The problem with married people is that they’re so sanctimonious and so fucking annoying – at least for the first year of their marriage – that basically as soon as you get home from the wedding you want to murder them. Suddenly your friend, independent and free thinking to a fault, answers all personal questions with the pronoun “we”.
Friend: Did you enjoy that movie?
Bride: We loved it.
Ugh. Just awful.
And the whole “we’re so in love” vibe that follows them around is just cloying. Like, can’t you people tear yourselves away from each other and spend five minutes acting like the people I originally liked before you turned into this bizarre Uniperson?
And there’s the weird distancing thing that happens. You notice its been six months since you last heard from your friend, call her on the carpet and she says something horrible like, “We just find that we don’t have many single friends anymore. It’s just… awkward.”
Well, I promise I won’t be like that when I’m married.
I solemnly swear that I will not answer in the plural when someone asks me a question. I promise I will never cut out my single friends (seriously, what is that about?!). I vow that after I’m married, I will continue to be wild, unstoppable, and fundamentally untamable.
I went through a phase about five years ago when I felt that panic – that weird oh my God, what if I never get married? low grade anxiety that I carried with me everywhere. Looking back, I can see that I didn’t really want to be married – I just wanted more out of life, and being married seemed like a nice way to get there. (Also, it was a selfish thing: I wanted to know I was loved enough that someone would want to commit to me that way.) In the last five years, my life has changed tremendously. I found Paul when I was already happy. I’d figured out what I wanted and a way to get it. When he arrived, I was happy and felt none of that “maybe he’s marriage material” fission that always hovered on the margins of every date. Somewhere along the way, I realized that the experiences I wanted to have in my life would be enhanced with him. They’d be funnier and more beautiful, more intense, sweeter.
So when we were talking about the future, and the subject of marriage came up, I considered it seriously. What would my life be without him? And what would it be with him? I didn’t want to be “a wife”. I wanted to be an entrepreneur, a writer, a scaler of mountains, a swimmer of seas, a one-person bohemian circus of experiences. But when it came to him, I thought … I could be his wife and be all those things. And the answer was as easy as Mother Goose. Of course I’d marry him.
He is extremely slow to decide things. Rock-steady, calm, composed, utterly in control at all times. I think that gives me the freedom to have my experiences, and if I fail, he is there, steady as Plymouth Rock. He’s grounded me quite a bit (in a good way) and I believe I’ve brought him out of his shell a bit (also in a good way.) He never cared for travel, for instance, and now we have plans to visit Paris and Florence. I’m still working on getting him to go shark diving with me in South Africa.
I used to think it mattered if he wouldn’t shark dive with me in South Africa. Now I really don’t care if he stays at the hotel and reads while I go shark diving. I respect the fact he might not want to do that, and he respects the fact that I do. This is partly why I doubt I’ll ever be one of those “we think” people. We are as close as two people can be, and yet we still respect these individual spikes that make us unique.
I’m thrilled to be getting married to him. I love him endlessly and we make each other happy. I can’t wait to say I do. Not “We do.”