Don’t Rush To Buy A Hat

G went to  a stag do this weekend, and one of his fellow stags (who has never met me, but clearly considers my honour one of his priorities) was apparently insistent that G must propose to me immediately, without further ado. It seems he- and much of the rest of the world- think that at our age and length of relationship tenure (nine years- gulp!), it’s quite simply the done thing. I’m sure many of my older relatives are gnashing their teeth at my lack of fourth-finger sparkler. I believe I’ve even been described as a “lost cause”.

G relayed this conversation to me as I prepared dinner last night. Was this bloke right? Did I feel wounded that he hasn’t yet got down on bended knee? Do I yearn for a wedding?

I stopped still with kettle frozen above rice pan, brain struggling to compute.  Oh G, I told him, if there’s one thing you should know about me after all this time is that I have never been one of those girls.  

At the ripe old age of 28, in many cultures I’d be considered a shelf-dweller, an old maid. Twenty years ago my unmarried state would have been a shocker (a friend’s mother gave birth to a child in the 70s, at the age of 25, and was classed as an “older mother” by the hospital).  But really, truly, I am just not that concerned with getting married.

It’s a miracle, really, given the level of social conditioning involved. From pop culture to organised religion to the people who chime “so, it’ll be you next!” as you celebrate a friend’s marriage (which, by the way, when did we all get so grown up?!) , the message is deafening: marriage is the thing to do.

A girl can’t watch Sex And The City, flick through the latest Grazia magazine (which tells me definitely NOT to move in with my man, if I ever want a proposal) or flip a middle finger to The Rules (which say ditch a relationship after 18 months if a proposal is not forthcoming), without encountering the idea that 20+ women are obsessed with getting a ring on their finger. Whilst I identify with Bridget Jones in a myriad ways, sometimes uncomfortably so, the wedding-lust she’s famed for- but is so much more than!- has passed me by entirely. 

I don’t know why I missed the Wedding Gene. I’m terrified at the thought of being the centre of attention for a whole day; it wouldn’t be the same without my sister there; the costs involve ghast my flabber. These are all factors.. but not deciding ones. I just don’t long to get hitched. And I certainly don’t see marriage as a prerequisite to having children (and neither, any longer, does the law).

That’s not to say that I don’t want all the things that are tied up with marriage: commitment, security, a house, a family. I’ve got them all already- save the last one- and we’ve done the better/worse thing to the nth degree.

It’s not to say that I don’t revel in the marriages of others: my best friend is getting married to her long-term partner this September and I’ll be on the front row, bawling with happiness and fully supportive of this wonderful thing they are doing. I had the speech written in my head before she’d even popped the question. 

It’s also, confusingly, not to say that I never want to get married. I believe that we will, one day. I don’t know when- in uncharacteristically traditional style I’ll leave that up to He Who’ll Do The Proposing. When we do get hitched, there will be cake and dancing and crying (of the good kind, I sincerely trust). It could happen next month- though I’d still be a bit fat from Christmas, so perhaps not- it could happen in five years time. Who knows?

I’m absolutely not opposed to marriage, and quite fancy it, some day. I’m even secretly quite keen, retchingly un-feminist moral messages aside, to see the latest rom-com offering, Bride Wars.

But I suppose my message to the world at large, who would have had me bundled into an ivory corseted number and charging down the aisle a good three years ago, is this: you can exhale, guys, if you’re holding your breath for my nuptials.


8 Responses to “Don’t Rush To Buy A Hat”

  1. 1 Thursday January 12, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    I missed the wedding gene too. I like the idea of sparkly ring tho’, shallow girl that I am. Mind you, I like the idea of sparkly ring more if I bought it for myself.

  2. 2 Min January 12, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    I too missed the gene. Although I did say yes when proposed to on the sofa after we’d done the Sunday washing up last year. Everyone is dsappointed when thy find out the propsal method but I thought it was quite romantic because it was about us. Much as I think it’ll be fun, I’m not as excited as everyone else about the wedding. I can’t work out if it’s because I genuinely don’t care why colour the napkins are or because getting married without my sister there will seem so wrong. That said Thursday, the sparkler is worth it (and I did pretty much buy it myself), as is the honeymoon to japan. Small January sized yay..
    Bokker- mandate only home made crochet hats at your potential eventual nuptials. That’ll give them something to get on with while you’re getting on with life..

  3. 3 Thursday January 13, 2009 at 9:06 am

    Sounds good Min – sparkler, sofa and Japan. A wedding is, after all, just one day but I’m sure both your sisters would thrilled and looking mighty fine in their crochet hats.

  4. 4 bokker January 13, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Japan- brilliant! We love Japan chez bokker/g. I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful wedding and honeymoon.

  5. 5 pei January 14, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Boo. Hiss. BOO. HISS. BOO HISS!!

    Your wedding day isn’t for you, it’s for me. You rotter.

  6. 6 bokker January 14, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Never fear pei, I will do an extra special dance during your ceremony to make up for it. What, didn’t I tell you I’m planning to tell the story of your love through an interpretative dance at your wedding? I’ve bought some sequinned dancing trousers in readiness.
    I’m also going to sing your first dance song as a wonderful surprise. “Boom Shake The Room” wasn’t it?

  7. 7 The Groom February 9, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    I wanna know who at my stag that was…

  8. 8 bokker February 9, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    Starts with O, rhymes with “brollie”!

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