The day when marriage is taken out the hands of men

29 02 2012

So today is February 29th 2012, the day a woman can propose to her man and depending on where you are in the country, he may or may not be allowed to refuse. This event only happens once every four years, when it’s a leap year… apparently.

So what does this do for equality? what if a man wants to propose today? what if a woman wants to propose tomorrow?  What if they don’t want to get married at all? And what do you mean woman “can” propose today, are you saying they “can’t” the rest of the year?

There’s a lot of pressure for couples, especially those with children, to get married. Today a nursery worker called Grumpyhatman my husband. He’s not and he has made it blatantly clear to me he doesn’t want to be and never will be. I get sick of correcting people when they make the assumption we’re married. This is 2012 and still marriage appears to be a huge deal to society. I never expected at my age, given the alleged social progress, to be made to feel uncomfortable for not being married, but more now than ever I’m noticing negative attitudes or see people straining to find a ring on my fingers when they see Jr in tow. Why do people feel the need to know of my relationship status?

Am I supposed to explain that in my 30-something years no one has ever wanted to marry me?

It’s out of my hands. In the face of guaranteed rejection, I’m not gonna bloody chance it.

I’ve had one long-term relationship prior to my current one. 10 years and not once was marriage mentioned. There didn’t appear to be the same degree of pressure back then. I was never made to feel inadequate for not finding someone who wanted to commit to me formally. I’m honestly not that bothered by the institution of marriage and totally freaked out by the idea of a wedding. I always assumed I was the kind of person men would never want to marry. I’m certainly not the kind of woman a mother wants to see her son getting hitched to. I was right. In fact, the belief of my never getting married was so universal, my father even gave me my “wedding fund” when I was pregnant as there was “no hope” of me ever tying the knot.

I hate that I’m constantly having to defend myself and my single status. I’ve started saying, “Why don’t you ask him why he doesn’t want to marry me?” to deflect the attention away from what people see as an obvious failing at my inability to “capture” a man. These ideas don’t represent my understanding of a good and equal relationship. Capturing men. Needing marriage to be complete. Inability to be secure when single. The reliance on a man to survive. It’s not as if I didn’t do rather well for myself in my single years.

As I mentioned above, weddings freak me out. I’m not actually against the idea of a marriage or being married. It would be no different to how my life is now, except if I died, it would be a lot less complicated for GHM to access any money I may have. I hope he’s not relying on their being any :-/ The idea of what is essentially an entirely personal moment between a couple dedicating their lives to each other, becomes a pantomime that has to be performed in front of anyone they have come into contact with in their lifetimes and is one of my worst nightmares. I have respect for those who run away to do it by themselves.

I’ve seen quite a few friends get married over the past few years. I’m obviously “at that age” or rather they are, I’m well past it. Getting married is expensive and stressful and the bride especially is expected to look as beautiful in the evening wearing a ridiculous meringue and tiara as she was first thing in the morning just made up. You become public property, you have to smile all the time, dance with smelly relatives, let strangers feed at your expense, then take your photo when you least want or expect it. And lets not forget ensuring Aunty Agnes isn’t sitting anywhere near Uncle Jimmy’s third wife in case she does ‘that thing’ she does with her teeth. Oh the joys of seating plans and divorced families.

The average wedding in cost runs into tens of thousands. If you want your princess fairytale wedding you’re looking at mortgage proportions. For one utterly stressful day? It’s beyond comprehension why anyone would want to put themselves through it all.

That said, there are still plenty of people who want to get married and many of those, as yet, we do not allow. I don’t understand why, if a couple in love want to be married with all the trappings and stresses it involves, we cannot allow it.  It shouldn’t matter whether it’s a man or a woman, or two women or two men – if they are in love and want it, let them have it.

 

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4 responses

29 02 2012
mrscmonkey

Weddings- I’m married but couldn’t be doing with or afford the whole shebang. Hate all those family/friend gatherings that only happen on such an occasion and these people never get together any other time. So, my husband and I eloped. We took 4 people with us and everyone else found out via letter!
As for assuming people are married, I don’t think any relationship status should be assumed. Whose to say you’re not in a same sex relationship, that you’re partner wasn’t a single parent at nursery, that you and your partner hadn’t split up? People should never make assumptions.
I now always refer to someone as a ‘partner’ until the newly acquainted person tells me or it’s obvious the sex of the relationship & whether there’s a marriage/civil partnership/co-habiting or just plain happy.

1 03 2012
grumpyhatlady

It can be a minefield

29 02 2012
the artist formerly known as McMMSciMsc

Is it ok for a fictional character to marry a microwave oven?

1 03 2012
grumpyhatlady

Of course it is! In the Church of Labobo people can marry whatever they like, as long as their feelings are reciprocated

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