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ding dong the bells are gonna chime

So the other night in the Stag's, a friend said something about wanting her boyfriend to propose before she was 35 and started joshing me and P about when P was going to make an honest woman of me, etc. She certainly didn't mean to be obnoxious, but I found it slightly irritating. And no, not because it touched some secret, instant-marriage-craving nerve. Because it seemed to be based on a bizarre expectation of what women want. And what we want is for our boyfriends to ask us to marry them, the sooner the better.

Lest anyone misunderstand my feelings here, I must say that I am, very definitely, not against marriage - as anyone who has heard me squee with delight at the announcement of my friends' engagements will know. I'm against the idea of traditional marriage, yes, and I'm against what marriage has meant for women throughout history. But I don't see any connection between a woman being essentially sold to her father's friends as part of a land deal (as was commonplace in Ireland all too recently) and the happy marriages of my friends who have made their own, new sort of marriage. A sort of marriage which is about loving commitment to each other rather than the female half being the Angel in the House who's given up all autonomy to her husband.

However, what I am bewildered by is the assumption that, as a 29 year old woman in a stable, happy relationship, I am automatically dying to be married as soon as possible, and that I think my boyfriend is somehow to blame for not asking me yet. The whole thing seems such a bizarre, Cosmo way to carry on - and view gender roles - that I am amazed that someone in my social circle could even bring it up. Has anyone else actually encountered this sort of thing outside crappy magazines? And should I expect more people to start asking me when P and I are going to "give us all a day out"? Don't worry, I don't suddenly feel under pressure to oblige, but I am still somewhat aghast at the whole thing. Not least because I don't particularly like getting oddly defensive about my currently unmarried status during a nice night out in the pub.

Comments

zoje_george
Mar. 7th, 2005 03:16 pm (UTC)
Of my married friends, almost all of them got married at least partly because of visa reasons

And this year, Johnny Trash and I will probably be joining that list. Honestly, if emigrating/residency in another country wouldn't be affected by us being co-habitants, eh, no we probably wouldn't do it.
jeejeen
Mar. 7th, 2005 03:51 pm (UTC)
WELCOME TO THE DARK SIIIIDDEEEE!

Actually, marrying for visa reasons is ever so much less embarrassing than marrying for getting-religious-parents-off-back reasons. I promise not to mock you. that much.
zoje_george
Mar. 7th, 2005 04:02 pm (UTC)
You can't mock me! I am un-mockable!

I'd have to leave the poor bastard to fend for hisowndamnself if we don't have a marriage certificate. Dammit.
jeejeen
Mar. 7th, 2005 04:17 pm (UTC)
I swear I'll do my wifely job - just sit at home become a slob!
I know, I know. you're just doing your wifely job. Hehehehe.

Anyway, what's the status on these plans of yours, anyway? Tell tell tell.
zoje_george
Mar. 7th, 2005 05:02 pm (UTC)
Re: I swear I'll do my wifely job - just sit at home become a slob!
Not telling yet.
jeejeen
Mar. 7th, 2005 05:07 pm (UTC)
Re: I swear I'll do my wifely job - just sit at home become a slob!
HARUMPH.
zoje_george
Mar. 7th, 2005 05:24 pm (UTC)
Are you trying to get me to jinx it?!
Well. ARE you?
jeejeen
Mar. 7th, 2005 05:43 pm (UTC)
Re: Are you trying to get me to jinx it?!
No, NO NO, nevar!!!!

Okay, I'll stop harassing.

Hmph.
pinguin
Mar. 7th, 2005 04:29 pm (UTC)
Marrying for the visa is the *only* fashionable way to do it. Honestly. All the best people do.
zoje_george
Mar. 7th, 2005 05:02 pm (UTC)
Oh! I get to be one of the best people? Cool!
pinguin
Mar. 7th, 2005 05:39 pm (UTC)
Absolutely. But we need to make badges or tshirts or something. "Married, but in an ironic self-knowing bill-splitting visa-grabbing sort of way".
It's got a ring to it don't you think?
zoje_george
Mar. 7th, 2005 06:20 pm (UTC)
It's catchy!

No hats though, I look stupid in a hat.

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