of the women featured on all those TLC wedding shows are still married? (they really took advantage of lonely friday nights for single women too…) and then, like me, there are people who don’t want to get it wrong. i was chatting recently about how divorce rates among people in older generations rising. about women who, walking down the aisle back then, weren’t sure whether they were making the right choice, but then children came along and responsibilities piled up, the decision to leave became harder to make. once the nest empties out, however, you’re reminded of how little you have in common with this person you’ve shared a bed with for so long. really, who wants to spend their life torn in two like that, if they don’t have to?
if you think about it, discounting “common law” status, it takes a higher level of commitment to stay with someone when you aren’t married, because there’s nothing to fall back on if or when the union dissolves. it’s still hard to decide who gets the cat and who gets the dog, but at least you won’t have to air your dirty, embarrassing laundry in court. if more people would open up about this, a good old frank discussion could save a lot of $$ on lawyers fees.
all that said, i do predict a wedding in my future, but maybe we’ll just skip the ceremony and go straight to the party.